Want to add more protein to your meal? Throw a hard-boiled egg on it.

If you're looking for the ultimate meal prep shortcut, look no further than hard-boiled eggs. These highly versatile, protein-packed treats can be utilized and flavored in various methods, take less than 10 minutes to cook, and are less expensive than other protein sources

Hard-boiled eggs last up to a week in the fridge, so if you cook up a big batch over the weekend, you can add them to a salad, a bowl of ramen, and a host of other meals during the week. Word to the wise: To keep from cracking open a raw egg when you least expect it, mark the hard-boiled eggs in your refrigerator with a sticker or a small dot from a non-toxic marker so you can easily differentiate between the two.

Keep reading to find out how you can take your meal prep to the next level, all courtesy of hard-boiled eggs.

Salad toppers

Whether you're making your own salad or want to save on paying by the pound at the salad bar, adding your own hard-boiled egg to a pile of greens is always a good idea. Just slice the egg in half, crumble the yolk with your fork, and you're good to go. To let your egg shine, consider making a composed or chopped salad, like a niçoise or a Cobb.

Sandwich ingredients

You don't have to go full-on egg salad to fit a hard-boiled egg in a sandwich. In fact, a sliced hard-boiled egg adds a nice texture to any sandwich, warm or cold, built between a baguette or pita. Cut the hard-boiled egg in thin slices and stack it atop deli meat, sliced cheese, grilled veggies, or whatever you prefer to stuff between two slices of bread.

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Deviled eggs

Family recipes for deviled eggs are endless, and gourmet versions abound. If you want a ritzy snack, or are in a rush to serve appetizers to last-minute guests, break out some of your pre-boiled eggs, slice them in half lengthwise, and scoop out the yolk. Mix with equal parts Greek yogurt, mayo, or smashed avocado, sprinkle in some salt and paprika, and then add a generous dollop of the mixture back into the egg whites. In five minutes, you have a whole new dish!

Grain bowls

Adding a hard-boiled egg to a grain bowl is an incredibly easy way to throw together a leftover-style lunch. If you don't have any leftover base, cook half a cup of brown rice, barley, farro, quinoa, or whatever you desire, top with any veggies of your choice, and throw a hard-boiled egg or two on top. Drizzle with tahini, hot sauce, or whatever dressing you like. This formula is perfect for a well-balanced meal that also travels well.

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All-day toast

Eggs and toast are a natural combo, but if you don't have time to fry up a fresh egg for your toast, fear not. Add sliced hard-boiled eggs to an avocado toast, buttered toast, or, if you're feeling adventurous, a slice of toast slathered with almond butter. Sprinkle with flax seeds or everything bagel seasoning for an extra crunch.

Ramen toppers

In a hurry? Dress up a serving of instant noodles by tossing a hard-boiled egg on top. No need to even slice it, if you don't feel like it. If you don't have any hard-boiled eggs on hand, you can also cook the egg in the water you boil the noodles with—just drop it in a separate ice bath before you peel it.  

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Soup stir-in

Quartered hard-boiled eggs can make an excellent textural addition to both hot and cold soups, like borscht, gazpacho, cream of potato, or even chicken noodle. Just trust us on this.  

Marinated tea eggs

Chilled hard-boiled eggs in the shell are perfect for making Chinese-style tea eggs. To do so, crack the cold shell with a spoon, so it's shattered in several places (allowing for the brine to soak through), but with the shell still intact. Alternatively, you can peel the entire egg for a more thorough coating. Then, steep a bag of black tea in one cup of water, adding 1/4 cup of soy sauce, and any preferred seasonings. Once the tea is chilled, allow the eggs to brine for at least 24 hours.

Use the finished product to top soups, noodle dishes, or just to snack on. You can also use this method to brine eggs in various types of tea, vegetable juices, and seasonings, for a more unique hard-boiled egg eating experience.

Dip your hard-boiled eggs

Let the eggs be the main attraction by dipping them in everything bagel seasoning, taco seasoning, or whatever flavor you desire. Peckish sells seasonings perfect for eggs, but you can also make your own blends and package them in small bags for on-the-go egg snacking.