March 26, 2021

Natural Easter Eggs

An easy guide to achieve rustic-looking Natural Easter Eggs using onion skins and fresh herbs. This is a Ukrainian tradition that is still followed by many families through this day. It’s a creative, fun and meaningful activity to do as a family the day or night before Easter day.

Jump to Recipe Leave a Review

How to naturally dye Easter eggs using onion skins.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

As we celebrate Easter, we greet each other with words: “Christ is Risen!” to which we reply “He is Truly Risen”. It’s a true meaning of Easter for Christians.

We love Easter staple recipes such as Mimosa Salad, Farmers Cheese Crepes and Olivye Salad and we prepare them every year. All these recipes are filled with eggs and what better way to experience Easter menu than through food that is loaded with eggs.

Natural Easter Eggs

Dyeing eggs had been a part of Easter tradition and a staple for as long as I can remember. It’s one of the most memorable childhood memories from Ukraine.

There are so many amazing and fun methods of Easter egg coloring ideas online and even more using natural Easter eggs dyes. Some of them include turmeric dye, beets, strong black coffee and even red cabbage, but our favorite is the traditional method: onion peels!

Using onion skins to naturally dye eggs is easy, cheap and you get to actually eat the eggs. The dyes from onion skins are permanent, so when you peel the eggs, the egg yolk stays white and dye-free.

How to naturally dye Easter eggs using onion skins.

What You’ll Need to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally:

  • Onion Peels – you can use a mix of red and yellow onions skins or just yellow.
  • Water – cold water is used to boil onion peels for the soaking period.
  • White Eggs – white eggs work the best to show contrasting leaf design. If trying to achieve darker rustic solid color, brown eggs work great.
  • Nylon Stockings – for a dozen of eggs, you will need only 1 pair. You can use torn nylons, just make sure to wash them with scent-free detergent.
  • Thread – used to tie the ends of cut nylon stockings around eggs.
  • Fresh Parsley – parsley and cilantro work the best, but mint and other greens from your backyard may equally work the same.

Ingredients for natural egg dye.

Ukrainian Easter Eggs – 4 Extra Tips:

  1. Stainless Steel Pot: If possible, use ‘older’ stainless steel pot. The dyes from onion peels are strong and it’s easier to clean stainless steel pot with baking soda or bar keepers friend.
  2. Room Temperature Eggs: Bring the eggs to room temperature before you start dyeing the eggs. If cold eggs are placed into boiled water, they will crack. Clean the eggs so there are no particles sticking to their shells.
  3. Herbs: Herbs such as parsley and cilantro work the best because they are soft and sit tightly around the egg creating contrasting designs. Stiff leaves let in the water between the leaves and egg shell and the design on the egg is not as clear.
  4. Shiny Easter Eggs: For an attractive shiny finish, put some oil on a paper towel and rub the eggs with it. 

Homemade Natural Easter Egg Dye Bath:

  1. Fill a medium pot with onion peels, add water and submerge onion peels into the water by pressing down with a spoon.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer onion peels, covered with lid for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and leave the pot with onions peels and water soaking overnight or up to 24 hours to allow the onion skins release all the color possible.

How to make natural egg dye using onion peels.

How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally:

  1. Heat. Bring the pot with water and onion skins back to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Prep Eggs. Wrap parsley or other herbs around the egg. Place a cut piece of stocking on one hand and place the egg over it, grab a hold of the egg with your stocking hand and wrap your fingers around it being careful to keep the herbs from wrinkling or folding. Wrap the egg into stocking, then tighten by connecting the ends of cut stocking together and tie with thread to secure the stocking.
  3. Boil Eggs. Add 6-7 eggs at a time, making sure eggs are fully submerged in water. Give few seconds for water to start boiling again and set a timer. Boil eggs for 7-8 minutes or to desired color and texture.
  4. Ice Water. Once the timer is up, transfer eggs immediately into a bowl with ice water. Leave eggs in cold water until cooled to room temperature, for about 10-15 minutes. Then use scissors to cut away the stocking, rinse off herb remains and wipe eggs with paper towel to dry.

How to dye eggs naturally using onion peels and fresh herbs.

Ukrainian Easter Egg Tradition

Traditionally we use these dyed Ukrainian Natural Easter Eggs to play the egg cracking game, when we take turns trying to crack each other’s eggs. One person holds the egg and the other taps the top of their dyed egg, hoping to break the opponent’s egg, but not theirs. The winner is the person who successfully cracks the opponent’s egg. I think the trick is to wrap the fingers close to the end you are going to knock.

How to naturally dye Easter eggs using onion peels.

Eating Easter Eggs

Dyed Easter Eggs are not just for decoration, you eat them on Easter day! Our favorite way to eat eggs is to slice the boiled egg in half, spread a bit of mayo and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

How to naturally dye Easter eggs using onion peels.

Are Eggs Good for You?

Eggs are a good source of an inexpensive and high-quality protein. They are healthy, high in nutrients, have zero carbs, no sugar and will keep you feeling full and good throughout the day. We love recipes where eggs are the winning ingredient like the Mimosa Salad or Cucumber Radish Salad. 

Make-Ahead:

Because we dye the eggs the day or night before Easter, they are already considered make-ahead. You can dye them 2 days ahead, but we like them more fresh on Easter day. Remember to keep the dyed eggs refrigerated until serving.

How to naturally dye Easter eggs using onion peels.

More Easter Recipes:

What is your favorite Easter tradition? What is the best Easter recipe in your country? Comment below, we would love to know…

An easy guide to achieve rustic-looking Natural Easter Eggs using onion skins and fresh herbs. It’s a creative and meaningful activity to do as a family the day or night before Easter day.

Natural Easter Eggs

5 from 5 votes
Servings: 12 eggs
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

An easy guide to achieve rustic-looking Natural Easter Eggs using onion skins and fresh herbs. This is a Ukrainian tradition that is still followed by many families through this day. It’s a creative, fun and meaningful activity to do as a family the day or night before Easter day.

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon plastic bag of onion peels
  • cold water
  • 1 pair of nylon stockings
  • 1 thread
  • fresh parsley, cilantro or other greens
  • 12 large white eggs*

Instructions

Homemade Natural Easter Egg Dye:

  1. Fill a medium pot with onion peels, add water and submerge onion peels into the water by pressing down with a spoon.

  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer onion peels, covered with lid for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat and leave the pot with onions peels and water soaking overnight or up to 24 hours to allow the onion skins release all the color possible.

How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally:

  1. Heat. Bring the pot with water and onion skins back to a boil over medium heat.

  2. Prep Eggs. Meanwhile, wrap parsley or other herbs around the egg. Place a cut piece of stocking on one hand and place the egg over it, grab a hold of the egg with your stocking hand and wrap your fingers around it being careful to keep the herbs from wrinkling or folding. Wrap the egg into stocking, then tighten by connecting the ends of cut stocking together and tie with thread to secure the stocking. (If you want the herb prints, you really need nylons to tightly keep herbs on the eggs.)

  3. Boil Eggs. Add 6-7 eggs at a time (for best results), making sure eggs are fully submerged in water. (Overcrowding will bring down water temperature and will take longer for water to start boiling again, overcooking the eggs as well). Give few seconds for water to start boiling again and set a timer. Boil eggs for 7-8 minutes or to desired color and texture (9-10 minutes for hard-boiled). Keep in mind that the effect of the dyes depends on how concentrated the dye is, what color of onion peels you’re using and how long the eggs are boiled.

  4. Ice Water. Once the timer is up, transfer eggs immediately into a bowl with ice water. Leave eggs in cold water until cooled to room temperature, for about 10-15 minutes. Then use scissors to cut away the stocking, rinse off herb remains and wipe eggs with paper towel to dry. Refrigerate eggs until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

  • Eggs: White eggs work the best to show contrasting leftest design. If trying to achieve darker rustic solid color, brown eggs work great. A gallon plastic bag of onion peels will dye up to 5 dozen eggs before the dyes start to lose their color.
  • Marbleized Color: Use same method above, but wrap each egg with enough fresh peeled onion skins to cover the egg fully, making sure no white is showing.
  • Solid Rustic Color: Place the eggs directly into the pot with onion peels or into stocking without any herbs (stocking will help take out all eggs at once). Wait for water to re-boil and cook eggs for 7-10 minutes to desired color and texture.
  • Stainless Steel Pot: If possible, use ‘older’ stainless steel pot. The dyes from onion peels are strong and it’s easier to clean stainless steel pot with baking soda or bar keepers friend.
  • Room Temperature Eggs: Bring the eggs to room temperature before you start dyeing the eggs. If cold eggs are placed into boiled water, they will crack. Clean the eggs so there are no particles sticking to their shells.
  • Herbs: Herbs such as parsley and cilantro work the best because they are soft and sit tightly around the egg creating contrasting designs. Stiff leaves let in the water between the leaves and egg shell and the design on the egg is not as clear.
  • Shiny Easter Eggs: For an attractive shiny finish, put some oil on a paper towel and rub the eggs with it. 

© Olga in the Kitchen owns the copyright on all images and content and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site, unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to republish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my FAQ and Copyright Policy.

Leave a Comment or Review

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Eugenia

    Happy Easter! I used your tips on coloring eggs with leaf imprints and they turned out beautiful!! Thank you so much for this tutorial Olga! We couldn’t have done it without you.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for your kind words and beautiful review, Eugenia! Happy Easter!

  • Kelsey S

    Love this! We used brown eggs and the eggs turned out extra dark and so beautiful. Past years we used the coloring kits and the eggs turned out all colorful once peeled. This year we decided to start trying doing natural dyes so that kids don’t eat all that food coloring. The eggs are so beautiful and the parsley leaf designs are just eye popping. We did 7 minutes and the yolk was perfection. Thank you Olga. Your recipe appeared on my Pinterest feed was just in time!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for sharing that with us, Kelsey! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Happy Easter!

  • Jodi

    We just colored the eggs! It’s so easy and so pretty). Thank you for the tip with nylons (never thoughts of it). Natural method is the best. Thank you for including all those easy and helpful methods!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for the wonderful review, Jodi! I’m glad you enjoyed this easy tutorial! 🙂

  • Gina

    These eggs are so beautiful. My grandmother used to dye them this way. Thanks for your easy recipe, we will dye our Easter eggs this year our grandma way. We already gathered the onion peels. Cannot wait until Saturday to dye them with our kids. Your timing is just perfect.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      That’s wonderful, Gina! So exciting and kids will definitely enjoy dyeing these eggs..ours do too 🙂

As Featured On

  • Taste of Home
  • Food Gawker

Get recipe updates, tips, menu ideas and more straight to your inbox.