This vegan meringue recipe creates fluffy, egg-free meringue that you can serve over pies, cakes, and even more desserts. Meringue is typically an egg-based creation, who knew it could be vegan simply by using chickpea water.
Vegans have essentially gone from feeling like meringue was extinct to a bountiful supply overnight. Yes, that means vegan meringue pie is now a possibility!
Mostly this is thanks to a can of chickpeas. I know, I know. Who’d have thunk it! But, interestingly enough, you can do a lot with a can of chickpeas.
I’ve done everything from making Vegan Cheesecake with chickpeas to Blondie Bites to, of course, hummus. But those recipes call for working with the beans from the can. Today we’ll be using something else that comes from that can of chickpeas.
How to Make Vegan Meringue Without Eggs
Today I’m sharing three ways to make vegan meringues. Let’s start with that can of chickpeas, except we’re not going to be using the beans themselves.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Can of Chickpeas — You’ll need about ¾ cup bean brine liquid from one can of chickpeas
- Cream of tartar
- Granulated sugar
- Egg Replacer — If you’re going with version two of this recipe, you’ll need to use an egg replacer. See the notes in the recipe for how to make this yourself.
- Xantham gum — This is an optional ingredient, but I’ve found it helps create a stable meringue that stays firm even after baking.
Version 1: Vegan Meringue with Chickpea Water (Aquafaba Meringue)
- Pour the liquid from a can of chickpeas (salted or unsalted) into a mixing bowl, along with the cream of tartar.
- Mix on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes until it begins to froth.
- Make fine sugar by placing it in a food processor and pulsing for up to a minute.
- Beat in fine sugar, one tablespoon at a time.
- Continue mixing on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, and then add the vanilla.
- Continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Add the xanthan gum (if using) to help the meringue form and maintain stiff peaks.
- Spoon the meringue over a pie, making sure to create a seal with the pie crust.
- Create decorative peaks that will brown as it bakes.
I don’t know how the name AquaFaba came into being, but I mostly just refer to the liquid from a can of beans as chickpea brine.
Vegan Aquafaba meringues are interesting because it gets big and fluffy just like an egg-based meringue. That’s because chickpea water basically resembles the structure and consistency of egg whites.
Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions:
So, how to make chickpea meringue. Simply drain the liquid from one can of chickpeas (you can also use great northern beans but chickpeas are my favorite) into a mixing bowl. Add half of a teaspoon of cream of tartar and mix it for a minute or so to get a nice frothy mixture.
Next, let’s talk about how to whip aquafaba.
While the aquafaba recipe and the cream of tartar are mixing, place the sugar in a food processor and pulse for up to a minute to make a more fine sugar. If you want to skip this step you can always purchase caster sugar at the store.
Once the sugar is ready, add it one tablespoon at a time into the chickpea brine mixture. Continue beating.
Once all the sugar is added, continue beating on medium speed. Here’s what the garbanzo bean liquid meringue looks like after two minutes of beating.
Here’s what the chickpea meringue recipe looks like after 5 minutes of beating. Not too exciting…yet!
Here’s what it looks like after 7 minutes of beating. You can’t see it from this angle, but there are some peaks forming below that mixer!
I like to rub a little of the meringue between my fingers. Do I feel any grit? If so, I’ll beat for another minute or so to get a nice, smooth consistency.
This vegan meringue is ready for a pie! Simply spread this over your favorite pie, making sure to create a seal with each edge of the crust, and bake at 350°F/175°C for about 20 minutes.
If you don’t have browned meringue peaks, then turn the heat up to 375°F/190°C and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for about an hour and then refrigerate.
Make sure you give your family about 3 billion guesses what you used instead of egg whites!
Also, this version of meringue may result in liquid forming at the bottom of the pie after you cut it. I drained that liquid and everything was just fine. The meringue will come out of the oven nice and high, but will most likely settle after being refrigerated. Don’t worry, it will still taste great!
Version #2: How to Make Vegan Meringue with Egg Replacer
If you can’t bring yourself to work with garbanzo bean water meringue, I understand. You need another option. And you’re in luck because I’ve got one for you.
This version of how to make Vegan Meringue uses Ener-G’s Egg Replacer (paid link) product. I use this product in some of my baking, and it turns out it makes a decent meringue too.
Using these ingredients, and the recipe below, you can make a beautiful vegan meringue. That’s why this recipe for How to Make Vegan Meringue is so helpful!
Here’s the Egg Replacer Meringue on top of our Lemon Pie. It’s pretty amazing stuff! Personally, I prefer the bean brine version of meringue, but this one has a more subtle flavor. You know, if subtle is your thing.
Version 3: Either of the Above with Xanthan Gum
I experimented with the recipes above and found both were better with some Xanthan Gum. You only need half a teaspoon and it adds structure to your vegan meringue.
The aquafaba meringue is my favorite and it did quite well and looked amazing right out of the oven, but had a tendency to deflate overnight in the fridge. Adding just a bit of xanthan gum caused the meringue to form nice, stiff peaks that held their form for days.
Some people don’t like to use Xanthan Gum because it is a manufactured product. I get that. If you’re interested in learning more about xanthan gum and all the technical jargon that goes along with it, click the link above for the wiki page and decide for yourself.
Is Cream of Tartar Vegan?
Cream of tartar is made from the residue left on barrels of wine. It’s an acid and is used as leavening to create a chemical reaction in food, for example when it’s combined with baking soda. There is no dairy in cream of tartar so it’s perfectly fine for vegans to consume.
Awesome meringue for our lemon meringue pie. We were pleasantly surprised by the fluffiness and the flavor.
What Can I Make with Aquafaba Meringue?
There’s a variety of recipes you can use this vegan aquafaba meringue on, including the following:
- You can also make Vegan Meringue Cookies
- A Vegan Pavlova would be fun to make too!
Chickpea Brine (Aquafaba Meringue)
- ¾ cup bean brine liquid from one can of chickpeas
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Optional: ½ teaspoon xantham gum
For the Chickpea Brine (Aquafaba Meringue)
- Pour the liquid from one can of chickpeas (salted or unsalted) into a mixing bowl, along with the cream of tartar. Mix for a minute or two until the mixture begins to become frothy.
- In the meantime place the sugar in a food processor and pulse for up to a minute to create a more fine sugar (you can always purchase caster sugar if you want to skip this step).
- While you are mixing the chickpea brine, add one tablespoon of the processed sugar at a time. Once it's all added, continue to mix on medium to medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Optional: Add the xanthan gum to help the meringue form and maintain stiff peaks.
- Spoon the finished meringue over the pie of your choice, making sure to create a seal with the pie crust and creating a peak of meringue in the middle. The more edges you have in the meringue, the more that will brown, creating a beautiful pie.
For the Egg Replacer Meringue
- Combine the egg replacer and water in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed.
- In the meantime, place your sugar in a food processor and pulse up to a minute (or you can use fine caster sugar).
- Pour the refined sugar one tablespoon at a time into the egg replacer mixture. Continue beating, pausing to wipe down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Once soft peaks have formed, add the vanilla. Mix until stiff peaks form.
- Optional: Add xanthan gum to create a more stable meringue that will hold stiff peaks after baking.
- Spoon the meringue over a pie, being sure to seal the meringue up to the edges of the pie crust. Create decorative tips that will turn golden upon baking.
- Place in a preheated 350°F/175°C oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn heat up to 375°F/190°C and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so until peaks turn golden brown.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2015 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.