How To Naturally Dye Eggs Red

Easter is such a special time for all who celebrate. Whether it’s the religious aspect of it or a time to celebrate the coming of spring and seeing loved ones, or just even having a day off from work.

Eggs are the biggest symbol of the Easter season. I’d like to think it’s because as the days start to get longer chickens start producing more eggs again. As the chickens produce more frequently, the eggs start pilling up again and even when you eat them daily, there is still more to spare. What better way to celebrate this abundance due to the coming of spring and food than to have a holiday around it.

Dyeing Eggs Red Tradition

We celebrated Greek Orthodox Easter, and we always celebrated it with eggs, bread and church. As children all we cared about was getting special Easter bread and lots of dyed eggs. We dyed eggs red, of course, and blue, green sometimes yellow.

Red eggs are a huge symbolic part of Orthodox Easter celebrations. Red eggs symbolize the blood of Christ, the hard boiled egg shell symbolizes the sealed tomb of Christ, and then breaking the eggs symbolizes his resurrection.

But the best part and my fondest memorizes was cracking the eggs. It was a game of sorts. Each family member picked one egg on Easter Sunday and then you would ‘compete’ with another family member by seeing ‘whose egg was the strongest’. One person would hold their egg firmly in their palm while the other person would bring down their egg on-top and see whose egg cracked. When playing this game you would compete ‘top to top’ or ‘bottom to bottom’. Once the top and bottom of your egg was completely broken, you would enjoy a nice hard boiled egg along with Easter bread and cookies. But if your egg ‘won’ you would keep going around to the next person who also ‘won’ their last match, and so on, until the final person made it. We never played for a prize or anything like that, just fun.

This is wholesome tradition that I’d love to carry on in my family. Kids absolutely love this game and it’s a fun activity of dyeing the eggs too. It helps make the holiday special.

Toxic Red Food Colouring

Unfortunately, I now know the toxic aspects of food colouring. The special Easter egg dyeing packets are filled with toxic, unnecessary dyes that I can’t knowingly subject my children too. So now what?

Well, back in the day when food colouring didn’t exist – how did Greeks dye their eggs red? I did some testing with naturally occurring food colours and figured it out!

Yellow Onions!

Yellow Onion Skins

One would think it’s beets or tomatoes or something – not yellow onions. But it really is the solution.

While the concept of red eggs representing the blood of Christ makes symbolic sense, it’s also interesting to point out that onions were an abundant crop to villagers. There’s a version of onion soup in almost all European countries and most recipes always call for a yellow onion. So there’s an excess of yellow onion skins around, why not use them to make fun coloured eggs?

The yellow onion skin (more of an orangey-yellow colour), when boiled in vinegar for a period of time then add a hardboiled egg to sit in the solution overnight, the next morning you have a red hard-boiled eggshell.

This combination is the closest to red you will naturally get. It’s not going to have that deep, brilliant red you can successfully achieve with Red 40 food colouring. But why do you need it? Colouring food with naturally occurring foods seems like the better way to go in my opinion.

So for this upcoming Easter season, Naturally Dye Eggs Red with this recipe below! Be sure to check out all of our DBS Farm Wilson recipes here.


Naturally Dye Eggs Red

Stop using store bought, toxic Red 40 food colouring this season and naturally dye your Easter eggs red with yellow onion skins.
5 from 1 vote
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Greek,


  • 1 Stainless Steel Pot
  • 1 Cooling Rack


  • 6 Yellow Onion skins use more for deeper red colour
  • 4 cups water enough to cover the eggs once added
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 6 Eggs as many as you want, ensure there's enough water to cover the amount of eggs


  • Hard boil your eggs the way you normally would
  • Add water, yellow onion skins and vinegar to a stainless steel pot
  • Boil then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat to cool.
  • Once cooled, add in hard boiled eggs in. Make sure they're covered by the dye. You can always add more water to the dye if needed!
  • Move pot to the fridge and sit in dye for a minimum of 6 hours. The longer it sits in the dye, the deeper the colour.
  • Remove from dye and place on a rack to dry. Do not rub/touch. This sets the dye in!
  • Once dried you can gently run eggs with olive oil for shine.


Keyword Dye Eggs Red,, dyeing eggs,, Easter Eggs,
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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