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6 Substitutes for Egg in Meatballs & Egg-Free Meatball Recipe

Well-prepared meatballs and spaghetti can alleviate the stress of a long and depressing day.

If you love meatball, you’d agree that the main aim is to ensure it retains its shape; that’s where eggs play a huge role. But what happens if you don’t have any eggs? Can you still prepare a good meatball?

This article would give you six substitutes for eggs in meatballs. But first, why do we use eggs in making meatballs?

Why Do We Use Eggs In Meatballs?

Meatballs [1] are made from a combination of ingredients like ground meat (the main ingredient), breadcrumbs, butter, minced onion, seasoning, and sometimes vegetables. These ingredients don’t have the property to stick together, and this is where eggs come in.

Eggs act like glue or a binding agent, which have a cohesive property that keeps the other ingredients fused and doesn’t fall apart.

Additionally, the presence of eggs in the meatballs is why they don’t end up cracked and hard when you are done preparing them. Eggs help keep the moisture in your mixture, which helps with the consistency.

You may like: 10 Best Egg Substitutes for Cake Mix

What to Use Instead of Eggs in Meatballs?

Your meatballs can still turn out perfect if you don’t have eggs. Here are six substitutes for eggs in your meatballs:

1. Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes

We highly recommend mashed potatoes because they have a high starch content and the ability to lock in moisture, so your meatball still turns out tender and meaty.

Substitution Tips

Mashed potato is a great vegan substitute for egg in meatballs; ¼ cup of mashed potatoes can perfectly replace one egg.

You can add spice like garlic to your potatoes to enhance the taste of your meatball if you feel it’d be bland.

Bonus: for leftover mashed potatoes, you must learn how long it lasts before it goes bad.

2. A mixture of Buttermilk and Breadcrumbs


This egg substitute for meatballs gives a great taste to your meatballs. The key is combining your buttermilk with breadcrumbs!

Buttermilk provides the moisture and fluid necessary to mix your ingredients in this combination. At the same time, breadcrumbs help create some form of structure for the ingredients, making them compact and stick together.

Substitution Tips

Buttermilk is as rich and buttery as eggs. For one egg, use two teaspoons of buttermilk to replace it.

Remember that use sweet buttermilk in your recipe, not sour buttermilk. Sour milk can ferment your mixture and ruin it. So please check the description of the package.

3. Ricotta Cheese


Ricotta cheese is a great egg replacement for meatballs since it works very well as an ingredient in other meat-based dishes like lasagna and marinara sauce.

Ricotta cheese has a moderate fat content, and its moisture content is just perfect. It will ensure your meatballs have the right texture and consistency.

Substitution Tips

Substitute ¼ cup of grated ricotta cheese for one egg in your meatball recipe and mix your cheese with the starch-containing ingredients like breadcrumbs or bread. This would ensure your ingredients bind properly.

4. Mayonnaise


Mayonnaise is one of the most versatile creations in the kitchen space! You can use it to substitute ketchup, oil, and now egg in meatballs. Ingenious ingredients!

Mayonnaise can be a substitute because eggs are the main ingredient. So, your meatballs won’t fall short of that flavor egg gives. Note that if you are allergic to eggs, please do not use mayonnaise.

Substitution Tips

Substitute three teaspoons of mayonnaise for one egg in your recipe.

5. Applesauce


Applesauce is a perfect vegan substitute for eggs in meatballs. It is cheap and readily available.

Applesauce might have a sharp and tangy undertone, but you can always balance that out by adding seasonings like nutmeg or cinnamon. Also, applesauce is a plant-based option, so if you are lactose intolerant or allergic to eggs, you can safely use this option.

Substitution Tips

Use three teaspoons of applesauce to replace one large egg in your meatballs. If you want more compactness, you can add one teaspoon of olive oil to achieve this.

6. Baking Powder

baking powder

Baking powder can be used as an egg alternative, whether baking or cooking.

Substitution Tips

When served as a substitute for egg in meatballs, mix one tablespoon of oil, two teaspoons of baking powder, and two teaspoons of water into a bowl. Blend until it’s smooth and consistent, then use it in your recipe.

Those are our recommendations for egg substitutes in meatballs. So do you think you can prepare meatballs without eggs? Absolutely!

Check out our recipe on how to make meatballs without eggs.

homemade meatballs

How To Make Meatballs Without Eggs

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A simple recipe to make egg-free turkey meatballs


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 slice sandwich bread — or 5 saltine crackers, crushed into fine crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup Finely grated Parmesan or Ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


1. Get a bowl and put bread crumbs (or crackers), oregano, onion, salt pepper, cheese, parmesan, and buttermilk in it. Also, add your ground turkey and mix thoroughly with your fingers.

2. Heat a large frying pan containing oil over medium heat.

3. Roll the mixture in the first step into balls of 11/22ince size. Then add the meatballs to the oil and fry until golden brown.

4. At this point, add your marinara sauce, cover the meatballs and allow it to simmer over low heat for about 20-25minutes.

5. Taste the sauce to check the amount of ingredients in it. If it's tasty enough, great. If not, add more seasoning.

6. Once meatballs are properly cooked and tender, remove from heat and serve. They can be eaten alone or served with spaghetti or mashed potatoes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 412mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 15g


Be sure to leave a comment and rating below. I appreciate your feedback!

We hope this recipe for egg-free turkey meatballs turns out perfect when you give it a try.

Final Thoughts

So, what have we seen in this article:

  • You can make amazing meatballs without eggs.
  • You can substitute eggs with mayonnaise, mashed potatoes, cheese, applesauce, and baking powder.
  • Mashed potatoes and applesauce are great vegan substitutes for egg-free meatballs.

Do not allow one missing ingredient to prevent you from enjoying a world-class meal; try other options!

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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