One of the easiest ways to get high-quality protein is by enjoying a hard-boiled egg. They're nature's convenience food wrapped up in its own environmentally-friendly package (a.k.a. the shell).
When you boil several eggs in advance and store them in your refrigerator, they're one of the quickest, easiest nutrient-rich snacks in existence. Hard-boiled eggs are tasty on their own with a just a pinch of salt, but there are so many more ways to enjoy them! First, we'll show you how boil and peel your eggs, and then we'll show you seven nutritious hard-boiled egg recipes.
How to Hard-Boil Eggs
Whether your eggs are fresh from the farm or closer to the "use by" date on the carton, here's a foolproof method for making hard-boiled eggs. We suggest boiling half a dozen large eggs at a time.
- Fill a medium saucepan at least halfway with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add eggs quickly but gently, using a large slotted spoon or mesh strainer. Set your egg timer and boil for 10 minutes for fully cooked yet moist yolks or 12 minutes for drier yolks.
- Drain the cooked eggs, cool in an ice-water bath (a large bowl filled with ice and cold water) and drain again.
- You can peel or chill for later. To peel, gently tap an egg against the counter to crack the entire shell surface, and then peel. The shell should easily come off. But if shells don't remove easily, peel under running cold water and start at the end with a slight air pocket.
- Pat dry and enjoy!
Hard-Boiled Egg Nutrition
Eggs are loaded with lots of healthy fat and protein. Exactly how much? Here's the nutritional breakdown for one large egg.
- 78 calories
- 5 grams of fat
- 0.6 grams of carbohydratess
- 6 grams of protein
Because of the balance between fat and protein, eggs increase satiety hormones, telling your brain you're full, which means hard-boiled eggs can be great for weight loss. In addition, even though eggs contain cholesterol, the myth that they'll raise your blood cholesterol is just that — a myth! So you can enjoy the whole egg (yolk and all) guilt-free.
Soft-Boiled vs. Medium-Boiled vs. Hard-Boiled Eggs
One egg, three different ways to boil it. But what's the difference? Not very much. A soft-boiled egg is boiled for a shorter amount of time so that they yolk (and sometimes the whites, too) remain liquid and runny. A hard-boiled egg, on the other hand, is boiled until both the yolk and the whites solidify. So that means that a medium-boiled egg falls somewhere in between. You can vary your cooking times until you find a consistency that works best for your taste buds.
1. Egg, Bacon and Tomato Stack
A salad can sometimes seem like an afterthought. Not this one! It's bursting with flavor and may steal the spotlight. It's a twist on the classic duo of bacon and eggs. This dish is a tomato-based salad that's tasty any time of the day. And you can swap the bacon for toasted pine nuts, if you prefer.
Either way, it's loaded with good nutrition. A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that an effective way to enhance carotenoid absorption is to consume cooked whole eggs with it. So by eating eggs as part of this salad, you may significantly enhance your absorption of health-protective lycopene from the tomato.
Recipe & Nutritional Info**:** Egg, Bacon and Tomato Stack
2. Deconstructed Deviled Eggs
If you enjoy deviled eggs, but need a speedier snack or appetizer, this recipe is made just for you. Rather than whipping up the egg yolk with mayonnaise and other condiments, here you'll simply dollop a little mayo onto the yolk of each cut egg and then sprinkle with minced fresh chives. That's it!
You might also want a little sprinkling of sea salt to make flavors pop. These take just two minutes to fix, yet they look rather glamorous. Most importantly, enjoying these deviled eggs can help assure you're getting adequate protein throughout the day.
Recipe & Nutritional Info**:** Deconstructed Deviled Eggs
3. Easy Asian Egg Pilaf
If you ordered Chinese or Thai takeout last night and have leftover steamed rice in the fridge, try this fast fix that looks and tastes way better than the original. Prepare it when you want to give plain old rice a twist and a protein boost.
All you need to do is sprinkle freshly cooked or reheated rice (preferably brown rice) with diced hard-boiled egg, soy sauce and scallion. Serve it as a side dish to balance a light entree that may not be so rich in protein, like an eggplant "steak" or vegetable kebabs.
Recipe & Nutritional Info**:** Easy Asian Egg Pilaf
4. Guacamole and Egg Soft Tacos
It's difficult to say "no" to guacamole. Fortunately, you don't have to. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that overweight and obese men and women following a moderate-fat diet that included one fresh avocado per day significantly improved their ratio of total cholesterol to "good" cholesterol as well as the ratio of "bad" to "good" cholesterol. Here's one way to get an avocado today: Top organic corn tortillas with fresh guacamole, hard-boiled egg and fresh cilantro leaves. Now that's an easy take on a taco!
Recipe & Nutritional Info**:** Guacamole and Egg Soft Tacos
5. Eggcellent Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus
Hummus is one of the healthiest dips around — after all, it has chickpeas as its base. It provides a fun and flavorful way to get a punch of plant-based protein, and it's an especially quick way if you pick up a prepared container of hummus. If you do just that, be playful with it. Create your own unique hummus blend.
Here's one for you: Blend classic hummus with chopped hard-boiled egg, sun-dried tomatoes and extra-virgin olive oil. It kicks up flavor and provides a still bigger punch of protein from both the egg white and yolk. Eggs are high in the essential amino acid leucine, which plays a role in building muscle.
Recipe & Nutritional Info**:** Eggcellent Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus
6. Egg and Avocado Tartine
Many people used to think that egg yolks and avocados were "off limits" in a healthy diet. But these foods are now viewed as they should be: delicious eats filled with wholesome fats. In fact, most of the vitamins and minerals in a whole egg are in the yolk. Folks forgoing yolks may be shortchanging their nutritional health.
So enjoy avocados and hard-boiled eggs. And do so together — they're a dazzling duo. In alternating fashion, arrange avocado wedges and boiled-egg slices on whole-grain sourdough toast and splash with fresh lemon juice. Don't worry if your tartine doesn't look perfect, it'll be tasty either way.
Recipe & Nutritional Info**:** Egg and Avocado Tartine
7. Eggs Beat Up in a Cup
This simple egg recipe brings back comforting childhood memories to many. Combining a hard-boiled egg with sliced or chopped toast pieces, butter, salt and pepper in a cup is all it takes to create this snack. You can also enjoy this recipe with a medium-boiled egg, which allows the toast pieces to soak in some of the egg yolk.
Recipe & Nutritional Info**:** Eggs Beat Up in a Cup
What Do YOU Think?
Do you prefer hard-, medium- or soft-boiled eggs? Do you have a different way of making perfect hard-boiled eggs? What's your favorite way to enjoy them? Will you try any of these egg recipes? Leave a comment below and let us know! Plus, follow LIVESTRONG.COM on Facebook for even more healthy eating tips and recipes.