Vegan Wonder

Unlock the Vegan Magic: 7 Ingenious Ways to Use Aquafaba in Your Cooking

Aquafaba, the viscous liquid that cooks off chickpeas or drains from a can, is a simple yet overlooked vegan ingredient. But when whipped into a froth, this humble elixir becomes the base for vegan meringues, a thickener for sauces and soups, and the star of creamy dressings and dips. It can even replace eggs in baking and stand in for oil in homemade mayonnaise.

Aquafaba, the viscous liquid that cooks off chickpeas or drains from a can, is a simple yet overlooked vegan ingredient.

The Wonders of Aquafaba

Aquafaba is the thin, golden liquid that collects at the bottom of a can of chickpeas or that cooks off chickpeas when they’re simmered on the stovetop. It is the liquid that remains when the beans have been cooked in water or are drained from a can.

This simple liquid is a vegan gold mine, and it can be used in a variety of unexpected ways to make plant-based cooking more delicious and more convenient. Aquafaba is thin, but when whipped into a froth it can mimic the egg-like properties that are so useful in baking. It can also act as an emulsifier, helping oil and liquid bind together to form creamy sauces, dressings, and mayonnaise.

When it comes to nutrition, aquafaba is a winner, too. It has a low calorie count, with about 12 calories in 3 tablespoons, making it a good choice for people watching their weight or those who need to minimize calories in medical treatments.

Egg white Substitute

Per tablespoon, aquafaba doesn’t have the same volume of protein as an egg white (about 1 gram for aquafaba versus 4 grams for an egg white), but it behaves similarly in baking. When whipped to stiff peaks, aquafaba can take on the airy texture of beaten egg whites. It won’t brown as nicely as egg whites when baked, but it can add volume to cakes and cookies and can be used to make vegan meringues and pavlovas.

Aquafaba can also be used to replace eggs in baking. In recipes that don’t require the volume that stiff peaks provide, you can use 3 tablespoons of aquafaba to replace one egg.

Aquafaba-Powered Baking

The fact that aquafaba can mimic the properties of egg whites makes it a must-have ingredient for any vegan baker’s pantry.

To make vegan meringues, you can whip aquafaba to stiff peaks, just as you would egg whites, and then fold in sugar. You can use this aquafaba meringue to make a vegan version of the classic French dessert pavlova. To get the best results, it’s important to use a very clean bowl and a very clean whisk (or beaters) to whip the aquafaba. Even a speck of oil or egg yolk can prevent the aquafaba from whipping up properly. It also helps to start whipping the aquafaba while it’s still in the can and then carefully transfer it to the mixing bowl.

Another way to use aquafaba in baking is to replace the eggs that are used to bind cakes and cookies together. When making these recipes, be sure to use a plant-based milk in place of any dairy milk so that the aquafaba can act as a binder for both the eggs and the milk.

When using aquafaba to replace eggs in recipes like cakes, you can simply whisk 3 tablespoons of aquafaba (about 1/4 cup) for every egg the recipe calls for. If the recipe also calls for egg whites, you can whip the aquafaba to stiff peaks and then fold it into the batter. The key to using aquafaba in baking is to be patient and to not overmix the batter.

Aquafaba as an Emulsifier

In addition to its egg-like properties, aquafaba also behaves like an emulsifier — that is, it can help oil and liquid bind together to form creamy sauces and dressings.

When making mayonnaise, you can use aquafaba in place of the egg yolks that are traditionally used to emulsify the oil. To make vegan mayonnaise, you will still need to add the oil very slowly to the aquafaba while blending or whisking the mixture. This will allow the aquafaba to incorporate the oil and thicken into a creamy sauce. You can then add any herbs, spices, or flavors you like to the mayonnaise. I like to add the juice of one lemon, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and salt to taste.

The same process can be used to make other creamy vegan dressings and dips. For example, you can make a vegan ranch dressing by adding garlic, onion powder, paprika, and nutritional yeast to the aquafaba mayonnaise. You can make hummus by blending chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and 3 tablespoons of aquafaba. You can even make vegan ice cream by blending bananas, 3 tablespoons of aquafaba, and a splash of plant-based milk.

Savory Aquafaba Applications

Aquafaba is not just for baking and making creamy sauces. It’s also a great ingredient to have on hand when cooking savory dishes.

One of my favorite ways to use aquafaba is to add it to the mixture when making veggie burgers. It can help bind the ingredients together and add moisture without adding extra oil. I like to blend 1/2 cup of cooked or canned chickpeas with 3 tablespoons of aquafaba and then add this mixture to my burger recipe. I also like to add a splash of soy sauce and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast to boost the flavors.

Aquafaba can also be used as a natural thickener. For example, you can add it to soups and stews to give them body without adding extra calories from oil or cream. It can also be used to make sauces thicker and to bind ingredients together. I like to add a few tablespoons of aquafaba to curries and chutneys to thicken them up and give them more texture. Experimenting with different cuisines and flavor combinations can lead to some delicious results.

Aquafaba Cocktails and Mocktails

Aquafaba is a great cocktail ingredient because it can give the frothy, creamy texture that many cocktails call for without adding extra calories from cream or eggs. To make an aquafaba-infused cocktail, simply shake a few tablespoons of aquafaba with ice and then strain it into the cocktail shaker along with the rest of the ingredients. Be sure to shake vigorously so that the aquafaba emulsifies with the other ingredients. Some of my favorite cocktails to make with aquafaba are old fashioneds, margaritas, and French 75s.

You can also use aquafaba to make delicious mocktails. Simply whisk 3 tablespoons of aquafaba with a splash of water until it is frothy and then add it to a glass of fruit juice or to a botanical infusion. You can also add a splash of simple syrup or a few drops of vanilla extract to the aquafaba to enhance the flavors.


If you’ve never cooked with aquafaba before, I encourage you to give it a try. This simple, plant-based ingredient can add volume to cakes, bind ingredients together, emulsify sauces, and even make frothy cocktails. Plus, it’s low in calories and easy to find — all you have to do is drain the liquid from a can of chickpeas.

I hope you enjoy experimenting with these aquafaba recipes. They are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many ways you can use this versatile ingredient in your cooking.