Have You Heard Of People Pairing Boiled Eggs And Greens?

It’s customary for many Southerners.

Boiled eggs and greens on plate

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Southern Living has always received valuable feedback, recipes, and memories from our readers via letters to the editor, our annual South’s Best poll, and most recently in the digital age, a Facebook group called “What’s Cooking With Southern Living.” Our group members share beautiful photos of the food they prepare at home, ask questions about other home cooks’ must-have kitchen tools, and overall enjoy each other’s company in our happy little corner of the Internet. Every now and then, Southern Living editors catch a little story inspiration from the What’s Cooking braintrust. 

Recently, one member posted a photo of a plate of comfort food she made that looked straight from one of our favorite local meat ‘n’ threes. She wrote that it was her first time making fresh turnip greens, which were plated with a scoop of hash brown casserole (she specified that cornbread patties were in attendance but not pictured). Also on the plate was half of a hard-boiled egg. This addition sparked a question from the poster to the group: “Both my husband and I were born and raised in middle Tennessee. He said he had never eaten turnip greens with a slice of boiled egg. I was raised ALWAYS having boiled eggs with greens. Anyone else?”

I personally had never seen this combination, so I went straight to the comments to see what the What’s Cooking community had to say. Some were in my camp—not familiar with the pairing but not opposed to it. What’s interesting is that the commenters who said they, too, grew up enjoying their greens with a slice or two of boiled egg were all from different regions of the South than our original poster. Often, hyper-specific Southern food customs are geographically based, but with this phenomenon, one commenter put it perfectly: “Basically, it’s whatever your mother probably grew up with.” And that logic makes a lot of sense. Several readers mentioned eating eggs with poke salad specifically, while others said their mothers would scramble eggs in with leftover greens instead of boiled eggs. Of course, there were multiple readers who remarked that though they didn’t eat plain hard-boiled eggs with their greens, their plates almost always had a deviled egg or two present. However the greens and the eggs were prepared, it stands to reason that in times before The Pig, greens were brought in from the garden, and if no meat was available that day or it was a lean week, eggs from the chickens out back were a perfectly suitable protein for a well-rounded meal. It’s easy to see how these two dishes could become intertwined in a family’s culinary canon. 

Have you ever tried a hard-boiled egg alongside your greens? If not, why not give this combo a try with some of our recipes below.

Southern-Style Collard Greens

Southern-Style Collard Greens

This classic greens recipe will taste just like you remember. For even more hands-off ease, try our slow-cooker or Instant Pot versions.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

High Angle View Of Boiled Egg On White Background
Sommai Larkjit / EyeEm / Getty Images

Every Southern cook should know how to achieve perfect hard-boiled eggs, whether for snacking on their own, making a batch of deviled eggs, or fixing up some egg salad sandwiches for lunch. We even have a method for making incredible hard-boiled eggs in your Air Fryer

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