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Spice Up Recipes: 5 Best Substitutes for Lecithin

Ever hit a snag in your kitchen groove because you ran out of lecithin?

Yeah, it’s that weird ingredient that makes you scratch your head at the grocery store.

Before you toss your apron aside in defeat, check this out.

We’ve got the lowdown on five super substitutes that’ll keep your cooking game strong.

No more staring at recipes wondering how to keep that sauce silky or those baked goodies just right.

Stick around, and you’ll see how swapping out lecithin is not only easy but might just crank up the fun in your food experiments.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lecithin

Lecithin is a common ingredient used as an emulsifier in various recipes, but if you don’t have it on hand or prefer alternative options, there are several substitutes available.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Sunflower LecithinPlant-based, mild flavorUse an equal amount of sunflower lecithin as a substitute
Guar GumNatural thickening agent, gelling propertiesUse a small amount (start with 1/4 teaspoon) of guar gum
Egg YolkEmulsifying properties, adds richnessUse 1 egg yolk for every tablespoon of liquid lecithin
Xanthan GumThickens, stabilizes, acts as a binderUse 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of liquid
MustardCreamy texture, slight tanginessUse an equal amount of mustard as a substitute for liquid lecithin

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Sunflower Lecithin

sunflower lecithin

It’s extracted from sunflowers using the cold-pressed method.

Sunflower lecithin is natural and, therefore, a healthy option.

If you want to substitute it for liquid soy lecithin, then it’s the perfect choice as it’s available in both forms (powder and liquid).

You can use it to make spreads, pastry products, bread, and confectionery.

It’s also a popular choice for making vegan butter as it prevents oil and water separation.

If you don’t want to add soy to your diet and are looking for a vegan option, get some sunflower lecithin.

  • Key Characteristics: Sunflower lecithin is a plant-based alternative to traditional lecithin. It offers similar emulsifying properties and has a mild flavor.
  • Use an equal amount of sunflower lecithin as a substitute for liquid lecithin to maintain the desired results.

2 – Guar Gum

guar gum

Guar gum is also a suitable replacement for lecithin as it’s vegan, natural and beneficial for health.

It’s produced from legumes known as guar beans.

It’s a versatile ingredient, and you can use it in many different dishes.

It’s particularly useful in food manufacturing since it’s dissolvable and water absorbable.

Hence, it’s often employed as a food additive.

You can add it to gluten-free baked items, salad dressing, soups, puddings, yogurt, gravies, and sauces.

It’s also present in breakfast cereals, cheese, vegetable juices and kefir.

Besides food, you can find guar gum in medicines, cosmetics, textiles and paper goods.

  • Key Characteristics: Guar gum is a natural thickening agent that provides gelling properties to recipes.
  • It can be used as a substitute for lecithin, especially in recipes where thickening and binding are crucial. Start with a small amount (around 1/4 teaspoon) of guar gum and adjust as needed.

3 – Egg Yolk

egg yolk

If you eat eggs, they are a suitable alternative for lecithin as the yolks contain the substance.

Eggs are also readily available on the market.

So, they can be pretty handy in times of emergency.

In most recipes, you can use egg yolks that ask for lecithin like mayonnaise, sauces, soups, baked products, and spreads.

However, when adding to a sauce for thickening, see that you don’t have to heat it too long or you will have cooked eggs.

Egg yolk, however, contains a high amount of fat and so if you are on a strict diet, you may opt for the powdered version.

It isn’t an option if you strictly follow a vegan diet.

  • Key Characteristics: Egg yolks possess natural emulsifying properties and add richness to dishes.
  • They can be used as a substitute for liquid lecithin in recipes where the flavor of eggs complements the dish. Use 1 egg yolk for every tablespoon of liquid lecithin required in the recipe.

4 – Xanthan Gum

xanthan gum

The fermented, dried, and ground corn sugar makes Xanthan gum.

It’s a gluten-free ingredient and acts as a thickening and emulsifying agent.

So, if you run out of lecithin or don’t want to use it, Xanthan gum can be a suitable replacement.

It is ideal for most baked products but can work equally well in sauces and dressings.

You can also find it in fruit juices, syrups, ice creams, gravies and gluten-free products.

Since xanthan gum comes from a plant, it’s a natural, healthy and suitable vegan option.

Those who don’t eat eggs or soy lecithin can use it instead.

It’s also present in other products like toothpaste, laxatives, and medicines.

Sometimes, people with very dry mouths also use it to substitute for saliva.

Medically, xanthan gum may also help in maintaining and lowering blood sugar.

  • Key Characteristics: Xanthan gum is a versatile ingredient that thickens, stabilizes, and acts as a binder. It can be used as a substitute for lecithin in various recipes.
  • Start with 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of liquid in the recipe. Adjust the amount based on the desired consistency and thickness.

5 – Mustard


Mustard is the final alternative for lecithin in this article.

It was a hard choice among several ingredients.

It won for two reasons; firstly, it’s the favorite condiment worldwide, and secondly, it’s a suitable vegan option.

Everybody can therefore use mustard as a replacement for soy lecithin.

You can use it as a dressing for dishes like mashed potatoes, pasta, roasts, mussels, eggs, fish and much more.

You can also use it on salads and other vegetable dishes.

It can also work well in some sauces and soups if you love its flavor.

You can use Dijon, dry ground mustard powder and yellow mustard in different recipes.

  • Key Characteristics: Mustard provides a creamy texture and adds a slight tanginess to dishes. It can be used as a substitute for liquid lecithin, especially in dressings and sauces.
  • Use an equal amount of mustard as a substitute for liquid lecithin, keeping in mind that it may add a unique flavor to the final dish.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lecithin

Searching for the ideal substitutes for lecithin? Your quest ends here! Explore our carefully curated list of the 5 best alternatives that seamlessly replace lecithin in various recipes. Upgrade your cooking game with these excellent lecithin substitutes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Sunflower Lecithin
  • Guar Gum
  • Egg Yolk
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Mustard


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