50 Best Egg Substitutes for Frying Crispy Chicken

I’ve got good news for all you chicken lovers out there. Whether you’re on a vegan diet, have an egg allergy, or just ran out of eggs, there’s no need to despair. Frying chicken without eggs is totally doable, and honestly, it can result in some pretty spectacular flavors.

So, let’s dive into the world of egg substitutes and find the best egg substitute for your next chicken recipe.

Fried chicken without eggs yogurt
Discover the unique twist of using yogurt instead of eggs for a mouthwatering fried chicken experience.

Understanding Egg Substitutes in Frying

Let’s hit pause for a sec and talk about why eggs are typically used when frying chicken. Eggs are usually used in frying chicken as a binding agent to hold the bread crumbs or flour to the chicken pieces. The egg wash gives that golden brown, crispy coating we all love. They excel at this job due to their proteins. 

As the egg heats up during frying, these proteins coagulate, forming a firm structure that binds the breading to the chicken. It’s akin to a culinary construction crew, hardening into place as things heat up.

Eggs in bowl
A bowl of fresh eggs, the classic and versatile ingredient for frying chicken.

Maybe you’re out of eggs, or perhaps you’re making quick breads where eggs can make things too cakey. The main ingredient – eggs – can be replaced, and I’m here to tell you how.

Versatility of Substitutes

You might be thinking, “What are the best substitutes for eggs when frying chicken?” And the answer is a resounding YES! These substitutes aren’t just great options, they’re versatile. Whether you’re using vegetable oil, melted butter, or even a tofu scramble, you can achieve the best results. And the best part? You can use these substitutes for all kinds of food items, not just chicken cutlets. Talk about a great way to mix things up in the kitchen!

Dairy Products as Egg Substitutes

In our post-egg scenario, we’re looking for ingredients that can mimic eggs’ properties. Dairy products like milk, buttermilk, and yogurt are often top picks because they contain proteins that, like eggs, coagulate during cooking. They also tenderize the meat, thanks to their acidity.

Bowls of dairy products (yogurt, milk, sour cream)
Dairy products are a versatile replacement for eggs.

Fruits as Unexpected Egg Substitutes

But don’t let your imagination stop at the dairy aisle. Various plant-based ingredients, like mashed bananas or applesauce, can also work in a pinch. They’re stickier than eggs, helping the breading adhere, and their natural sugars caramelize during frying, adding a delightful hint of sweetness.

Starches and Flours as Binding Agents

Then there’s the world of starches and flours, from cornstarch to chickpea flour. When mixed with water, these create a paste that can act as a binding agent for your breading. As they heat up, they also form a firm structure, akin to what happens with egg proteins.

Choosing the Right Egg Substitute

So, in essence, choosing an egg substitute comes down to what you have on hand and what flavor profile you’re going for. With so many options, there’s no need to scramble when you’re out of eggs – you’re covered!

Golden and crispy fried chicken without eggs
Feast your eyes on golden and irresistibly crispy fried chicken that promises a satisfying crunch even without using eggs!

Commonly Used and Easily Available Substitutes

These are the ones you’re likely to find lounging in your pantry or fridge, waiting for their moment to shine. Like reliable friends, they’re always there when you need them.

1. Milk

This is your everyday hero, ready to step in when eggs are missing in action. Milk’s protein helps the coating stick to the chicken, just like eggs would. It’s probably already in your fridge, waiting for its moment in the spotlight. Just dip your chicken in milk, roll it in the coating, and fry. Expect a slightly less rich flavor than with eggs, but a delightful crispiness nonetheless.

Milk as egg substitute for frying chicken
Pour some milk into your fried chicken recipe for a rich and flavorful alternative to eggs.

2. Heavy Cream

If milk is the everyday hero, then heavy cream is like the fancy superhero – a bit richer and more indulgent. It can add a layer of depth to your chicken’s flavor profile. Use it just like you would use milk, and expect a richer, creamier taste to your chicken. Just a heads up, the coating might brown a bit quicker due to the higher fat content. Keep an eye on it while frying!

Bowl of velvety heavy cream
A heavy cream as an indulgent egg replacement for frying chicken!

3. Yogurt

Yogurt’s creamy texture and slight tanginess make it a great substitute for eggs in your fried chicken recipe. Dip your chicken pieces into yogurt before coating them with breadcrumbs or flour. You might be surprised how much you like this twist!

Creamy tangy yogurt
Savor the creamy tanginess of yogurt, a delightful egg substitute for crispy chicken.

4. Greek Yogurt

If you want a thicker coating, Greek yogurt is your friend. Its rich, creamy texture clings onto the chicken, making a perfect base for the coating. Remember, it’s tangier than regular yogurt, so it’ll add a bit of zing to your chicken.

Spoonful of creamy Greek yogurt
Indulge in a spoonful of creamy Greek yogurt, adding a tangy and protein-rich twist to your fried chicken.

5. Sour Cream

Sour cream brings a creamy, tangy twist to the table. It’s thicker than regular yogurt, so it provides a great base for the coating to stick to. A dollop of sour cream might just make your fried chicken the talk of the town!

Dollop of tangy sour cream as an egg replacement
Sour cream works surprisingly well as an egg replacement.

6. Tomato Paste

If you’re up for a bit of tang, tomato paste could be your egg substitute. Mix it with a little water to create a paste, then use it as your dipping medium before coating. Tomato paste adds a subtle acidity and depth of flavor to your chicken that’s quite the game changer. Remember to cook on a medium heat to prevent burning the sugars in the tomato paste.

Tomato paste-coated chicken
Coat your chicken in luscious tomato paste, imparting a savory and rich dimension to your fried chicken.

7. Egg Replacer

There are commercial egg replacers available that work wonderfully in fried chicken recipes. They’re usually a mixture of potato starch, tapioca starch, and leavening agents. Just mix with water according to the package instructions, and you’re good to go.

Egg replacer powder
Unleash the power of egg replacer powder, an essential ingredient for frying chicken without eggs.

8. Ground Flaxseed mixed with Water

Consider this the dark horse of the substitutes. Mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water, let it sit for a few minutes until it gets gooey, then use it just like you would an egg. This combo doesn’t bring much flavor to the party, but it does an excellent job of making the coating adhere to the chicken. Your chicken will come out with a golden, crispy exterior that might just make this your go-to substitute.

9. Olive Oil or Canola Oil

Olive oil and canola oil can create a quick “egg wash” for your chicken. It might not be traditional, but the final product can still be deliciously crispy.

10. Ketchup

It might sound unconventional, but ketchup can be a surprisingly good egg substitute in your fried chicken recipe. It can help the coating stick to the chicken, and it adds a tangy, slightly sweet flavor that can complement the savory spices in your breading. Be cautious with the rest of the salt in your recipe as ketchup contains salt.

Ketchup: Surprising egg alternative for crispy chicken
Think outside the bottle and use ketchup as a surprising yet delicious egg alternative for achieving crispy chicken perfection.

11. Cottage Cheese

Now here’s a surprise entry! It might sound odd, but cottage cheese can work. It’s creamy and mild, and it’ll give your chicken a different kind of tanginess. Just blend it until smooth before using it as a dip for your chicken.

Bowl of creamy smooth cottage cheese
Dive into a bowl of lusciously smooth cottage cheese, offering a delectable twist to frying chicken.

12. Unsweetened Applesauce

This may sound a little surprising, but trust me, it works! Applesauce adds moisture to the chicken, helping the coating to stick. Plus, it brings a subtle sweet note that could be the secret weapon of your fried chicken. Just dip, coat, and fry as usual. The result? A crispy, subtly sweet treat.

Bowl of unsweetened applesauce
Discover the natural sweetness of unsweetened applesauce, an ideal and healthier alternative for crispy chicken coating.

13. Applesauce and Flour

This is just a leveled-up version of the applesauce substitute. Mix equal parts of applesauce and flour to form a batter, dip your chicken in it, then in the coating, and fry. You get a bit more heft with your coating this way, and a hint of sweetness that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance.

Plant-Based and Vegan Substitutes

These substitutes are the poster children of the green movement in the kitchen. They’re out there marching, picket signs in hand, chanting “No eggs, no problem!” From aquafaba to tofu, they’re here to prove that plants can party just as hard in the frying pan. If you’re about the vegan life or just want to dabble, this section’s for you.

14. Vegan Mayo

Why not swap eggs with something that usually contains eggs but in this case, doesn’t? This is a great substitute if you’re looking for something that mimics the creaminess of egg yolks. It’s creamy, it’s tangy, and it does an amazing job of helping the coating stick to your chicken. Or should I say, chick’n?

15. Aquafaba (Chickpea Liquid)

The next time you open a can of chickpeas, save that liquid! Known as aquafaba, this stuff is like gold for vegan cooking. It’s the same consistency as whisked eggs, so it is a fantastic egg substitute. Plus, it’s practically flavorless, so it won’t change the taste of your fried chicken.

Aquafaba: Chickpea liquid for frying chicken
Harness the magic of aquafaba, the liquid from chickpeas, as a game-changing alternative for frying chicken.

16. Tofu Scramble and Silken Tofu

This one’s a little out of left field, but hear me out. Blend silken tofu until it’s smooth, and it can easily replace eggs in your frying process. It has a neutral flavor, so it won’t mess with your seasoning. But the best part? It’s a protein powerhouse. Who said fried chicken can’t be healthy-ish? Just add some turmeric for color and black salt for that eggy flavor.

Silken tofu: Egg replacement for frying chicken
Experience the tender and juicy results of using silken tofu as a remarkable egg replacement for frying chicken.

17. Almond Milk

Almond milk is all about texture. With a slight nuttiness, it can be a unique twist to your chicken frying. Use it just like you’d use regular milk for dipping before coating.

18. Soy Milk

A bit on the sweet side, soy milk adds a nice contrast to the savory chicken. Use it for dipping before coating, just as you would with any other milk.

19. Coconut Milk

Subtly coconutty, coconut milk can bring a tropical vibe to your kitchen. It’s perfect for dipping your chicken in before coating.

20. Oat Milk

This plant-based milk is a great egg substitute for those with nut allergies. Oat milk has a creamy, slightly sweet flavor that can add a pleasant note to your chicken. Use it as you would use other kinds of milk for dipping before coating.

21. Nut Butter

This might sound a bit wild, but sometimes, wild works. Choose a neutral nut butter like cashew or almond, thin it out with a bit of water, and use it as your dipping medium. You’ll get a hint of nuttiness in your chicken that’s pretty irresistible.

Nut butter: Egg substitute for chicken coating
Spread the goodness of nut butter on your chicken for a coating that adds a unique and nutty twist.

22. Hummus

If you’ve got hummus in your fridge, you’ve got an egg substitute. The creamy texture helps the coating stick, and the flavors of chickpea and tahini bring an extra layer of deliciousness to your chicken. Just don’t use the garlic or red pepper varieties unless you’re ready for some kick

Hummus: Egg alternative for fried chicken
Discover the culinary magic of hummus, a Mediterranean delight that serves as a flavorful egg alternative for frying chicken.

23. Flax Egg

Flaxseed egg is a vegan egg substitute hero. Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water, let it sit for a few minutes, and voila! You’ve got yourself an eggless batter

24. Chia Egg

Chia egg is another plant-based substitute that works wonderfully for an eggless batter. Similar to the flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water and let it sit for a few minutes before use.

25. Chickpea Miso

Looking for a salty, umami flavor in your fried chicken? Chickpea miso could be your new secret ingredient. Mix it with a little water to create a paste for dipping.

26. Tahini Paste

Tahini adds a rich, nutty note to your chicken. It’s perfect for those who love a punch of flavor. Just create a paste with a bit of water for dipping.

Bowl of creamy tahini paste
Delight in a bowl of creamy tahini paste, a versatile and flavor-packed egg substitute for frying chicken.

27. Pureed Cooked Vegetables

Pureed cooked vegetables, like carrots or squash, can also be used as an egg substitute. They add moisture, help the coating adhere to the chicken, and bring a subtle flavor and some extra nutrients to your dish. Just blend your cooked vegetables until smooth and use it as your dipping medium.

Vibrant vegetable puree for chicken coating
Blend up a vibrant vegetable puree and use it as a coating for your fried chicken, adding a burst of color and nutrients.

28. Sourdough Starter

Sourdough starter isn’t just for bread. It can also be used as a replacement for eggs in fried chicken. It gives the chicken a slight tangy flavor and a lovely crispy crust.

29. Aloe Vera Gel

Now, this might sound a bit out there, but aloe vera gel can be used as an egg substitute. It has a similar consistency to egg whites and can help bind the breading to the chicken. However, use sparingly to avoid a bitter taste.

Refreshing bowl of aloe vera gel
Embrace the cooling properties of aloe vera gel, a surprising and soothing egg substitute for fried chicken.

Substitutes for Texture and Flavor

This category is for the culinary adventurers, the ones who aren’t afraid to play with their food. These substitutes are all about adding that extra kick, that unexpected twist, that “Wait, is that…?” moment to your fried chicken. If you’re ready to turn your kitchen into a flavor laboratory, dive right in!

30. Buttermilk

This old-school favorite is all about the tang. It tenderizes the chicken and adds a subtle, creamy tang that can’t be beat. Just be sure to let your chicken marinate in it for a few hours to get the full effect.

Buttermilk: Sublime substitute for eggs in fried chicken
Trade eggs for the tangy allure of buttermilk, a sublime substitute that elevates the flavor of fried chicken.

31. Mayonnaise

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Mayo? Really? But trust me, it works. It helps the breading stick, browns beautifully, and adds a tangy flavor. And since mayo is made from eggs and oil, you’re kinda sorta still using eggs.

32. Flour and Water Slurry

Meet the first member of the slurry squad. It’s virtually flavorless, so it won’t mess with your seasoning game. Just mix equal parts of flour and water, and you’re good to go.

Bowl of flour-water slurry
Dip your chicken in a bowl of flour-water slurry for a crispy coating that rivals the traditional method.

33. Cornstarch and Water Slurry

Another member of the slurry squad, cornstarch and water slurry is all about creating a sticky base for your breading.

34. Chickpea Flour and Water Slurry

Chickpea flour adds a nutty flavor to your breading. Just remember to mix it with water before using.

35. Rice Flour and Water Slurry

Rice flour brings a subtle sweetness to the table. Mix it with water to make a slurry before using it.

36. Arrowroot Powder and Water Slurry

The last member of the slurry squad, arrowroot powder brings some serious sticking power to your breading.

37. Mustard

You know what’s unexpectedly awesome? Mustard. Yes, you heard that right! Use it as an egg substitute to add a little tang to your fried chicken. Besides providing a nice yellow color, it helps the coating stick to the chicken.

Spoonful of zesty mustard
Add a zesty kick to your fried chicken with a spoonful of tangy mustard, infusing it with a burst of flavor.

38. Potato Starch

A member of the starchy trio, potato starch can mimic the thickening power of whole eggs. It’s a great option for a crispy coating.

39. Tapioca Starch

Tapioca starch, just like potato starch, can give you that thick, sticky base for your breading. Just mix with water to form a slurry.

40. Pesto Sauce

Want to add an Italian twist to your fried chicken? Try using pesto sauce as an egg substitute. It adds a nice herby flavor and helps the coating adhere to the chicken.

Pesto sauce: Egg alternative for crispy chicken
Infuse your fried chicken with the vibrant flavors of pesto sauce. It’s a delightful egg alternative for achieving crispy perfection.

41. Worcestershire Sauce

Want some umami flavor in your fried chicken? Worcestershire sauce can be used as an egg substitute. It helps create a flavorful, savory crust.

Worcestershire sauce chicken
Infuse your fried chicken with the bold and savory flavors of Worcestershire sauce, creating a tantalizing taste experience.

42. Soy Sauce

If you’re after some umami flavor in your fried chicken, soy sauce can be your go-to. It helps create a flavorful, savory crust. Just be careful with the salt in the rest of your recipe due to the soy sauce’s inherent saltiness.

Soy sauce chicken
Soy sauce creates an Asian-inspired flavor profile.

Healthier and Nutrient-Rich Substitutes

These substitutes are the ones that gym-goers and health buffs high-five in the supermarket aisle. They’re the substitutes that whisper, “Sure, you’re frying chicken, but you’re doing it with a side of vitamins and fiber.” If you like to sneak in some health benefits while still indulging, these are your new best friends.

43. Mashed Avocado

Think outside the toast! Avocado’s creamy texture makes for a mean egg substitute in your fried chicken recipe. It’s packed with heart-healthy fats and fiber, so it’s a win-win. Just mash it up and use it as your dipping medium. Expect a slight change in flavor, but hey, who doesn’t love avocado?

Creamy mashed avocado for chicken coating
Elevate your fried chicken with a coating of creamy mashed avocado, adding a luxurious and indulgent touch.

44. Mashed Banana

Don’t be scared of a bit of sweetness! Mashed banana can complement the savory flavors of your chicken. Plus, it’s packed with vitamins and fiber.

45. Pumpkin Puree

Slightly sweet, pumpkin puree can be an interesting addition to your fried chicken. It also sneaks in some nutrients into your indulgent meal.

46. Sweet Potato Puree

Just like its friends mashed banana and pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree adds a touch of sweetness and a whole lot of nutrients. It’s worth a try!

47. Mashed Beans

Beans are your protein pals. Blend them up to create a sticky, egg-like consistency that ensures your breading sticks to your chicken.

Mashed beans: Egg substitute in fried chicken
Harness the protein power of mashed beans as a wholesome and nutritious alternative to eggs in fried chicken.

48. Mashed Lentils

Just like mashed beans, mashed lentils provide a sticky base for your breading and some plant-based protein.

49. Pureed Beans

Pureed beans, much like mashed beans and lentils, create a sticky, egg-like consistency. Perfect for ensuring your breading sticks to your chicken.

50. Mashed Potatoes

Talk about a spud-tacular idea! Mashed potatoes make a surprisingly good egg substitute in frying chicken. They help the coating stick to the chicken, and bonus, they add a hint of cozy, comforting potato flavor.

Creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes, a comforting companion to your fried chicken.

Now, aren’t you glad we’re not stuck with just eggs? With all these substitutes, you can cater to dietary restrictions, health goals, and flavor adventures. Now go on and channel your inner culinary Picasso!

Egg-cellent Substitutes for Frying Chicken

Well, there you have it – 50 of the best substitutes for eggs in your fried chicken recipe. Now it’s time to put on that apron, grab those chicken pieces, and start experimenting. Remember, the key to a great dish is making it your own. Whether you’re using cold water to make a slurry, or whisking up some vegan mayo, you’re on your way to making some delicious fried chicken. So go forth and fry, my fellow Apron Aces!

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