Eggs are a very common ingredient in baking and cooking. They are not just for taste, but are also used for structural purposes such as binding, leavening, emulsifying, adding moisture, browning, sealing, and coating of dishes. However, some people choose to avoid eggs, whether it be religious beliefs, moral beliefs, or for dietary purposes.

If you’re one of these people or are cooking for someone who does not include eggs in their diet, a recipe that calls for eggs at first glance can seem impossible to make. Replacing milk in a recipe with soy milk? Easy. But what about eggs? Luckily, the road of egg-free cooking has been paved by culinary experiments and trials!

Read on for what you can use in both baking and cooking in lieu of eggs. Each serving listed is the equivalent of one egg. Simply increase the amount of ingredients for every egg listed in the recipe.

 

Substitute Eggs in Baking

 

Chia Seeds

1 chia egg = 1 tablespoon chia seeds + 1 tbsp water

Whisk in a bowl, let sit for 10-15 minutes before adding it to your recipe. Ground chia seeds soak up water better and faster, and don’t show up as seeds in your baked goods.

Works best in bread, muffins (may cause them to be a bit more dense, however), cookies, pancakes, waffles

Flax Seeds

1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (ground flax seeds) + 3 tbsp water

Whisk in a bowl, let sit for 10-15 minutes before adding it to your recipe. Flax seeds must be ground before they are mixed with water. Works best in bread, muffins, cookies, pancakes.

Aquafaba

Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas, also known as chickpea brine. It provides a light, fluffy texture instead of the dense banana bread texture that you’d yield with chia or flax seeds. The key and most important part of using aquafaba in recipes is that (for a fluffy cakey consistency) it should be whipped into stiff or semi-stiff peaks the way egg whites would be whipped.

1 aquafaba egg= 3 tablespoons aquafaba (before whipping)

1 aquafaba egg white= 2 tablespoons aquafaba (before whipping)

Aquafaba as an egg substitute works best in cakes, quick breads, macaroons, meringues, waffles, pancakes, cookies, meatballs, veggie burgers. It can also be used unwhipped as an egg wash.

Fruit/Vegetable Puree

You can use banana, applesauce, sweet potato puree, pumpkin puree, or squash puree. Just note that the flavor of the puree may seep into the actual recipe! So you’d want to use banana for brownies, as an example. 

1 fruit/vegetable egg= ¼ cup mash or puree 

As an extra tip, add ⅛ tsp baking powder per egg replaced in muffins or quick breads that would benefit from a bit of a lift. This method is best for quick breads, muffins, cookies, pancakes, bars.

Silken Tofu

Silken tofu adds a creamy texture and can be used in savory and sweet dishes alike while increasing the protein and fiber in the dish!

1 tofu egg= ¼ cup silken soft tofu, pureed.

Make sure it is silken, the type that has a high water content, to get the correct consistency. It’s relatively flavorless, and is best in dense baked goods such as brownies, cookies, quick breads, and denser cakes.

Nut Butter

1 nut butter egg= 3 tablespoon nut butter

This can be peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc. Tahini also works as well. Note that the type of nut butter can affect the flavor of the finished product and would probably be best in a sweeter type of baked good such as peanut butter cookies. Creamy variations are recommended but getting creative and switching it up is highly encouraged!

Carbonated Water 

Possibly one of the most easy baking substitutions, carbonated water provides that fluffy texture in muffins and cupcakes while keeping moisture. The carbonation traps bubbles which creates that fluff in bouncy baked goods.

1 carbonated water egg= ¼ cup Carbonated Water

Best for cakes, cupcakes, quick breads.

Store Bought Egg Replacer

There are many store bought egg replacers that you can use as well, and there is no shame in buying a powdered egg substitute for your baked goods! Most of them are shelf stable so you can always have egg substitutes in stock!

1 store bought replacer egg= Follow directions on package.

Some brands include: Bob’s Red Mill, Ener-G, Namaste Foods, Vegg, Just Egg, & Neat.

These are best for cakes, quick breads, cookies, bars, pancakes, waffles.

 

Egg Substitutes for Cooking

 

Many of these ingredients are overlapped from the baking section, but there are many that are best left with savory dishes.

Fruit/Vegetable Puree

Instead of using applesauce or banana, savory dishes that call for eggs can include squash or pumpkin puree, avocado, tomato paste, or mashed white potato to avoid that fruity undertone.

1 vegetable puree egg= 3-4 tablespoons or ~¼ cup vegetable puree. (2 tablespoons if using tomato paste).

Start with 3 tablespoons and add in another tablespoon if you feel the mixture needs more moisture. Best for burgers, meatballs, fritters.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds also work for savory dishes- anything that needs binding and moisture!

1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (ground flax seeds) + 3 tbsp water

Whisk in a bowl, let sit for 10-15 minutes before adding it to your recipe. Best in burgers, meatloaf, meatballs, and the like. 

Aquafaba

Because aquafaba is not a sweet ingredient like mashed bananas or applesauce, it is excellent in savory dishes as well!

For most savory dishes, aquafaba does not need to be whipped because it is being used as a binder. Try it as an egg wash, for meatballs, meatloaf, and fritters.

Extra-Firm Tofu 

Crumble up a block of extra firm tofu, saute it with vegetables and spices, and you have the perfect substitute for scrambled eggs or dishes such as fried rice. To intensify the egg flavor, try adding a dash of black salt (kala namak)- it is a type of salt that is high in sulfur, which is what gives eggs that “eggy” taste and smell. Find it online or at your local Indian grocer.

Store Bought Egg Replacer

Store bought egg replacers are meant to be versatile, so they usually can be used in savory as well as sweeter dishes in the same way. Best for quiches, scrambles, omelets, fried rice, scrambles.

 

Egg Whites or Yolks?

Some recipes call for only egg whites or eggs yolks, both of which have unique culinary properties. For egg whites, your best bet is aquafaba. As mentioned above, 3 tablespoons for each egg white will be perfect! For egg yolks, soy lecithin is a great substitute. Soy lecithin is a food additive derived from soy. It’s actually also found in dietary supplements, ice cream, infant formulas, breads, and other convenience foods. In small amounts it does not raise too much of a health concern. Soy lecithin is a great egg yolk replacer because it works well as an emulsifier or lubricant in food. Use 1 tablespoon for every egg yolk.

 

Final Thoughts

Egg-free cooking may seem scary and unimaginable at first, but there are actually many ways to replace eggs in recipes that yield the same experience! Make sure to experiment with recipes and find what works because, as mentioned above, some replacements may work best with others. Happy cooking/baking!

 

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