Are you looking for an egg substitute for meatloaf? Eggs are important to bind the minced meat together in the form of a loaf – without eggs, there will be no loaf as the mix will fall apart even after baking. When you don’t have eggs, you need something other than eggs to bind the mince.
You may require a substitute if you have run out of eggs, someone in your family is allergic to eggs, or you don’t want to use eggs for any possible reason. And if you want meatloaf, you need something that will serve as a suitable replacement for the eggs in the recipe.
Let’s see what you can use – there are actually a host of options.
Best Egg Substitutes For Meatloaf To Try
You can get a whole range of egg replacers in the market. These are packaged and come with directions on the amount to use and how to use. As each egg replacer is different, you will have to go through the directions and use accordingly. Generally, the powder has to be mixed with water in a specified quantity.
While egg replacers are famously used for vegetarian, vegan, and eggless cooking, you can use them in meatloaf as well. That is because they serve as a binding agent – and that is what you want. Some egg replacers have gluten and some are gluten free, so check if you have a gluten sensitivity.
Aquafaba has turned out to be a popular vegan alternative to eggs in all kinds of recipes. Made from liquid in which chickpeas are cooked, this semi-glutinous and starchy liquid has binding qualities. It also whisks well.
Usually 3 tablespoons of this liquid serves as a replacement for one egg. It has binding properties and a fairly neutral taste that will not be evident in the finished product.
3. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a great binding agent. They do not change the taste of the meatloaf and can be used instead of eggs. It is likely that you have potatoes at home. You just need to boil and then peel and mash them.
If you have potato flakes or dehydrated potatoes, you can also reconstitute and use them instead. Potatoes are starchy and starch will help hold the meatloaf together. You can also use other starchy vegetables similarly – sweet potatoes, tapioca, yam, and others.
4. Flax Seeds
Apart from being healthy and nutritious, flax seeds also have other helpful properties. While some just mix flax seeds in water and use, it is better if you grind them and mix with water before using. Keep aside for up to 10 minutes for the starch to develop. This will enhance their binding properties. As flax seeds are dark in color, the mixture may change the color of your meatloaf somewhat.
Another way to extract the mixture is to boil the seeds in water till they give out starch, then strain and use.
5. Chia Seeds
Like flax seeds, chia seeds, too, have some superfood properties. Use chia seeds in the same way as flax seeds. They, too, turn gelatinous when soaked in water or boiled in water.
You can grind them and mix with water or boil them and strain out the seeds before using. The resultant liquid turns out quite starchy and helps bind the meatloaf.
6. Soy Lecithin
Available as a powder, this is a product sourced from soybeans. It is often used in commercial packaged foods of different kinds, thanks to its binding qualities.
You can use soy lecithin instead of egg as a binding agent in many recipes, including meatloaf.
7. Whole Wheat Or All-Purpose Flour
Flour that has gluten always binds ingredients together. You can use flour to replace egg in the recipe, but do add some extra liquid (preferably oil or butter) for the flour to absorb, otherwise the meatloaf will turn out dry.
Use flour judiciously, because you don’t want the loaf to be dry or get a raw taste from the flour. You can also use something like chickpeas flour as a binding agent, and this a gluten free option as well.
8. Olive Oil
You may well wonder how more grease will help to bind the meatloaf. Actually, olive oil has long been used for its nutritional properties and is a healthy fat. It can help keep the meatloaf mixture together. The trick is to add it slowly and gradually, checking the mixture as you go to see if it holds together and then not add anymore.
Since olive oil has a neutral taste and flavor, it will not affect the taste of the final dish.
Mayonnaise already has egg and other ingredients in it. While it serves as a binding agent for uncooked foods, you can also use it in meatloaf instead of eggs. You probably have some mayo lurking in the refrigerator ready to be used.
Even if you use any flavored mayo, it will work, since savory flavors will only improve the taste of the meatloaf.
10. Gelatin Or Agar Agar
Both are setting agents and can work as a replacement for eggs in many dishes, including meatloaf. You need more water for gelatin as for each tablespoon of unflavored gelatin powder, you need 3 tablespoons of water.
If you use agar agar powder, you will use 1 tablespoon of powder and 1 tablespoon of water. Use immediately, as if it is left, it will start setting, even at room temperature.
11. Bread Or Breadcrumbs
Like flour, bread has binding properties. You need to soak bread in water or milk and leave for a minute or two. Then squeeze out the water and use it with the other ingredients for meatloaf. This works much like flour or mashed potatoes, though it does not have a raw taste.
Breadcrumbs, too, can be used, though you may want to add some more liquid or oil to the recipe, otherwise they can absorb too much liquid and the meatloaf may turn out to be dry.
Many starchy powders can be used. These work best when they are mixed with some water or milk. You can use tapioca starch, arrowroot, or cornflour (cornstarch). All these are used to thicken sauces and gravies, so serve as binding agents as well.
Depending on the starch you use, you may mix 1-2 tablespoons in 1 cup of water. Reduce quantities according to your recipe as you won’t need a whole cup of mixture.
What can I use instead of egg?
The best substitute is an egg replacer since these packaged items are specifically made as an alternative to eggs.
Why do I need eggs in meatloaf?
Eggs serve as a binding agent in meatloaf. As a protein, they coagulate rapidly with heat and hold the meatloaf together.
Can I use olive oil instead of eggs?
You can use olive oil instead of eggs. The swap would be using 1 tablespoon of olive oil instead of 2 eggs.
As you can see, there are many ingredients you can use instead of eggs in meatloaf. It is up to you which one to choose. Obviously, you want to use one that you have handy and among these will possibly be mayonnaise, flour, olive oil, breadcrumbs, bread, or potatoes.
The quantity will depend on how much meatloaf you are making and also how many eggs you have to replace. Generally you would need as much of the liquid as would be the eggs in volume. If you are making a larger quantity, then using more than one replacement will work better, otherwise you may not get the results you want. You may need to taste as you go, to ensure that your flavors remain the same when you use an egg substitute for meatloaf.