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Cooking Secrets: 5 Best Substitutes for Eggs in Meatballs

Finding the perfect egg substitute for your meatballs can feel like a secret quest. We’ve all been there in the kitchen, ingredients spread out, ready to mix up some delicious meatballs, only to realize we’re fresh out of eggs.

No eggs? No problem.

We’re here to share our top five picks that keep those meatballs juicy, tasty, and holding together like best buddies. You might be surprised at how simple and accessible these substitutes are. “Been there, done that,” we say, as we’ve tried and tested each alternative in our own kitchens.

From pantry staples to the more unexpected, these substitutes aren’t just stand-ins; they bring their own flavors and benefits to the table. Let’s get rolling and make those meatballs unforgettable – egg-free.

Why Use Eggs in Meatballs?

why use eggs in meatballs

Eggs are a common ingredient in meatballs.

A large number of people, however, are unaware that the egg they are eating is the reason why their meatball is so moist.

That’s because eggs consist mostly of water and protein – two ingredients that help hold the water within the mixture together.

Once cooked, these proteins coagulate and form a tight bond within the meatball, creating a moist texture.

This ultimately means that eggs help keep your meatballs tender and juicy instead of dry and crumbly.

Adding eggs not only makes sure that your meatballs remain as such after cooking but also ensures they don’t fall apart; this is because of the egg’s binding effect, which holds the outer layer of the meatball together.

When preparing meatballs, the addition of eggs not only ensures that your dish is delicious and moist but that it is also nutritious.

Egg protein contributes to making a healthy dish even healthier.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Eggs in Meatballs

When it comes to making meatballs, eggs are often used as a binding agent to hold the ingredients together.

However, if you’re looking for alternatives to eggs in your meatball recipe, there are several substitutes that can provide the same binding effect.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Mashed PotatoesCreamy texture with mild flavor1/4 cup of mashed potatoes per egg
Buttermilk andMoisture and tanginess with added texture1/4 cup of buttermilk and 1/4 cup of bread crumbs per egg
Bread Crumbs
Chickpea FlourNutty flavor and binding properties3 tablespoons of chickpea flour mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
Plain YogurtCreaminess and slight tanginess1/4 cup of plain yogurt per egg
TofuSoft and neutral flavor with binding properties1/4 cup of mashed tofu per egg

Now let’s explore each substitute in more detail:

1 – Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes

The addition of mashed potatoes is a great way to add an extra layer of texture to your meatballs.

This alternative proves to be simple and effective; all you need to do is mix the potatoes with your favorite herbs and spices, such as garlic powder and onion powder.

Even better: You can even prepare mashed sweet potatoes for a sweeter dish.

If you’re looking for a little extra flavor, try adding fresh parsley or grated parmesan cheese.

This substitute is simple to put together and extremely tasty.

2 – Butter Milk and Bread Crumbs

butter milk and bread crumbs

Buttermilk is a great way to make meatballs.

It has a rather pungent taste, making it the perfect addition to your dish.

You can prepare your buttermilk by adding vinegar and lemon juice (not too much).

Stir well and allow the curds to form.

Once that happens, drain the excess liquid, wrap the curds in cheesecloth, and place it in a colander to drain off any additional liquid.

This substitute is particularly important for vegetarians or those picky about fat content.

You can use buttermilk to replace eggs where the taste will remain just the same.

Bread crumbs are also an excellent addition to providing your meatballs with a crispy exterior.

3 – Chickpea Flour

chickpea flour

Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and minerals.

Chickpea flour is another fantastic alternative that you can use to replace eggs in your meatballs.

It’s important to note that this flour does not contain gluten at all.

It also makes a great substitute for those allergic to gluten or sensitive to dairy products.

One thing is certain: Chickpea flour is a delicious substitute that will add an extra dash of flavor to your meatballs.

Chickpeas come in many different varieties, including garbanzo beans and besan, which you can find in most grocery stores.

4 – Plain Yogurt

plain yogurt

Yogurt is a great alternative for those looking to find substitutes for eggs.

It’s loaded with protein, has some carbohydrates, and is full of calcium.

What’s more: The flavor of your meatballs will never change whether you use yogurt or eggs as a substitute.

This makes it ideal for picky eaters who are unlikely to notice a difference.

Plain yogurt is simple to prepare and can be used as an egg substitute in many recipes.

You’ll enjoy cooking if you decide to use it.

5 – Tofu


Tofu is a popular vegan alternative that makes a perfect substitute for eggs.

While it’s helpful to follow a recipe when using tofu as an egg replacement, you can still do many things with this ingredient.

It has a unique texture that works incredibly well in meatballs – and the flavor will remain the same.

Tofu is an ideal vegan substitute for those who like to cook and eat healthily.

You can find tofu in most grocery stores, as well as health-food stores.


At the end of the day, whichever substitute you choose, your meatballs will turn out succulent and delicious every time.

Follow these steps, and you won’t be disappointed.

If you decide to use eggs in your meatballs, make sure they are at room temperature and gently mixed into the mixture.

Also, add a little bit of cold water or milk; this will help your meatballs stay moist and tender on the inside.

If using bread crumbs, add them right before cooking. This will give your meatballs a crispy exterior.

Whisking them into the mixture beforehand may result in an undesirable texture that you won’t enjoy.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Eggs in Meatballs

Looking to craft delectable meatballs without eggs? Dive into our handpicked selection of the 5 best egg substitutes that seamlessly bind and enhance your meatball recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Butter Milk and Bread Crumbs
  • Chickpea Flour
  • Plain Yogurt
  • Tofu


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for eggs in meatballs
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