Vegetable-Dyed Easter Eggs

Vegetable-Dyed Eggs
I dye my Easter Eggs with vegetables and spices, so the colours are more on the earth-tone side than on the pastel. And I love the marble or river rock effect. Since I pierce all the eggs before I cook them (and because some crack), some of the colour and flavour of the vegetable they are cooked with gets inside the eggs. So, the eggs, when peeled, are also marbled inside and with the colour and the extra flavour, they are great on salads, or challah ;) mmmmmmmmmmmm!

If you try dyeing your Easter Eggs this way, and you think of it, send me a photo and I’ll put it up here.

The blue ones were dyed with red cabbage and blueberries.
The taupe ones were dyed with beets and cranberries (they are actually slightly pink).
The orange and yellow ones were dyed by wrapping them in onion skins (tied on with string) and cooking them that way. The really dark red ones, were just cooked in a pot with onion skins.
The yellow eggs are made with ground turmeric for the dye.

Lots of people have been asking me how to use vegetables to dye the eggs. This is how I did it.
1. I pierce the wide end of the eggs then put them in a pot and cover with water.
2. Add a splash of vinegar and the vegetables/fruits you are using to dye. I grated the cabbage first, just to get more dye out of it. (That’s my theory anyway.)
3. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 or 10 minutes.
4. If the colour is deep enough, then remove the eggs and set them to dry. If you want a deeper colour, strain to separate the dye (the liquid) from the vegetables/fruit and soak the eggs overnight in the dye (in the refridgerator, of course).

Note: For the deep blue in the second photo (below), I used more blueberries and soaked the eggs in the the dye (in the fridge) for a day or two.

Scroll down for the FAQ.

Voila! Enjoy! :)

Easter Goodies


What kind of blueberries do you use?
uhhh… the blue ones?
Honestly… I don’t know. I use what is available. Usually just the frozen ones from the grocery store. If I have any wild ones left from the summer, then I’ll toss some of those in too. But, as long as they are blueberries, they’ll work.

How many blueberries do you use?
Why are the questions so hard? ;)
Again.. I don’t know. Maybe 2cups in a quart of water? The more you use, the darker the colour. Blueberries are expensive – use what you think is reasonable in terms of cost. By contrast, red cabbage is cheap, so use more of that if you can get it (I have a hard time finding it.). Also, you’ll get a darker colour if you soak the eggs in the dye longer. If you have more time than money, then use fewer blueberries, and then leave the cooked eggs in the dye in the fridge for a couple of days.

What kind of onions did you use for the red? How did you get the marbled ones?
yay! A question I can answer!
I used plain yellow cooking onions- i.e: the cheap ones.
For the marbled ones, pull the skins off the onions in pieces as large as possible. Using two or three pieces, wrap an egg completely in onion skin and tie the onion skin on with twine or elastics. Put the wrapped eggs in water and boil.

Why do you pierce the wide end of the egg? Is this how you make hollow eggs?
Piercing the wide end of the egg is supposed to reduce the chances an egg will crack while cooking – there is a pocket of air there that expands as it heats, sometimes causing the shell to crack. I still get cracks, but fewer (apparently, I’ve never tested to see if it is true). You can use a blunt needle to just pierce the shell, but not damage any of the egg contents before cooking the egg. This gives a regular boiled egg.

I have done hollow eggs as well. To do this, pierce both ends of the egg and use the needle to stir up the yolk inside. One of the holes will have to be bigger. Then, blow from the small hole, so the egg contents come out the bigger hole. This takes more lung power than you’d think. Once the shell is empty, wash it and drain it again, then dye as above.

If handled carefully, hollow eggs can be used year after year. You can create hangers with some yarn or string and circle of heavy paper to cover each hole.

To add a question to the FAQ, leave a comment below. Thanks!

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  3. I just tried this, thought it would be a fun “grown-up” thing to do while the kids were napping. I didn’t have any luck with carrots or celery. I thought carrots would be successful. And i was hoping that celery might give a nice pale lime-green. no such luck. I’m trying the onion now. We’ll see how that goes…

  4. Thanks so much for this! I shared it with our readers at Crafting in a Green World.

  5. Pingback: Happy Green Easter - Vegetable Dyed Easter Eggs : Crafting a Green World

  6. Thanks for the great info! It’s exactly what we were looking for to try this year.

    Tawny, about coloring wood— I use non-toxic watercolor to paint the wooden toys and puzzles that I make. It’s not completely natural, but the wood takes it beautifully and is much safer than acrylic paints or LEAD paints. I finish mine with beeswax which gives a great feel to the wood and seals the paint. So much better than chemical spray finishes!

  7. Fantastic. I am trying to dye blocks for my one year old so they aren’t toxic. I think because I am using maple wood my colors might be slightly different but this has helped me alot. If you come up with anything for green, please let me know!
    Thank you!

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  9. I did some in onion skin a few years ago. I had directions to boil the eggs in plain water quite long, cool & then boil again with the skins. This prevents the eggs from rotting. I have had them several years and they are still good. If you shake them you can hear hardened yolk rolling around in them. I can’t find the directions I had & would appreciate if anyone knows them. The eggs are too pretty to eat.

  10. What eise could you use to dye eggs in different colours? have you tryed spinach or carrots?

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  14. There’s a Swiss tradition of dying eggs with onion skins – boil them in water, but wrap the eggs with various weeds, flowers, elastic bands, whatever – and you get beautiful patterns on the eggs. Then you doupf – banging them together with your neighbour, nose to nose or bum to bum, to determine who has the strongest egg…

  15. These are beautiful! Great idea!
    We dyed old white t-shirts and socks with vegetable dyes this past November – but I never thought of eggs! Thank you for sharing!

  16. how do you get onion skins to turn red like that? I’m assuming they’re red onions? Why are the ones that were tied on marble and the ones that were just in the pot all red?!? You’ve baffled my imagination!!

    How many blueberries do you need? a few? a few handfuls? a few cups?


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