Store-Bought Egg Salads, Ranked Worst To Best

Egg salad is an acquired taste in its own right, and certainly not a food you should be eating on a train. But for those who enjoy it, a particularly delicious version can linger in your memories for years. We are confident that the best egg salad recipes come from home kitchens, where you have more control over preparation techniques and ingredients. However, if you want egg salad in a pinch, there are plenty of store-bought versions available. Some stores nail the nuanced flavor profile of egg salad, while others seem to stock it out of obligation. We tried a bunch of store bought egg salads and ranked them from worst to best, and the results were pretty interesting.

What makes one egg salad better than another? Like any other taste test, subjectivity plays its part. Generally speaking, what we look for in egg salad is a palatable texture and a smooth flavor that celebrates the eggs but also gets the seasoning just right. Be sure to check out the details of our methodology at the end of the article. Ultimately, a delicious egg salad can be eaten on its own or as the star ingredient in a sandwich. Did your favorite grocery store's egg salad make the ranks? Let's find out.

13. Target

Although Target has a sizable grocery section, the chain doesn't have a traditional deli that prepares egg salad daily. In the refrigerated section — where you'll find pre-sliced cheeses and other delicatessen staple foods — is a pre-packaged tub of egg salad produced by Good & Gather, Target's in-house food brand. This egg salad is made with relish, mustard, and red bell peppers — nods to a classic Southern egg salad recipe that we weren't expecting from the ubiquitous superstore. In this case, however, it just doesn't work.

A good Southern egg salad balances the complexity of flavors brought in by the mustard and relish, and this is something Target's product does not achieve. On our first bite, we tasted mustard and salt before anything else. The addition of relish gives this egg salad acidity, but it only harshened the already strong-tasting mustard. Browsing the ingredient list indicates that the egg salad's dressing, relish, and seasoning are loaded with chemicals. Unfortunately, these low-quality inclusions really come through. Tossing red bell peppers into the situation does not give any dimension to the egg salad's sharp flavors. When eaten as a sandwich, the bread acts as a buffer to this egg salad's off-putting taste. Target's Southern-inspired play on a picnic-style egg salad reminds us how much we prefer a homemade version.

12. Walmart

The grocery aisles of a Super Walmart are teeming with variety, but if you're in the market for exceptional egg salad this is not the place. The vinegar in the mustard is the first taste you notice and it's not the most pleasant, but once you know to expect it, the sharpness (sort of) grows on you. The front of Walmart's egg salad packaging declares that freshness is guaranteed, but we couldn't help but notice a slightly artificial taste that lingered at the end of each bite — despite the label also stating that no artificial flavors are used.

We appreciate Walmart's decision to exclude artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup, but perhaps that less-than-great taste we picked up on was any one of a handful of preservatives Walmart includes in its egg salad recipe. Overall, Walmart doesn't go out on a limb with herbs or seasoning. This egg salad incorporates teeny tiny bits of celery, we don't mind them, but they — and the salad — are ultimately forgettable.

11. Wegmans

We'll be honest, we were really disappointed in Wegmans' egg salad. It was one of the priciest we tried, and it was also one of the most poorly-made. Wegmans pre-portions its egg salad in 16-ounce tubs that cost $10.99 each. With consideration to Wegmans' reputation as a quality grocery store full of artisanal food items, we assumed that the egg salad would be worth the price tag, however, it was not.

The texture is creamy, and the ingredients are less preservative-happy than other brands, but Wegmans' offering is missing that scratch-made, homestyle taste we crave from egg salad. This is a predictable let-down in pre-packaged egg salad, yet there was something else that left us puzzled. After taking a couple of small spoonfuls from the top, we saw a whole, hard-boiled egg yolk sitting entirely intact inside the container. A little further down into the salad, was another whole egg yolk that somehow evaded the mixing process.

Finding whole egg yolks in a salad made from hard boiled eggs isn't gross per se, but we can't shake the feeling that this was almost certainly unintentional. The Wegmans slogan, "Food You Feel Good About" is printed banner-like on the front of the egg salad's packaging — but it's tough to take pleasure in eating something that was so obviously prepared without care.

10. Stop and Shop

The egg salad you buy at Stop and Shop comes from Sally Sherman, a food distribution company out of Mount Vernon, New York that specializes in deli salads and other homestyle foods. With a tagline like "Farm fresh flavor from our kitchen to your table," Sally Sherman's egg salad promotes a quaint, mom-and-pop energy that we are suckers for. Plus, the company makes kosher and non-kosher versions of its egg salad. Whether your local Stop and Shop stocks Sally Sherman's kosher egg salad will depend on which location of this Northeast grocery chain you visit. We tried the kosher one and as the kids would say, it was mid.

This egg salad goes heavy on the mayo (Hellmann's mayonnaise is used), which makes the texture a little too liquidy. What's worse, the flavor is just boring. Being bland is better than being bad-tasting, but a thoughtful blend of seasoning could have done a lot to elevate the flavor. Sally Sherman skimps on the seasoning, yet she sure packs in a laundry list of chemically-modified preservatives. After egg, the second ingredient listed is a brine made of additives like citric acid, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and nitrogen gas. The third ingredient — unsurprisingly — is mayonnaise.

9. Price Chopper

We were a little let down to see that Price Chopper didn't sell egg salad by the pound at its deli counter. Instead, we found a 16-ounce tub from Price Chopper's Market 32 brand that highlights the store's produce and other fresh products. Market 32 is expanding from an in-house brand to full-scale supermarkets, occupying a handful of vacated ShopRite buildings in Price Chopper's home state of New York. We weren't in love with the texture of Price Chopper/Market 32's egg salad, but the Northeastern-based supermarket did do justice to the mellow yet rich flavors of a classic egg salad.

This taste test reminded us of the validity of personal preference. If you prefer an egg salad with a readily discernible texture contrast, Price Chopper's product might be too smooth for your liking. It's creamy and very smooth, which makes an ingredient list of mostly eggs, mayo, and preservatives read as predictable. This is an egg salad that's good for those who don't want all the crunchy extras, but a touch of salt and pepper feels necessary. It might be too mayo-forward for some, but it's good sandwich material.

8. Trader Joe's

In the world of chain grocery stores, Trader Joe's is like that friend you can always count on. It's mostly logical, keeps up with the times, and maintains a respectable level of taste. Trader Joe's isn't fitted with a commercial deli, so all of its deli-esque offerings are grouped into a refrigerated section of the store — that's where we found the store's egg salad. It's made with cage free eggs and priced reasonably, so we were optimistic — if not a little blinded by our Trader Joe's bias.

Then we opened the container and thought, "Oh, that's different." Different bad? Only the taste would determine that. Trader Joe's goes full tilt with its inclusion of herbs, similar to a Scandinavian-style egg salad. It's also much paler than the average egg salad, meaning it gives more real estate to the hard-cooked egg whites, rather than the yolks.

It's not a bad egg salad by any means, but to enjoy it you need to be willing to embrace a vivacious medley of fresh herbs. We found the herbs a little too distracting. They overpowered the egg salad to the point where it wasn't 100% obvious that we were actually eating egg salad as opposed to some other mayo-based deli salad medley — but again, the taste was nowhere near offensive. One big-time redeemer here was the ingredients. It's completely preservative-free, which after buying up a geographic regions' worth of egg salad, appears to us like a significant triumph.

7. Eataly

Less a grocery store and more of an experience, Eataly selling egg salad wasn't even something we were fully expecting. Yet there in a refrigerated bay of the expansive downtown NYC location sat a small row of crustless triangular-cut egg salad sandwiches packaged to go. Our expectations were on the lofty side.

It's a pretty sandwich, housed in thin slices of tramezzini-style bread with a speckling of finely-chopped chives peeking out beneath the egg and mayo blend. As we bit into it, the initial summation was that it didn't bring much flavor to the table. It wasn't as creamy and savory as other brands, nor was it overly seasoned — both of these attributes left Eataly's egg salad sandwich with a lingering salty taste.

A perusal of the ingredient list didn't expose an obvious dose of sodium, but upon closer inspection, salt shows up as a recurring ingredient in the bread, the egg salad itself, the mayonnaise, and the dijon mustard. There's an appreciated restraint in the use of additives, but also in the use of seasoning. We're not knocking Eataly's prowess in the kitchen, but must admit that egg salad is not one of its signatures.

6. Big Y

Egg salad made in store gets our mark, which is why we appreciated what Big Y has to offer. This grocery store chain, with locations scattered across Massachusetts and Connecticut puts forth a rustic, simple egg salad that doesn't try to be anything but what it is. It's deliciously minimalistic, though we do have a few critiques still.

The absence of seasoning is noticeable here, and as such, this egg salad does leave a hint of an oily aftertaste when eaten on its own. Texture-wise, Big Y gets it right, with charmingly uneven chunks of hard-boiled egg white that looks as if it was broken apart with a rubber spatula. Still, it's as if this version encourages eaters to add the seasoning of their choice. Once you do and put it in a sandwich, it's a satisfying affair. If you're taking Big Y's egg salad home this type of treatment would be easy enough, but anyone eating this egg salad on the go might be left feeling underwhelmed.

5. ShopRite

With a few hundred locations dispersed throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, ShopRite is a grocery store that's known as a trusty pillar where you can find the basics and more. It's also got a respectable delicatessen that sells a respectable egg salad. It's not flawless, but we liked what we ate.

ShopRite doesn't go the zesty route and it's not salty either, but the encapsulating flavor and texture is egg salad 101. The chunks of egg white aren't evenly sliced up, but because ShopRite doesn't bring in herbaceous or spice elements, we're able to focus on something that tastes pure. This would absolutely be a Plain Jane's quintessential egg salad either alone or in a sandwich. 

Eaters looking for that little something extra will be inclined to sprinkle in some salt or pepper, but this egg salad doesn't need anything else. ShopRite was founded as a grocery store co-op in Newark, New Jersey in the 1940s. All these years later, we are still able to taste that straightforward, Americana heritage in its deli-made egg salad.

4. CTown

The CTown name is built on the individual communities it services. Speaking for the Brooklyn, New York location we purchased egg salad from, this grocery store is doing deli staples right. All CTowns are independently owned which means its product prices reflect the neighborhoods where they are located. The egg salad we tried was deli-made, and several dollars cheaper than other chain grocery store competitors. In this case, the lower price did not signify a lower quality.

It's a creamier variety and the taste of mayo is evident, but it doesn't overpower the egg. Seasoning is on the lighter side and a saltier taste is evident, though not unpleasantly so. CTown's egg salad is one that doesn't intrude on any potential accompaniments, making it perfect for a sandwich with lettuce and tomato. We didn't get the low-down on this egg salad's ingredients as the deli label didn't provide those details, but we will say that even after a couple of days in the fridge, it tasted as good as ever.

3. Key Food

If a creamy-ish egg salad with a helping of zest is what you're after in egg salad, we say go to Key Food. The grocer is a New York City standby (it's also posted up in Florida), and in a city where it's hard to separate price from quality, Key Food grants us a sigh of relief. There are a smattering of locations around NYC, which means that the setup of each store will vary. Where we ventured, egg salad wasn't on display in the deli case, but it was packed in-house and for sale in a nearby fridge bay.

Key Food's egg salad expertly toes the line between creamy and dry-ish, and treats the seasoning element in a similarly even-keeled fashion. There is an undeniable influence of Southern egg salad here, but it doesn't polarize by hefting on sweet relish and other potentially pungent accessories. Better yet, we taste the flavors of those often gate-kept ingredients without tasting their full throttle.

Mayo-phobics be warned, the taste of dressing is not hidden here, yet it doesn't cloak the egg salad either. Thanks to a hint of pepper and mustard, the egg salad's flavor is enhanced, not shrouded. Key Food doesn't play it as conservative as other store brands, and that nudge toward boldness certainly pays off.

2. Stew Leonard's

Even after a car ride home, Stew Leonard's egg salad was cold and fresh. The texture was creamy, yet the seasoning was not lost in the thoroughly stirred mix. According to Reddit, one of the best homemade egg salad ingredients out there is onion juice, and when we tasted Stew Leonard's, we immediately thought this might be one of its successful secrets.

Stew Leonard's is a small regional chain with just eight locations dotting New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Perhaps its delicious egg salad speaks to the grocery store's small-batch state of mind. The freshness factor tastes as close to homemade as we got and contains just the right amount of seasoning. Bigger chunks of egg white break up the texture, making it look and taste less puréed than other brands. This contributes to that homey feel and makes for a satisfying sandwich, however, there is one caveat. The ingredients are heavier on preservatives than we would like.

For this reason, we're treating this offering as a once in a while egg salad and not the lunch break habit we would love it to be. The inclusion of Isabelle's dressing is the biggest culprit in the way of genetically modified ingredients. A few other run-of-the-mill preservatives make it into this egg salad, but we imagine that it'd be just as good with a more natural dressing.

1. Whole Foods

In general, Whole Foods has talked a big game for years. It has also carried the stigma of being caustically expensive. When we ventured in to buy egg salad, we came to some conclusions. Firstly, the egg salad tastes of homemade goodness, and secondly, it's no more expensive than what other grocery stores in the area are charging.

The Whole Foods store is clean and bright, and while this has undoubtedly contributed to the magnate chain's snobby stereotype, grabbing a by-the-pound offering of egg salad at the deli was hassle-free and affordable. What we loved about Whole Foods' egg salad was first and foremost the taste. It's creamy yet balanced in texture. Hard-boiled egg whites are diced in near-uniform squares and the yolks effortlessly meld with the richness of the mayo and the sharp hint of dijon.

Whole Foods throws some fresh seasonings in the mix by way of yellow onion, celery, and chive. All are used sparingly and don't compete with the richness of the egg salad. Best of all, Whole Foods stays true to its healthy-living reputation and keeps the ingredients lists mostly preservative free.


We're big egg salad fans with a major soft spot for freshly homemade varieties. Since this feature is all about store-bought egg salad, we compiled our ranking based on which egg salads we would gladly eat again when homemade isn't an option. Taste and texture were the biggest attributes we paid attention to during the taste tests. A good mayonnaise to egg ratio was key, as was hitting just the right flavor notes. Stores with egg salads that incorporated a subtle yet effective blend of seasoning or herbs ranked higher, while egg salads that overdid it on the condiments or struggled with texture balance ranked lower.

As the taste tests were underway, we found stores that make the egg salad in-house had a better product. It tasted fresher, and in a few cases contained less artificial ingredients. Although we prioritized taste and texture in the ranking, preference was given to egg salads that contained less preservatives and other chemical additives.