How to make a chia egg substitute, a vegan, egg-free baking standard. Made with just two ingredients, it’s a good go-to recipe to have in your knowledge kit. Chia seeds have a number of health benefits, including healthy fats, potential antioxidants, and, of course, dietary fibre.

Also try making a flax egg if you want to have some variety. For more vegan staple recipes, learn how to cook beans in the oven and how to make a gluten-free sourdough starter.

Top-down view of a chia mix in a jar with a measuring spoon.
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Ingredients

Chia egg ingredients with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Chia seeds: this can be chia of any colour, it doesn't matter. I like to grind my own whole seeds but you can buy it pre-ground – just make sure it's fresh.

How to Make a Chia Egg

Chia seed egg substitute steps 1 to 4, grinding the seeds and mixing with water.

Step 1: grind your chia seeds if you aren't using the whole seed.

Step 2: measure out the amount needed.

Step 3: mix the chia with water and set aside.

Step 4: once it's gelled, after about five minutes, it's ready to use.

What is a Chia Egg?

Often used by people who follow an egg-free diet, a chia egg is nothing more than chia seeds and water. Chia seeds hold about ten times their weight in liquid – meaning they suck up a lot of water to create a gel-like structure.

Chia is also a relatively shelf stable alternative to eggs for baking. I most often use it for muffins, quick breads, whole grain waffles, and pancakes.

Top Tips

  • Check the chia: sometimes, especially for pre-ground chia, it can be rancid in the store. If it's stored in a warm spot or in the sun, don't buy it. If you're keeping it at home, give it a sniff before using to make sure it hasn't gone off.
  • Stir well: you don't want any dry streaks in the egg, so stir it very well before setting it aside to rest.

How to Store

Ground chia has a shorter shelf life than the whole seeds, so it should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. This is a good idea with whole chia, too, though a cool, dark pantry will work well for months. If your chia smells off or rancid, toss it!

When to use a chia egg

Think recipes where eggs aren’t playing a central role, and where another leavening agent (baking powder or soda) is used. You can use a chia egg in any recipe that calls for a flax egg, too, like these vegan carrot cake cookies. You’ll most often see flax and chia eggs called for in already vegan recipes, but you can make substitutions a lot of the time.

So if you’re using whole grains, and eggs aren’t a main ingredient, you can probably use a chia egg. Even in cake, though you'd be best off using ground chia to add to a cake.

When not to use chia eggs

You want to avoid making substitutions for hen’s eggs in very traditional, egg-based cakes. A Victoria sponge, for example, would be a bad idea to try a chia egg in. Anything where either there are more than two eggs involved or it’s a very light kind of recipe.

Anything like Dutch babies, clafoutis, or egg-central recipes won’t work, either. These are recipes without an additional leavening agent, so the only thing causing rise is the eggs. Without them, you’ll end up with something flat and tasteless (that's a better time to use another egg replacer, like aquafaba).

FAQ

How much chia egg equals one large egg?

This recipe makes the amount to replace one egg. That's usually 1 tablespoon chia and 3 tablespoons water, so you end up with about 3 tablespoons total.

What can I use instead of chia egg?

If you prefer, you can substitute a flax egg for the chia.

What does a chia egg do?

It acts a little bit like an egg does in baking recipes, and helps to bind the ingredients together. Chia eggs don't add any leavening or rise to baked goods.

If you make this Chia Egg recipe or any other vegan staples on Wholehearted Eats, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more WHE, follow along on Instagram or subscribe for new posts via email.

Recipe

Top-down view of a chia mix in a jar with a measuring spoon.
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5 from 1 vote

How to Make a Chia Egg

How to make a chia egg substitute, a vegan baking standard. Made with just two ingredients, it’s a good go-to recipe to have in your knowledge kit.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Sophie

Equipment

  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground chia
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • Combine the chia and water in a bowl or jar and mix very well to combine.
    1 tablespoon chia seeds, 3 tablespoons water
  • Let the mixture rest for five minutes so the chia can absorb the water before using, then use as directed or substitute for chicken eggs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 4g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg

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