How to Make a Chia Egg

This easy chia egg replacer is a great egg substitute to use in all your vegan baking! Learn how to make and use chia eggs for all your egg-free cooking adventures.

chia egg in glass bowl with a spoon

If you've been looking at vegan recipes, you might have noticed that there is a thing called a chia egg. Sounds a little weird, though, doesn't it? So what is a chia egg, you might be asking, and why would one want to use it?

What Is a Chia Egg?

We're not talking chia in the sense of the old chia pets where you would water chia seeds and grow grass. The seeds are the same, but in this case, we're not growing anything. We're talking about making an egg replacer out of chia seeds and water only.

A chia egg is quite similar to a flax egg. Basically, in either case, you are using seeds and water to make a gelatinous substance that acts as a binder (something that holds things together) for baked goods. After adding chia seeds to water, the seeds get slimy, and cling to things--kind of like a raw egg. That's why they can be used instead of eggs in so many applications.

When and How to Use Chia Eggs

Basically, one would use a chia egg, or other egg substitute, if one is allergic to eggs, has an intolerance or sensitivity to eggs, or if you just happen to have run out of eggs while you are in the middle of baking. If you've got chia in your pantry, no need to run to the store at the last minute.

You can use chia eggs (or flax eggs) as an egg replacer in baked goods like cookies, biscuits, muffins, quick breads, and more. We've used them in this Flax Bread.

Chia eggs are also really handy as binders in dishes like meatloaf and meatballs.

One thing that they don't tend to work well in is cakes, as you really need something that acts as a leavening agent for cakes. For that purpose, you might want to try my Powdered Egg Replacer.

A chia seed egg substitute will work well for recipes that call for 1 or 2 eggs, especially in recipes that call for all-purpose or whole wheat flour as opposed to grain-free flours.

However, if recipes call for more than 2 eggs, a chia egg substitute will not produce the best result. Just as with flax eggs, the interior of the food will be heavy and too moist and will not rise the way it should. Recipes using coconut flour will not work well either and anything like a meringue or souffle will not turn out either. Ask me how I know :).

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Though eggs are quite nutritious on their own, chia seeds are nothing to sneeze at nutritionally either. Chia seeds are:

  • high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • high in fiber (1 ounce has 11 grams of fiber)
  • are non GMO and typically grown organically
  • promote a healthy digestive tract
  • are gluten free, vegan, and grain free
  • are an excellent source of magnesium, plus are a source of calcium and antioxidants
  • promote satiety (feeling full) so you can manage your weight more easily
  • increases plasma ALA and EPA
  • reduce insulin resistance

We use chia seeds for way more than just as a chia egg substitute in our home. You can eat them plain (many do this as an appetite suppressant), or sprinkle them on hot cereals, add them to smoothies or yogurt, or make chia pudding from them.

chia seed egg substitute in glass bowl with a spoon

Flax Egg vs Chia Egg

While flax eggs and chia eggs are pretty similar, there are some differences that you should be aware of.

Grinding

You have to grind flax seeds in order to make flax eggs, but you do not have to grind chia seeds to make chia eggs. You can grind them, but it's not necessary.

Taste

Flax seeds have more of a flavor than chia seeds. So if you are making a more mild-flavored recipe, a chia egg replacer might be your best bet.

Cost

Chia seeds, while they have many benefits over flax seeds, do cost quite a bit more than flax seeds.

Storage

Flax seeds need to be stored in the fridge or freezer, whereas chia seeds can often be stored at room temperature for a decent amount of time. So if fridge space is at a premium, you might want to opt for chia eggs.

Appearance in Baked Goods

Black Chia seeds are typically quite dark and don't blend into baked goods as well as flax eggs, especially when using them whole and particularly when comparing them to golden flax seeds. If you would like to not see the chia seeds in your finished product, you can use organic white chia seeds instead.

Endocrine Activity

There is conflicting information about this, but flax seeds are suspected of acting in some fashion on the endocrine system. I recommend talking about this with your health practitioner if this is of concern to you.

Where to Buy Chia Seeds

If possible, you will want to purchase chia seeds that are organic. It is also preferable to purchase the kind that are non irradiated and sustainably sourced. One of my favorite all-time brands is Frontier.

When considering what to buy, note that one pound of chia seeds will make about 45 egg substitutes.

chia seed egg replacer in glass bowl with a spoon

Recipe Notes for Chia Seed Egg Replacer

Note that the recipe for the chia egg substitute states that you should let the chia egg sit for 5 - 15 minutes. Actually, you can even make it up the night before if you like.

If you make the chia egg the same day that you are going to be using it, I recommend making it at the start of your baking / cooking so that it's ready to use when it comes time to add it to the rest of the ingredients.

chia egg in glass bowl with a spoon

Chia Egg Substitute

This easy chia egg replacer is a great egg substitute to use in all your vegan baking and more. Learn how to make and use chia eggs for all your egg-free cooking adventures.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dressings, Seasonings, etc.
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Vegan
Keyword: chia egg
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1 Chia Egg Substitute
Calories: 48.93kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place chia seeds in a small bowl.
  • Add water to seeds.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Let chia and water mixture sit for 5-15 minutes to thicken.
  • Use in recipes as a 1:1 substitute for eggs.

Nutrition

Calories: 48.93kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.39g | Protein: 1.57g | Fat: 3.07g | Saturated Fat: 0.32g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.32g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.21g | Sodium: 1.89mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 3.79g | Net Carbs: 1g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

I'd love to hear what you think after trying out this chia seed egg substitute!

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518271/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22538527

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22090467

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20087375

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10 Comments

  1. I'm confused. In the flax seed bread you include a link for the recipe requires 5 eggs, but in the recipe & directions for the chia egg replacer, you state it's best to not utilize the chia egg replacer for recipes calling for more than 2 eggs. Can one not substitute chia egg replacer for all 5 eggs in the glax/foccacia nread recipe?

    Thank you,
    Jeannie

    1. Hi there. Good question. So in this case, it's OK due to the makeup of the Flax Bread since flax already acts as an egg replacer. I really really like the Flax Bread with eggs or the Powdered Egg Replacer on my site best, but you can get away with the Chia Egg too. Hope that helps!

  2. 5 stars
    I don't eat an egg in any cooked, fried, boiled, poached or baked -i have no eggs allergies and I can use and eat them when blended into cakes, puddings, meatloaf, etc. I don't care for the taste nor smell-probably physiological! Lol
    Saying all that to thank you for this alternative.

    1. You are so welcome and my husband feels the same way as you! We use all kinds of egg alternatives in our home.

  3. I love using flax eggs as a substitute but I don't use chia eggs enough! I'll have to try them next time 🙂 I love that you don't have to grind them.