The Best Substitutes for Eggs

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We have all been there. When adding ingredients to your mixing bowl for cake or cookies, you suddenly realize you are out of eggs. If you cannot run to the store—or knock on a neighbor’s door—to replace this crucial element in a recipe, it is time to get a little creative.

Fortunately, several options exist for substituting other ingredients for eggs. Whether you are all out of eggs or have eliminated them from your diet, there is no need to worry about what to do when a recipe calls for eggs. Here is a look at what you can do instead when you need eggs for a recipe.

Why Use an Egg Substitute?

Besides simply forgetting to pick up eggs on your most recent grocery run, you may have other reasons for needing a replacement for this particular protein. For instance, if you or someone you are cooking for has an allergy to eggs, you will want to keep them off the menu.

While some people who are allergic to eggs may be able to tolerate them in baked goods, it is not a guarantee. So, it is best to look for a substitute if someone has an egg allergy.

Also, people on a low-protein diet may prefer to use a lower-protein alternative to eggs in certain recipes. Having a few substitutes up your sleeve can be helpful in these situations as well.

Likewise, a vegan lifestyle means cutting out all animal products including eggs from the meal plan. So if you have opted for this exclusively plant-based diet or someone you are cooking for is a vegan, eggs are not included in the meal plan.

When You Can Use a Substitute

There are a lot of different ways to cook eggs including over easy, fried, scrambled, sunny-side up, and more. For straight egg dishes such as these, you may not always be able to find a suitable substitute.

But when eggs are used in combination with other ingredients—such as in baked goods, casseroles, meatloaf, or vegetable fritters—using a substitute is relatively simple. While you may notice slight differences in taste or texture, the overall results likely will not be noticeable in a dramatic way.

What to Look For in a Substitute

Eggs serve multiple purposes in various foods, so when selecting a substitute, consider which function you are looking to replicate. As binders, eggs hold mixtures together so they do not fall apart.

As thickeners, they add bulk to recipes. And as emulsifiers, their yolks contain some amino acids that repel water and some that attract it. Plus, eggs add moisture to recipes.

For this reason, when looking for an appropriate substitute, it is best to choose something with a similar level of moisture to eggs.

And, to keep a recipe consistent, do not forget to take account of volume. A single egg usually provides about ¼ cup of volume, so an egg substitute should provide this much, too.

Egg Nutrition Facts

When comparing eggs to substitutes, it is important to know its nutrition information. Here is what you can expect, nutritionally, from a single egg based on nutrition information provided by the USDA for one large, hard-boiled hen's egg (50 grams).

  • Calories: 78
  • Fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 62mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0.6g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0.5g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Choline: 147mg


Best Substitutes for Eggs

You may not be able to copy an egg's nutrition, nutrient for nutrient, with a substitute. But you can certainly replicate their function in foods. Here are three options to try in your recipes.

Vegan Egg Products

In recent years, the rise of vegan diets has prompted an uptick in plant-based egg products. These pre-made egg replacements, such as JustEgg and Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg, are made with soy milk, mung bean protein, and/or other plant-based ingredients. The intent is to mimic the flavor, texture, culinary uses, and (sometimes) nutrition of eggs.

Vegan egg products can substitute for real eggs in just about any preparation. Some can even replace eggs in omelets and scrambled eggs. Because they have been engineered to imitate eggs in almost every way, they hold up well in baked goods and mixed dishes, providing similar levels of binding and structure.

You may notice slight flavor differences, though. Some faux eggs are infused with a savory flavor that can affect the taste of sweeter recipes like cakes or cookies.

In terms of nutrition, plant-based eggs bear certain similarities to chicken eggs. A serving of JustEgg, for example, provides 70 calories and 5 grams of protein—nearly the same as a real egg. However, sodium tends to be significantly higher in these products.

Unlike chicken eggs, commercially produced egg replacers last for weeks or months in the refrigerator or freezer—so even if they are not your usual go-to in cooking and baking, you can keep them on hand in the longer term as a substitute.

Flax Egg

Before there were commercially available faux eggs, there was this classic plant-based standby. To create a flax “egg,” mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit about 10 minutes to thicken. You can also use the same process with chia seeds.

This egg substitute makes a useful addition to muffins, quick bread, pancakes, and other baked goods. With its sticky texture, it is an especially good binder, holding other ingredients together.

However, because it lacks the structure of real eggs, it will not provide as much support to baked recipes.

And keep in mind that using a flax egg could slightly change the appearance of your finished product. Flecks of brown from the ground flax seeds might not be ideal for light-colored muffins, for example.

Nutritionally, a flax egg is lower in calories and protein than a real egg. It also provides a dose of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and a small amount of fiber.

Applesauce

For yet another plant-based egg replacement, look no further than the standard lunchbox side dish—applesauce. Because applesauce has a similar moisture level to eggs, it can replicate its moisturizing effects in baking. Plus, its mild flavor will not overwhelm the taste of most recipes. Try 1/4 cup of applesauce for each egg needed.

Of course, the nutritional value of applesauce differs significantly from that of eggs. This fruity puree contains very little protein and fat, with most of its calories coming from carbohydrates.

Sweetened applesauce also contains extra sugar and carbohydrates, so be sure to reduce the amount of sweetener in a recipe in this case. If you are out of applesauce, you can even turn to other fruit or veggie purees, such as mashed banana, pumpkin, or avocado.

A Word from Verywell

Just because you are out of eggs—or have taken them out of your diet altogether—does not mean you cannot whip up a batch of your favorite quick bread, dessert, or soufflé. Turn to any of these alternatives—vegan products, flax egg, or applesauce—for a plant-based solution that provides a similar finished product.

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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu vaccine and people with egg allergies. Updated September 22, 2020.

  2. USDA, FoodData Central. Egg, whole, cooked, hard-boiled. Updated April 1, 2019.