The enduring appeal of the deviled egg is easy to understand. This classic Southern finger food takes little time to whip up for your big Easter gathering or 4th of July picnic. Deviled eggs are easily transportable as one of the only food items that has its own travel plate designed specifically with it in mind.
The term deviled to describe food reportedly originated in Rome and became a culinary term in the 19th century as a reference for food that had a spicy or zesty kick. Traditionally hard-boiled eggs are sprinkled with paprika as both a garnish and for extra flavor, but there are plenty of ways to add some devil to your eggs. From adding bits of crab meat and a dollop of caviar for a sophisticated twist, to a guacamole version using mashed avocado, the options are pretty endless.
Southern Pecan Deviled Eggs give an edge to the popular-in-the-South pecan while adding a nice crunch for texture. Pecans also have their own Southern roots, with Georgia leading the country’s pecan production. Whether used in a pecan pie, added to dress up a green salad or as a topping in sweet potato pie, the pecan is truly the South’s favorite nut.
There are also various recipes for pecan deviled eggs; some suggest adding bacon to the eggs, whether as a garnish or into the yolk mixture to offset the sweetness of the pecans. Other recipes recommend tossing the pecans in a spice blend — such as garlic salt, chili powder and cayenne pepper — before adding them to the egg yolk mixture to truly live up to its deviled name. There are recipes for pecan deviled eggs that call for 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder, if you're looking to give your eggs an Indian flair. For truly classic pecan deviled eggs, though, we recommend our own recipe which uses the traditional mayonnaise and mustard combination along with garlic powder for extra flavor, and pecan halves as a garnish with crunch.
Whether it's a church potluck, a birthday party or just a lazy Sunday afternoon, pecan deviled eggs are a definite Southern comfort food crowd-pleaser.
- 6 hard-cooked eggs
- 2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped, plus 12 additional whole toasted pecans for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon spicy mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon minced parsley sprigs
- Fresh parsley sprigs
To hard-boil the egg:
Place your eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by about an inch. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then remove the pan from the heat once boiling has begun. Cover and let the eggs sit and cool for about 8-10 minutes before peeling. Gently crack your egg on a hard surface, such as the edge of your kitchen counter or the edge of your cutting board, making sure not to damage the white of the egg; the shell should come off pretty smoothly. You then slice the egg in half with a knife and using a spoon, carefully remove the yolk. Place the yolk in a separate bowl to make the filling.
To prepare the deviled eggs:
Place the pecans in a dry (no butter or oil added) skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until they are browned and golden and begin to give off a toasty, nutty aroma. Measure out and finely chop 1/4 cup of pecans. Leave the remaining toasted pecans whole and set aside.
Slice eggs in half lengthwise. For a smooth, clean cut, dip knife in water before each slice. In a small bowl, mash yolks with a fork. Stir in mayonnaise, chopped pecans, garlic powder, salt, pepper, mustard and minced parsley sprigs.
To fill the eggs with the egg yolk mixture, either spoon the egg yolk mixture into the egg-halves, or for a look that will impress guests you can pipe the yolk mixture using a pastry bag with a fancy tip. For a DIY pastry bag, cut the tip off of a corner of a quart-sized Ziploc freezer bag.
Garnish each with a pecan half, parsley sprig — or both.