Egg Substitute For Meatballs: 7 Replacements That Will Work

Eggs are common in many homes, but it is inevitable that there will come a time that you cannot find any in the kitchen. This can be frustrating, especially when there is an urgent need, such as when you have to make meatballs for your guests.

Why do you need eggs for your meatballs in the first place? It won’t add a distinct flavor. Rather, this is important because it is what will bind the meat. Without an egg, your meat would end up being flaked and it won’t be easily formed to a circle.

Even without an egg, however, you can make delicious meatballs. In the rest of this guide, we will let you know exactly the best choices when it comes to egg substitute for meatballs. Many of these alternatives will be easy to find in the kitchen.​

Best Replacements For Egg

If an egg is nowhere to be found in the kitchen, this should not be a reason to instantly ditch your meatball recipe for another one. All that you need is to be more resourceful. Be armed with the right knowledge so that you’ll know what to use if you cannot find an egg.

1. Corn Starch

Cornstarch is one thing that is ever-present in many kitchens because of its many uses. It is fine and powdery, which comes from the endosperm of corn kernels. It can be used in more ways than one, such as for a thickening agent, anti-caking agent, and most importantly, for binding.

When using cornstarch, use only the right amount. If you use an amount that is more than what is necessary, there is a tendency for meat to be chalky. This can result in a flavor that is bland, and worse, it will no longer bind.

Do not just sprinkle cornstarch at the top of the ground meat and expect that it will bind once formed in circles. A better thing to do is to combine two tablespoons of cornstarch with three tablespoons of water. Once it is thick, mix it with ground meat and start shaping into circles.

It is important to point out, however, that cornstarch is not the same as corn flour. 

2. Arrowroot

This is another form of starch that can be an excellent egg substitute for meatballs. It is chosen by many above cornstarch because it is asserted that it is healthier. Being nutritionally-dense, this is one thing that you should have at home, especially because of its multiple culinary applications.

One thing that makes this a great choice is that it won’t lead to lumping. In addition, it won’t also significantly alter the flavor. The taste of meat is also the first thing that will reach your taste buds and it will be hard to notice that there is arrowroot in there.

3. Mashed Banana

While this can indeed be an effective choice for an egg substitute, the problem is that it comes with a sweet flavor, which will depend on the type of banana that will be used. It can make the recipe sweeter, so you should be careful when using mashed banana.

Start by mashing the banana in a clean container. Once it is thick and consistent, this is the time that you can mix it with ground meat. Use only a small amount at first and just gradually increase it once the ingredients are not binding well with each other.

4. Flaxseed

This is another substitute that many people may find surprising. Being around for more than 6,000 years, it is known as one of the best superfoods because of its abundance of health benefits. It is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids. It is also rich in fiber and protein.

The outer part of flaxseed is called epiderm, which is also the one responsible for 8% of its weight. It is a gooey material, which is comparable to gel. With this, there is no wonder why it can bind meat in an excellent manner similar to what the sticky substance in an egg does.

Aside from the fact that flaxseed is super healthy, it is also a great choice for egg substitute because it is simple to use. All you have to do is combine three tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of ground flaxseed. This will turn gelatinous and will act as an excellent binder for meat.​

5. Chia Seeds

Like flaxseed, this is also a commonly used substitute for an egg because of its binding capacity. This is an edible seed that originally comes from Mexico. In the Mayan language, chia literally translates to strength, which is the reason why it is known as one of the best superfoods.

Adding chia seeds to your recipe can be a good thing because it is a rich source of fiber, protein, phosphorous, and Omega-3 acids. When used to substitute egg, however, only small amount is needed, which is why it may not necessarily be as healthy as in other recipes.

In a small bowl, combine three tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of ground chia seeds. Take note that it should be ground, otherwise, it will not create a paste. Once it becomes thick and consistent, combine it with your meat and it will help it to bind well.

6. Nut Butter

This is another superfood that is common in the kitchen of most people who are into weight loss. It is a delicious treat that can be used in smoothies or bread, among others. It is guiltless because it does not contain hydrogenated oils and unhealthy sugar.

There are many nut butters that are available in the market. Choose one that has the specific flavor that is desired. However, you have to be careful to not overdo the use of nut butter. This will result in not only an overpowering flavor but can also make it creamy.

In a bowl with meat, simply add a tablespoon of your choice of nut butter. Mix it thoroughly, making sure that the butter will attach to the meat. Once you feel it is sticky and consistent, you can now start shaping your meatballs.

7. Guar Gum

This may not necessarily be present in most homes, but if you have one, consider yourself lucky as you can use it as egg substitute for meatballs. This is especially an excellent choice if you want to prepare a gluten-free recipe.

Guar gum is a common food additive. This is a common choice for emulsification and thickening. Aside from food, it is also used in different industries. It has high fiber content and low calories, but these benefits won’t really matter when used in meatballs because you only need a small amount.

Guar gum is a plant-derived powder, but there are still arguments on whether it is safe or not. Based on current state of use, however, it would be safe to say that it is indeed safe. All that you need is to add water in the powder. This will instantly turn glutinous. Mix it with meat and it will be easy to make its shape round.


No egg in the kitchen? No need to worry! The replacements mentioned above will surely be great egg substitute for meatballs. They will be equally effective in acting as a binding agent, making sure that meat will keep its shape.

Have you tried using any other substitute for egg in making meatball? Did it prove to be effective? Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below.

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