sliced egg sandwich

When things are quiet around here, one of two things are usually happening: I’m busy with a side project or traveling far from the physical Smitten Kitchen. Or, I’m really obsessed with eating something that I don’t expect to interest anyone but me. This month we have two for two. For the three weeks before I was briefly in San Francisco and Napa last week, I was absolutely fixated on this sandwich. Fixated! I craved it everyday. Sometimes it was breakfast; sometimes it was lunch. I could walk by a bagel shop wafting with warm everything seeds, by a cloud of bodega bacon egg and cheese sandwiches, and still beeline home to put a cold boiled egg on a roll with arugula. I know I make no sense. I decided to keep this weirdo thing myself but then I returned from California and yes, I had a suitcase full of Model Bakery english muffins and a stash of Dandelion Chocolate hot chocolate mix, and I still just needed this. I have finally accepted that the only way to move on, at least for long enough that I could tackle the rest of the amazing things I have on our cooking agenda for the summer, was to exorcise it, whether anyone cares to join in my strange little preoccupation or not.

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Think of this like a deviled egg, unmixed, or deconstructed egg salad sandwich. The essentials here are a sliced just-about-hard-boiled egg (I stop at 9.5 minutes), a challah roll or slices (but brioche or a potato bread would work), a great fistful of arugula, and what I consider the perfect sandwich spread — some mayo, sharp dijon, coarse dijon, and prepared horseradish. A shot of hot sauce is not unwelcome; the mixture should be sharp. Between the egg and the arugula, I always have a thin layer of something and it’s different almost every time, usually leftover from another dish — caramelized onions, pickled shallots, shaved fennel I’d tossed in lemon juice and olive oil, cucumber, and here, some thinly-sliced pickles and celery — and every single one is perfect. I cannot choose a favorite and I won’t ask you to. Please have fun with it.

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Sliced Egg Sandwich

  • Servings: 2
  • Source: Smitten Kitchen
  • Print

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon smooth dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 soft challah, brioche, or potato rolls, split, or slices from a loaf
  • Butter, for toasting
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cold, peeled, and sliced
  • Thinly sliced pickles, celery, pickled onions [more suggestions in Notes]
  • 2 cups fresh arugula, roughly torn

Make sandwich spread: Combine mayo, dijon, wholegrain mustard, and horseradish in a small dish or jar. Season as needed with salt and pepper and, if you wish, a dash or two of hot sauce. This makes a bit more than you might need but it keeps for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge, so feel free to double it, regardless.

Toast your bread: While you can toast it in a toaster, my favorite way to toast my sandwich rolls is to heat a pat of butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Place your rolls, cut-side down, in the pan. Cook until cut sides are golden-brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to plate to cool slightly before assembling sandwiches.

Assemble: Generously coat both cut sides of first roll with sandwich spread. Arrange egg slices over the bottom half and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add pickles or any of the other alternates suggested below, a big handful of torn arugula, then press the top of the roll down, smooshing everything into place. Repeat with remaining sandwich.

Eat right away and repeat daily for as long as the fixation lasts. Personally, I’m walking into the kitchen to make another as soon as I hit publish.


  • Eggs: Here’s my go-to method for hard-boiled eggs. For a sliced sandwich, I stop cooking them at 9 minutes 30 to 40 seconds, to keep the centers a dark, never dry, yellow. I love a solid egg slicer; I’ve had mine for over a decade.
  • Spread: Just for reference, I’m using Hellman’s mayo, Amora dijon mustard, Maille wholegrain mustard, and I make my own prepared horseradish over Passover and use it for months after. My current jar of Amora is jarringly sharp (almost like wasabi) and I love it but just a heads-up that you might need to adjust your ingredient levels or seasoning to get the punchiness I promised with other brands.
  • Rolls: Any storebought roll will work but, but I made rolls recently from my challah recipe, turning one of the two challahs it yields into 12 rolls. They bake in 15 minutes.
  • Additional ingredients: As mentioned above, I tend to add to the sandwich a thin layer of whatever I have left in the fridge, from pickled to caramelized onions, thinly-sliced cucumber, celery, or fennel. Not one has tasted bad.


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67 comments on sliced egg sandwich

  1. Deanna

    These kinds of meals are all I can really muster at the minute with a baby who’s suddenly become alert to the world. I need to attempt challah again. I severely under-kneaded my last batch (see: baby) and it ended up as a blob since the braiding all melded together.

  2. Lila

    Thinking of making these tomorrow morning with a half recipe of your challah turned into rolls…I was wondering how you got such beautiful bun shapes (I know how to braid normal challah but have never twisted the dough into buns) and how you baked them – was it just on a normal 9 x 13 inch sheet pan?

    1. deb

      I’ve got to make a demo but I basically tried a few knots and braids and found a slightly woven one I preferred. I baked it on a parchment-lined sheet.

  3. Amelia

    We have been eating a version of this sandwich at least once a week this spring on your no-knead focaccia recipe. Sometimes with flakes of oil packed tuna or kalamata olives. Sometimes with harissa. It’s a winner.

    1. deb

      I mention that you can also use a potato or brioche roll. I’ve got a few bun recipes on the site, too. And I used my own challah recipe to make these; details in the Notes at the end.

  4. Meira Bear

    Looks great! I always forget how great a hardboiled egg sandwich is for lunch. I bring them deconstructed.
    Just a heads-up, I think you’re missing a word or two here:
    “(but brioche or a potato bread would), a great fistful of arugula”

  5. Annie Luce

    so all week I’ve been making sliced egg sandwiches with salad greens. Such an easy and healthy lunch. Now I’ll have to elevate using your recipe. Thanks Deb!

  6. Deborah

    I grew up on egg sandwiches: egg salad, fried egg (with an oozy yolk), and my favorite—the sliced hot boiled egg sandwich. When I started reading Sue Grafton’s books, I discovered Grafton’s star character “Kinsey Milhone” loved and lived on hot boiled egg sandwiches. That’s when I started calling my sandwich the Kinsey Milhone. :) I’m sure Kinsey would have loved your bagel egg sandwich, but her kitchen never had much in it, other than eggs, white bread, and mayonnaise.

    1. Rish

      I loved the Kinsey Millhone sandwich and made it myself too!
      But I didn’t quite go for the chunky peanut butter and pickle… had tried it once as a kid…

  7. Catherine

    Love this Deb! Brilliant.
    To all- she mentions she made the CHALLAH rolls from her challah bread recipe she linked and she mentions how long to bake them. You should find the info for everything in her recipe. Just do a variation of the braiding method for the rolls.
    She also mentions she made the horseradish sauce. I didn’t look it up but would assume it’s a recipe she has posted.
    Happy summer everyone!

  8. Heather

    Made a version of this right away with what I had at home (unfortunately missing horseradish). It was amazing, and I’m already looking forward to having one for lunch tomorrow (and adding horseradish to the grocery list)!

  9. Nicole

    This is pretty much the formula for my lunch, to a t, every day. The only difference is that I use :brag: homemade bread instead of a roll or something. Sometimes it makes it onto a bagel if I have one kicking around. I crave it pretty much every day as well, inexplicably. I’ll even make it if I have delicious leftovers from some other dish that I was looking forward to having again, it’s pretty funny.

  10. I will have to give this a try. Nothing more satisfying than a good egg salad sandwich.

    I’ve been obsessed with Japanese style egg sandwiches lately (and made some yesterday). Of course, I add capers and green scallion tops, so not proper JP egg salad, good grind of pepper, too. It was breakfast on toasted sourdough (yes I am in SF) with arugula sprouts and it was heavenly.

  11. Vaishali

    This is delicious!

    Where do you suggest to buy the Amora Dijon?It’s sooo expensive on Amazon!

    I have been trying to find a Dijon mustard that has all the punch like the ones in France since I first visited France 20 years ago! Brought some back with me at that time but can’t keep going back to France to buy my mustard! (I wish!)

    1. deb

      I got lucky and realized a bakery in my neighborhood sells it (Le Fournil). But I was ordering it online wherever I could find a non-appalling price.

  12. ingrid

    Thank you Lady Smitten Kitchen – wish I had run into you at Model :) You inspired my lazy brunch today with a brush of mayo, a balance of whole cornichons and wild arugula. Delish! Will try soon with a Model Baker English muffin!

  13. lighty

    My go-to breakfast when I was a kid in USSR! We did it with a solid rye rather than fluffy rolls, though, and sometimes did open-face with a few slices of pickle instead of arugula.

  14. Julie G.

    I started eating this during the heavy days of the pandemic because I always had eggs and arugula and I was making my own bread as well…. standing over the kitchen sink, staring at the little lizards doing push-ups on the fence. It’s great with add-ins, as you mentioned, but also just with a little squeeze of lemon across the top of the arugula. Yum.

  15. Ellen

    I made this for lunch on a nice challah roll and with some extremely crisp romaine. If you are in a time crunch, as I was, TJ’s Garlic Mustard Aoili was perfect on this. I will definitely make it again as written though! A summer lunch indeed!

  16. Mahtab

    This recipe reminds me of the first time I enjoyed eggs as a child. My mom had made me a wrap which consisted of boiled eggs, pickles and mayo. I took a bite without asking what it was (had I known it was eggs, I wouldn’t have gone near it) and then devoured it after an afternoon of swimming. I still love it!

  17. Krista Schweb

    Deb! I’d love you to publicly ruminate on the difference between New York and Montreal-style bagels. I think I know where you would land on this but there are virtues to both (being a Quebecker I think you know my biases lol)

  18. Carol

    This is such a delicious sandwich. Made for dinner last night (everything bagels as the base) and again for lunch today with multigrain sandwich bread. Both were delightful. Will definitely try with brioche buns, but don’t be deterred from giving this a whirl if you don’t have the specified bread. So good!!

  19. Issa

    Deb, I don’t know if it’s the site or something on my end but when viewing the “Sandwich” category, the photo format only lists 10 entries? List format correctly shows 22 entries.

  20. Julia

    I never knew you could do egg sandwiches like this. For me, egg sandwiches were always of the scrambled or fried variety. I had hard boiled eggs, for snacking or whatever but I’d never seen them on sandwiches or thought to put them on sandwiches. I guess unless they were processed into egg salad… I’ve seen egg salad sandwiches before. But they dont make sense. Why dilute a good egg salad with bread? Anyways. Thank you for this recipe. Its delicious and my brain is blown (in a good way).

  21. Marisa

    Extremely good sandwich, and I’m not an egg salad person at all. I used pickles and pickled jalapeños for crunch and added a couple slices of Genoa salami.

  22. Diane C Zabich

    So funny.

    I literally made extra hard boiled eggs today while making eggs for Father’s Day potato salad, because I had had extra hb eggs in the frig. this week from an earlier nicoise. And I said to myself, ‘I love hardboiled eggs on bread with mayo’ (which I had had for lunch a few times this week), ‘ I should just make them and keep them on hand all summer.’

    At least until tomatoes are out!

  23. Babs

    I, too, am obsessed with sliced egg sandwiches around this time of year. Once the summer tomatoes are available (soon, I hope!), the only breakfast I want is a soft roll, very lightly toasted, spread with a healthy dab of mayo, sliced scallions, a slab of tomato and sliced egg. It is so much more than the sum of its parts. I will definitely be trying your version. I’m already inclined to love it.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

  24. April

    I made this delicious egg sandwich with what I had on hand: Thomas mini bagels, garden lettuce, homemade and pickled onions. Agree the Mayo/mustard/horsey sauce spread makes this sandwich! Not only was this sooo tasty, and eatable for any time if day, it was pretty to look at too! Highly recommend!

  25. Kimberly Seidelmann

    In the notes you said you make your own prepared horseradish. We have loads of horseradish growing in our backyard and I have no idea what to do with it. Do you have suggestions on where to look for how to prepare horseradish?

    1. deb

      I need to share this as a proper recipe but I’ll copy-paste what I use here for now:

      Almost-Definitely-Going-To-Make-You-Cry Prepared Horseradish [Source: Smitten Kitchen]

      1 1/4 pound fresh horseradish root
      1 cup white or distilled vinegar
      1 cup water
      1 teaspoon kosher salt

      Open all doors and windows. Don your lab or swimming goggles or don’t say I didn’t warn you. Chopping onions has nothing on a good fresh horseradish root.

      ​​Trim and peel your horseradish root. Cut into 1-inch chunks and blend in a food processor until finely chopped. You can also grate it on a box grater. Let it rest for 10 minutes before continuing.

      While it rests, mix vinegar, water, and salt in a bowl. Stir so that the salt dissolves. Transfer the horseradish to a large jar. Pour the vinegar mixture over. Chill in the fridge for a few hours or a few months, but I’ve honestly found some in the fridge half a year later and it was perfect. Open the jar with extreme care because the aroma will be like *pow*. Make everyone who comes over smell and try it.

      [You can also mix some into crème fraîche with salt and pepper to taste for an extremely delicious more traditional horseradish sauce for roasts and sandwiches.]

  26. Alexandria

    A truly excellent sandwich, even on whole wheat bread. Didn’t have horseradish so subbed harissa. Added sliced cucumbers and pickled red onions. Can’t wait for my next one!

  27. Ruth

    This morning I quick-pickled some radishes and a kohlrabi from the CSA, because otherwise they’ll be poor little orphans in the vegetable crisper. Now I know what to do with them! And I love the idea for the dressing! Thinking it will all come together once the pickles are ready, in a couple of days.

  28. Betsy

    Yum! Thanks, Deb for reminding me of the sliced egg sandwiches I used to get from Joe Coffee! I want to add my adaptations (I’m sure yours is better, but I didn’t have all the ingredients). Rather than whole grain mustard and horseradish, I added 1 tsp gochujang and 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the sauce. I used sliced radish as my topping and ate it on an English muffin. So good!

  29. Monica

    That’s so funny! I have been making this for years. I call it lazy egg salad. The only thing I do different is dust the eggs with Old Bay before adding pickles and arugula.

  30. Amy

    Deb, I have been lurking on this site for over a decade, made your recipes hundreds of times, referred countless friends and family to your blog and books. But THIS POST, of all things, is making me break the third wall for the first time (look but never post, that is my internet motto). I just can’t express how much I connect with these “let me share my weirdness” posts– they’re what make you special in the wide world of food media/OG blogs. They’re so validating, like when you meet someone for the first time and just KNOW you’re going to be friends. This one just hit me in the best way, on a tough day, so thank you for putting them out there no matter how strange or trivial they may seem!

  31. Liz

    Did not think anything could top my fav hardboiled egg/arugula/pesto mayo sandwich on baguette, but this scratched a totally different itch and now I’m addicted. Thanks Deb!!

    1. Beverly

      I am from Iowa. When I have access to horseradish, I grind it with a meat grinder using the medium or fine blades…one of those hand cranked models that screws to a table. Pack it into jars and top with plain white vinegar. Do the grinding outside if at all possible and be aware of wind direction. Gift it to people who will enjoy it on their summer burgers or in this case, an egg sandwich. Horseradish is a labor of love!

  32. hyk

    I love this same sandwich — boiled egg and arugula with butter, occasionally having it on a good croissant. Or taking it up a notch by adding smoked salmon, which is very good!

  33. Amber

    So good! I love the zippy spread and the combo of textures. I’m in southern Germany and have been eating mine on soft pretzel rolls from the local bakery.

  34. Sallie Altman

    I happen to have some powdered horseradish from a spice store binge, since i never use horseradish enough to make a dent in the perishable already prepared kind. Do you or anyone have any idea how to incorporate it into a recipe like this?

  35. Hayley

    Do we think this would work well as a “picnic” type sandwich (i.e. made ahead and wrapped to be eaten later)? I have a very long train journey tomorrow and would love to make a few of these to wrap and take with me to avoid spending $$$ at the dining car.

  36. France

    OMG! I’ve been making egg sandos like this for years! Tip: I do find that the slices of egg tend to fall out and so now instead of slicing, I smash the egg flat

  37. jill baskin

    I became obsessed with this for breakfast during covid. I have moved on to a spread (or sometimes mashed together) of mayo and chili crunch (the one from whole foods).

  38. I don’t know how I made it to my 5th decade of life without discovering the beauty of an egg sandwich, but I’m here for it. Delicious!

  39. Yolie

    Oh, I completely relate to those moments of culinary obsession! Your description of this sliced egg sandwich has my taste buds dancing in anticipation. The way you’ve crafted this deconstructed egg salad sandwich is pure genius. It’s like savoring the essence of a deviled egg in each bite, and that mix of mayo, dijon, and horseradish sounds like an explosion of flavors. Your attention to detail, even down to the choice of bread and the layers of toppings, is inspiring. I’ll definitely be joining in on this delightful preoccupation. And by the way, if you ever find yourself in need of a little writing magic for your culinary adventures, this is a fantastic resource. Here’s to embracing our food cravings and turning them into culinary masterpieces!

  40. Cathy Norton

    This sandwich. It is the perfect sandwich. I love to fix it on Sunday when I get home from church and don’t want to fix a fancy brunch or lunch. It is surprisingly more than the sun of items parts.