Whether you follow a vegan, plant-based diet, simply need a replacement because you ran out of eggs or have an allergy to them, there are plenty of options for substituting eggs in recipes.
Eggs can have different effects on a recipe, and understanding what the desired effect is will help you to choose the right replacement. In some cases, more than one alternative might be needed, if the egg had more than one purpose.
Below I’ve listed common functions eggs fulfill in recipes, along with handy alternatives you can try as a substitute.
As a general rule, it’s good to remember that one medium egg weighs around 60g, so use 60g of egg alternative for each egg a recipe includes.
When eggs are added to other ingredients, the protein in the egg binds with the starch, contributing to the overall structure of baked goods. You can substitute that quality by mixing ground linseed or chia with warm water. You can easily grind the flax or chia seeds in a food processor or buy them pre-ground.
Mix 1 tablespoon of ground seeds with 3 tablespoons of warm water, and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until it forms a gel. Add the gel to your recipe in place of one egg.
#Tip: This technique works with chocolate chip cookies and favorite crepes batter.
Egg white is mostly water, and it contributes to how moist your finished food is. Luckily, there are alternatives you can use to get the same effect. You can add moisture to baked goods with plain or plant-based yogurt, unsweetened apple sauce or even mashed bananas.
#Tip: This technique works with banana breads, pound cakes and muffins.
3. Rich taste and appearance
The benefit of an egg may in a recipe may be enhancing the appearance, or enriching the taste, particularly when it comes to baked goods. Eggs offer a yellow hue and richness to many batters and doughs – think of brioche as one good example. In addition, eggs are partially responsible for the browning you see on cakes when they’re baked. You can substitute eggs with sweet potato or pumpkin puree to achieve these same benefits.
#Tip: This technique works great with with sweet bread like brioche recipes.
4. Coating and binding
By mixing a small amount of water with flour, you can make a paste that works well as a binding agent in place of eggs. Combine flour or chickpea flour with a bit of water, just until it is paste-like. Using this mixture you can, for example, coat vegetables for Airfryer recipes.
#Tip: This technique works great for binding vegetable patties like broccoli or zucchini ones.
5. Adds shine
Egg wash is used to give shine or stick seeds to buns and other sweet and savory baked goods. You can make a vegan egg wash by combining 120ml of aquafaba (the liquid that cans or jars of chickpeas contain) with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. Mix well then brush the mixture onto pastries, buns and more- just as you would with a traditional egg wash.
#Tip: This technique works with any recipe that included egg wash.
6. Adding protein to savory dishes
The last benefit eggs often bring to dishes, and which you may wish to emulate with a vegan alternative, is their protein content. You can use tofu in place of eggs to boost the amount of protein in your dish, making it more satisfying and wholesome.
#Tip: This technique works with your favorite fried rice recipes, vegetable orzottos or ramens.