Perfect Hard-Boiled Ruby Eggs ♥ Easter Recipe!

Ruby Eggs, just Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs soaked in beet juice for lovely Easter color.
graphic button small size size 10 Just in time for making Easter eggs: How to cook perfect hard-boiled eggs, then dye the eggs in beet juice or pickled beet juice to create stunning ruby-colored "whites" with sunny-yellow centers. graphic button small size size 10

Oh so Easter-basket pretty! And yet ever so simple, just hard-boiled eggs soaked overnight in beet juice. Don't worry, soaking transfers beet color, not beet flavor.

Cooking eggs should be simple! Instead, hard-boiled eggs may "look" simple but they can be tricky to cook. The eggs can turn out too soft (undercooked) or too hard and crumbly (overcooked) or ringed with green (cooked improperly) or impossible to peel (probably too fresh). For each problem, someone supplies a list of tricks aka solutions. No more.

I clipped this "perfect hard-boiled eggs every time" recipe so long ago there's no memory of its source. But this technique (a recipe for hard-cooked eggs? I suppose it's that!) creates perfect hard-boil eggs. Every time. With both fresh eggs (which are said to be still trickier) and older eggs. The trick is to live by the clock for precision timing is the key. Get out your timer!

UPDATE I dye cooked eggs with natural beet juice every Easter now. At first, people kind of freak out, then, when they realize they taste just the same as regular eggs, they're crazy for them, because they're just eggs, not deviled eggs. (This is how I make Deviled Eggs, just a simple garnish takes deviled eggs from so-so to spectacular.) Enjoy!


graphic button small size size 10 Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with water plus an inch. TIP: It's better to fill the saucepan than to have a couple of eggs knocking around in a pan that's not very full, they're more prone to crack.
graphic button small size size 10 Bring the water to boil on HIGH. TIP: I set the timer for 5 minutes and carry on with whatever I'm doing so long as it's within hearing of the timer. The water won't be boiling when the timer goes off but is close to boiling so I hang close and pay close attention.
graphic button small size size 10 While the water boils, prepare the ice bath. This is 2 - 3 cups of ice cubes in a large bowl, filled with cold water but leaving room for the eggs. TIP: I like to use a bowl that's large enough for a colander to fit inside.
graphic button small size size 10 Just as the water begins to boil, let it boil hard for 1 minute. TIP: Not 30 seconds, not 2 minutes. Set the timer!
graphic button small size size 10 Turn off the heat (remove from the element if it's an electric stove) but do not drain. Cover the saucepan and let sit for 10 minutes. TIP: Not 7 minutes, not 12 minutes – again, set the timer!
graphic button small size size 10 Drain the eggs and gently lower them into the ice bath. Let the eggs cool for 5 minutes – set the timer! TIP: I gently lift the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon into a colander that fits into the bowl of ice water, then settle the colander into the ice, being sure to cover the eggs completely. It's no problem if the eggs sit in the ice water for longer than five minutes, but they do need to cool completely.
graphic button small size size 10 Peel. That's it! TIP: If the eggs are going into the fridge for eating later, I mark the shell with an X or some times, if I keep cooked eggs on hand for quick protein-rich snacks, I'll keep a special egg box just for the cooked eggs.

graphic button small size size 10 For UNPICKLED Ruby Eggs, for 24 hours, soak the peeled eggs in a bowl of canned beet juice in the refrigerator. TIPS: Make sure the eggs are fully submerged. For even color, turn the eggs occasionally. Use a glass container, anything else will get stained by the beet juice.
graphic button small size size 10 For PICKLED Ruby Eggs, soak the peeled eggs in a bowl of PICKLED beet juice for 24 hours, again in the refrigeraror. TIP: I haven't actually done this but a reader/commenter suggests it.
graphic button small size size 10 Use up the beets themselves with easy and handy refrigerator pickles called Swedish Beets, Refrigerator Pickled Beets or the delicious Secret-Ingredient Wine & Fruit Salad.
graphic button small size size 10 When slicing, wipe off the knife after each egg, it will help prevent the beet color staining the edges of the yolk. TIP: After slicing, the beet color starts to leech into the yolk after a couple of hours, time accordingly.
Because the eggs are peeled, they won't last forever like hard-cooked eggs still in their shells. I'd plan to use within 48 hours.

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Still Hungry?


~ Hot Cross Buns ~
traditional during all of Easter but especially on Good Friday
~ Asparagus Custard Tart ~
perfect for brunch, impressive-looking but oh-so-easy
~ Lemon Pots ~
simple lemon custard tucked into egg shells
~ more Easter recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006, 2012, 2015 (repub)
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Wow, Alanna - those are amazing! What a beautiful result! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    I use Deborah Madison's hard-boiled egg recipe (bring the eggs to a boil in water for 1 minute, turn off heat and cover for 6 minutes, then plunge in cold water to stop the cooking.) There's so many ways to cook a hard-boiled egg, aren't there?

  2. Oh, these are so COOL! I've always wanted to try those marbled chinese thousand-year-eggs, but never had the guts - albeit I think I "accidentally" ate them little while ago in Singapore as a already-peeled side dish. Anyway, your beet-eggs look delicious, and definitely will try the next time I cook eggs. Already have the beet juice ready :)

  3. My parents always had pickled eggs in a big jar in the refrigerator when I was little! Those are gorgeous.

  4. What a great & colourful idea!!! Easter is all about eggs back home (and traditionally not about chocolate eggs), so this would be a nice addition to the various egg dishes.

  5. Oh my gosh! Those are beautiful! And just simply have to be on my Easter table!

  6. Wow Alanna! Really beautiful! Thanks for showing them, I just have to make some, I can just imagine how beautiful they would be on a buffet table filled with tuna and capers!

  7. I would love to go to Amish restaurants when I was in my late teens and early twenties and eat pickled eggs. Ruby eggs are so yummy.

    VH Melville

  8. I love pickled eggs. The yellow of the yolk and the purple skin--perfect!!!!!!

  9. Those look amazing! Really incredible, what a colour. Pretty name, too!

    Alanna, thank you for leaving a comment on my blog! It's always nice when someone's actually been to Finland - it's not the most common destination :) As it happens, I've been to St Louis twice, but it was for a conference so I didn't see much. I remember it was VERY hot and humid, though!

  10. Hi All -- I just now realized the color significance of the eggs, too. Very nice, subtle. I'm glad they pleased you as much as they do me: I've been waiting to make these for MONTHS!

    Karin -- It must have been July or August when you visited, too bad! The spring, the fall and some of the summer (usually a week a month where no a/c is needed) are wonderful. I'm 'northern' by soul so think the winters are wimpy: no snow to count.

  11. My Grammy always made pickled eggs...and they are still a favorite of mine.

    If I thought I could get Matt to eat them, I'd consider making them myself. But a whole jar filled with pickled eggs, and just me? Probably not such a hot idea!

    But yours look lovely.

  12. Just to be clear: these ruby eggs may look like pickled eggs but they're not pickled. Only color permeates the white, there's no vinegar. So you'll want to use them up quickly or you'll be sore disappointed!

  13. They're so beautiful!!

  14. I am a fan of beet eggs. Yours look lovely.
    Madeleine Kamman uses a boiled egg shelling technique I find works very well with any of the myriad hard boiling recipes.
    She taps the egg all round its center on an edge-like a sink or table edge, and carefully peels off a band of shell from the circumference. The top and bottom of the shell slide right off!

  15. That's so neat! I've never seen that before.

  16. I love the eggs! Must do that for my husband for easter morning!
    What fun to get so many comments on hard boiled eggs!!

  17. I really want to make these because they're pretty, but I HATE beets so I want to make sure they won't taste like beets... right? Thanks for sharing this fun idea, I think my nieces and nephews will find it fun!

  18. OfftheMeatHook ~ I don't actually remember, it's been two years. But the notes were written then and they say no beet flavor is transferred.

    PS I so wish I could work on you with beet flavor. :-) Come visit!

  19. I plan on making the yellow centers of the beautiful egg into deviled eggs. They will be lovely for Easter. Thanks! LK Enid OK

  20. 'Tis a bummer, but that recipe just won't work at my house. High altitude does crazy things to cooking.

    Here's what works for me (at 7400'):
    Place eggs in a single layer in pan.
    Just cover with water.
    Bring to a boil.
    Let boil for 5 minutes, uncovered.
    Turn off heat and remove pan from heat. Cover.
    Allow to cool to room temperature before putting the eggs in the fridge.

    If anyone has any alternative suggestions, please let me know!

  21. I love this!

  22. Hee! Look at all the comments!! LAST New Year's Day party (not THIS one) we had a pickled egg contest and I used picked beet eggs. Mine were the prettiest ;P, but no one liked them because they "tasted like beets". I'm with you on this one Alanna - beets are so good! Pickled, boiled, roasted. I just love the flavor of them. I like this idea of yours. I think I'll do my Easter deviled eggs like this too.

  23. Hi Sally ~ Lots of 'pub' recipes call for using pickled beets. Just plain beet juice, however, transfers just the color, not the vinegar taste. Of course, it's a matter of taste, which version you might prefer.

  24. Wow. Thise eggs are so very nice and so very original. It's a great option to wow guests. I am so very preparing them this Easter. Thanks very much for such a great inspiration

  25. This is stunning!

  26. That is too cool! I love the idea of the eggs being dyed naturally. And how remarkable that the beet flavour doesn't leech in.

    We usually pierce the wide end of the egg before boiling it - to prevent the shell from cracking. I wonder what would happen if the eggs were cooked in boiling beet juiced water! There might be a beautiful hint of red that would be on the bottom part of the peeled egg. And the shell would be that stunning red colour...

    Ooooh, I wonder if you could achieve something similar with red cabbage and get that amazing blue colour.


    P.S. I'm with you. I adore beets... I just made beets and turnip with fennel and mustard seeds to go with Indian food last night. Before making them, my husband said he didn't want any. I made lots anyway. He tasted them and demanded more. Yay!

  27. After reading all the comments, I'm not sure everyone realizes Alanna's recipe is not for pickled eggs. She states that. However, if you want the same effect with pickled eggs, just use the juice from pickled eggs. Put your hard-boiled eggs in the beet pickle juice, refrigerate, and they should be ready in a couple of days.

  28. I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch land and these are called 'red beet' eggs. They are *so* good and something I really miss. I often make my own 'make do' version over here in the UK by taking a jar of pickled eggs and pouring in the juice from a jar of beets. Not the same but better than nothing.

  29. My mother grew up in York PA, so we always put hard boiled eggs in the leftover juice from pickled beets. I like to leave them in the pickled beet juice at least 2 days, so that the yolk absorbs some of the pickled beet flavor.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna