Got some leftover egg whites on hand? Here's how to make the most of them!
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whipped egg whites in a bowl
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Sometimes a recipe will call for only egg yolks, leaving you with more egg whites than you may know what to do with. Aside from freezing them or adding them to omelets or scrambles, what can you do with excess egg whites? Luckily, there are many ways to get inventive with the clear part of the egg, and all will help you reduce food waste. Read on to learn more about their health benefits and what to do with the leftover egg whites.

What is an egg white?

Though it may not look like it when you crack open an egg, egg whites make up close to two-thirds of the egg. The egg white, also known as the albumen, helps protect the yolk from potentially harmful microorganisms.

And if you've ever noticed a weird-looking white string when cracking an egg, don't be alarmed! That string is called a chalaza (pronounced kuh-LAY-zuh). It protects the yolk from busting open before you crack the egg. Per the American Egg Board's standards, the best-quality eggs will have a prominent chalaza, while eggs with no chalaza at all could be of lower quality or getting stale.

Health benefits of egg whites

While there's been some conflicting information about whether or not eggs are all they're cracked up to be, egg whites do have two main health benefits:

  • They're high in protein: One egg contains about 4 grams of protein, which might not seem like much, but it adds up! Try starting your day with an Egg White & Salmon Sandwich to feel satiated throughout the morning.
  • They're low in calories: There are around 17 calories in an egg white, so if you're watching your caloric intake, this can be an alternative to eating a whole egg. 

But don't ditch your yolks altogether! Here are some of the health benefits of whole eggs.

How to store egg whites

If you're not quite ready to use your egg whites after enjoying the yolks, don't toss them! Raw, leftover egg whites should be stored immediately in the refrigerator in an airtight storage container. Be sure to use them up within two to four days. If that's still too short of a time frame, try freezing them instead.

What to do with leftover egg whites

Cookies

In many desserts and baked goods, especially flourless ones, egg whites work as stabilizers, providing structure and volume. You can't go wrong with a batch of Flourless Chocolate Cookies, which feature chocolate chips and melt in your mouth—without any grains.

The crucial ingredient in meringue cookies is egg white, which gives them a light and crisp texture. For a no-fuss recipe, try these Chocolate Chunk-Walnut Meringue Cookies. Start with beating your whites at room temperature to get the most volume out of them.

Cakes

Not in the mood for cookies? Try pavlovas! It may look somewhat like a cake, but it has a texture more like meringues. Prepare your Pavlovas in advance and top them with cranberry-ginger sauce and slivered almonds when you're ready to serve for a festive treat.

But if meringues aren't what you're craving, egg whites also serve as the leavening ingredient in classic cake recipes, including Lemon Angel Food Cake. Angel food cake, in general, is an excellent way to use up egg whites. The whites make the cake moist, fluffy and ready to receive a topping of strawberries and coconut cream.

Cocktails

You might be surprised to discover that egg whites can be found in quite a number of classic cocktails. But don't expect an eggy flavor to transfer! Egg whites add a foamy top layer and silky mouthfeel to your drink.

A festive Sour Cherry Gin Fizz get its fizz, in part, from the egg whites, and the sour cherries contain anthocyanins, which have been shown to reduce muscle soreness after workouts. (Sounds like a nice way to unwind after a gym sesh!)

Savory foods

Whether you're following a ketogenic diet or just want to give something new a try, whip up a batch of the TikTok famous fluffy Low-Carb Cloud Bread. It's fairly plain as is, but can be easily enjoyed with savory toppings. Add egg whites to your next batch of Crab Cakes to act as a binder, and serve the crab cakes warm over a bed of greens with a simple lime dressing.

Take a break from your typical banana bread and pumpkin bread to give this Garlicky Cauliflower Bread a try instead. It combines pureed cauliflower and whipped egg whites for a moist and savory snack.

Bottom line

Egg whites are incredibly useful and can be put to work in a variety of different recipes: for cookies, cakes, cocktails, savory dishes and snacks and more. If you're looking for more ways to use up yours, trying using egg whites in one of these Egg Breakfast Recipes that come together in 15 minutes or less, or one of these Egg Recipes to Make for Dinner that are ready in 20 minutes.