That being said, eggs are perishable—meaning they won’t exactly last as long as that box of instant oatmeal packets—and in case you haven’t heard, they’re quite the hot (plus pricey) commodity these days. All to say: Having a solid and suitable array of egg substitute options on hand is top of mind.
So next time you’re running out of eggs, know that there are other smart swaps that work just as well. Registered dietitian and gut health expert Amanda Sauceda, RD, recently shared six healthy egg substitutes that are full of nutritious benefits of their own.
When it comes to which substitute to go for, it depends on what you’re making. Here, Sauceda gives tips on how to know when to use each of the six best egg substitutes.
6 best egg substitutes a dietitian recommends
1. 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water
Flaxseeds are full of fiber and Sauceda says work best as an egg substitute for dense baked items, like waffles or muffins.
“The trick to using a flax egg is that you have to use ground flax and let it sit for at least five minutes so that it forms a gel,” Sauceda says. Then, just work it into the batter as you would a normal egg.
2. 1/4 cup buttermilk
“Buttermilk is a good egg substitute in cakes because buttermilk won’t make your cake dense,” says Sauceda. If you don’t have buttermilk in the fridge, she says you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk (or nut milk), stirring, and letting it sit for five minutes.
3. 1/2 mashed banana
If you want your egg substitute to also add a hint of sweetness to your food, Sauceda says mashed banana is a good way to go. She likes using it in when making pancakes. “I add peanut butter on top and it’s a winning combo,” she says.
4. 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water
As far as egg substitutes go, Sauceda says chia “eggs” work similarly to flax eggs and can be used in many of the same ways, in dense baked goods. “Chia seeds also need to sit in water for five minutes to gel up,” she adds as a cooking tip.
5. 1/4 cup silken tofu
When using tofu as an egg substitute, Sauceda says it’s important to make sure it’s silken tofu specifically because it’s lighter and has a higher water content than other types of tofu. “If you want a flavorless egg substitute, this is a good one to use,” she says. If you’re a big scrambled egg fan, you can use silken tofu as a substitute here too, mixing in veggies and cheese to beef it up a bit.
6. 1/4 cup applesauce
“Applesauce is best used when you only need to sub out for one egg. Otherwise if you use too much applesauce the structure of your baked item might not turn out right,” says Sauceda. Similarly to mashed banana, applesauce is also a way to add a little sweetness to your recipe, without adding relying on pure sugar.
Eggs are full of vitamins and healthy nutrients, so if you have them to use, awesome. But if not, one of the six best egg substitutes on this list will make sure you aren’t being held back on what you’re trying to make. After all, who doesn’t want more baked goods right about now?
Still have eggs on hand? That’s a good thing: