Last year, Joy and I became obsessed with dyeing eggs using leaves, grasses, spices, and anything else nature threw our way. Commercial egg dyes aren’t the worst thing in the world, but wouldn’t it be great to tint eggs without frightening chemicals and excess packaging? Yes, it would be great . . . but do these “organic” egg dyes really work? Here’s what I tried, with the disappointing results.
Beets. Beets stain everything around them bright reddish-purple, so they seemed like the perfect natural egg dye. However, after many attempts, I could never manage to dye eggs with them. The eggs turned slightly brownish, but that was about it.
Wine. Didn’t work-and wasted wine!
Black beans. I cook a lot of black beans, and they leave purplish stains on my Dutch oven, so I tried dyeing some eggs in my black bean cooking water. They just looked dirty afterwards.
Spinach. In an attempt to dye my eggs green, I tried spinach. Nada.
Coffee. Eureka! Coffee dyes white eggs . . . so they look like brown eggs.
Tumeric. After trying all the above “natural dyes” (and many more), turmeric was the only thing that dyed my eggs. Just add a teaspoon or so of turmeric to the water when you cook your eggs and they’ll turn a delightful shade of yellow.
Joy says she used red cabbage and dyed her eggs a beautiful pink color last year. I wasted an ENTIRE cabbage and it did nothing. So what am I doing wrong? I have tried cooking the eggs with the veggies and spices, soaking them for hours in cooled dye baths afterwards, and adding white vinegar to the concoctions to help the dyes stick to the shells. Nothing works!
Today is a reverse Works for Me Wednesday, which means we can ask others what works for them. So has anyone had good luck dyeing eggs the “natural” way? Please let me know how you did it! For more WFMW questions, head on over to We are THAT family.