How To Boil Quail Eggs

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If you’ve never cooked with quail eggs before, you might be wondering how to boil quail eggs. The good news is that quail eggs are not hard to cook at all! You can fry, poach, or boil these tiny eggs, and they’ll taste wonderful every time.

quail eggs hard boiled in a small white bowl.

There are few things as cost-effective as eggs. You can make your own omelets, pancakes, and even ice cream by using just a few eggs.

Cooked quail eggs are a delicacy in many parts of the world. They are small, so they can be cooked quickly. Quail eggs can be boiled, fried, or scrambled. They are a good source of protein and are low in calories.

Quail eggs can be boiled for several minutes or seconds, depending on your level of yolk-perfectionism. Whether you want hard boiled or soft boiled quail eggs, this guide will walk you through the process of how to boil quail eggs so you can enjoy them in all their glory.

Choosing the right pot

When boiling eggs, it is important to use the right pot and the right amount of water. Boiled eggs are easy to make, but sometimes it can be a little tricky getting your yolk perfect (without any green parts)! 

  • Small pot. For quail eggs, a small pot is best so that the eggs don’t move around too much. Use enough water to cover the eggs by 1-2 inches.
  • Saucepan. You can also use a saucepan instead of a pot to boil quail eggs so that the water will boil faster. Just make sure the eggs are completely covered by water!
  • Kettle and small pot combination. Another option is to boil some water in a kettle and pour it into the small pot, turning on the stove to medium-high heat. This way you prevent the water from boiling vigorously and you achieve just the right amount of heat.
white pot with boiling water and ice bath bowl on side.

How to boil quail eggs

Quail eggs are amazing. They’re small enough that you can boil a dozen of them at once. However, when it comes to boiling them, things can be tricky. Quail eggs are very small with thin shells, meaning they’re much more delicate than chicken eggs.

Follow these simple steps on how to boil quail eggs so you can enjoy this great snack:

Prepare the pot and water

Bring the water to a gentle boil over medium heat. Do not let the water get too hot or it will overcook the eggs.

Boil quail eggs

Gently place the quail eggs in the boiling water and cook for 2 ½ – 3 minutes for soft boiled quail eggs, 3 – 3 ½ minutes for medium-boiled eggs, or 3 ½ – 4 minutes if you prefer your quail eggs hard boiled.

adding quail eggs to boiling water.
boiling quail eggs in white pot.

Remove when cooked

Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the eggs from the boiling water.

Soak in an ice bath

Place them in a bowl of ice water to cool. If you don’t have ice, you can run cold tap water over the eggs to cool them down quickly.

adding hard boiled quail eggs to ice bath.
cooling hard boiled eggs in ice water.

Carefully peel

Once the eggs are cool enough to handle with your bare hands, peel them gently so they don’t break.


You can enjoy the eggs immediately with a sprinkle of salt. They are perfect for a snack or side dish. Or, store in the refrigerator for later.

Tips for boiling quail eggs

Because quail eggs are small and delicate, just a few simple changes can make a big impact! Follow these tips to ensure yours turn out perfect every time, whether you prefer your quail eggs hard boiled or soft:

  • Use fresh eggs. You should be using fresh quail eggs or the eggs will float in the water.
  • Salt the water. If an egg happens to crack open, the white will solidify on contact with the salt water. This minimizes mess and prevents the egg from shooting out a streamer of white while still cooking. A splash of vinegar in the water would work as well.
  • Begin with room-temperature quail eggs. To prevent eggs from cracking, choose room-temperature eggs. Place them in a warm bowl of water for several minutes before boiling.
  • Cover the quail eggs with at least 1 inch of water. Whether you prefer your quail eggs hard boiled or soft boiled, the key to getting the perfect consistency is using the right amount of water. If you use more water than necessary, your eggs will take longer to cook. If you use too little water, your eggs will cook too fast and become tough.
  • Don’t skip the ice bath! Plunging boiled eggs into a bowl of ice cold water makes them easier to peel. This simple trick also firms the egg white proteins, making them less prone to sticking to the shells.
  • Sort quail eggs by size. Quail eggs weigh between 8 and 15 grams. Smaller eggs will cook more quickly than larger ones. One gram of difference can change the cooking time by roughly ten seconds per gram. Cooking them by batch according to size will give you even results every time.

How to easily crack and peel quail eggs

Now that you know how to boil quail eggs, it’s time to get peeling! The process is similar to that of chicken eggs: both have a rough and tough outer layer with a softer, more delicate interior. But that’s where the similarities end.

When peeling a quail egg, be sure to handle it gently because it’s smaller and more delicate than a chicken egg.

peeling a hard boiled quail egg.

Below are three ways to crack and peel a quail egg easily:

  1. Tap it. Crack each egg by tapping it gently on something hard. Remove the shells as well as the membranes that cover the egg.
  2. Roll it. Gently roll each egg on a flat surface to crack the rest of its shell. Roll it lightly, though, or you’ll crush it! Peel off both the shell and the inner membrane.
  3. Tap and pierce it. Use a small, sharp knife to tap the shell. Then, carefully pierce the membrane beneath to start removing the shell and membrane.

Nutritional content of quail eggs

After mastering the art of boiling quail eggs, you may want to learn more about their nutritional content. Quail eggs taste similar to chicken eggs, but they are much smaller — about one-third the size. Despite this difference in size, they actually contain about the same amount of nutrients!

  • Quail eggs have a higher proportion of white to yolk, and the yolk is the most nutritious part of any egg.
  • Quail eggs provide more fat and protein per ounce than chicken eggs.
  • One quail egg contains a significant amount of vitamin B12, selenium, riboflavin, choline, and iron — all for a mere 14 calories.
quail eggs hard boiled in two small white bowls.

Serving suggestions

Quail eggs are a tasty and healthy way to add protein to your diet. Whether you like hard boiled or soft boiled eggs, you can enjoy them in a variety of ways.

  • As a bite-sized snack. Their small size makes quail eggs perfect for adults and kids alike, and their nutritional qualities make them a healthy choice for the whole family.
  • Add to salads. Hard boiled quail eggs make a tasty garnish for salads. Try them chopped up with avocados, some green veggies, and cheese for a light and refreshing meal.
  • Make mini Eggs Benedict. Serve soft boiled quail eggs with a toasted English muffin and Canadian bacon for a tasty spin on a classic dish.
  • Use in a sandwich. Simply chop up the eggs and mix with mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and green onion. Spread between two slices of bread and dig in!
  • Enjoy as-is. A little salt and pepper is enough to add flavor, or you can add a dash of paprika.

FAQs on how to boil quail eggs

If you don’t see your question answered below, don’t be afraid to let us know in the comments!

How do you boil a perfect quail egg?

To boil the perfect quail egg, bring a pot of water to a gentle boil over medium heat. Do not let the water get too hot or it will overcook the eggs. Gently place the quail eggs in the boiling water and cook for 2 ½ to 4 minutes, depending on how you prefer the yolk to be cooked. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the eggs from the boiling water to an ice bath to cool. If you don’t have ice, you can run cold tap water on the eggs to cool them down quickly.

How do you peel a soft boiled quail egg easily?

First, plunge the eggs into an ice bath immediately after they have been cooked. This process makes the shells easier to crack and peel. It also firms up the whites, making them less likely to stick to the shell. Tap or roll the cooked eggs to crack the shell (or pierce it with the tip of a knife), then carefully separate the shell from the inner egg.

How long should I boil quail eggs?

That all depends on how your like your quail eggs to be cooked! Use this handy guide for the perfect center:

  • 2 ½ to 3 minutes for soft boiled
  • 3 to 3 ½ minutes for medium
  • 3 ½ to 4 minutes for hard boiled
quail eggs in small white bowl.

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