Can't find eggs? Substitutes to use in baking, scrambles and more

From bananas to avocados, here are our favorite tried-and-true egg alternatives.

If you just used your last egg on breakfast or can't find eggs at the grocery store, don't be discouraged from baking your next masterpiece.

There are plenty of things you probably already have in your kitchen that you can sub in for eggs, which are much pricier than usual right now. TODAY Food turned Doug McNish, vegan chef and author of "Vegan Everyday: 500 Delicious Recipes" who assured us that there are plenty of ways to make sure you won’t miss eggs in recipes, no matter your motivation.

Of course, eggs play a pretty scientific role in dishes — they are responsible for all that binding and leavening — and there are dozens of substitutions out there, so you need to pick and choose based on the flavors in the recipe (for example, bananas are great binders for baking, but for burgers, you probably want to go with avocado). Here a few of the most common and tried-and-true options to get you started.

Egg substitutes for baking

For all purposes:

A flax egg is a mixture of ground flax seed and water that can be used as a substitute for an egg in baked goods.Shutterstock

Recipe: 1 tablespoon flax to 3 tablespoons of almost-boiling water, whisked = 1 egg

This versatile egg sub is used in lots of vegan recipes, and is full of omega-3s. “It works so well for binding purposes — just like an egg,” McNish told TODAY.

For binding and leavening:

Recipe: 1/2 mashed banana = 1 egg

Recipe: 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce = 1 egg

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Again, substitutions require a little bit of playing around — McNish tested some recipes for his cookbook a dozen times to perfect them — but banana and applesauce work well in many recipes, such as pancakes, waffles, muffins, cornbread, cakes, brownies and cookies, because they lend moisture and hold air pockets, the chef said.

He also reminded us not to underestimate the power of baking soda and baking powder for leavening. If a recipe calls for say, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, try omitting the egg and adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for that “extra boost” of lightness, he says.

Egg substitutes for breakfast

For scrambles, frittatas and quiche:

Recipe: 2 cups boiling water boiling + 3 or 4 tablespoons chickpea flour, whisked, with a hint of turmeric for color

Tofu is a common sub for scrambled eggs, but if you have a soy allergy, you can also use chickpea flour.Shutterstock

Silken tofu is commonly used to get that scrambled-egg texture, but with all the soy allergies today, McNish has been gravitating toward chickpea flour, which is also loaded with protein, just like an egg. “It’s a great base for vegan quiche, scrambled eggs or frittata," he said. "You do need to season it, add whatever you want: spinach, red pepper, mushrooms, olives."

For fried eggs:

Cookbook author Miriam Sorrell has developed a much-copied Perfect Vegan Fried "Egg," which looks just like a sunny side­–up egg. She uses tofu for the ‘white’ and a combo of ingredients, such as instant mashed potatoes and vegan margarine, for the yolk. You can find her full recipe here.

Savory egg substitutes

For binding meatballs, veggie burgers, meatloaf and more:

Recipe: 1 tablespoon flax to 3 tablespoons of almost-boiling water, whisked = 1 egg

Recipe: 1/4 cup avocado = 1 egg

Avocado works well as a binder because it has a nice concentration of fat, just like an egg, McNish said.

Mango-Guacamole Crunch Burgers

For egg wash:

To give flaky pastries and crusty foods that coveted shiny coat, the blog Eggless Cooking recommends brushing on oil, dairy/non-dairy milk or dairy/non-dairy butter.

For battering:

Recipe: 1 cup almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk) + 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Years ago, McNish worked a breading station at a restaurant, where, of course, everything is dipped in a milk-egg mixture. He tried a million subs until he found this one. “I use it for everything — onion rings, vegan crab cakes," he said. "I even used it at a recent pop-up dinner to make fried pickles.”