What is the Best Substitute for Eggs in Meatballs?

by Charlie
substitute for eggs in meatballs

Eggs are perhaps the most important component of a meatball meal. They add flavor and consistency, and they ensure that the meal can be properly held together.

But, there are several reasons why you will need something to stand in for the eggs in the meatball meal.

So, what is the best substitute for eggs in meatballs? Mashed potatoes are the perfect substitute for eggs in meatballs since they do just about the same thing. Mashed potatoes add moisture and can keep the ingredients together, ensuring that you have a lovely meal.

An Overview of Eggs in Meatballs

There are a lot of things to consider when making meatballs. One of them is the desire to mold the meat into round shapes and ensuring that the shapes hold properly. The problem is that this isn’t so easy.

As we know, meatballs are made of ingredients like bread crumbs, seasoning, ground meat, and vegetables. These ingredients aren’t known for particularly holding together easily. This is where the eggs come in.

Eggs act as a binder to your meal, keeping your meatballs in the perfect spherical shape and ensuring that the pieces don’t fall off. With their adhesive capabilities, eggs are ideal for any type of meal.

Another important use of eggs is their ability to hold moisture in the meatballs when you’re frying and cooking. An absence of eggs leaves the meatballs at risk of coming out cracked and dry – pieces will easily fall off, and the ground meat will feel quite hard when you’re eating it. Since they have a lot of moisture, eggs ensure that the meatballs can maintain their consistency.

Lastly, eggs add flavor and protein to the recipe -a s well as vitamins, calcium, zing, etc. 

Why Replace Eggs in Meatballs?

  • Egg allergies: If you’re allergic to eggs, you definitely can’t use them in your meatball recipe. So, a substitute will be more ideal.
  • Going vegan: People looking to get on the vegan diet will need to find a proper substitute for eggs in meatballs.
  • Taste differences: Sometimes, you want to try something that tastes different. In that case, you’ll need a substitute for the eggs.

Options for Egg Substitute in Meatballs

Best Overall Substitute for Eggs in Meatballs: Mashed Potatoes

It’s understandable if you never exactly thought of mashed potatoes as the best substitutes for eggs in meatballs. However, you would be surprised to see how well they work. In fact, nothing beats mashed potatoes at all.

With mashed potatoes, you get a starchy and thick texture that perfectly holds ingredients together in the meatball recipe. They also suck in a lot of the moisture content, so the meatballs are soft and chewy when you eat them. So, it’s basically the same thing as having eggs in the meatball recipe.

Another impressive fact about mashed potatoes is that you can use them in both vegan and non-vegan dishes. You can use sweet or non-sweet mashed potatoes, depending on what you would like. As a helpful hint, simply adding cream or butter to the mashed potatoes automatically makes them non-vegan. In savory dishes, add some garlic and you’ll have an even more appropriate dish.

As for application, a quarter cup of mashed potatoes should be sufficient to cover what one egg will do. If the mashed potatoes are rehydrated, you’ll need about two tablespoons to work for one egg. 

With so much versatility and a near-identical operating method, it’s no wonder that mashed potatoes are such excellent egg replacements.

Best Taste-Based Substitute: Buttermilk with Bread Crumbs

As many of us know, buttermilk is primarily made from the milk of cows and other animals (sheep, goats, etc.) You can have fresh or fermented buttermilk, depending on the processing method.

On its own, buttermilk comes with a pale yellow color that eventually becomes white. But, where the magic really happens as far as substituting for eggs in meatballs is when you combine buttermilk with bread crumbs.

When combined, bread crumbs and buttermilk are a winning pair. The buttermilk offers the needed moisture, as well as a base of fluid that allows you to mix things in, while bread offers an additional surface for base materials and some strength to the structure of the entire thing. Whether it’s a dessert or as a cooking component, buttermilk and bread crumbs will do wonders for your recipe for sure.

Remember that buttermilk also has a creamy taste – just like eggs. They might not be entirely similar, but it gets the job done regardless. You want your meatballs moist, even without the eggs. That’s what you get here.

As far as application goes, you simply need to soak the bread crumbs in the buttermilk. This will add the right water content and improve the mixture’s entire consistency. Keep in mind that buttermilk is more fluid than eggs are. So, only use two tablespoons of buttermilk for a single egg.

You should also remember that this only works with the sweet buttermilk. Sour buttermilk will spoil the mixture’s taste and ferment it entirely. So, be careful when buying.

Best Substitute for Vegan Recipes: Unsweetened Applesauce

If you’re a vegetarian and you’ll like to enjoy your meatball meal, you could easily substitute eggs for unsweetened applesauce.

Made from cooked apples, unsweetened applesauce is a plant-based option that works pretty well. It offers the right type of adhesion and moisture for your meatball components, ensuring a soft and delicious meal overall. The best type of applesauce to use here is the sweet one, and you can even find options that are flavored with things like nutmeg and cinnamon.

With applesauce, you have a dairy and gluten-free option. So, if you have an egg allergy or lactose intolerance, you’re more than covered.

When it comes to application, you will need to use three tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce for one egg in your recipe. If you want it to be stickier, you can add half a tablespoon of olive oil to the mixture. This will help to keep other ingredients from falling apart.

Remember to only use the unsweetened applesauce here.

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