Eating Vegan

The 8 Most Delicious Vegan Egg Substitutions for Cooking and Baking

Photo: Stocksy/Nadine Greef
Peanut butter and oats are to your pantry as eggs are to your refrigerator: These pantry staples are not only delicious, but ubiquitous across recipes and cuisines and packed with nutrients.

Thanks to modern food science, being able to appreciate the many benefits that eggs have to offer in the kitchen is no longer relegated to those who consume animal products; today, vegans and plant-based eaters have a bounty of egg substitutes to choose from. Are all of these options created equal? Absolutely not—which is why we took one for the team and tried all the vegan egg substitutes available (particularly for those who love to swap out eggs when baking), evaluating them for flavor and texture. We also enlisted dietitians to weigh in on each one's nutritional profile. Here are the eight vegan egg substitute options worthy of your eggless omelets, scrambles, and plant-based baked goods.

8 best vegan egg substitute options, according to dietitians

1. JUST Egg

If you’re looking for an egg replacement for your morning scramble or for a breakfast sandwich, JUST Egg is our all-around favorite in terms of both flavor, texture, and nutrition. It looks, scrambles, and tastes very similar to the real thing, but is made from the protein-rich mung bean (which also happens to cook up like eggs). Mung beans are packed with plant-based protein and zero cholesterol,  and they’re a sustainable crop that has been harvested around the world for millennia. To give JUST Egg its telltale yellow color, the brand uses actual food ingredients, including turmeric and carrot.

2. Pumpkin Puree

Maggie Michalczyk, RDN, is a fan of all things pumpkin (she’s the creative mind behind Once Upon a Pumpkin), and for good reason. “Pumpkin puree can actually be used as an egg replacer in most baked goods,” she says. “The texture of pumpkin puree is what makes it a good egg replacer, plus it adds more vitamin A, C E, potassium, and fiber to whatever you’re making. I always have a can of Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin in my pantry for adding to recipes or using to make my recipes vegan. In some recipes, depending on the other flavors, you might not even be able to tell that there's pumpkin in there when using it as an egg replacement.” To get your ratios right, you’ll want to substitute a quarter cup of pumpkin puree for one egg.

Put this swap to this test by trying out this delicious high-protein pumpkin bread recipe:

3. Tofu

For another egg replacement that you can use in a scramble, stir fry, or in vegan baked goods, try tofu. “A quarter cup of puréed silken tofu can replace one large egg and can provide you with similar amounts of protein as a real egg,” says Melissa Bolona, the founder of Beauty & the Broth. “Plus, tofu is cholesterol-free and an excellent source of iron, calcium, and potassium.” If you’re going to bake with tofu, Bolona recommends using it in cakes, muffins, brownies, and quick breads.

4. Unsweetened applesauce

Applesauce is another excellent vegan egg substitute, says Bolona. “A quarter cup of apple puree can be used as a substitute for one egg in most recipes.” Apple sauce is packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and its super easy to digest. One of our favorite ways to use applesauce in baking? This recipe for two-ingredient apple coconut cake bars.

5. Ground flax seeds or chia seeds

Those nutrient-rich seeds that you keep around for adding texture (and fiber) to the tops of your yogurt parfaits and smoothies can also be used as vegan egg replacements. “Mix one tablespoon of ground chia or flax seeds with two to three tablespoons of water until fully absorbed and thickened to form a recipe ready gel that is equivalent to one egg,” she explains. “If leavening is needed, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder can be added for each egg being replaced.” These compounds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and B vitamins. (BTW, we love the flax and chia seed options from Bob’s Red Mill.)

Try out flax eggs by making this vegan skillet apple crisp recipe:

6. Mashed bananas, cooked sweet potatoes, or avocado puree

If you puree one of these fresh fruits or vegetables in a blender or food processor, you’ll not only gain their nutritional benefit in recipes, but also have a solid egg alternative for using in baked goods. (Just make sure to be gentle when pureeing to avoid liquefying them.) “Bananas, sweet potatoes, and avocados are high in various minerals, vitamins, and fiber content, and you only need a quarter cup to replace a large egg,” says Bolona. Just keep in mind, she warns, that the finished product may take on the flavor of the produce that you’ve added.

Sweet potatoes are the thickening agent in these delicious egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free brownies:

7. Aquafaba (bean water, chickpea water)

For fans of the Great British Bake Off, aquafaba is a familiar vegan egg substitute. But what exactly is aquafaba? As Bolona tells us, “Aquafaba is the liquid that remains after cooking beans or legumes. Because its consistency is similar to raw egg whites, it is regarded as an excellent substitute for egg whites in recipes such as meringues, marshmallows, macaroons, and nougat.” If you’re going to use aquafaba in your recipe, use three tablespoons of the liquid for every egg. “Although aquafaba has less protein than egg whites, it has less cholesterol and contains healthy fats such as linoleic and oleic acids,” Bolana notes.

8. Agar-Agar

“Gelatin is not suitable for vegan diets, which makes agar-agar—obtained from seaweed or algae—another viable replacement for eggs in recipes. It's able to take on the binding role of eggs extremely well,” says Bolana. To create the equivalent of an egg, combine a tablespoon of agar-agar with a tablespoon of cold water. Then, add two tablespoons of boiling water and whisk until frothy. Use it in baked goods, or try agar-agar in this recipe for easy vegan mozzarella cheese.

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