Egg whites are a common ingredient in cooking and baking, where they can serve all kinds of different purposes. Sometimes egg whites are there to add nutrition. Sometimes they are there to help provide lift, change the texture of the food, or work as a binder to hold your food together.
The challenge when it comes to finding good substitutes for egg whites, when you don’t have egg whites available, or if you can’t or don’t eat eggs, is that you need to find a substitute that serves the same role in the recipe.
Fortunately, there are plenty of good options out there. In this article, we'll discuss the different options for egg whites substitutes, including what kind of recipe each substitute is good for.
Top Egg White Substitutes
Not every egg white substitute is going to be right for every situation. It’s important to make sure you’re looking for the right substitute in the right situation. It’s also important to make sure you know how much of the substitute to use.
One of the tricks, especially when you’re using an egg white substitute in baking, is that different substitutes are going to need different measurements to be the equivalent of an egg white.
We'll try to include that information where possible, but it's also a good idea to double-check the ratios you need for any egg white substitute before you start cooking or baking.
Aquafaba is one of the most common replacements for egg whites, especially in baked goods, and it’s also one of the few replacements that can also be used to create meringues, marshmallows, and foams. Other flavoring agents are a good idea when you're working with aquafaba, though in most desserts like meringues and marshmallows, the sugar provides enough flavor.
It’s also a good substitute in baking, making pancakes, mousses, icing, or frosting, but it's not a substitute for scrambled or fried egg whites or as an additive in casseroles.
Aquafaba is easy to get or make at home. It’s the result of cooking legumes in water, usually chickpeas. Of course, if you have canned chickpeas at home you can just use the liquid in the can. That’s pre-made aquafaba.
Otherwise, boil water with your legume of choice (though we’d recommend chickpeas or something similar that doesn’t have a lot of color. Black beans can work, but they’re going to have a stronger color and flavor than a white bean.) Make sure you fully cook the beans and then reserve the water after the fact. Voila, aquafaba.
You can even freeze aquafaba for later use. Just pop it in an ice cube tray like any other water and then put the cubes in a bag for later use.
Flax Seeds and Water
Flax seeds are a common egg white substitute, and, like chia seeds, they can also taste good in baking while providing extra fiber and protein. They’re a great ingredient to keep around, but you’ll need to mix them with water and give it some time to absorb if you’re going to use them as an egg white replacement.
The flax seeds are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants and lignans, which makes them a valuable nutritional tool.
You can also use ground flax seeds and water for a smoother texture. 1 tablespoon of flaxseed powder with 3 tablespoons of water can replace 1 egg white. Roughly the same measurements will also work for whole flax seeds, but it will need to soak a little longer to give you the texture you need.
Chia Seeds and Water
Chia seeds are a great option for baked goods, smoothies, and in other recipes where the egg is fully mixed in with the food. Nutritionally, chia seeds are high in fiber and protein, which means they can also fulfill some of the roles of an egg white.
1 egg white is equivalent to about 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water.
It’s important to let the chia seeds and water sit for a while before you use them. The chia seeds produce a natural thickener as they absorb the water, creating a clear bubble around each seed. You should stir the mixture a couple of times while it soaks in to help prevent clumping.
Soak the seeds for 10-15 minutes before using. If you’re only looking for a nutritional replacement, but don’t need a texture replacement, like in some smoothies or even oatmeal, you can skip the soak. The extra water can help stop the chia seeds from absorbing too much water from your food.
Agar, sometimes called agar agar, is a good substitute for egg whites, though it’s a little less common in food than some other ingredients on this list. You want to make sure you’re getting food-quality agar since one of the uses of agar agar powder is as a culture medium for culturing bacteria.
Agar is vegetarian and is a common ingredient in egg replacements designed for vegetarians and vegans.
The powder can be used as a thickener, in addition to as an egg white replacer. It’s best for recipes that call for beaten egg whites, rather than plain egg whites since you need to whip the agar with water to fully incorporate it. 2 tablespoons of agar powder mixed with ½ cup of water is equivalent to a single egg white.
Unsweetened Applesauce or Apple Puree
Applesauce is a fantastic addition to baked goods. It’s a good binder, works as a reasonable leavener, and can also add a little bit of sweetness. Apple is fairly neutral in flavor, so it works for breads, dessert baking, and plenty of other applications.
1 egg or egg white is equivalent to ¼ cup of apple puree.
Yogurt is a good option for getting the right texture, adding some savory umami flavor, and adding moisture to baked goods. It’s a great option for baking non-dessert foods. The biggest change you need to make is that you might need to increase your baking times slightly to fully cook the meal.
1 egg or egg white is equivalent to ¼ cup of yogurt.
Looking for savory breakfast ideas? We have a ton of savory brunch recipes that can help.
Like apples, mashed bananas are a great substitute for egg whites, and works well in most dessert baking, but it does have a stronger and sweeter flavor than most of the substitutes we’ve mentioned. You might want to slightly reduce the amount of sugar or other sweeteners in your recipe to compensate.
1 egg or egg white is equivalent to ½ banana.
Silken tofu has a similar texture to cooked egg whites, making it one of the few substitutes for scrambled eggs or fried eggs. You can use it in the blocks it comes in, blend it up for a softer texture closer to scrambled eggs, or even take slices off the block and cook them that way.
It can also be used in baking, but often results in a much denser texture.
1 egg is equivalent to ¼ cup of silken tofu.
Looking for breakfast food inspiration? Our breakfast casserole recipes can help you get started.
Coconut oil is often used in baking as a vegan egg substitute. It's a good mix for batters but doesn’t work in other kinds of cooking or baking. Other oils work, but coconut oil tends to be the closest flavor match. However, adding a lot of coconut oil can make your food taste greasy. Consider mixing it half and half with another replacement for recipes that call for more than one egg white.
1 egg white is equivalent to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
Pumpkin puree works well as a binder and a mild leavener for baking like cookies, brownies, and quick breads. It will also work in cakes, but it doesn’t work as well in dense foods. The sweet and savory flavor of this replacement can come through, but it’s usually a good complement for the natural flavor in those recipes.
1 egg white is equivalent to ¼ pumpkin puree. Just remember that the pumpkin puree will give your baking a slight orange tint.
Liquid Egg Replacements
Liquid egg replacements at the grocery store also work well. Just follow the instructions for your replacement, they will all have slightly different measurements for what equals one egg.
That said, these are going to be the best replacements for cooking recipes and eggy breakfasts, but the other replacements on this list might work better in baking. Some experimentation might be needed to figure out the right ratios for different recipes.
Liquid egg replacements are a great option for making these delicious and healthy egg white recipes!
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda are a good combination for baking if you're looking for a relatively flavor-neutral option. However, you might need to add a tiny amount of additional sweetener to compensate for the vinegar.
This combination is a good replacement for baking anything that’s supposed to have a light and airy texture. Mix them in the batter for whatever you’re making to take advantage of the reaction aerating the batter.
1 egg is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Buttermilk helps provide similar fats and protein to your baking, while also working as a leavener. However, it can alter the flavor slightly. ¼ cup of buttermilk is equivalent to 1 egg.
Xanthan gum is a common food additive that is often used to create a thicker texture. It can also be used to improve the flavor of some foods, which makes it a good option for people who don’t like other egg white substitutes.
Xanthan gum can work to create a lighter texture in baked goods, working as a leavener similar to egg whites. You won't want to use it as a replacement for an egg white omelet or scrambled eggs though. It can also be a good additive for gluten-free recipes since it works as a binder and can help overcome the challenges that come from not including gluten proteins.
Xanthan gum can be used in a 1:1 ratio. A teaspoon of Xanthan gum is equivalent to 1 egg white.