Scrambled eggs have always been one of my favorites for a quick breakfast. From the very beginning, every egg I scrambled had a little milk added as an extender, just to make the eggs go farther and to make them fluffy. Over the years, I would occasionally be out of milk and forced to test various substitutes. What I learned is that, even if you are out of milk, there are both dairy and non-dairy viable substitutes that can be used.
The best dairy substitutes for milk in scrambled eggs include cream, cream cheese, half & half, evaporated milk, goat milk, Lactaid, and powdered milk; the best non-dairy substitutes include almond milk, oat milk, rice milk, and soy milk. Water can also be used if no other options are available.
In the following paragraphs, I will discuss the pros and cons of each of the substitutes mentioned above.
To add creaminess to your scrambled eggs, add a small amount of heavy whipping cream to the eggs and whip them thoroughly before scrambling. If you don’t have heavy whipping cream, two other good options are half & half and cream cheese.
Cream is classified by the amount of fat in the product.
- Heavy whipping cream contains 36% fat.
- Whipping cream contains 30-35% fat.
- Half-and-half contains 10-18% fat.
In the past, it was believed that the high fat content of cream would lead to obesity and heart disease. But, recent studies have shown that the opposite is true and that individuals with a higher intake of cream with its natural fat content which contains such health-boosting vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, D, E, and K, have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes than those who use the low-fat substitutes such as coffee creamers and whipped topping.
In cooking scrambled eggs, the milk substitute that is higher in fat is the better choice in making fluffy scrambled eggs.
2. Cream Cheese
Cream Cheese is a fresh cheese that is made from cream and milk with a stabilizer added during the manufacturing process.
While cream cheese is primarily used as a spread, it has many other uses, including as a substitute for milk in preparing casseroles, macaroni and cheese, and scrambled eggs for a much richer flavor, but because cream cheese is much denser than whole milk, only a small amount should be used.
An additional benefit of using cream cheese in scrambled eggs is that eggs and cream cheese are keto-friendly and low in carbohydrates, making them suitable for Keto, low-carb, and diabetic diets.
3. Half & Half
Half & Half is another good choice as a substitute for milk in making scrambled eggs. As a matter of fact, it is a better choice for making fluffy scrambled eggs than milk since any ingredient with a higher fat content will make the eggs richer and fluffier.
Half & Half, as mentioned above, is half milk and half cream with a fat content of 10 to 18 percent, while whole milk has a fat content of only 3.25 percent. This means that scrambled eggs that have a little half & half added will whip up fluffier and will have a richer flavor than scrambled eggs prepared with milk.
4. Evaporated Milk
Evaporated milk is one of those milk substitutes that many people keep on hand most of the time because it is so handy to use and so easy to store for long-term use.
This option as a substitute for milk is another choice that would actually make better and fluffier scrambled eggs than milk. Since evaporated milk has been reduced by 60 percent through evaporation or dehydration, using it in scrambled eggs straight from the can will give you richer and fluffier eggs. The key point here is to use just a small amount to avoid affecting the flavor of the eggs.
5. Goat Milk
Goat Milk is very similar in texture and flavor to cow’s milk and should make whatever dish you are making indistinguishable from the same recipe made with cow’s milk. And because goat and cow milk possess a very similar flavor, they can be used in any dish, interchangeably; however, you may notice that food like scrambled eggs is more decadent when made with goat milk.
Lactaid is a lactose-free milk, so for those people who are lactose intolerant, Lactaid provides a dairy product that their systems can tolerate. Since Lactaid is almost the same texture as cow’s milk, maybe just slightly thinner, and can be substituted for milk in any recipe without significantly affecting the taste or texture of the dish, it should be a good substitute for milk in scrambled eggs.
However, unless Lactaid is the only milk substitute you have on hand, we recommend using a substitute like cream or cream cheese that is thicker and has a higher fat content to make richer and more flavorful scrambled eggs.
7. Powdered Milk
Powdered or dry milk is made by using evaporation or dehydration to remove the moisture from milk and turn it into a powder that can be stored at room temperature for an extended period of time. The powdered or dry milk can be reconstituted by adding water back to the powder to make a liquid that is very similar to the original milk.
Reconstituted powdered milk can be used as a substitute for milk in any dish, and while many people do not like the taste of reconstituted powdered milk for drinking, it works very well as a milk substitute in most dishes without significantly affecting the taste or texture of the dish.
Related Article: How to Make Homemade Milk Powder | 3 Easy Methods
.8. Almond Milk
Almond milk is a nut-based milk that can be used in place of cow’s milk in many recipes, and while almond milk is not as nutritious as cow’s milk, it does contain added calcium, protein, and vitamin D, and many vitamins and minerals naturally found in the nuts.
Although almond milk tastes good and is one of the non-dairy milks that are more readily available, I do not recommend using it to scramble eggs because it is a good bit thinner than cow’s milk, and there is a little color difference in the food that is prepared with almond milk. I recently made macaroni and cheese with almond milk, and even though it tasted the same as mac and cheese made with cow’s milk, there was a slight color change, and the resulting grayish color was rather unappetizing.
9. Oat Milk
Oat Milk is a plant-based milk that is made from whole oats, has a creamy texture, and has a mild oatmeal-like taste. In addition, Oat Milk is high in fiber and protein, which promotes a healthy digestive system, making it perfect for persons with lactose intolerance, and is soy and nut-free.
While oat milk is a good substitute for milk in making scrambled eggs, use the milk sparingly to avoid a slight flavor change since oat milk does have an oatmeal-like flavor.
10. Rice Milk
Rice Milk is another non-dairy milk substitute that is well known and easy to find. However, the texture of rice milk is sweeter and much thinner than cow’s milk and will not make the taste of scrambled eggs as rich and robust as some of the other options like cream and cream cheese.
While rice milk is a good option as a milk substitute for persons with allergies, it is high in starch and would not be a good option for persons with diabetes.
11. Soy Milk
Soy Milk is a plant-based dairy substitute made from soybeans and filtered water and is the only dairy substitute with almost as much protein as cow’s milk. This is one of the more common milk-replacement options that are affordable and easy to find.
Soy Milk is thicker than almond milk and can replace cow’s milk in most dishes, including scrambled eggs, but be sure to use unsweetened plain soy milk and only use a small amount in the eggs to avoid a flavor change.
Water is the best substitute for milk in scrambled eggs. If you want the texture of your scrambled eggs to be creamy, use 1 tablespoon of your favorite milk or milk substitute per egg when beating the eggs. But, if you want fluffy eggs, just add 1 tablespoon of water per egg when beating the eggs.
If using water as a milk substitute in scrambled eggs, adding an extra tablespoon of butter to the eggs will make them richer and more flavorful.
Making Perfect Scrambled Eggs
I recently learned that adding milk to eggs is absolutely not necessary and, in fact, makes sub-par scrambled eggs. Of course, everyone has an opinion on this, and some people swear by it.
Whether you decide not to add milk or no matter what kind of milk or milk substitute you use in your eggs, there are a few things you can do to make your scrambled eggs fluffy and delicious, such as:
- Use the freshest eggs available
- Beat the eggs well before cooking
- Cook over low heat
- Do not stir too much while cooking
- Avoid overcooking them.
If you are wondering what kind of oil is best for scrambling eggs, most people consider butter to be the best, but I also like to substitute olive oil for the butter or scramble them in a combination of equal parts butter and olive oil.
For many years, eggs were considered too high in cholesterol to be eaten every day as part of a healthy diet in spite of the fact that one egg has only 75 calories while being packed with 7 grams of protein plus iron, vitamins, and minerals. In 2000, the American Heart Association revised its dietary guidelines after 25 years of study and now recommends that one egg a day is allowed for healthy adults. The high cholesterol level in eggs had previously been thought to be associated with heart disease, but the new findings place the blame on saturated fat rather than cholesterol.
Scrambled eggs make a delicious and nutritious meal when served alongside your choice of sauteed vegetables, sausage, bacon, ham, cheeses, grits, oatmeal, tortillas, toast, biscuits, or scones. And who doesn’t love a scrambled egg sandwich?
Thanks for stoppin’ by!
For more, don’t miss The Best Substitutes for Milk in a Recipe | Ultimate Guide.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.