How To Dye Red Greek Easter Eggs (Top Tips)

11

Apr

The Tradition of Greek Red Easter Eggs

Eggs are dyed on Holy Thursday and saved for Easter Sunday, but you can dye them at any point before Easter Sunday. The colour red signifies the blood of Christ, and the egg symbolizes rebirth and new life.

 

My favourite part of Greek Easter, or as my Canadian friends would say, “Greekster,” are the outdoor gatherings with friends and family.  There is almost delicious homemade food like lamb on a spit, spanakopita, greek potatoes (of course!), tzatziki, salads, cheese pie, tsoureki, and koulourakia.

 

 

Tsougrisma (Greek Egg-Cracking Game)

For this recipe, we’re making hard-boiled eggs because, to play the game, the eggs crack, so want them to be firm enough.

 

The egg-cracking game, called tsougrisma, is played between two people and two eggs.  One person holds the egg from the bottom, and the other person holds the egg from the top.  The person holding the egg from above hits the opponent’s egg (the bottom egg).  Then it is reversed using the sides of the eggs that haven’t cracked yet.  The person whose egg doesn’t break is said to have good luck for the rest of the year!

 

 

RECOMMENDED KITCHEN TOOLS

  • Deep pot or saucepan.  It’s best to use a saucepan or pot that is deep instead of too wide so that the water can fully cover the eggs.
  • Slotted spoon
  • Mesh or stainless steel strainer

 

Greek red easter eggs in a white basket with mini coloured eggs.

RECIPE TIPS

  • Use room-temperature fresh eggs to help prevent the eggs from cracking when boiling (remove them from the fridge a couple of hours before you use them).

 

  • When boiling the eggs, they should be in a single layer and not on top of each other.

 

  • White vinegar helps the colour of the red eggs become more vibrant colour however, you want to be careful with the amount of vinegar because too much vinegar will cause the eggs to become speckled.

 

  • The longer you let the eggs sit in the dye, the darker the colour will be.  If you’re looking for a dark, vibrant red, then you could let them soak in the fridge for an hour or two.  The longer they sit in the dye, the darker the red colour.

 

  • You may want to use disposable gloves while you dye the eggs to prevent the dye from going on your hands.

 

  • I use red food coloring dye from the baking aisle in the grocery store. You could also use red dye packets from Greek or Mediterranean specialty stores. From my research, you may get better results by using less vinegar than the packet suggests to reduce the unappealing speckled texture of the dyed eggs.

 

  • I’d recommend not using any porous materials (plastic, wood, ceramic etc.), and if you do get stains on your countertops, cover any stains with dish soap right away. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe it away with a damp cloth.

 

Red Greek Easter eggs in a white basket with mini pastel coloured eggs.

 

HOW TO DYE RED GREEK EASTER EGGS: STEP BY STEP

STEP 1:  Boil the eggs. In a medium-sized deep pot, add cold water (about 5 cups of water) and then carefully place a dozen (12) raw eggs in a single layerPlace eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a pot. Water should be 1 inch above the top of the eggs.

 

Bring the water to a boil on medium heat, then cover it with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Boil the eggs for 15 minutes. Place a strainer in the sink. Use a slotted spoon to carefully and gently place all of the eggs in the strainer. Rinse with cold water for a minute or so until the eggs have cooled to stop the cooking process.

 

STEP 2: Prepare the food colouring. Transfer the warm water to a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Add in 36 ml (.27 fl oz) red food colouring dye (2 small bottles). Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Mix together and then carefully place the cooked eggs in the food colouring for at least 15 minutes. The eggs should be fully submerged. You can stir occasionally, careful not to crack the eggs. The longer the eggs stay in the food colouring, the deeper red they will be.

 

STEP 3: Dry the eggs. Place a paper towel on a large plate. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs and place them on the paper towel to dry for at least 30 minutes. Once they’re dry, pour a little bit of olive oil or vegetable oil on a paper towel or soft cloth and rub the eggs to create a beautiful shine.

 

STEP 4: Christos anesti! Refrigerate the dyed eggs in their container until you’re ready to use them. The eggs can also be placed in traditional Easter bread (Tsoureki) or stored in the fridge for up to seven days.

 

 

Why Do Greeks Have Red Eggs at Easter?

Greek red Easter eggs are usually dyed on Holy Thursday and saved for a feast on Easter Sunday. But you can dye them at any point before Easter Sunday. The colour red signifies the blood of Christ, and the egg symbolizes rebirth and new life.

Do You Start With Cold or Hot Water For Hard-Boiled Eggs?

You should start with cold water and room-temperature eggs. Placing cold eggs in hot water may cause them to crack

Why Put Eggs In Cold Water After Boiling?

This stops the cooking process and reduces the iron-sulphur reaction, which can lead to a green yolk.

 

 

Red Greek Easter eggs in a white basket with mini pastel coloured eggs.
Print Recipe
4.80 from 5 votes

How To Dye Red Greek Easter Eggs

Have you tried dyeing Greek red easter eggs? They're so easy to make and have a beautiful symbolic significance. Follow the simple steps, and you'll have some pretty red eggs to decorate your Easter table and play tsougrisma (Greek egg-cracking game).
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Additional Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: How to
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: greek easter, red easter eggs
Servings: 12 eggs
Calories: 72kcal
Author: Ria Mavrikos

Equipment

  • Deep pot or saucepan.  It's best to use a saucepan or pot that is deep instead of too wide so that the water can fully cover the eggs
  • Slotted spoon
  • Mesh or stainless steel strainer

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs fresh uncooked brown or white eggs - room temperature
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 small bottles of red food colouring 36 ml. / .27 fl oz.

Instructions

  • Boil the eggs. In a medium-sized saucepan, add cold water (about 5 cups of water) and then carefully place a dozen (12) raw eggs inside the pot in a single layer. Gradually bring the water to a boil on medium heat, then cover it with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Boil the eggs for 15 minutes. Place a strainer in the sink. Use a slotted spoon to carefully and gently place all of the eggs in the strainer. Rinse the eggs with cold water for a minute or so until the eggs have cooled completely to stop the cooking process.
  • Prepare the dye. Transfer the warm water to a large stainless steel bowl or leave the water in the pot but remove the pot from the heat. Add in two small bottles of red food colouring dye. Add two tablespoons of white vinegar. Stir together and then carefully place the cooked eggs in the food colouring for at least 15 minutes. The eggs should be fully submerged. You can stir occasionally, careful not to crack the eggs. The longer the eggs stay in the food colouring, the deeper red they will be.
  • Dry the eggs. Place a paper towel on a large plate. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs and place them on the paper towel to dry for at least 30 minutes. Once they're dry, pour a little bit of olive oil or vegetable oil on a paper towel or soft cloth and rub the eggs to create a beautiful shine.
  • Christos anesti! You now have beautiful red Greek Easter eggs to decorate your Easter table, play the egg cracking game (tsougrisma), or use them to decorate your tsoureki.

Notes

  • Use room-temperature fresh eggs to help prevent the eggs from cracking when boiling (remove them from the fridge a couple of hours before you use them).
  • When boiling the eggs, they should be in a single layer and not on top of each other.
  • White vinegar helps the colour of the red eggs become more vibrant colour however, you want to be careful with the amount of vinegar because too much vinegar will cause the eggs to become speckled.
  • The longer you let the eggs sit in the dye, the darker the colour will be.  If you're looking for a dark, vibrant red, then you could let them soak in the fridge for an hour or two.  The longer they sit in the dye, the darker the red colour.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 72kcal | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 75mg

Holidays, How to

Date Published: April 11, 2023

Author: RIA mavrikos

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How To Dye Red Greek Easter Eggs (Top Tips)

VIEW THE COMMENTS

  1. Barb G says:

    5 stars
    Hi I actually have a question. I know your recipe says eggs can be either white or brown, but do you have a preference? When we die them at church it seems one is better than the other and I cannot recall which one that is from last year. Thank you!

    • Ria Mavrikos says:

      Hi Barb,
      My family uses brown eggs, but it can be either. Just make sure that the eggs are room temperature before boiling.
      Great to hear from you!
      Ria

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