These creamy, slightly tangy, rich, and satisfying keto deviled eggs are an exciting twist and a perfect addition to your repertoire of snacks, appetizers, and side dishes. With fabulous exotic ingredients, they’ll take you into the fascinating world of the Middle East.
Use this versatile dish to fill your lunch box, grab a couple of eggs as a brilliant afternoon snack, or prepare a fancy plate with all bells and whistles for entertaining. I had these super-tasty eggs for breakfast – what a delicious and nutritious start for a day.
What makes these deviled eggs Middle Eastern-inspired?
Though the basic ingredients — eggs and mayonnaise — are the same as in the classic deviled eggs, there are three other ingredients that have their origins in the Middle Eastern kitchen. First of all, you need some thick, plain full-fat Turkish or Greek yogurt to lend some tang and to balance out the richness of the mayonnaise.
Secondly, I’ve added a little bit of tahini as well. Tahini, i.e., sesame butter or sesame paste, is made by grinding sesame seeds into a smooth, fine-textured paste. There are some sources that claim that the stuff is called sesame butter if it uses only sesame seeds, but tahini includes, for example, lemon juice, salt, and spices. However, this is not correct: for real tahini, you need only sesame seeds. Period.
Anyway, it’s up to you if you want to use tahini made from raw sesame seeds or toasted sesame seeds or tahini made from hulled or unhulled sesame seeds. The traditional tahini is made from toasted hulled sesame seeds, so you most likely encounter it easier.
Tahini is used traditionally in the Eastern Mediterranean kitchen and in South Caucasus and in East Asia (where it’s called sesame paste instead of tahini). I prefer organic Greek tahini that I order straight from Greece. Whatever type of tahini you use, just make sure that it doesn’t contain added sugars, syrups, or other sweet stuff as we are making a savory dish here.
Thirdly, this easy keto dish uses a fascinating condiment called harissa. Harissa is a hot chili pepper paste (or powder) originating from Tunisia but is currently known all over the world. Indeed, I first got introduced to this spice in Tunisia when I was visiting there a couple of decades ago. I remember I brought huge batches of this fiery paste home and used them for various dishes. For example, to cure my flu and sinusitis, I made spicy tomato soup, where I added a truckload of harissa.
The main ingredients in harissa are roasted chili peppers, spices, and herbs. There can be garlic paste and seasonings like caraway seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin. Olive oil is added to bind the spices and to emphasize the flavors. Because the condiment is so hot, this recipe uses only a touch of harissa so that the whole family can enjoy the deviled eggs. Naturally, you can adjust the amount of harissa to your liking.
How to make the Middle Eastern-Inspired Deviled Eggs
The procedure to make these Middle Eastern-Inspired Deviled Eggs is pretty much the same as in any deviled egg recipe: Take peeled hard-boiled eggs and slice them lengthwise. Scoop out the yolks, mash them and mix with the rest of the ingredients and finally fill the hollow egg whites with the mixture. That’s it!
So, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients and the method:
Take 8 hard-boiled eggs.
Halve the eggs lengthwise.
Remove the yolks and place them into a medium bowl.
Here we go.
Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) (preferably homemade olive-oil based) mayonnaise…
…1/4 cup (60 ml) thick plain Turkish or Greek yogurt…
…2 tablespoons tahini…
…and 1-2 tablespoons (or to taste) harissa. Add also salt if needed.
Mash the yolks with a fork and mix…
Place the hollow egg whites on a serving plate. For the easiest option, spoon the filling into the egg whites.
For a fancier version, pipe the filling using a large star tip (I use Wilton 1M).
Decorate with paprika, smoked paprika, or sesame seeds.
How I came up with this easy keto recipe
Deviled eggs are staples in the keto kitchen. They are very versatile and suitable for all kinds of occasions, from a quick snack and lunch box filler to a fancy party appetizer. I wanted to make deviled eggs for this New Year’s Eve celebrations, but maybe with a unique twist.
I was pondering over different variations, and as I found a jar of harissa from my pantry, I thought I’ll make a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern-inspired version. Naturally, I needed other ingredients than eggs and harissa for my tasty deviled eggs, so I continued the brain work.
I concluded yogurt might provide some tang that the deviled eggs need. But I was wondering if yogurt alone would be enough to lend richness, or if I should use some mayonnaise as well. Hmm, maybe I should do a couple of experiments.
And since I’ve used lots of tahini nowadays (simply as a snack with a couple of bites of this Flow chocolate) or just by eating it by spoon, I thought tahini would be just a perfect addition to my Middle Eastern-inspired dish. Tahini is widely used in the Mediterranean area and in the Middle East. It would for sure lend a beautiful, nutty, and toasty flavor for the dish, I reckoned.
I calculated the amounts for my recipe, but first, I wanted to do some testing, especially with the mayonnaise and the yogurt and their ratios, to ensure there is enough tang but also enough richness. But first of all, I wanted to know if it would be a good idea anyway to use tahini if it suits this dish in the end.
I made 4 different test batches of filling. One was with half mayo, half yogurt, with a bit of tahini and harissa added. The second one was the same, but without tahini. The third experiment contained only yogurt in addition to tahini and harissa. The fourth and the final test batch had only mayonnaise in addition to harissa and tahini.
After tasting my experiments several times, I was certain that the first experiment with all the goodies, mayonnaise, yogurt, tahini, and harissa was ultimately the best version. It had it all: richness from the mayo, tang from the yogurt, nutty and toasted flavor from tahini, and spicy heat from the harissa. What a perfect combo! My taste buds sang a happy song.
I was ready to do the final experiment with the yolks added. As my taste buds were singing an even happier song when tasting this final experiment, I thought the recipe is definitely worth publishing — I bet you and your family fall in love with it, too!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 8 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/4 cup = 60 ml (preferably homemade olive oil-based) mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup = 60 ml thick plain full-fat Greek or Turkish yogurt
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1-2 tablespoons harissa
- (natural salt to taste)
- Peel the eggs. Halve the eggs lengthwise.
- Remove the yolks and place them into a medium bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with the yolks.
- Mash with a fork and mix until smooth. Add salt if needed.
- Place the egg whites on a serving plate.
- For the easiest option, spoon the filling to the egg whites. For a fancier version, pipe the filling using a large star tip (like Wilton 1M).
- Decorate with paprika, smoked paprika, or sesame seeds.
- Serve immediately
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PUR Spices Original Harissa Paste I Middle Eastern Hot Sauce I Used for Cooking and Dipping I No sugar added, preservative and additive free, spicy chili pepper and garlic paste I 8oz single
Harissa La Flamme Du Cap Bon Tunisie 14 oz [380 g]
Mina Sauce Harissa Spicy, 10 oz
Kevala Organic Sesami Tahini, 56 Ounce
Baron's USDA Organic Tahini Pure Sesame Paste | Rich & Creamy for Hummus, Baba Ghanoush & Dressings | Kosher, Vegan, Unsalted Ground Seeds | Gluten- & Peanut-Free, Keto-Friendly | 2 Jars of 16 Oz.
Wilton 402-2110 1M Open Star Piping Tip(2pk)
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 16 servings in total|
|Protein||66.4 g||4.2 g|
|Fat||113.6 g||7.1 g|
|Net carbs||7.8 g||0.5 g|
|kcal||1313 kcal||82 kcal|
Tips for variation
I’ve tested and fine-tuned this recipe, so if you are planning any variations, you might have to do some more testing. However, here are some tips on how to vary this simple recipe:
You can add 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice for some added tang. Actually, if you want to make a dairy-free version, omit the yogurt and use 1-2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. You can also use mild vinegar such as apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar, or rice vinegar to taste. Start with 1 tablespoon and add more if you need more zing.
Instead of harissa, feel free to use another spicy paste, like sambal oelek or another type of chili paste. Hot sauce will also do, in case you don’t find any decent hot paste. Louisiana hot sauce or even Sriracha are perfect options.
From nut and seed butters, tahini suits this dish best, but you can omit it altogether if you (or any of your guests or family members) are allergic to sesame seeds. Feel free to experiment with another nut or seed butter made from toasted nuts or seeds. But like I said, tahini is by far the best option, in my opinion.
Hope you have had a merry and happy Christmas. My Christmas was a very traditional Finnish Christmas. We went to our summer house to spend the holidays with my parents. My mom prepared traditional Finnish Christmas food, though most of it was ketoized, and the carby stuff was left out.
It was a very relaxing time in the summer house (that also works well as a ‘winter house’). We had a Christmas tree outside — because our cats would have destroyed it if it had been inside.
In the evening of Christmas Day, we had a little storm that made the Christmas tree fall down. Luckily nothing broke, and we didn’t lose electricity.
Some time ago, I took christmassy photos of our Ketokamu soups, Kukkis and Parsis:
On the way to our summer house, there is an old phone booth on the side of the road. Somebody had placed a life-size Santa Claus doll there. I have to admit the sight was pretty funny!