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Pesto Stuffed Eggs


I thought these eggs would be a pretty addition to an Easter buffet or perfect for a Spring brunch. I love deviled eggs but these are a nice change. They are filled with a mixture of pesto and ricotta cheese with a little lemon juice for zing. They are super easy to make and just look like Spring to me.

I love making pesto with spinach

The proper way to boil an egg so that it does not end up being rubbery or have that greenish yolk is to place the eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil and then immediately remove from the heat and let them sit in the hot water. You start timing them from this point - 12 minutes for a large egg. Place into an ice bath and this will stop the cooking and produce beautiful yolks.

If you routinely buy fresh eggs from a farm, like I do, you will quickly learn that fresh eggs can be very hard to peel. The older the egg, the more the lining of the egg pulls away from the shell. If you are using fresh eggs, you can try a little tip from Julia Child that I use. After the eggs have set in the ice bath, plunge them back into simmering water for 30 seconds. It makes the peeling a little easier. There are people that swear that adding a little salt or baking soda into the water also helps. I've even tried poking a tiny hole in the large end of the egg and that seems to help. If you don't have perfectly smooth peeled eggs, don't worry about. They still taste great! Do you have a great tip for peeling eggs? Please share it if you do.

Pesto Stuffed Eggs

for a printable recipe click here


makes 12 stuffed eggs


  • 6 extra large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (I like to make mine from spinach if the basil is not great)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin oiive oil (or more) 


Hard boil the eggs by placing the eggs in a medium saucepan and covering them with cold water by at least an inch. Bring the water to a boil, place a lid on the pot, remove from the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 12 minutes.

While the eggs are sitting in the hot water, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice water. Remove the eggs from the hot water and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking. (If the eggs are very fresh, bring the hot water back to a boil and after the eggs have cooled, plunge them in the hot water for 30 seconds. Remove and peel.) After the eggs have cooled, peel and cut the eggs in half.

Scoop out the yolks carefully and place them in a bowl. Add the ricotta cheese and pesto and mash together with a fork. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and olive oil. Continue to mash and taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning. If the mixture is overly dry, add a drizzle more of olive oil to thin.

Place the eggs on a serving dish and fill the cavities with the yolk mixture. I like to use a pastry bag with a jumbo tip to fill the eggs. Refrigerate until ready to serve (wrap lightly with plastic wrap).

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Reader Comments (19)

I found this tip in Fine Cooking magazine where a reader wrote in saying to carefully chip off the shell at one end and insert a small spoon (I use a European-style demitasse spoon) between the shell and egg white. I could not believe this wouldn't be a disaster but I tried it anyway and was stunned at how fast and how smoothly I could shell eggs and now I do all my deviled egg shelling that way. It hasn't let me down once. Even starting at the narrow end isn't a problem.

I look forward to trying this recipe. They look lovely and my friends rave over my deviled eggs as a rule.

March 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSiobhan

The best (and most fun) way to peel eggs was taught to me by my dad. He made a small hole in both ends of the egg by cracking it on the counter. Lightly roll the egg in between your hands to start to crack the shell. Put your mouth over the smaller end of the egg and blow into the hole as hard as you can, and if you are good the egg will fly out of the shell! If you don't have enough oomph, the shell should at least crack substantially.

March 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

I've always crack one side of the egg and peeled it under running warm water. They come out perfect a good 90% of the time.

March 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkrissy burke

These look lovely! Pesto is my favorite food. A note- in the directions you do not mention when to add the pesto ... I am sure it should be with the ricotta but thought you might like to know :)

March 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

From The Italian Dish:

Thanks, Camille!

March 26, 2013 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I do have a hint for peeling the eggs: Pull from cold water, crack both ends than roll egg on counter, back and forth. Pick up a tableware teaspoon and find a crack to start the pealing (usually in the large end.) Get the spoon under the shell and skin and gently begin to turn the egg with the spoon in place. If the skin is resisting, dip it back into the water for a few seconds and continue until the shell is off. It is possible get the entire shell off in one piece this way, but not necessary. Enjoy the smooth eggs.

March 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl Jongeneel

I will be trying the tip from Fine COoking, I remember reading it and not believing it could work..

Loved these pesto filled eggs, what a great twist on a classic, and so perfect for this time of the year!

Lovely recipe indeed, thank you!

March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSallyBR

What a beautiful deviled egg! And why have I never thought to make pesto with spinach??!! Genius!

March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBiz

Made these for a baby shower yesterday and am making again today for Easter. These are delicious! People who don't like deviled eggs loved them. Thanks for the recipe!

March 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSNicole

my mom taught me to put the eggs in an cold water to stop the cooking, after a minute or so, take each egg, crack the big end and put them back in the cold water to cool, can't wait to try the pesto! thanks for sharing this with us.

April 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Mmmm, your pesto eggs look delicious! I love stuffed eggs but have never thought to use pesto! Great idea. I like you tip about peeling eggs. Mine are alway hit or miss. BTW I recently posted an Easter bread I made based on yours. It was delious! Thank you! I wished I could have coloured my eggs like yours.

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcellina

I usually set them in ice water right after boiling. The shell comes off very easily, then. But here is the easiest way ever! I bought a set of Eggies! They are little cups that you oil, then crack your eggs into the cups and throw away the shell. THEN, put the covers on and boil 20 minutes. They float in the water, and the egg part is BELOW the water. Voila! NO PEELING!!!

April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCindy K

Love. Love this idea and your site:) Just lovely.... What kind of Spinach did you use, Fresh and do you add it to the ricotta. Did not see the recipe for it. Would love to make these.... Please if you get the time can you email me the recipe or post it for the homemade pesto and when to add to the mixture.. Thank you so kindly:)

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHippie Chic

I love this idea of pesto stuffed eggs! I love anything stuffed into an egg.
What's wrong with me?
I dream about ways to make deviled eggs! The perfect spring appetizer.

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Snacks

I am so happy I found your wonderful site! I love the idea of pesto eggs as the idea never crossed my mind before now. I always make pesto and am enthused that here is another way to enjoy it. Thank you!

April 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVivian

I just learned the neatest and easiest way to peel an egg. Take a container with a tight lid and fill about 1/2 with water. Place your boiled egg that has been cooled a bit with cool water into the container and fasten the lid. Shake the container a few times and the egg shell will slide right off. Open lid and remove your smooth peeled egg! Easy peasy!!

April 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAudi & Jessie

BOILED EGGS THAT ALMOST PEEL THEMSELVES! We cook eggs in our electric pressure cooker. The peel easily comes off in large chunks leaving a very smooth surface on the egg white. This works on even the freshest eggs. Set eggs on a steamer tray and add 1 1/2 C water. Actual cooking time is 5 - 6 minutes after the pot comes up to pressure. Then do quick release. Normally one uses a pressure cooker to save time, but not in the case. Total time start-to-finish in the pressure cooker (10 min) is almost as much as on the stove top. But we are born-again with this method due to the miracle ease of peeling and the perfect appearance of the egg white (just don't let the eggs bump into each other while cooking). Enjoy.

February 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLin & Marsh

From The Italian Dish: Lin and Marsh: Wow, if this method is true I will be delighted. I've just never had any luck with peeling fresh eggs easily Thank you!

February 8, 2017 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

The Italian Dish was my go to site for much of our Christmas Eve feast. These lovey green eggs were a hit. In the winter when I run out of homemade frozen pesto I use the Costco Kirkland brand-it's the best commercial pesto I've ever found.

I didn't see the bit about putting the eggs back into hot water after cooling. I always shock in ice water and then crack and peel under water and it works well most of the time. My standard however is to cook more eggs than I need for deviling and choose the prettiest for filling and use the rest for egg salad!

December 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMary Beth

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