Aquafaba Egg Replacer For Binding Vegan Meatballs & Making Meringues

September 11, 2017

Aquafaba egg replacer is a remarkable, inexpensive, cholesterol-free way to replace eggs in recipes.

So what is aquafaba egg replacer and where can you find it?

It has been under my nose for a very long time, but I didn't discover it until late 2015.

Aquafaba is the liquid from a carton of cooked garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. All you do is strain the liquid from the beans into a bowl and that is your aquafaba.

You can also create your own aquafaba egg replacer by soaking 1 cup of dried chickpeas in 3 cups of water overnight. Drain the chickpeas and add them to 3 more cups of water and bring the water to boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer for about 50 minutes or until the chickpeas are soft and tender. Remove the chickpeas from the water, but allow the cooking liquid to reduce to about 1 cup. This is the aquafaba egg replacer. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Aquafaba was discovered in 2014, when a French chef named Joel Roessel, discovered that the water from canned beans could be used as a foaming agent. At the same time, he experimented with using chickpea liquid as binder and stabilizer. In 2016, the media caught wind of it and it started to catch on.

Fresh delight

Aquafaba Egg Replacer For Creating Meringue

Due to its ability to mimic the semblance of egg whites in cooking, aquafaba egg replacer is a fantastic replacement for making meringues and marshmallow like this scrumptious vegan meringue recipe.

One of my favorite ways to use this liquid gold is to bind and hold together the ingredients in vegan meatballs or vegan burgers.

Another delightful thing is an aquafaba egg when used in recipes, has no bean flavor whatsoever.

It also has very few calories. Only three to five calories per tablespoon with trace amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

The general consensus is that 3 tablespoons of aquafaba equals one whole egg and two tablespoons of aquafaba equal one egg white.

So the next time you want an inexpensive, low-cholesterol version of eggs I highly recommend this vegan aquafaba egg replacer.

I also hope you enjoy this vegan meatball recipe that I demonstrated on Facebook live.  The accompanying sauce is a little spicy, but a little goes a long way. Often I will dip the vegan meatball in the sauce before cooking. You could also serve these vegan meatballs with a tahini or tomato sauce.

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Aquafaba Egg Replacer For Binding Vegan Meatballs Recipe

Vegan Meatballs with Spicy Chile Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The chili sauce can be super spicy depending on the heat in the dried chiles. Ancho chilies is one of most widely used because of its sweetness and mild heat. Pasilla can be much hotter. You should also use plastic gloves when handling any chili.
Serves: 4
  • 1 15-ounce carton of cooked chickpeas, rinsed but save liquid
  • 2 tablespoons aquafaba liquid (liquid from chickpeas)
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
Chile Sauce
  • 2-3 Dried Pasilla, Ancho Chilies or Chipotle Chilies, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar or Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • Salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ - ½ cup vegetable broth
Yogurt sauce
  • ½ cucumber thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tablespoons Sherry vinegar or Red Wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup non-dairy plain, unflavored yogurt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
Vegan Meatballs
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse until finely chopped
  3. Form into small balls and place on baking sheet lined in parchment paper. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until firm and brown.
Chile Sauce
  1. Toast chile sand cumin seeds in a dry small saute pan over medium heat. Cook until fragrant and the cumin seeds are golden, approximately 2-3 minutes, tossing occasionally. Let cool.
  2. Finely grind the chiles and cumin seeds in a spice mill, then transfer to a food processor or blender.
  3. Add vinegar, paprika, maple syrup, garlic and vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings adding more maple syrup if too hot. Add more vegetable broth if too thick
Yogurt Sauce
  1. Toss the chopped cucumber in a medium bowl with the lemon zest, lemon juice, water and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Spoon a little yogurt onto a dish and a little chili sauce. Place meatballs on top. Garnish with chopped mint.


7 thoughts on “Aquafaba Egg Replacer For Binding Vegan Meatballs & Making Meringues

  1. Cholesterol is made in the liver, so only things that had a liver have cholesterol-meat, milk and eggs. Chickpeas do not have a liver so aquafaba is cholesterol free, not low in cholesterol. Nice article otherwise.

    1. Hi Cindy – I actually don’t say aquafaba has cholesterol – This is what I said “Aquafaba egg replacer is a remarkable, inexpensive, cholesterol-free way to replace eggs in recipes.” Hope that helps. Nancy

  2. Bruh “So the next time you want an inexpensive, low-cholesterol version of eggs I highly recommend this vegan aquafaba egg replacer.”

  3. is there a standard amount of aqua faba per egg (Like 2T of aquafaba=1 egg)?

    And, do you know, does the ‘aquafaba to egg’ ratio vary with cooking methods… baking a cake versus making meatballs?

    so much of the time its still experimentation with aquafaba I think but glad theres more and more info so i don’t have recreate the wheel and do test recipes first.
    Thanks for the info!

    1. Hi Andrea – Three tablespoons of aquafaba is equivalent to about one whole egg, while two tablespoons of aquafaba is equivalent to about one egg white. Keep in mind that a can of chickpeas yields about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of this liquid, so about eight to 12 tablespoons.

      Aquafaba should ideally be the same consistency of egg whites to function as a proper egg replacement. If it seems very watery, you can thicken it slightly by simmering it on low in a saucepan on the stove until it’s reduced by about a quarter.

      1 whole egg = 3 tablespoons aquafaba
      1 egg white = 2 tablespoons aquafaba

      Hope that helps and thanks for being part of our healthy community!

  4. Can aquafaba be used in ways other than baking? For example, I make a crunchy wrap using a high-fiber tortilla filled with vegetables sautéed in a little olive oil. I wrap it up and sear it in a little more olive oil. The wrap holds together better if the flap has some egg white smeared over it, like glue.
    Another example is using aquafaba to coat food when breading it, instead of using eggs.
    Will it work in these instances?

    1. Hi Jenny and thanks for stopping by – Yes I use it for breading. I have never tried it to hold a wrap together so I can’t completely comment on that. I did see online that some people have used it as that kind of binder.

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