With egg prices going through the roof — and the reality that keeping chickens isn't an option for everyone — you may think your grocery budget is screwed. Well, think again! Here are my 21+ favorite egg replacements and egg substitutes for binding, baking, turning into breakfast, and more!
- What Do Eggs Do In Cooking & Baking?
- Egg Substitutes for Leavening & Binding in Baking
- No-Egg Egg Breakfasts
- Egg Replacements for Thin Batters & Egg Wash
- Emulsifying Sauces & Thickening Custards Without Eggs
- Non-Egg Binding
- List of Possible Egg Substitutes & Measurements
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 💬 Reviews
What Do Eggs Do In Cooking & Baking?
When it comes down to it, eggs are pretty magical. They can whip up into a light and airy souffle or a cloud-like meringue. Eggs can also act as leaveners, helping your cakes and cookies to rise.
They can act as a binder to hold ingredients together, or they can add moisture to your favorite baked goods. Eggs are used to thicken custards and puddings, make mayonnaise or Caesar salad dressing, or adhere breading to your fried chicken. And y'all? That's barely scratching the surface of what these little bad boys can do.
It's no surprise, then, that many of the best restaurants in the world require chefs to show off their egg skills when they stage.
As much as I LOVE eggs and all the incredible things they can do in the kitchen, they've gotten insanely expensive lately. If you're on a tight food budget, grabbing a carton of eggs may not be in the cards for the foreseeable future.
So, what's a home cook supposed to do? Not to worry, because I've assembled my favorite egg substitutes for nearly any dish you can think of. Soon you'll be saying, "No eggs? No problem!"
Egg Substitutes for Leavening & Binding in Baking
We all know that most recipes for baked goods call for eggs. That said, you can make some smart and easy swaps to make just about any recipe work for you! Read on to find out how:
- Angel Food Cakes - A potent mix of aquafaba (for the meringue), cream of tartar (to stabilize the meringue), and chickpea powder (to increase the protein content & stability) does an excellent job. Thanks to Monica from The Hidden Veggies for the idea!
- Sponge Cakes - Carbonated water (for aeration & lift), baking soda (a traditional leavener), and vinegar (to activate the baking soda) work together for a light and fluffy sponge. You can also use a combo of buttermilk (regular or vegan), aquafaba, and tapioca flour instead, per this World of Vegan recipe.
- Cupcakes, Butter Cakes & Oil Cakes - You have a little more latitude with regular cakes than you do with angel food and sponge cakes. Feel free to swap in mashed fruit (e.g. bananas, pumpkin, applesauce), sweetened condensed milk, yogurt, buttermilk, silken tofu, flax eggs, and more. The Kitchn ranks them from worst to best.
- Quick Bread, Muffins, & Cornbread - Ditto what we said about regular butter or oil cakes. 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻
- Drop Cookies - Much like regular butter and oil cakes, you have quite a few options. Gemma from Bigger, Bolder Baking offers a great guide to these subs and all the various ways to use them.
- Meringues, Macarons & Meringue Frosting - Hands down, you need aquafaba and either lemon juice or cream of tartar to stabilize. This vegan meringue recipe from Alton Brown is one of my favorites — it tastes like marshmallows from a box of Lucky Charms!
- Brownies & Blondies - Flax eggs, chia eggs, tofu, mashed fruits, and carbonated water are among your possible egg subs. Depending on whether you want cakey or fudgy brownies, you'll need to choose a little differently.
- Enriched Bread (e.g Challah, Brioche) - You'll want to add extra fat (e.g. butter, full-fat yogurt, full-fat milk) and use the rising power of yeast here. Food52 also says that starches (e.g. tapioca, arrowroot, potato) can assist in creating light and fluffy creations.
- Baked Oatmeal - Flax eggs, chia seeds, or even just extra moisture from milk, mashed fruit, or yogurt can all do the trick.
- Casseroles - Yogurt, sour cream, different creamed soups (e.g. cream of chicken, cream of mushroom), and cheese can all work as binders here. For an eggless breakfast casserole, consider using commercial egg substitutes like JUST Eggs or silken tofu.
No-Egg Egg Breakfasts
If you're someone who craves eggs for breakfast, I see you and I AM you. That said, you don't have to give up on the most important meal of the day just yet! Here are some clever swaps you can make:
- Scrambles - Tofu (I prefer silken, but medium or firm will also work), chickpea flour, or liquid egg substitutes can all yield delicious egg-free scrambles.
- Frittatas - Tofu, chickpea flour, and liquid egg substitutes are also your best bet for egg-free frittatas.
- Omelets - Chickpea flour is my favorite, but you can also use tofu or liquid egg replacers. I'm sensing a trend here. 🤔
Egg Replacements for Thin Batters & Egg Wash
Whether you're frying up tempura or making a batch of flapjacks, eggs are generally a go-to ingredient for holding the batter together. Here are some great ways to make sure all your battered favorites are just as delicious as you remember, sans eggs:
- Pancakes - Nut butter, flax or chia eggs, mashed fruit, agar agar, and buttermilk are just a few of the options that Laura from Living Beyond Allergies suggests!
- Waffles - These aquafaba waffles from Minimalist Baker are some of my faves. You can also use most other egg substitutes like mashed fruits, silken tofu, classic leaveners (baking soda and baking powder), buttermilk and more.
- French Toast - Use starch (e.g. cornstarch, tapioca starch, chickpea flour) mixed with nutritional yeast and/or kala namak (a.k.a. black salt) to replace some of the sulfurous, "eggy" flavor.
- Standard Breading - The brilliant minds over at America's Test Kitchen recommend heavy cream as your best bet. Veronica from Pantry and Larder also did a stellar comparison of 9 potential substitutes.
- Frying Batter (e.g. for chicken, fish, poppers, etc.) - Baking soda & vinegar, beer & self-rising flour, or sparkling water & cornstarch are all solid options.
- Egg Wash - I usually reach for milk or cream as my go-to swap. Emily from Thank You Berry Much did a side-by-side comparison of a whopping 21 different options so you should have plenty to choose from!
Emulsifying Sauces & Thickening Custards Without Eggs
Mayonnaise. Ice Cream. Caesar Salad. Chocolate Pudding. All of these delicious things often call for a boatload of eggs. Luckily, people smarter than myself have figured out how to make do without:
- Mayo - While mayonnaise itself is an excellent substitute for eggs in applications like baking or breading, eggs are often used to make it. Try making the milk mayonnaise recipe from Leite's Culinaria, or try making aquafaba mayo instead.
- Hollandaise - Minimalist Baker uses a combo of milk, butter, and flour while Kelly from the Herbeevore uses milk, chickpea flour, and olive oil for hers.
- Cremé Anglaise - Cornstarch is the winning strategy behind the Plant Based School recipe (I'd bet you could also use potato starch or arrowroot here), but you can also use silken tofu.
- Ice Cream - My go-to ice cream base will forever be Jeni Britton Bauer's from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. She uses cornstarch and cream cheese in her recipes, and they always come out flawlessly.
- Pudding - Cornstarch (or other starches), sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, chia seeds, and avocado are all popular egg replacements in the pudding-making world. Deb from Smitten Kitchen makes the best darn chocolate pudding in the world, IMHO. You can also reach for a box of pudding (I much prefer the kind you have to cook vs the instant varieties).
If you're used to throwing an egg in your kofta or meatballs to hold things together, these easy alternatives will make your life much easier:
- Fritters - Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocado, flax eggs, starches, or powdered egg replacers are all solid options.
- Meatloaf/Meatballs - Mayonnaise, flax eggs, or even gelatin can be used. CookThink came up with a list of 19 options, so there's sure to be one for everyone.
- Burgers/Vegetarian Burgers - Flour, breadcrumbs, starches, mashed potatoes, or flax eggs are all good bets!
List of Possible Egg Substitutes & Measurements
As you can see, there are DOZENS of ways to replace eggs in your everyday cooking. Even tricky egg-based dishes like souffles can be made without them! Here's a quick breakdown of potential substitutes for quick reference:
- Applesauce - ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) = 1 egg
- Agar Agar - 1 Tablespoon agar agar + 1 Tablespoon water = 1 egg
- Aquafaba - ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons, or approximately ⅓-1/2 of the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- Avocado - ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) = 1 egg
- Bananas (mashed) - ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons, or about ½ medium banana) = 1 egg
- Buttermilk/Vegan Buttermilk - ¼ cup prepared buttermilk = 1 egg
- Chia Seeds - 1 Tablespoon + 3 Tablespoons Boiling Water = 1 egg
- Flax Seeds - 1 Tablespoon + 3 Tablespoons Water = 1 egg
- Gelatin - 1 Tablespoon gelatin + 3 Tablespoons water = 1 eggPumpkin Purée - ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) = 1 egg
- Mashed Potatoes - ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) = 1 egg
- Liquid Commercial Replacers (e.g. JUST Eggs, Trader Joe's Simply Eggless Plant-Based Egg) - ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons)
- Mayonnaise - 3 Tablespoons = ¼ cup = 1 egg
- Nut or Seed Butter - (any variety will do!) 3 Tablespoons = ¼ Cup = 1 Egg
- Powdered Commercial Replacers - approximately ⅓ ounce (⅔ Tablespoons) = 1 egg
- Sparkling Water - 3 Tablespoons = ¼ cup = 1 egg
- Starches (e.g. potato, tapioca, arrowroot, cornstarch, chickpea flour) - Different starches will have different power, but approximately 1 Tablespoon of starch + 3 Tablespoons of water = 1 egg
- Sweetened Condensed Milk (regular or vegan) - ¼ cup = 1 egg
- Tofu (Silken Tofu or Firm Tofu) - ¼ cup blended (2 ounces) = 1 egg
- Vinegar and Baking Soda - 1 teaspoon baking soda + 1 Tablespoon vinegar = 1 egg
- Yogurt - ¼ cup = 1 egg
While the following can't replace the chemical properties of eggs (e.g. binding, leavening, or adding moisture), they can be used in tandem with the ingredients listed above to replace some of the eggy flavor you crave.
Frequently Asked Questions
While it will depend on your recipe and which replacement you are using, you can follow the general rule that 1 Egg = ¼ cup = 2 oz = 4 Tablespoons = 60 grams.
Most are, but some (e.g. flour) are not.
It all depends on the application, but some of the most popular include aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas), silken tofu, vegan mayonnaise, chickpea flour, or silken tofu.
Did you find this guide to egg substitutes helpful? Do you still have questions? Let me know in the comments below! For more inexpensive and delicious recipe inspiration, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, & Facebook. You can also get all of my newest content delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for my email newsletter!