Wondering What to Do With Egg Yolks? We Have 11 Sweet and Savory Egg Yolk Recipes
Many recipes call for egg whites alone, especially in baking—think angel food cake, soufflés, mousse, and meringues. So after you're done with those masterpieces, you might be left wondering what to do with the egg yolks left behind. Egg yolk recipes—yes, ideas that call for yolks alone—abound, including silky egg yolk sauces, puffy egg yolk profiteroles, creamy egg yolk custards, and more. If you need any more convincing, consider this: The yolks are the major source of vitamins and minerals in eggs, and these egg yolk recipes are totally delicious. So go ahead and get cracking.
11 Ideas for What to Make with Egg Yolks
Savory or sweet, you have many options when contemplating what to do with leftover egg yolks.
- Aioli. As a condiment for crab cakes or a dipping sauce for french fries or fried Brussels sprouts, this rich yet simple egg yolk sauce can be made entirely in a blender ($100, Target). For a 1¼ cup batch of our Grilled Lemon Aioli, you'll use 3 egg yolks.
- Caesar Salad. As a starter or the star of a meal, Caesar salad is tough to top—especially when you top said Caesar with homemade dressing. Two hard-boiled yolks make the dressing for this Kale Caesar Salad remarkably lush and creamy. Warning: You might want to make a double batch of this egg yolk recipe to dunk veggies into it come snack time.
- Carbonara-Style Pasta. When we say, "egg yolk pasta," you might imagine a brightly-hued noodle. But for this 25-minute Classic Fettuccine alla Carbonara, we speed things up with store-bought refrigerated pasta and build a luxurious sauce with 1 egg yolk, white wine, cream, milk, and Parmesan cheese. (Yes, please!)
- Citrus Curd. For lemon bars, thumbprint cookies, and beyond, consider stirring up a sweet-tart egg yolk sauce with lemons or limes. Our classic Lemon Curd calls for 6 yolks to yield 2 cups of curd.
- Crème Brûlée. Things only get better when you top custard with sugar and caramelize it using a kitchen torch ($35, Target) for a crispy topping. That's the concept behind crème brûlée, and our fan-favorite Maple Crème Brûlée with Hazelnuts uses one egg yolk per portion (and makes six). Or try this 7-ingredient crème brûlée-pie mash-up to put 6 egg yolks to tasty use.
- Custard. Gelatin, sugar, and milk transform into a decadent dessert once you yolk them up! For our favorite egg yolk custard, Coffee Shop Custard, you'll use 3 egg yolks, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and instant coffee powder. For a unique chocolate egg yolk custard, try these surprisingly Paleo Chai-Infused Chocolate Pots de Creme.
- Eggnog. No line-up of egg yolk recipes would be complete without the quintessential beverage of the winter holidays. If you're craving a dose of nostalgia, warm up with this Eggnog (6 yolks for 10 servings). For a buzzy, modern riff, sip on Cafe Rompope (8 yolks for 10 servings), a coffee eggnog that originated in Mexico.
- Hollandaise. No eggs Benedict dish is complete without a hollandaise sauce, and this classic brunch component is one of our favorite ways to employ leftover egg yolks. If you have butter, lemon juice, 3 egg yolks, and a few seasonings, you have everything you need to whip up our 10-minute blender-made Summer Hollandaise.
- Profiteroles. Also known as cream puffs or chou à la crème, profiteroles are one of a handful of desserts that showcase French choux pastry. Our Chocolate-Drizzled Pumpkin Profiteroles features 4 whole eggs in the puffs and 9 egg yolks in the fluffy pumpkin filling.
- Semifreddo. Translated from Italian to mean "semi-frozen," this cream and custard treat has been a final course fave since the 1800s. Try our Limoncello Semifreddo—complete with 6 yolks—and you might just feel transported to the Amalfi Coast. Since it freezes to a soft, sliceable consistency, this is one of our best solutions for what to do with egg yolks when you're in need of a dinner party-worthy dessert.
- Zabaglione. This Italian dessert option is like the mash-up of mousse and custard. It's more cloud-like than the usual custard since it's whipped up to infuse a hefty amount of air. As our (6 egg yolks strong!) Classic Zabaglione proves, it's often spiked with a splash of alcohol, like Marsala or Cognac.
If you don't have time to tackle the egg yolk recipes above, you might wonder, "Can you freeze egg yolks?" Our answer: "Yes, if…" Yolks can gel up and get syrupy when frozen as-is. So before you freeze egg yolks, mix each with about ⅓ teaspoon of cane sugar and a pinch of salt, the USDA suggests. This simple step will keep the yolk's proteins from thickening too much. Pour the pre-treated yolk(s) into ice cube tray slots, allow to freeze, then transfer to a labeled zip-top bag for up to 1 year. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then use as desired in any egg yolk recipe.