The humble egg can do anything and sometimes seems to be in everything. So, what happens if you are allergic, or vegan, or just run out of eggs? Do you have to give up lasagna as well? The answer is a firm no.
Traditional lasagna does not require eggs, so replacing it is easy. The best substitutes for egg in lasagna are bechamel sauce, plain yogurt, heavy cream, mashed potatoes (or parsnip or pumpkin), or flax.
Read up to see how you can enjoy your lasagna without an egg in sight. But first…
Is Egg Even Necessary in Lasagna?
Egg actually isn’t needed in lasagna. A classic (and most recognizable) lasagna recipe only requires a red (meat) sauce, a bechamel sauce, noodles, and cheese. It’s quite common in Italy to add a few layers of sliced zucchini or other veggies as well.
However, you can use the same technique and completely switch up your ingredients. As long as you get the right consistency of the sauce, it doesn’t really matter what you are putting in there.
Eggs usually appear in two ways – either boiled and sliced or crumbled as one of the fillings or mixed with water or milk as a binder. In the case of the former, you can skip the eggs altogether without a second thought. But if the latter is the issue, you’ll just need to adjust the consistency of the sauce or pick a different one.
5 Best Substitutes for Eggs in Lasagna
1. Bechamel Sauce
This bechamel sauce is the most potent weapon in your cooking arsenal. Master it, and you are mere steps away from a velouté, cheese sauce, soufflé, etc. When making a veggie lasagna, this is the binder that will keep everything in place.
A bechamel, aka white sauce, follows a simple ratio – equal parts by weight of flour and fat with up to 10 times as much milk. Create a roux with flour and (traditionally) butter, and then add enough milk to reach the desired consistency.
When assembling your lasagna, use about a quarter to half of a cup per layer (depending on the pan’s size). It’s better not to overdo it unless you are looking to make your dish quite rubbery. Though, you can totally overdo it if you’re using your bechamel to create a cheese sauce.
As for the layering technique, you may want to go with the noodles first if you are using only the white sauce. Otherwise, it may get scorched, and you will not be able to pull the slices out. But if you’re using tomato or another pasta sauce, start with that on the bottom of the pan before you continue with a layer of noodles, then bechamel and all other goodies.
2. Plain Yogurt
There is a reason why every good cheesecake recipe includes yogurt – it just makes everything creamier and a real treat. In a lasagna, you can not only use it to loosen up your cheese and make it stick better but also add some of that silky smoothness.
Add as little as half a cup to a softer cheese, or use an equal amount of hard cheese. Just remember to use the full-fat stuff because the fat-free options may turn your creation into a soggy mess.
3. Heavy Cream
Using heavy cream is the easiest way to achieve a silky smooth lasagna. Though, there is a bit of a trick to it. You can’t use the cream alone, and you will have to add some starch to it. About a tablespoon per cup of heavy cream should do the trick, though you may want to play with it depending on how wet the other ingredients are.
To use it, mix the cream with your ricotta. Use as little as a quarter or half a cup, or replace every egg in the recipe with a quarter cup of the mixture.
4. Mashed Potato, Parsnip, or Pumpkin
Mashed root vegetables work in a very similar way to the bechamel sauce. They act both as a binder and a base upon which you can build up different flavors.
If you’re going this route, all you have to do is cook or steam the veggies first, then mash them. You can even get away with using instant mashed potato flakes or canned pumpkin puree (just go with the unsweetened kind).
When layer, also use a quarter to half a cup, but you can get away with sneaking in a bit more if your mash is not too wet.
5. The Flax “Egg”
The flax egg is the nickname for the mixture of ground flaxseeds and water. It has the same binding powers as a chicken egg, and it is often used in various baked goods recipes.
You will have to remember a simple ratio here as well – one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and two and a half tablespoons of water make a substitute for one egg. Just mix the two without using special tools or heat.
This works because fibers in flaxseeds get broken down in the water and turn gooey and sticky. The mixture has less fat than eggs tough, and you may need to add some oil or butter to balance that out.
To use a flax egg in a lasagna, you can mix it with your ricotta cheese or the tomato sauce to keep them from sliding off noodles.
If the flaxseeds are not working out for you, you can also try mixing one tablespoon of arrowroot with two tablespoons of water and using that instead.
The Cheese Conundrum
Some lasagna recipes use beaten eggs as a binder for the cheese topping. Usually, the cheese listed in said recipes is not melty and needs some form of glue to keep it in place and from crumbling off (i.e., goat cheese).
The solution is simple – pick a better cheese. Mozzarella has a fresh taste that will work great with a hearty sauce, or you can choose a fontina or provolone if you’re looking for something more robust. Or you can skip this step and pile on the cheese once the lasagna is fully cooked.
Can I Get Egg-Free Lasagna Sheets?
Actually, the majority of the noodles you can pick up at your local supermarket don’t contain eggs. Ones that do will be clearly marked.
Look for sheets that are labeled as “pasta all’uovo,” which is literally Italian for pasta with eggs. Durum pasta is usually a safe choice as well, but take a look at the back of the box to double-check. All manufacturers must display a clear list of ingredients.
I hope this article has been informative. Now go out there and make the best eggless lasagna ever!
Thanks for stoppin’ by.
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.