Eggs are versatile and incredibly healthy. So it’s no surprise they’re a popular food for many people.
They’re also used for several purposes. In baking, they contribute to the color, structure, flavor, and consistency of what you bake by acting as a binding, leavening, moisturizing, flavoring, and appearance agent.
Eggs are also useful in cooking homemade and hotel meals, beauty products, and more.
But not everyone enjoys consuming or using eggs, nor does everybody react well to eggs. In fact, in infants and young children, eggs are the second most common food allergy. Some outgrow it by the age of 3-5 while others may take until age 16 to outgrow these allergies.
And then there are vegans—individuals who choose not to eat dairy, meat, eggs, or any other animal product. They avoid consuming animal products for ethical, environmental, and health reasons.
If you’re a vegan, and you want to find substitutes for eggs that can work for your meal or diet plan, you’ll be happy to know that there are many options you can pick from.
We’ve rounded up 15 of the best egg alternatives you can use going forward.
What To Know About Egg Alternatives
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Eggs are an integral part of our lives, but vegans don’t use eggs in their meals or other foods let alone their daily lives.
Most egg replacers can help you swap out eggs for something else, but there’s no one-size-fits-all alternative for them. So you’ll likely need separate leavening agents, especially if you’re baking—like baking powder or baking soda.
And these egg alternatives affect the texture and taste of your food a bit differently—meaning the best egg replacer for a birthday cake may not work for a batch of cookies.
If you’re not one to experiment with alternatives, you could go with egg-free versions of whatever you want to eat or make on several vegan platforms out there. That’s because there’s someone already testing or has tested those alternatives for you.
Plus, when you stick to substituting ingredients, you could compromise the integrity of the original recipe you’re following. Ultimately, it will take some trial and error to replace eggs, but most people are happy living an eggless, vegan life.
Let’s look at some benefits of using egg alternatives for vegans.
Why Go For Egg Alternatives
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There are several obvious reasons why vegans don’t eat eggs. But mainly, they avoid eating any foods of animal origin.
Eggs come from poultry, meaning they’re an obvious choice to eliminate from their daily diet. However, some vegans are incorporating certain types of eggs into their diet.
Other reasons for choosing a vegan diet are for health reasons: eating more plants or reducing animal-based foods comes with some perceived benefits like lowering the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
A study in 15,000 vegans found that they had a 15% lower risk of cancer, healthier blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and weights than omnivores.
Besides health, some vegans opt to eliminate eggs because they believe it has a favorable effect on the environment. That’s because vegan diets often include dairy and processed plant-based meat substitutes.
Plus, vegans eat more food to meet their daily calorie needs.
So what benefits do egg alternatives bring to vegans? Here are the main ones:
- Reduced risk of food poisoning from eggs that aren’t hen or British lion stamped
- Better option for vegans concerned about animal treatment in the egg industry
- Lower cholesterol levels in egg alternatives
- Lower risk for chronic ailments owing to cholesterol
Best Egg Alternatives For Vegans
So, what can you use in place of eggs?
Before you pick one of the best egg alternatives from our list, you need to consider a few factors to find the perfect substitute:
- Type of egg you want to emulate—fried, scrambled, or poached
- Nature of dish you’re preparing—savory or sweet
- Method of cooking—baking, boiling, stewing, or grilling
Each of these factors has an impact on the outcome of your food. That’s why we’ll explore the best egg replacers that vegans can use in their diet.
1. Apple sauce
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Applesauce is a puree made from cooked apples—with or without peels—and may include some sweeteners or spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.) depending on your tastes.
For vegans, applesauce is a suitable alternative for eggs and nutritious too as it’s good for stomach issues. Plus, it contains natural sugar and has no animal elements in it.
Apples are also fat free and good for pastries. You can use it for your desserts and other dishes. And if you need a binding agent, you can use applesauce in place of eggs.
Applesauce also adds moisture and flavor to your pastries. You can use a quarter cup of applesauce in many recipes, but make sure you pick the unsweetened type because it has less sugar.
2. Pumpkin, ripe/mashed banana, or avocado
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More great foods with high nutritional value include ripe bananas, avocados, and pumpkins. Bananas contain biotin, which you’ll find in eggs, while avocados have protein like what you’d get in an egg.
They’re also great binding alternatives for eggs, and leave rich flavors in your food.
Don’t like the flavor of banana? You can substitute avocado or pumpkin as worthy alternatives, without affecting the flavor of the final product.
Ideally, a quarter cup of mashed bananas will be a good replacement for one egg in your recipes. The only downside is the mild banana flavor but that’s negligible.
Baked goods made with pureed bananas, avocados, or pumpkin may be dense and moist so they may not brown as deeply as you expect. However, they’re good in cakes, brownies, quick breads, and muffins.
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Aquafaba is a wonderful substitute for protein, especially if you struggle with protein metabolism. It’s commonly referred to as bean water, and you can use it in recipes—ice cream, marshmallows, or mayonnaise—that require an egg as an ingredient.
The amount of aquafaba you’ll use will change based on the recipe you’re preparing.
However, you can use three tablespoons—which is the equivalent of one egg. As a liquid, aquafaba takes the form of gelatin and blends well with the rest of the ingredients in your recipe.
In fact, it’s the same liquid you’ll find in canned chickpeas and has a similar consistency to that of raw egg whites. This makes aquafaba an excellent egg replacer in many recipes.
4. Chickpea flour
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If you are looking for a gluten-free ingredient, chickpeas may be a good fit. A cup of chickpeas contains about 14 grams of protein.
The protein in chickpeas is necessary for muscle, bone, and skin health. If you’re vegan or cutting down on meat consumption, you can use chickpea flour as an alternative to eggs.
With a leavening agent, chickpea flour is a suitable replacement for eggs in pastries, cakes, and cookies. Three tablespoons of chickpea flour mixed with three tablespoons of water is equivalent to one egg. Chickpea flour is also good for pasta with a sauce of your choice.
The flavors and textures, together with the protein and fiber contents, are worth more than having one egg.
5. Ground Flaxseed or chia seeds
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Flaxseed is a common ingredient in many products: energy bars, cereals, and more. Flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids and help in cholesterol reduction. Plus, flax seeds are good for the heart.
Ground flaxseed mixed with water provides an excellent binding agent. If you mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water and let it sit for five minutes, it will work well with no-bake desserts.
Chia seeds are also highly nutritious with omega-3 fatty acids, unique plant compounds, and fiber, among other elements. You can grind the seeds at home or buy ready-made ground chia seed meal from the grocery store.
You can whisk together a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds or chia with 45 grams of water until they’re thickened and fully absorbed. This way, the meal, or baked goods you prepare, will be dense, along with a nutty flavor that works best for bread, muffins, cookies, waffles, and pancakes.
6. Yogurt or Buttermilk
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Yogurt is made from fermented milk and comes in a variety of flavors and brands. It is rich in nutrients and you can take it as a snack or dessert. You can also use it as an ingredient in meal preparation.
Plus, it’s a suitable replacement for eggs, especially in pastries. Unsweetened plant-based yogurt makes the pastries moist. All you need is a quarter cup of yogurt—which is the equivalent of one egg.
If you prefer not to use yogurt or you don’t have any, you can use buttermilk. Probiotic yogurt also goes well with breakfast cereals, and together with buttermilk, are wonderful substitutes for eggs.
Plain yogurt—flavored and sweetened varieties—may alter the flavor of your recipe.
You can use a quarter cup (60 grams) of yogurt or buttermilk for each egg you need to replace, especially when making muffins, cakes, and cupcakes.
7. Baking soda or apple cider vinegar
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When combined, baking soda and apple cider vinegar produce a fuzzy reaction. For most vegans who don’t eat or use eggs, these ingredients are common in the treats they consume.
Apple cider has several benefits including improved digestion. Plus it may lower blood pressure. When used with baking soda, it makes a good egg alternative for vegans.
If you intend to bake a light and fluffy cake, you can mix both ingredients for great results. They’re also good raising agents and can replace one egg when you combine a quarter teaspoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
This is a purely plant-based substance that’s categorized as algae or seaweed. It makes for a suitable egg alternative for vegans who don’t consume gelatin.
Gelatin is also a great gelling agent that you can substitute for an egg, but it’s an animal protein from the collagen of cows and pigs. For this reason, vegans can’t eat gelatin.
Agar has no color or taste and doesn’t alter the flavor of what you’re cooking or preparing. You can also use it with sauces or soups. Just add one tablespoon of the powder to one tablespoon of water and you have your egg equivalent.
You can get it as an unflavored powder in many stores or online, and get a slightly stiffer texture on your baked goods.
9. Nut butter or almond butter
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Nut butter is a blend of nuts and water, which is usually crunchy or creamy. Nuts are plant-based generally, so you’ll find them in a vegan diet.
You can use it as an alternative to eggs as it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. And you can take it as a snack or use it in certain recipes.
The nutty flavor may affect your finished products’ flavors including cookies, brownies, and pancakes. You can also use them on bread as a spread or in pastries, and other baked goods.
10. Silken tofu
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Tofu is soy milk that’s condensed, processed, and pressed into solid blocks. It comes in different textures based on the water content – the more water you press out of it, the firmer the tofu you get.
Silken tofu is softer in consistency because it has a higher water content. Plus, it’s a great egg replacer. You can use a quarter cup of pureed silken tofu to replace one egg.
The tofu is relatively flavorless, but you can make your baked goods heavy and dense, meaning it’s good for cookies, brownies, cakes, and quick breads.
11. Arrowroot powder
If you don’t like cornstarch as a vegan, you can use an alternative like arrowroot powder. The flour is good for baking or cooking, as a snack on its own, or with pies, pancakes, and sauces.
You can use arrowroot powder as an ingredient in curries too and add two tablespoons of it with three tablespoons of water to create a good egg replacer.
Arrowroot is high in starch, which is extracted from the plant’s roots and sold as a powder, flour, or starch. It’s akin to corn starch and you can use it in baking, cooking, and various household products. It’s also available online or in many physical stores.
12. Vegan cheese
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Cheese usually creates a mouth-watering experience. You can find vegan cheese that’s made from plants and is highly nutritious with low levels of fat.
For instance, cottage cheese, which you can spread on bread, toast, or a sandwich. And it’s a good egg alternative that adds flavor to your meals.
13. Vegetable oil, water, and baking powder
When you combine these three ingredients, you get a powerful egg-like mixture, which imitates what one egg can provide for your baking or cooking needs.
You can use it to leaven scones, bread, and may work on cakes. If you plan to use the mixture, add one and a half tablespoons of vegetable oil, one teaspoon baking powder, and one and a half tablespoons of water. That’s the equivalent of one egg.
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Oats aren’t just a breakfast cereal. You can use them as egg alternatives in waffles, pancakes, or other pastries.
They’re very rich in fiber, healthy, and you can get them easily. They’re also good binding agents so if you love vegan recipes, there’s no limit to the alternatives for eggs that you don’t eat.
Oats are available everywhere so you don’t have to sweat over not finding vegan egg replacers for your dishes or meals. Plus, it works as a snack or breakfast alternative.
15. White beans
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White beans are a great replacement for eggs and add color to your salads or sandwiches. You can mash the white beans and add a bit of avocado to enhance the flavors.
White beans are one of the many varieties of common beans domesticated in North and South America. These beans have an earthy, nutty flavor, making them perfect egg replacers in your soups, chilis, stews, and other dishes.
Several types exist, though the most common are cannellini beans, which are also called white kidney beans. You also get navy beans or pea beans, with a milder flavor, and are used in certain soups and baked beans.
Great Northern white beans are smaller and have a nutty yet delicate flavor for soups and casseroles. There are also Baby lima beans or butter beans, common in soups and stews for their rich, creamy texture.
White beans are loaded with protein, provide vital fiber, may promote healthy body weight, and support digestive health.
Their mild flavor makes white beans a versatile and popular ingredient. Soak in water for up to eight hours before cooking so they’re softer and reduce bloating and gas.
If you’ve decided to switch to a vegan diet, but you want to eliminate eggs and don’t know what to replace them with, these 15 best egg alternatives offer so much.
From contributing to the overall structure, flavor, color, and consistency of your baked foods, to providing the texture you desire, these egg alternatives help you know where to start.
The good news is you no longer have to go back to eggs or feel stumped about finding suitable replacements for them.
Diana Paul is a certified nutritionist who writes for leading health blogs. She is a master herbalist, yoga teacher, forager, and wild-crafting writer She is focused on helping people transform life blocks to opportunities. Based in NYC, she often holds health seminars and lectures.