There might be a variety of reasons that you aren’t going to use eggs in your meatloaf. Maybe you don’t have eggs, perhaps you don’t eat them for dietary reasons or cultural reasons. Whatever the case, we’ll take a look at nineteen substitutes and help you find the best egg replacement in meatloaf.
What Can You Use As an Egg Substitute for Meatloaf?
Before we determine the best egg substitutes for meatloaf, let’s take a look at the purpose of eggs in meatloaf recipes. Eggs are a valuable part of a meatloaf recipe because their job is to bind the ingredients of the loaf together and help it mold into the loaf.
Can You Make Meatloaf Without Eggs: Yes, Absolutely!
If you don’t have eggs or if you don’t eat eggs, can you still make meatloaf? Yes, absolutely. It’s not the end of the world if you make it completely without eggs. It might crumble or fall apart, but the taste will not be altered.
Substitute for Eggs in Meatloaf
In this article we will discuss 19 possible substitutes for eggs in your meatloaf. If you’re on a vegan diet or a gluten free diet, I’m confident you’ll find a substitute that works well for you.
What is Meatloaf?
Meatloaf is a mixture of meat, often ground beef, filling agent, a binding agent and an agent that provides moisture to the loaf, and can include vegetables and seasonings depending on the creator’s preferences. It is usually formed into a loaf and served in slices.
The Binders That Can Be Used Instead of Eggs
There are 19 options that can be used instead of eggs. Some of them serve as great binding agents while others of them serve as satisfactory binding agents. You’ll want to select your desired egg substitute based on availability, flavor and dietary needs.
The Pros and Cons of Using Eggs
There are several pros and cons of using eggs in meatloaf. The pros are that the proteins from the eggs help to act as a binding agent. Eggs have a very mild flavor that doesn’t alter the taste of the meatloaf. Another great thing about eggs is that they add a creamy texture to the meatloaf. And if you’re not allergic to eggs, they’re typically on hand or are readily available.
The down sides of using eggs is that they’re known as one of the most common allergy causing foods for kids. Eggs have cholesterol and if eaten in large quantities can alter the consumer’s bodily cholesterol. Eggs are not consumed by some people and cultures.
I Don’t Have An Egg for Meatloaf, What Can I Use?
There are a variety of household items that can be used in place of eggs for meatloaf. Some of those items include olive oil, mayonnaise, gelatin, egg substitutes, flax seeds, chia seeds, flour and oatmeal and more. In the following paragraphs we’ll give you some exact proportions to follow based on the egg replacement you choose.
The 19 Substitutes in Details
Following are 19 egg replacements to be used in meatloaf. Choose the best one for you and read about the proportion needed to make your delicious meatloaf.
Here’s what to use as an egg substitute for meatloaf
The purpose of eggs in your meatloaf recipe are to bind together the ground beef, ground turkey or vegan alternatives with other wet and dry ingredients.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a widely used replacement for butter in cooking and baking. It is almost tasteless so does not alter the flavor when used as an egg replacement in meatloaf. Because olive oil is a liquid, you’ll want to add a tablespoon or so at a time because olive oil is runnier and oilier than egg.
ratio: tablespoon at a time
Did you know that oil and eggs are two of the main ingredients for mayonnaise? Therefore mayonnaise makes the perfect egg replacement in meatloaf. Mayonnaise adds a rich flavor and is high in fat and calories, which makes it a decent binding agent. Because of the fat and calories contained in the full fat version, mayonnaise might not be the best solution for the health conscience. We recommend adding one tablespoon at a time until the desired moisture level is reached.
ratio: tablespoon at a time
3. Egg Substitutes
At the grocery store, you can buy already prepared egg substitutes in the refrigerator section. They are made to already made to replicate the real thing. Some of these qualify as vegan substitutes. If you choose to use an already prepared egg substitute, make sure the flavor is good and is one you welcome into your meatloaf. Follow the instructions on the carton for the ratio.
ratio: follow instructions on packaging
4. Flax Egg
If you’re not sure what flax egg is, we’re about to help you remedy that. To make flax egg, just mix flax seed with water and mix well. A good ratio is ¼ cup water with 1 tablespoon of flax seed. This makes a good binding agent that’s not too flavorful.
ratio: ¼ c. water and 1 tbsp flax seed = 1 egg
5. Flour and Oatmeal
Mixing flour, oatmeal with a little water makes a good paste or meatloaf binding agent. There is not an exact measurement here that is do or die. Mixing these with a little water makes a great binding agent.
ratio: flour, oatmeal and a little water
Breadcrumbs are sometimes already included in a meatloaf recipe because their role is to act as a filler and binder. For best results, if you’re making your own breadcrumbs, use bread that is at least 3 to 4 days old and is somewhat dry and tough. Fresh bread can be too soft and too moist and will not do the proper job.
ratio: ¼ c. breadcrumbs = 1 egg
Unflavored gelatin is a good solution to use as an egg replacement in meatloaf. It will bind the ingredients and allow the loaf to be formed properly and it will also not alter the flavor of the dish. Mix one packet of gelatin with 2 tablespoons of warm water to create the binding agent.
ratio: 1 packet gelatin and 2 tbsp warm water = 1 egg
8. Chia Seeds
If you have access to chia seeds, they work well as an egg replacement for meatloaf. They are relatively mild in flavor and do their job well. Just mix them with warm water. A good ratio is ¼ cup of water with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.
ratio: 1 tbsp chia seeds and ¼ c. warm water = 1 egg
9. Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour has good protein, minerals, vitamins and is more of a mild binder and is mild in flavor. Use ¼ cup of chickpea flour plus ¼ cup water and mix well.
ratio: ¼ c. chickpea flour and ¼ c. water = 1 egg
Both dairy or vegan yogurt can be used to replace the eggs. Yogurt works well to lock in moisture, but you will want to know that it’s not a great binder. Use ¼ cup yogurt for 1 egg.
ratio: ¼ c. yogurt = 1 egg
Applesauce works well as a binding agent, however it adds its own flavor to the meatloaf. Therefore, you’ll want to be okay with this additional flavor before adding it. Use ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce or pureed fruit to replace 1 egg.
ratio: ¼ c. applesauce = 1 egg
Using avocado works as a decent binder for meatloaf because of the amount of fat. But you’ll want to be careful adding avocado because of the way it will alter the meatloaf’s flavor. You’ll want to be truly in love with avocado before plopping it into the mixing bowl. About ¼ cup smashed avocado can be used for one egg.
ratio: ¼ c. avocado = 1 egg
Cheeses such as parmesan and mozzarella can act as a good binder for meatloaf, and they melt quickly. You’ll want to note that cheese has its own defined flavor, so you’ll want to be okay with introducing that additional flavor into your meatloaf dish.
ratio: ¼ c. cheese = 1 egg
You might have never heard of aquafaba. If you haven’t, you’ll be interested in knowing it’s a viscous water used in vegan diets to replace egg whites. It is the leftover liquid from the can or box of chickpeas. It can be created by boiling or microwaving pulses in water. Approximately 3 tablespoons is the equivalent of 1 egg.
ratio: 3 tbsp aquafaba = 1 egg
15. Mashed Potatoes
Many people love mashed potatoes. And mashed potatoes are a common side to meatloaf. Creamy mashed potatoes help make the meatloaf maintain its shape and stick together. The recommended proportion is about ¼ cup for each egg. Also, don’t season the potatoes as you’ll not want to introduce additional flavors into the meatloaf.
ratio: ¼ c. mashed potatoes = 1 egg
Tofu can be one of the most natural replacements for eggs in meatloaf because of its properties. Use about ¼ cup of soft puree of tofu for the equivalent to 1 egg.
ratio: ¼ c. tofu pureed = 1 egg
Cornstarch can thicken and bind ingredients together. So, cornstarch works well in this case as a substitute for eggs. And the great thing about using cornstarch is that it doesn’t have any flavor. Just mix it with a bit of warm liquid first, before adding it to the mixing bowl. You can use about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and a bit of liquid to form a paste that is equivalent to an egg.
ratio: 2 tbsp cornstarch = 1 egg
18. Homemade Egg Replacer Powder
If you’re someone who substitutes eggs regularly in recipes, you might like to make your own batch of egg replacer powder to have on hand. This requires 2 ½ cups arrowroot or tapioca starch, ½ cup baking powder, 1 tablespoon guar gum powder. To use it in your meatloaf as an egg replacement, just use 1 ½ teaspoons of the mixture and add to 3 tablespoons water, mix to form a replacement for 1 egg.
ratio: 1 ½ tsp egg replacer powder and 3 tbsp water = 1 egg
19. Commercial Egg Replacers
There are also many commercial egg replacers that can be purchased at the grocery store. Use whatever tastes best and has the ingredients that suit your fancy.
ratio: follow instructions on store packaging.
Bake Egg Free
There is also the possibility of making your meatloaf egg free and without an egg replacement. You’ll want to know that if you choose to go this route, it won’t affect the flavor of your meatloaf, it will just make it, so it doesn’t stick together very well. It will likely result in somewhat crumbling slices.
Basic Steps for Making Meatloaf
The basic steps for making meatloaf involve mixing the ingredients, forming the loaf and baking it. Preparing and cooking meatloaf is quite straightforward and is a relatively simple process. It doesn’t involve a lot of hands-on work.
How To Make Meatloaf Without Eggs
The best way to make meatloaf is with eggs. But if you’re needing to make it without eggs, be sure to choose one of the 19 substitutes above for successful results.
Tips For Making Eggless Meatloaf
If you’re going to eliminate eggs completely instead of using a substitute, you can expect a soft but firm loaf. You’ll want to pack it as much as possible when forming into the loaf so it’s not crumbly. For a light-textured meatloaf, soak the bread in milk before mixing it in with other ingredients.
4 Best Egg Substitutes For a Meal Your Family Will Enjoy!
Our 4 top favorite egg substitutes for meatloaf are mayonnaise, olive oil, gelatin, or breadcrumbs. These all provide a great solution with minimal alterations in the flavor.
Quick List of Egg Substitutes in Meatloaf
Here is a quick list of egg substitutes that can be used in meatloaf: olive oil, mayonnaise, unflavored gelatin, breadcrumbs, avocado, Egg substitutes, Flax egg, Flour and oatmeal, Breadcrumbs, Gelatin, Chia seeds, Chickpea flour, Yogurt, Applesauce, Cheese, Aquafaba, Mashed potatoes, Cornstarch, Homemade Egg Replacer Powder and Commercial Egg Replacers.
Simple Meatloaf Recipe
For our simple meatloaf recipe, check out our other meatloaf post here.
Eggs in Meatloaf Nutrition Facts:
Eggs are an essential ingredient when you want to make anything that deals with flour usage. This is because eggs are moist and serve as a binding agent to help keep the particles of flour together due to the fat contained in them.
Substitute for Eggs in Turkey Meatloaf
Turkey meatloaf is dominant with turkey flavor. 1 cup of breadcrumbs can be substituted for 2 large eggs. It will help hold the loaf together and works very well.
Substitute for Eggs in Cheez-it Meatloaf
4 tablespoons of chia seeds can be used as a replacement for eggs in meatloaf. It will give you a soft and chewy texture.
Substitute for Eggs in Greek Meatloaf
Using 1 tablespoon of olive oil in place of 2 large eggs will give you the perfect substitute in Greek meatloaf.
Substitute for Eggs in Bacon Cheese Meatloaf
For bacon cheese meatloaf, gelatin is the perfect egg substitute. Use 1 ½ tablespoons of gelatin in place of an egg for bacon and cheese meatloaf.
Here’s What To Substitute for Dairy in Meatloaf
Use beef stock as a substitute for dairy in ground beef meatloaf. For turkey meatloaf, use chicken stock as a substitute for the milk.
Stock Works As a Milk Substitute in Meatloaf
Beef stock or chicken stock, depending on the type of ground meat you’re using, works well as a substitute for milk in meatloaf. Just use a 1:1 replacement for a dairy free meatloaf.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions in regard to making meatloaf and using an egg replacement in meatloaf.
What will happen if I don’t put eggs in meatloaf?
Leaving eggs out of meatloaf will not harm it, but your loaf might not hold its shape well and might not be molded as you desire. Egg in meatloaf acts as a binding agent.
What can you use instead of eggs in a recipe?
For meatloaf, there are 19 possible egg substitutes that we have laid out for you above.
What is the right quantity of olive oil needed for your meatloaf?
Olive oil is more liquid and oilier than eggs. It is a good substitute, but you’ll always want to add it a little at a time as you go.
How To Make Meatloaf Without Eggs?
Mix your ingredients together as indicated on the recipe and choose the best egg replacement in meatloaf according to product availability and your preference.
What is The Best Meat To Make Meatloaf?
We recommend using meat that is 80-85% lean. Ground beef at this grade is typically labeled as ground chuck or ground sirloin.
How Long To Cook Meatloaf?
The length of time needed to cook your meatloaf depends on the size of the meatloaf and the temperature of the oven. You can read more about cooking meatloaf here.
Can You Freeze Meatloaf?
Yes, meatloaf can be frozen before it is cooked or after it is cooked. Just wrap in an airtight container or a zipped freezer bag to keep it fresh.
How to Reheat Meatloaf?
Meatloaf can be reheated on the stovetop, in the oven or in the microwave.
What Side Dish Goes Well With Meatloaf?
Here are some side dishes that pair well with traditional meatloaf: dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, green bean bundles, Brussels sprouts, side salad, broccoli salad, twice baked potatoes, coconut cream pie.
Can I Make Ahead This Meatloaf Recipe?
Yes, our meatloaf recipe can be made ahead. You can freeze it for a few days and bake it right before it is served. Or you can bake it and store it in the refrigerator, reheating it before serving it.
How Much Olive Oil Do I Substitute for Eggs in Meatloaf?
Use a tablespoon of olive oil at a time as an egg substitute in meatloaf. Mix it until the desired moisture level has been reached.
Can I Use Mayo Instead of Eggs in Meatloaf?
Yes, follow our instructions for the ratio above to know how much mayonnaise to use. Mayo makes a good substitute for eggs in meatloaf.
Can You Leave Egg Out of Meatloaf?
Yes, you can leave eggs out of meatloaf. We suggest choosing one of the 19 substitutes above to use in place of eggs, for egg replacement in meatloaf.
What Can I Put in Meatloaf Instead of Breadcrumbs?
Crushed crackers are the perfect thing to use in meatloaf instead of breadcrumbs. You can use any plain cracker such as Ritz or Saltines.
What Happens If You Don’t Put Breadcrumbs in Meatloaf?
You can use oatmeal in place of breadcrumbs in meatloaf. Breadcrumbs serve as both a filler an a stabilizer so you’ll likely want to include something its place rather than just eliminating them.
What Does Milk Do in Meatloaf?
Milk helps to provide moisture in the meatloaf. The perfect meatloaf is moist on the inside and crisp on the outside. If you don’t want to use milk, you can use beef stock or non-dairy milk as an effective substitute.
Is Meatloaf Any Good?
We think so. We like to make our dad’s traditional meatloaf that’s flavored with onion-mushroom soup. You can find the recipe here.
Why Does My Meatloaf Fall Apart?
Usually meatloaf falls apart if it doesn’t have the correct ratio of binding agent and filler to meat. In our meatloaf recipe we use eggs and oatmeal as the binding and filling agents.
Is It Okay if My Meatloaf Is a Little Pink?
Yes, a pink meatloaf doesn’t necessarily mean that your meatloaf is not done. You’ll want to be sure that the internal temperature reaches 160F degrees to determine that your meatloaf is done.
Why is Meatloaf So Bad?
We don’t think it is. If you have a recipe that you don’t like, try altering the ingredients to something that you do like.
Why is Meatloaf Bad For You?
Meatloaf isn’t necessarily bad for you. It depends on your dietary restrictions. Meatloaf can be higher in fat and calories depending on the ingredients used to make it.
Do you have to put eggs in meatloaf?
You don’t have to use eggs. You can use a substitute instead.
Can you make meatloaf with mayo instead of eggs?
Yes, mayo is a perfectly suitable substitute for eggs in meatloaf. See our recommended ratio for using mayo above.
How to make meatloaf without eggs and breadcrumbs?
You’ll want to substitute eggs and breadcrumbs with alternate ingredients that can be a stabilizer and provide the desired binding properties. Otherwise, your meatloaf will not be a loaf with slices that can be cut from it. It will crumble.
What good does egg do in a meatloaf?
Egg acts as a binding agent that helps hold the loaf together and keep its shape.
Following are some recipe variations for making meatloaf. They include egg replacement in meatloaf. We hope you’ll enjoy these and that they’ll challenge you to be creative to make a meatloaf that those around your table will love.
Easy Eggless Meatloaf
Easy eggless meatloaf is tasty, tender and juicy and it holds together well when sliced.
Ingredients You’ll Need
1 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion finely chopped, 4 cloves garlic minced, 2 slices of white bread made. Into bread crumbs, ½ cup plain yogurt, ½ cup ketchup, 1 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup parsley chopped, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 2 lb ground beef.
The Best Eggless Meatloaf Recipe
Use the ingredients above and preheat oven to 350F degrees. Sauté vegetables in olive oil. Mix together remaining ingredients and form into a loaf. Bake for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 160F degrees.
Step By Step Recipe Tutorial
Follow these step by step instructions to make an easy eggless meatloaf.
1-Prepare the Baking Tray and Preheat the Oven
Prepare the baking tray, lining it with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
2-Prepare the Meatloaf Mixture
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.
Use your hands to form a free form meatloaf on the prepared baking pan. Pack the meat mixture well.
4-Prepare the Glaze
If you’d like to add a glaze on your meatloaf, prepare it and brush it on top of the loaf. A simple ketchup or barbecue sauce glaze is one of the most popular glazes for meatloaf.
Bake the meatloaf at 350F degrees for about 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 160F degrees. To know if your meatloaf is done, read our article here.
The likely two most popular meatloaf sauces are barbecue sauce and ketchup. You can use whatever flavor you like best from these two options or any other concoction you might choose to mix up. Or eat it plain like us.
Homemade BBQ Sauce
To make homemade barbecue sauce, use: 2 cups ketchup, 1 cup water, ½ cup apple cider vinegar, 5 tablespoons light brown sugar, 5 tablespoons sugar, ½. Tablespoon black pepper, ½ tablespoon onion powder, ½ tablespoon ground mustard, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.
Tip and Tricks To Make Eggless Meatloaf
Some tips and tricks to making an eggless meatloaf include choosing the right meat. Use an 80-85% lean meat.
We also recommend sautéing the veggies before adding them into the meat mixture. This will allow them to be tender when the meatloaf finishes cooking. You won’t have to wait for them to catch up.
Also, you’ll want to choose and use the best egg replacement in meatloaf. Eggs really do serve a purposeful role in meatloaf, so finding the right substitute is important.
Rest the meatloaf for about 10 minutes before serving it.
Old Fashioned Gluten Free and Dairy Free Meatloaf (Without Eggs and Milk)
For a gluten free and dairy free meatloaf use 2 lbs lean ground beef, ½ cup gluten free ketchup, ¼ cup gluten free chili sauce, 2 tablespoons gluten free relish, ½ tablespoon dry ground mustard, ¾ cup gluten free quick oats, 10 ounce can of mushrooms drained, and 1 small onion finely chopped. Mix ingredients, form into a loaf and bake for 1 hour at 350F degrees or until the internal temperature reaches 160F degrees.
Best Vegan Lentil Meatloaf
Below is a recipe for vegan lentil meatloaf. You can use previously cooked lentils or boil them fresh for this dish.
What Goes Into This Vegan Lentil Meatloaf?
1 cup dried green lentils, 3 tbsp ground flaxseed meal, 2 tbsp grapeseed oil, 1 cup finely. Diced yellow onion, 1 cup finely diced celery, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 cup shredded carrot, 10 ounces of baby bella mushrooms minced, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts, 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsp organic ketchup.
How To Make Vegan Lentil Meatloaf
Cook the lentils until tender. Stir together flax seed meal and ½ cup water. Set aside to thicken for 3 minutes. Sauté vegetables until tender. Mix remaining ingredients and form into a loaf. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F degrees.
Many people grew up knowing momma’s meatloaf as their favorite meatloaf. And our mom is a good cook too. But when it came to Sunday dinners and meatloaf Dad was always the one who perfected and served it. To see our dad’s meatloaf recipe, click here.
The Best Vegan Beyond Meat Meatloaf
If you’re a vegan, you might want to find a good recipe for meatloaf the accommodates your diet. This might be the one.
Why We Love This Beyond Meat Meatloaf
This beyond meat meatloaf is a great alternative solution because it provides a meatloaf experience without the meat.
Vegan Meatloaf Ingredients
Here are the ingredients for making vegan meatloaf: 16 oz Beyond Meat’s Beyond Beef Plant-based, 1 onion diced fine, green pepper diced fine, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1 cup tomato sauce, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, 2/3 cup quick oats, 1 cup fine breadcrumbs, pepper to taste.
How to Make a Beyond Meat Meatloaf
Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Sauté the vegetables until tender. Mix all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Form into a loaf on a baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 more minutes.
Prepping the Veggie Meatloaf Ingredients
It is important to sauté the vegetable ingredients before adding them to the meat mixture. That way you will ensure that they are done when the meatloaf finishes cooking.
Baking the Meatloaf
Bake the meatloaf on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a greased baking sheet to keep the loaf from sticking to the pan. You’ll also want to cover the loaf with foil during the first portion of it baking to help keep the outside of the loaf from burning.
Serving the Vegan Beyond Meat Meatloaf
Allow the loaf to rest for about 10 minutes when it’s removed from the oven. Then, slice it into thick pieces to serve.
Vegan Meatloaf Tips & Tricks
This exact recipe can be made using red beans and walnuts instead of Beyond Ground and it tastes very similar. It is much more economical in cost to make it this way too.
Where Does Meatloaf Come From?
Meatloaf is a man-made item typically made from ground beef. When we were growing up, we thought that meatloaf came from my dad. After all, he was the one who made it and cooked it to perfection. Who is the person in your life that is known for making a delicious meatloaf?
There are many good side dishes that pair well with meatloaf. Green vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts and peas are the perfect fit. You. Can also serve meatloaf with some kind of potato such as roasted red skins, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, scalloped potatoes, or twice baked potatoes. Pair it with any kind of salad such as broccoli salad, side salad, or a tossed salad. And don’t forget dessert!
Make-Ahead and Freeze
If we’re going to make a meatloaf ahead and freeze it, our favorite way is to freeze it uncooked. That way it will still taste very fresh when it’s served hot and freshly baked. You can also bake it first and then freeze it. But the meatloaf will need to be reheated before it’s served.
Cooking an Eggless Meatloaf
Cooking an eggless meatloaf can be done the same way as a meatloaf with egg. If you choose to use no egg substitute, you might want to use a form fitted loaf pan rather than a free form baking sheet. This will help to keep your meatloaf from crumbling in the oven.
Ingredients: Meatloaf Without Eggs and Milk
Be sure to choose the appropriate egg and milk substitutes when altering the recipe. Egg replacement in meatloaf is about accurate ratios for success.
How To Perfect Your Egg to Meat Ratio for Mouthwatering Meatloaf
The best way to perfect your egg to meat ratio for mouthwatering meatloaf is to add a little at a time, follow the recipe closely and practice. Practice makes perfect.
How Many Eggs to Put in Meatloaf
A general rule of thumb is to use 1 to 2 beaten eggs for every 2 pounds of meat in a meatloaf. The size of your meatloaf will vary depending on the number of people you intend to serve.