Red Easter Eggs Dyed from Onion Skins...it works!

Recently for my newborn son’s RED EGG & GINGER party (a Chinese tradition for baby boys), I decided that I wanted to hand out lucky red eggs to our guests. But instead of using that icky artificial dye (which turns the eggs fuschia IMO), I wanted to use a natural dye. I called my friend Brian Wolff (who is the chef du cuisine at Lucques, and was also going to cater the Red Egg party) and asked him if he had any ideas. He immediatly said, Greek Eggs - they use onion skins.

I researched various recipes online and through much trial and error (5 days and 5 dozen eggs later), finally got the recipe down for “kokinna avga” - red eggs. It’s super easy, the results are stunning, and you will never make red egg dye any other way.


  • Ten Cups of water
  • 4 Tablespoons of white vinegar
  • The papery outer layer of yellow onion skins (about 15-20).
  • 1 dozen medium eggs


  • 1 large stainless steel pot
  • 1 large glass bowl
  • 1 stainless steel sauce pan (at least 9 inches across)


  1. Wash the eggs, gently rubbing off any debris from the shell.
  2. Place the water, vinegar, and onion skins in a stainless steel pot and bring to boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Strain dye into glass bowl and let it cool.
  4. Once the dye is cool, place the dozen eggs into the stainless steel sauce pan and add the dye. Make sure that no eggs are overlapping and that the dye covers the eggs entirely - you want even coloring!
  5. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover, and simmer. At about 15 minutes, check the color of the eggs.
  6. Don’t cook for longer than 20 minutes* otherwise the eggs turn a DEEP BROWN (which you might like).
  7. Strain the eggs onto racks and let them cool.
  8. Once they are cool enough to handle, take a little olive oil or vegetable oil and polish them with a paper towel. They will look beautiful!
  9. *If at the end of 20 minutes, the eggs still aren’t red enough, take the eggs off the heat, let it cool and then set the whole pot in the fridge. It will turn redder after some time.
  10. Anyway, once the eggs are the color you like, let

What you should know

To get the skins of 15-20 onions…I just went to my local market and asked if I could take the loose onion skins and they begged me to clean up their onion display for them! So no, I don’t think you have to buy that many onions.

Also, I haven’t tried it yet, but you can also make natural egg dye from:


There are tons of natural dye recipes you can find online. Happy Easter…or Red Egg & GInger!

Re: Red Easter Eggs Dyed from Onion Skins...it works!