If you’re baking homemade macaroons and you find you’re stuck with leftover yolks without a home, maybe you whisk them together, make a quick and very yellow scramble, and call it a day.
We’ve all been there.
But if you’re looking for other, more creative and delicious options for using up those thick, colorful, and nutrient-rich orbs instead of tossing them in the trash – or making a sub-par chef’s snack – you’re in luck!
Many baked goods call for nothing but the whites, but the rest doesn’t have to go to waste.
Not only do egg yolks add richness and depth to many of the more obvious items, such as the ever-humble hollandaise sauce, they can be whipped into various desserts, dressings, soups, and savory side dishes and casseroles as well.
In this article, not only will we steer you towards five spectacular ideas for repurposing this liquid gold, we’ll throw in some rock-star recipes too. Don’t want you to leave empty-handed, after all.
Here’s what lies ahead:
5 Spectacular Ways to Use up Leftover Egg Yolks
Ready? Let’s get cracking!
1. Bomb Brunch
Eggs and breakfast or brunch go together like, well, I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. But not every sunrise-inspired recipe requires you to slide an entire egg into a sizzling skillet.
These dishes keenly represent that category of brunchtime favorites where an extra yolk or two is a morning must-have.
Whole Wheat Bread Pudding with Fruit and Nuts
A divine dish for a crowd that actually doubles up on leftover items, if you have a loaf of whole wheat bread sitting on your counter slowly creeping into the stale zone, and egg yolks that need a new home, this bread pudding with apples, figs, and walnuts is for you.
It’s scented with cinnamon and nutmeg, and the yolks help to fashion the fluffy spiced custard that seeps into every crevice.
To satisfy your carb craving, find the recipe here.
The Perfect Eggs Benedict with Magical Blender Hollandaise
The name pretty much says it all, but let’s be honest. Hollandaise is magical no matter how you make it.
As far as the Benedict goes, the method shared here showcases do-ahead poached eggs, so the whole thing is ready in a flash.
Grab your English muffins and get the goods on this classic here.
Coconut Sugar Lemon Curd
Whether you slather it over an impeccably crumbly scone or lick it straight off the spoon, this shiny spread is a tart and tangy dream come true.
Made with just five ingredients, one of which is the almighty egg yolk you were looking for someplace to put, lemon curd is a snap to make, and this version is dairy-free.
Coconut sugar adds delightfully subtle caramel notes.
This is where you can find the recipe to snag a spoonful of that lemon curd.
2. Savory Dressings and Dips
Yolks are an exceptional emulsifier that stabilizes salad dressing like a pro, which helps it cling to the greens (or whatever goodies you spread throughout your veggie creations).
Not to mention the rich, creamy undertones they bring to a french fry-worthy dip.
Try these on for size.
Classic Homemade Caesar Salad
This cool, crunchy salad is a staple on many restaurant menus, but learning to make the dressing from scratch will open the door to a whole new world of scratch-made deliciousness.
Sharp garlic and parmesan bring bold, salty bites, while the yolk enhances flavor and texture.
It gives the dressing its signature smooth base that coats each and every leaf of romaine.
This zippy sauce is a can’t-miss condiment when fried food of any kind is on the table.
Aioli is a term thrown around often, but don’t get it twisted: store-bought mayo mixed with other flavors and actual aioli are two different things.
In this recipe, it’s the fusion of the yolks into the oil that give this garlicky dip its luxurious body. Juicy lemon delivers a dazzling burst of citrus that cuts through the fattiness.
Carrot Raisin Salad with Lemon Aioli
Sweet, refreshing carrots cut into matchsticks partner up with chewy black and golden raisins in this slaw.
It’s cloaked in a bright lemon aioli that calls for straining out the garlic so you get all the sharp, pungent flavor, but none of the raw bite.
This salad comes together in about twenty minutes, and it’s perfect to serve as a nourishing side with a simple supper.
3. Slurp-Worthy Soups and Stews
Yolks come in handy as an alternative thickener to a cornstarch slurry, and the following recipes take full advantage of that.
Licking the bowl is totally acceptable here – it’s even encouraged.
Cream of Spinach Soup
Adapted from kitchen queen Julia Child’s original recipe, this simple French-inspired treat is one you’ll want to make again and again.
Savory onions, leafy spinach, and vegetable stock get the flavor party started, while tempered egg yolks and cream create the soup’s velvety consistency.
And in true Julia fashion, a few dabs of butter at the end never hurt anybody, taking the richness factor over the top..
Creamy Chickpea Stew with Saffron
Hearty and loaded with earthy chickpeas and floral saffron, this soup definitely stands out in a crowd of chicken noodles.
It also calls on a tangy Greek yogurt and egg yolk combo to thicken and add richness to the broth.
That’s one righteous game changer, if I do say so myself.
Greek Lemon Rice Soup
A vat of this citrusy, comforting soup will heal whatever ails you. Particularly hunger.
Staple ingredients you likely already have on hand – broth, rice, cream, lemon, and leftover egg yolk – are all you need to prepare this simple and satisfying dish.
4. Potato Perfection
Potato and egg is another no-brainer of a mashup, but these recipes will make you rethink how the two ingredients can work beautifully together.
Yolks can be used not just for binding, but to parallel the potato’s buttery characteristics, and I don’t think anyone will have a problem with that.
This beef and potato casserole may seem mysterious if you’re new to the dish, but slide your fork on in there and tell me you don’t immediately melt with happiness.
In this recipe, layers of thinly sliced potato and seasoned ground beef or lamb are married with a cheesy mornay sauce infused with parmesan.
Egg yolks take the cheesy sauce straight into OMG territory.
Potato Fritters with Red Pepper Relish
The yolks assist in binding these croquettes, while the fresh herbs, onion, and sharp cheddar give life to the starchy spuds.
You can serve these with sour cream, but our recipe suggests levelling up with a tasty red pepper relish. Balsamic vinegar and red onion give the condiment a complex sweetness.
Read the recipe now to learn more.
These adorably tiny dumpling pillows are soft, delicate, and just about impossible to stop eating.
Until they’re gone, that is.
Those extra egg yolks that you’re eager to use play an important role in creating a more cohesive dough that’s easier to roll out without breakage.
The yolks also add sturdiness, which supports the gnocchi so they hold their shape while they bob around in the boiling water. Now, that’s a good friend.
Find out how to knock out these gnocchi here.
5. Dreamy Desserts
Eggs in general can help to knock any dessert dish out of the park, but yolks in particular lend a hand in creating flawlessly creamy custard bases, puddings, and more.
Your sweet tooth meter will be on high alert when you take a gander at these recipes.
Einkorn Snickerdoodle Cookies
Snickerdoodle may be a silly word, but there’s nothing funny about how delicious these chewy cookies are, with their crispy edges and cinnamon-sugar crust.
They lean on einkorn flour, an ancient form of wheat known for potentially being easier on the digestive tract than wheat flour. Keep in mind, however, that it does still contain gluten.
Silky yolk in the batter helps to give the baked rounds their plush interiors.
Budino al Cioccolato
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “budino,” this recipe will make you want to learn the entire Italian language and buy a villa in Tuscany like Diane Lane did that one time in “Under the Tuscan Sun.”
Prepared on the stove, the decadent dessert gains its thick texture from egg yolks, and its complex flavor thanks to vanilla and dark chocolate.
It’s sweet, creamy, and can even be topped with whipped cream and hazelnuts. Nom.
Easy Homemade Chocolate Pudding
Skip the boxed stuff and go straight for this from-scratch dessert.
With just a short list of ingredients, you won’t be sorry you took the time to whip up a bowl of this perfect pudding.
High-quality chocolate and cocoa make all the difference, and that leftover egg yolk you weren’t sure what to do with is responsible for the custardy smoothness in the finished product.
Read more here to get the full scoop on this pudding.
The Yolk Won’t Be on You
Now that you’ve read our fabulous roundup, you’re fully equipped with a bevy of fantastic ideas for using up leftover egg yolks.
Remember that many of these recipes can be used as starting points for whatever personalized creations you come up with – which I’m sure are now rolling around in your head.
Maybe you’d like to use roasted garlic to perfume the aioli, or swap in some kale for the spinach in your soup. Seek out those leftovers hiding in the bottom of the fridge, and cut down on your food waste even more! Let us know what you come up with in the comments below.
These recipes are hard to beat (get it?), but if you’re craving even more eggy goodness, try these next:
Photos by Meghan Yager, Felicia Lim, Fanny Slater, Nikki Cervone, and Eddie and Katherine D’Costa, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Fanny Slater
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”