The Secret Ingredients Celebrity Chefs Use To Perfect Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs, also known as stuffed eggs or dressed eggs, are a popular appetizer and snack at backyard barbecues, parties, and holiday gatherings. Since each egg contains about 6 grams of protein, deviled eggs make for a nutritious snack (via Healthline). 

This traditional egg favorite is easy to prepare. Additionally, deviled eggs are portable and can be made in advance. They're commonly served chilled with a sprinkle of spices and herbs. While it may be hard to improve upon the classic recipe, you could try making deviled eggs with a twist. The next time you're in charge of bringing a deviled egg dish to a social gathering, consider mixing in a few secret ingredients recommended by celebrity chefs. 

Regardless of whether or not you've made deviled eggs before, you probably have some idea of the first step to making this delicious party snack: It begins with the eggs. Before you can mix in any celebrity chef suggestions, the eggs should be properly cooked. As Thomas Joseph, culinary director, once told Martha Stewart, older eggs are easier to peel.

Once the eggs are cooked and cooled, halve them, and then get ready to add your choice of the secret touches! This dish is so versatile that it can be flavored in a variety of ways, making it suitable for a wide range of tastes and preferences. There are several different ways to elevate this appetizer. 

Alton Brown: Four kinds of pepper

While pepper may always have been on the recipe list for deviled eggs, there aren't many chefs who are willing to add more than one type of seasoning. Alton Brown is a food television personality, show host, and author (via Food Network). He is known for his hosting the Food Network show "Good Eats" and "Good Eats: Reloaded."

Brown is notable for his scientific outlook on cooking as well as his experimentation with food. So if you are looking for a new take on an old favorite, this is it! For a modern twist on the traditional egg recipe, you will have to kick the pepper up a notch. This recipe calls for not just one but four different kinds of peppercorns. 

Firstly, gather the four types of pepper: White peppercorns, black peppercorns, green peppercorns, and pink peppercorns. The flavor of each pepper variety ranges from mild to sweet. Of the four, pink peppercorns are the only type of dried fruit that is often used as a spice (via Fine Dining Lovers). Pink peppercorns taste fruitier than the other three types of pepper. 

If the peppercorns are purchased whole, crush each variety with a mortar and pestle or pulse them in a spice grinder. Brown recommends adding half a teaspoon of each variety of peppercorn (via Alton Brown). Just one pinch of peppercorns can go a long way for some people, so use them sparingly until you get a feel for their flavor.

Alex Guarnaschelli: Bacon

It's always refreshing to see foods that are commonly paired together combined in unique ways. Alex Guarnaschelli is a renowned chef and television personality who is the host of Food Network's show "Alex's Day Off” and a judge on "Chopped." She has been praised for her innovative approach to cooking and has even received several accolades throughout her career, including a James Beard Award

While many chefs may amp up the spices when making deviled eggs, her take on the customary egg creation is more of a savory one. The next time you're craving deviled eggs, try adding bits of bacon to the mix. As Alex Guarnaschelli told US Weekly, all you have to do is briefly fry the bacon in a pan and add it to the top of the deviled eggs.

The salty, smokey flavor of the bacon helps balance the richness of the egg yolk and mayonnaise, giving the deviled eggs a more well-rounded flavor. Adding bacon to deviled eggs is a great way to take the appetizer to a new level of flavor and texture. 

Incorporating bacon with deviled eggs is a simple way of making the dish more unique and appealing. Whether you choose to crumble the bacon on top for a crunchy texture or use it in the filling, it's sure to be a hit with anyone who loves bacon.

Giada De Laurentiis: Mascarpone Cheese

Whip your deviled egg dish into a creamy masterpiece with Giada De Laurentiis' special ingredient. The Emmy Award-winning television personality is best known for hosting her popular cooking television show "Giada at Home" on the Food Network, as well as her appearance as a judge on other cooking competition shows. 

Giada De Laurentiis's top secret ingredient to add to deviled eggs is a rich Italian cheese (via Recipe for Health). Consider using mascarpone cheese as part of the filling or as a garnish for a luscious spin on this classic dish. 

Mascarpone cheese, with its velvety texture, effortlessly blends with the smooth consistency of the classic deviled egg yolk filling. Adding a few spoonfuls of this creamy cheese to the deviled egg filling is a simple way to elevate the classic appetizer to make it more interesting and delicious. 

Unlike some other cheese varieties, mascarpone cheese isn't as tart tasting. It's a naturally sweet cheese often used in desserts like tiramisu. In fact, mascarpone cheese, when mixed into the mayonnaise and mustard filling, introduces a subtle, sweet flavor to help balance the salty and tangy notes. 

The rich Italian cheese creates a sweeter, creamier final mixture that's sure to impress the taste buds (via Masterclass). A dollop of mascarpone cheese is bound to add a unique gourmet taste to deviled eggs. 

Ree Drummond: Pickles

Deviled eggs are a well-known dish throughout the United States, but they are an especially beloved staple in the Southern states. And if anyone knows Southern cooking, it's Ree Drummond, who began her Food Network career in 2011 (via People). 

The author, show host, and blogger recommends using pickles as the special addition to the dressed eggs: Not just the pickles but also the juice! (via Food Network). Pickles are a versatile condiment that is used for more than just topping burgers at the barbecue. The mixture incorporates the pickles as well as the brine. The diced pickles are blended together with egg yolks and seasonings. 

The addition of chopped-up pickles adds a burst of flavor and crunch to the appetizer. You can create this version of deviled eggs using store-bought pickles or try your hand at making some homemade pickles on your own.

When preparing to make your own pickles, ensure that they are firm before pickling. As Cara Lovett, fermentation director at Cultures for Health, tells Insider, soaking the cucumbers in ice will help them retain their texture and lead to a quicked jarring process.

You can choose from traditional or sweetened pickles, as either will deliver a unique spin on the dish. Additional slices of pickles can be added to the top of each egg as a garnish.

Ina Garten: Smoked salmon

Ina Garten, the host of Food Network's "Barefoot Contessa," dresses up her deviled eggs with an unexpected secret ingredient. Make your deviled eggs the hit of the party in a delicious way by adding a touch of protein and omega-3s to the filling: Give the classic finger food an unforgettable upgrade by adding smoked salmon (via Barefoot Contessa). 

The smoky, salty flavor complements the creamy yolk mixture for a more complex yet polished bite. Additionally, the added protein makes these deviled eggs an even more satisfying snack to nibble upon. The delicate, flaky texture and mild flavor of the fish pairs well with the traditional egg yolk and mayonnaise filling. 

To incorporate the fish into the filling, slice the salmon against the grain until you're left with small cubes to fold into the delicate batter before scooping them into the egg whites. You can add hot or cold smoked salmon to this staple snack: Which one you select is a matter of personal preference. 

Cold smoked salmon is typically sliced thinly and served raw or cooked briefly over low heat. It's commonly used in sushi dishes. Hot smoked salmon is cured in salt, sugar, and other flavorings before it's hot smoked and sliced into thick pieces (via Masterclass). Both hot and cold salmon are commonly served with bagels, crackers, soups, salads, and now, with deviled eggs.

Bobby Flay: Lump crab meat

Elevating the deviled egg dish in a grand way is none other than celebrity chef Bobby Flay. You probably recognize the big-name chef as the host of Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay." One of the secret ingredients that he uses in the beloved deviled egg snack is a shellfish (via CBS News). 

This chef's secret ingredient to delicious deviled eggs is lump crab meat. Including crab meat in your deviled egg dish is a tasty way to give it a seafood twist with a touch of luxury. Throw down a deviled egg specialty dish that's sure to impress by adding lump crab meat to the traditional mix of mustard, mayonnaise, and spices. 

For this fresh take on your deviled eggs, opt for natural crab meat over the canned variety, as the processed version lacks taste and texture (via Southern Living). Lump crab meat is known for having large chunks of tender, sweet flavor. It's often considered the highest quality of crab meat available, and it's a great ingredient that can elevate dishes like deviled eggs. 

The flavor and texture crab meat brings to this specific dish makes it hard to forget once you've tasted it. Display the crab meat by itself on top of each halved egg or combine bits into the filling for a sophisticated and enjoyable bite. Just make sure you combine the crab meat and the filling together well.

Sunny Anderson: Jalapeños

If you are looking to add depth of flavor and spiciness that's sure to stimulate the senses in your deviled egg recipe, then this ingredient is just the one for you! You have likely had this next adventurous ingredient on top of nachos or fried in cream cheese

But would you ever consider mixing it in with the deviled eggs? If you're looking to make your deviled eggs dish more exciting, try adding jalapeños to the ingredient list. For Sunny Anderson, this is a go-to addition sure to amp up this familiar dish with a spicy twist. 

Sunny Anderson is Food Network's energetic personality host on the shows "Cooking for Real” and "The Kitchen." She is known for creating flavorful dishes with everyday, simple ingredients. Anderson told Food Network that jalapeños are a staple that she uses in various dishes such as mashed potatoes and deviled eggs. 

The flavorful combination enhances the natural flavors of the common ingredients in the original recipe. The number of jalapeños you should dice and include in the recipe will depend on how much heat the taste buds can handle. Everyone's preference for spice is different so adjust the recipe accordingly. Jalapeño stuffed deviled eggs are a spicy appetizer that is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves a little heat in their food.

Geoffrey Zakarian: Herb Pesto

Give the classic deviled egg dish a total twist of freshness next time you make it for a get-together or a quick bite to eat. Geoffrey Zakarian, restaurateur, cookbook writer, and Food Network host and judge on shows such as "Chopped" is known for his adoration of fresh ingredients and sophisticated approach to food. 

Zakarian treats deviled eggs in much the same way. The secret to this chef's special ingredient lies in the garden (via Wine Insiders). Add a burst of flavor to the creamy filling of deviled eggs with a pesto sauce. Herb pesto is a flavorful and versatile condiment that can be used to enliven the standard deviled egg recipe.

Modernize the ordinary side dish by whipping in pesto made from a combination of fresh ingredients. Pesto, also referred to as pesto Genoese, is a blend of lemon juice, basil, ricotta cheese, cashew nuts, and oil, as per Recipes From Italy. All the ingredients should be combined in a blender or food processor and blended until the desired consistency is achieved. 

Then, mix one or several spoonfuls of pesto into the egg yolk blend, depending on how pronounced you want the pesto flavoring to be. Balance the other spices in the recipe and adjust the pesto as desired. The bright, fresh pesto pairs well with the smooth egg mixture for an interesting flavor and color that's sure to be the talk of the party.

Curtis Stone: Fresh herbs

What better way to elevate a simple dish than with a burst of natural flavor? Curtis Stone has an approachable style of cooking that you may have seen on shows that he has judged or hosted, such as Food Network's "Take Home Chef" and "Kitchen Inferno" or "Top Chef Masters." His emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients is applied to dishes like deviled eggs. 

As one of Australia's most prominent celebrity chefs, Curtis Stone has a fresh take on the classic dish. Stone told The Saturday Evening Post that fresh herbs are a key element of this dish. The recipe incorporates herbs such as chives, parsley, and tarragon. Simply chop your choice of herbs and incorporate the green blend into the filling before piping.

Growing these fresh herbs at home is a great way to have a constant supply of flavorful fragrant plants for cooking and seasoning. Chives are a popular herb to grow indoors as long as you have a sunny area to place the pot. According to Gardening Know How, chives require at least six hours of sunlight daily. 

The other plants, such as basil, parsley, and tarragon, are fairly easy to maintain and can be added to your garden when you're ready. If growing your own fresh herbs isn't in your wheelhouse, you can purchase them at local grocery stores. Adding fresh ingredients to deviled eggs is a great way to add extra nutrients and a pop of color to the classic dish.