Is It Safe To Eat Leftover Easter Eggs?

Waste not, want not—or better safe than sorry?

Decorated Easter Eggs in Bowl
Photo: Getty/Linda Raymond

Once the Easter eggs have been beautifully dyed and displayed on countertops, in baskets, or hidden in front yards, you might wonder if it's safe to eat them. After all, why throw out what could be repurposed? Before you dig in, though, take inventory of how long your eggs have been unrefrigerated. According to the Food and Drug Administration's Veronika Pfaeffle, it's only safe to eat hard boiled eggs if they've been "refrigerated within two hours of having been boiled." So, unless you've managed to decorate and pull off an Easter egg hunt in record time, they're probably not safe to eat. Even if you're able to maintain the two-hour rule, she recommends eating them within a week after cooking.

According to the FDA, harmful bacteria can begin to multiply when left at room temperature, especially if the shells have been cracked, even slightly. But, just because those pretty dyed eggs aren't safe to eat, doesn't mean you can't get your fill of hard-boiled Easter egg recipes. Instead, along with your eggs to be dyed, boil a second batch that you keep safely stored in cool temperatures. From there, the possibilities for ways to use them are endless.

Here we've gathered a few of our favorite seasonal dishes that call on hard-boiled eggs that will please everyone's palate on Easter Sunday and beyond – and leave you feeling confident you've avoided serving anything risky. Just make sure you keep those decorated eggs far from the serving table.

01 of 04

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Here's where to start. Whether you're making hard boiled eggs for decorating or eating, this is the recipe that will make sure they're perfectly cooked, which is particularly important when making things like deviled eggs where a green ring around the yolk (a surefire sign of overcooked eggs) can make for quite the unsavory treat.

02 of 04

Instant Pot Potato Salad

Instant Pot Potato Salad
Photography and Styling: Karen Rankin

Recipe: Instant Pot Potato Salad

A staple around many Easter tables, there are few things that please a crowd like a good potato salad. And one where the Instant Pot does the work for you? You better add an extra carton of eggs to that grocery list.

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DIY Deviled Egg Bar

DIY Deviled Egg Bar
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Karin Olsen; Food Styling: William Smith

Recipe: DIY Deviled Egg Bar

A classic with a twist! Let your guests dress their eggs. Pickled okra? Pimento? Bacon? Mouth-watering possibilities await!

04 of 04

Chicken Pot Pie

Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

After the bustle of Easter Sunday has come and gone, tuck in with this comforting classic that calls for two hard-boiled eggs. It's just like Mama used to make.

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