Egg Salad just got a Southern-style makeover! Made with crunchy bacon, smoky Creole shrimp, creamy hard-boiled eggs, fresh greens, and a spicy mustard-based sauce, my Cajun Egg Salad is here to change the game! If you love these, you will also love this Ambrosia Salad, Cobb Salad with Jerk Shrimp and these Deviled Eggs!
I’m gonna be real with y’all, egg salad has never been my jam. It’s not that I dislike it, it’s just not something I’ve had much. Tuna salad? Love it. Chicken Salad? A classic! Egg salad? I draw a blank. But, if there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s that I’m not a super picky eater. I’m willing to give things a shot more than a few times before I’ve decided it’s not for me.
So, as I began brainstorming this Spring and Summer’s eats, I thought I might give an old recipe a new look. You might’ve guessed it, but the result was phenomenal! In my opinion, this is what an egg salad wants to be. Creole Egg salad is a crispy-crunchy, spicy-sweet mash up that is begging to be devoured by the pound.
If you’ve got leftover eggs from celebrating Easter or Passover, you’ve just gotta make this recipe. Trust me, you’ll never want plain ‘ole egg salad ever again.
CREOLE EGG SALAD INGREDIENTS
You know how much I love to talk about ingredients! Each one is so unique and understanding them makes replacements or adjustments that much simpler.
Here’s what we’re tossing up today:
Bacon- Crunchy, crisp, and smoky, bacon makes everything better. I prefer to use the thick-cut variety because it makes for larger, fattier crumbles. This ingredient can be omitted to fit dietary restriction.
Shrimp- I appreciate shrimp’s ability to take on bold flavor, while also introducing its own plump and juicy texture.
Cajun Seasoning- If you ask me, everything’s better with a little cajun seasoning. Just a pinch gives that classic Southern flare that we associate with so many comfort foods.
Smoked Paprika- Cajun seasoning does often contain paprika, but I like to take things up a notch. The added smoke compliments the bacon, while the bright red color makes for a more vibrant salad.
Lemon Zest- This is a heavy recipe, so lots of bright flavor is necessary. Lemon zest cuts through the hefty spice and adds a citrusy bite.
Hard-Boiled Eggs-Eggs are the star of the show here! Packed with protein, healthy fat, and B vitamins, eggs can be an incredible addition to a balanced diet. For this recipe, I find that a 10-12 minute boil time is best.
Avocado- Earthy and nutty, while still being subtle, avocado is capable of adding value without overwhelming a recipe.
Mixed Greens- Spinach, arugula, lettuce, microgreens, or any mixed greens works. As long as it’s fresh, crisp, and green, you’re good to go.
Red Onion- If you find raw onion to be a bit abrasive, you’re not the only one. I like to chop my red onion, then let it sit in a bowl of ice water for about 5 minutes. Once drained, you’ll find that the onion is much more mellow yet still crisp and vibrant.
Parsley- Cilantro also works well here! We’re looking for a little extra herby goodness.
Avocado Oil Mayo- Any kind of mayonnaise is appropriate here. I prefer the more subtle, floral quality of avocado mayo, the added healthy fat doesn’t hurt either.
Yellow Mustard- Honey Mustard is also a great choice.
Lemon Juice- One final squeeze of lemon enhances the flavor of just about everything in the bowl. Lime is a great alternative!
Bacon Grease- Southerners don’t waste good bacon grease, ever. Using the grease to cook the shrimp makes for deeper flavor, and adding a bit to the salad layers in an undeniable richness.
Louisiana Hot Sauce- What’s a Southern Egg Salad without a little hot sauce? Add as much or as little as you’d like.
Salt & Pepper- Always season to taste! Trust your taste buds, they won’t steer you wrong.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST EGG SALAD
From start to finish, this recipe only takes about 20 minutes to make! With a lunch or snack that comes together that quickly, you’ve got time for a power nap or maybe even a pedicure this afternoon.
Here’s how you do it:
- Cook the Hot Stuff- Start with frying up the bacon, then use the grease to cook up the pre-marinated Cajun shrimp. If you’re not using pre-boiled eggs, this is also the time to prepare those as well.
- Mix up the Sauce- I like to give the sauce a little time to sort of marinate and settle. So, before gathering the rest of the ingredients, make the sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Prepare the Ingredients- Dice the onion, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs. Chop the parsley, crumble the bacon, and cut up the shrimp.
- Toss Together and Serve- In a large bowl (with enough room for tossing), combine all of the ingredients. Drizzle in the dressing, then either toss or or mix with a spoon until all the ingredients are completely saturated and combined.
HOW IS EGG SALAD SERVED?
Once your egg salad is ready to go, sandwich a generous serving between slices of your favorite bread. I love to pair this salad with lightly toasted sourdough, whole wheat baguette, or multigrain bread.
If you’re not in the mood for a sammy, serve the egg salad over a large bed of greens or with crackers. No matter how you serve it, it’s a great recipe to make ahead for snacking or quick lunches!
HOW LONG WILL THE LEFTOVERS KEEP FOR?
Because this recipe contains both eggs and avocados, storage is a bit tricky. Avocados oxidize quickly and eggs need to be kept refrigerated. At most, this egg salad will keep overnight if secured in an airtight container.
If you’d like the salad to keep for longer, I’d recommend adding in the avocado as desired, rather than mixing it in with the eggs. Egg salad will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Creole Shrimp Egg Salad
- 2 thick cut bacon slices
- 1/2 lb shrimp deveined and peeled
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup avocado oil mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp bacon grease
- 3 hot sauce dashes up to 4
- 6 eggs hard boiled and diced
- 1/2 avocado diced
- 1/2 cup red onion or shallots diced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped and more for garnish
- 1/2 cup mixed microgreens optional
- Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Once hot, place the bacon in the pan and cook until deeply brown and crisp. Remove from the skillet and add to a paper towel-lined plate. Cool the bacon to room temperature, set aside.
- Prepare the shrimp by removing their tails, rinsing, and drying with a paper towel. In a small bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and lemon zest. Add a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper, then toss to coat. Cover the bowl and let the shrimp marinate for 10 minutes.
- Bring the cast-iron skillet (with the bacon grease still in it) back to medium-high heat, then carefully toss in the shrimp. Be sure to spread out the shrimp a bit. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until plump and pink. Remove from heat and transfer the shrimp to a small heat-safe bowl. Set aside.
- As you wait for the shrimp to cool down, make the egg salad binder. Add mayonnaise, yellow mustard, lemon juice, bacon grease (remaining from cooking), and hot sauce to a bowl, whisking to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until needed.
- Once cool enough to handle, chop the cooked shrimp into smaller pieces if desired. I cut each one into 3-4 chunks.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, avocado, shallots or red onion, and parsley. Crumble the bacon over the top of the bowl, pour in the sauce, and gently toss to combine – then finally, carefully fold in shrimp. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with microgreens and any additional parsley for garnish.
- Serve in a big bowl as a side or pile onto your bread of choice!