Give Deviled Eggs A Hearty Twist With Chopped Jerky

Deviled eggs make for a delicious appetizer to serve at a dinner party or a festive side dish to add to any holiday spread. In their simplest form, deviled eggs are complete with a garnish of paprika and herbs like chives. There are many ingredients that will upgrade your deviled eggs whether they go into the filling or on top, and for a touch of umami you may be used to adding some crumbled bacon — but you should also consider chopped jerky. The use of chopped jerky as a garnish will provide a hearty twist to your version of the classic dish.

You might be more accustomed to eating jerky as a snack right out of the bag, but think about its salty, smoky, and meaty flavors and how they'll benefit each bite you take of your new and improved deviled eggs. It's sort of a no-brainer if you already like bacon on top of them, because jerky will provide the meaty bite with far less prep work involved. Depending on how you incorporate it, jerky can contribute more texture, too — either soft and chewy or hard depending on the variety. It's also a great way to use those small bits of jerky left at the bottom of the bag.

Jerky can be used as a garnish or a mix-in

There are many types of jerky out there, and each one offers a different meat and flavor profile to upgrade deviled eggs. Beef jerky gives a classic, meaty taste; or use pork jerky if you want to lean into the bacon inspiration. There's also chicken and turkey jerky if you prefer to eat poultry over red meat. For a meat-free deviled egg, check out the options in our ranking of the best vegan jerky brands. When it comes to flavor, stick with an original flavor for mild smokiness or try a spicy version for heat. Other flavors to consider are teriyaki for a blend of sweet and salty or something peppered for bolder flavor.

You have two options when it comes to adding jerky to deviled eggs. The first is to use it as a garnish like you would with bacon or herbs. For this technique, chop the jerky into bite-sized pieces or into crumbles so it complements the eggs rather than taking the dish over. Follow the recipe, then use it as the final embellishment before serving to add texture and flavor to the top of each bite. The other option is to use jerky in the filling for smokiness throughout each deviled egg. Blend it with a food processor or cut it finely before mixing with the yolks, mayo, and other ingredients. Try this ingredient hack with Tasting Table's easy deviled eggs or to upgrade your go-to recipe.