Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about aquafaba, the amazing vegan egg substitute! What is it? Why does it work? How to whip it? What recipes does it work well in? PLUS learn how to make basic vegan meringue!

a big mound of whipped white meringue on top of a lemon pie
Meringue on Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

What is aquafaba?

Aquafaba is simply the liquid that you usually discard after draining a can of chickpeas. It’s viscous and has similar properties to egg whites, making it the most amazing egg substitute of all time!

Some people might think this sounds a little weird, using bean water in dessert recipes, but honestly how gross are raw egg whites!? While at first you will smell a bit of “beaniness” from the liquid, once it’s whipped up or used in a recipe, the taste and smell is undetectable.

Using aquafaba is nothing like making bean based brownies. You can create the lightest cakes and fluffiest vegan meringue using the stuff, and no one will guess what they are enjoying is 100% vegan! Unlike using flaxseed meal, there will be no flakes or seeds visible when a recipe calls for aquafaba.

very close up shot of vegan whipped cream on a plate of strawberries with pink background
Vegan Whipped Cream using aquafaba

How to substitute aquafaba for eggs

The most common suggestion is to use 3 tablespoons for 1 whole egg or 2 tablespoons for 1 egg white. This is not an exact science, but it’s a good place to start. In my dessert recipes, I often use some trial and error to find the correct amount.

Aquafaba works best in cake recipes, brownies, cookies and of course meringue pies. Scroll down to learn how to make a simple meringue.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can you freeze it? Yes, it freezes well. So when you open a can of chickpeas for another recipe like my Chickpea Tikka Masala or Chickpea Curry, freeze the liquid for later. Simply thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, and use like normal.
  • How long can aquafaba be stored in the refrigerator? It will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in a covered container. If you won’t use it up in that time, freeze it instead.
  • Does the liquid from homemade chickpeas work just as well? Sort of. It will work best if you let the cooked chickpeas cool in the water they cooked in for a half hour or so, and you may need to cook the liquid further to reduce it and make it thicker. For consistent results, use canned chickpea water.
  • Should I use salted or unsalted beans? Honestly, I can’t tell the difference, so I use both interchangeably. If you are worried about it, use unsalted canned chickpeas.
  • Does it work with other beans, such as black or pinto? The results can be a little inconsistent using other canned bean liquid, so I would stick to chickpea. Plus other beans have darker colored liquid, which would not be pretty if you are making meringues or anything light in color.
  • What if my liquid is very thin and not viscous? If your liquid is not very thick (and it should be similar to egg whites), you can reduce it in a pan on the stovetop. I don’t usually need to do this.
looking down close at brownies with crackle top
Eggless Brownies that use aquafaba

Aquafaba meringue

One of the best ways to use chickpea liquid is to make vegan meringue! You can use it on top of lemon meringue pie, to make meringue cookies and anywhere else you like.

Simple add 1/2 cup of aquafaba liquid and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar to a large bowl, and beat on high until soft peaks form. Slowly add 3/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks have formed. That’s it!

close up on a glass dessert cup holding chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream
Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Amazing recipes that use aquafaba

I have several recipes that are made incredible with the help of this vegan wonder! You can also make Vegan Mayonnaise, Vegan Marshmallows and Pavlova using aquafaba.

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Comments

  1. I wish you would of sent this recipe yesterday as I cook a large pot of chick peas
    yesterday in my instant pot to make mock tuna spread. but I tossed out the water. will be making more beans again shortly . than you Nora I really look forward to your recipes they are the best. thank you so much for being the top cook . in our book,

  2. So would love to try this for my son who is allergic to eggs. Unfortunately he is also allergic to chickpeas. I wonder if a can of white beans would work?

    1. I have not tried this with white beans. It would probably work. Let me know how it works for you if you try it!

      1. I made cookies with the water from a can of butter beans. It was the first time I ever tried aquafaba, but they turned out fine.

  3. I’ve used aquafaba from homecooked dry beans. The trick is to let the beans sit for a while after cooking to allow the liquid to firm up. In hot weather, i would suggest putting the whole amount of cooked beans and liquid in the fridge to avoid spoilage. Once the liquid firms up, you can skim off the aquafaba, then rinse your beans well and store (or use) both appropriately.

  4. Hi! This post has been so incredibly helpful and the recipe roundup is super convenient! Do you know how long aquafaba will stay good for in the freezer?

    1. I am so glad you find the information helpful. I love that! Aquafaba will stay good for about 3-4 months in the freezer.

  5. Follow your recipe to made Lemon Meringue Pie and that pie was so so delicious! Thanks, Nora!

  6. I made your meringues this week and was blown away! As a non-vegan, I’ve had traditional meringues recently enough to remember what they taste like, and I was truly amazed!!!! And I will admit that I had a little too much fun telling people they were vegan meringues but not telling them the main ingredient until after they had told me how delicious they are!! Everyone was so shocked and several were grossed out, but an egg white is so much worse when you actually stop to think about what it is!!

    Thank you for yet another amazing recipe! I’ll never make traditional meringues again!

    1. I totally agree about egg whites, ew! 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the meringues, I love those little cookies.

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