Eggs Colored with Natural Dyes and Marbled Eggs


Coloring eggs naturally is something we’ve done for years in our family. And I’m happy to see more of you “coming into the fold”, requesting recipes for coloring eggs with natural dyes. So as promised Matt Swaim on the Sunrise Morning Show, here again are recipes that I hope will become traditions in your family.  Some dyes use ingredients you most likely already have. They don’t take long to make, so can be done the day before Easter if necessary.

During Lent I save my yellow and red onion skins in my old hand-carved wooden salad bowls. These will be the bases for beautiful, natural colored eggs.

Along with the onion skins I use red cabbage, turmeric, and beet juice. 

I always let the little ones help. They watch in awe as they learn their first lessons in food chemistry. Depending on the dye, colors range from amber to brick red to teal blue and even sun gold yellow and the palest pink.

All natural, all environmentally friendly, all fun! 

I have my parents, Mary and Charlie Nader, to thank for making us such “green advocates”. Mom colored some of our eggs with onion skins. More than just coloring, my Dad would remind us they were a way of passing down a humble history. 

Naturally colored Easter eggs.

The methods for producing dyes are pretty much the same, except for beets and turmeric. Here’s a guide:

In a saucepan, place as many papery outer skins of yellow or red onions that you have. Cover with up to a couple inches of water.  

Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook until onion skins have colored the water, about 10 minutes.  

Use this same method for red cabbage  (just chunk it up]. 

Strain. For every cup of liquid, add a teaspoon or so of clear vinegar. 

Put boiled eggs in.
You’ll get various degrees of color depending upon how long the eggs sit in the dye. 

Yellow onion skins produce eggs that are amber to dark orange.
Red onion skins produce eggs that are brick/brownish red.

Beet juice turns the eggs pale pink. I just strain out the juice from canned beets and use that. Easy peasy! 

Red cabbage is the winner: It makes beautiful teal to dark blue eggs but these take the longest time so you may want to put them in the refrigerator until they turn the shade you like. 

Turmeric colored eggs require a different method:

Stir 3 tablespoons turmeric in 2 cups water in saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove, let cool but don’t strain.  Add 2 teaspoons or so of clear vinegar.

Place boiled eggs in dye, stirring to coat.  When you remove the eggs, gently run them very quickly under running water to remove spice particles. Turmeric makes the eggs brilliant yellow.

Lavender eggs

Stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar to each cup of juice.

Marbled Eggs

Fill cup with 1 tablespooneachof clear vinegar, canola oil and dye of choice

Fill cup with warm water (just enough to cover boiled egg)

Stir and quickly drop egg into water, then quickly remove

Dry egg with paper towel


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