16 recipes that use up leftover egg yolks

Fresh pasta, crème brûlée and so many more ways to make the most of your yolks

Published December 13, 2021 6:30AM (EST)

 (Rocky Luten / Food52)
(Rocky Luten / Food52)

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You made a lofty meringue-topped pie, or a batch of chocolate-dipped meringues for the cookie plate, or a big egg white omelet for breakfast and now you have dozens of egg yolks to use up fast.

Luckily, there are lots of rich, silky recipes that need egg yolks and only egg yolks to become their sultry selves. Crème brûlée or pot de crème are always crowd-pleasers, as is chocolate mousse! Try your hand at homemade eggnog, which gets its name from — you guessed it — eggs — or make homemade pasta for an extra-special holiday dinner that will make your guests say "wowza."

Whip egg yolks into a batch of mayonnaise or aioli or add a few leftover yolks to a frittata, strata, or big batch of scrambled eggs. Looking for more ideas, or are wondering, "okay Kelly, but how do I make aioli, I've got you covered with 16 leftover egg yolk recipes.

How to use up egg yolks

1. Master Pasta Dough, Two Ways

Make fresh pasta! At its base, it's just flour and eggs. Meryl Feinstein of Pasta Social Club says that an all-yolk pasta dough is silky and luxurious, yes, but doesn't necessarily have the strength to be rolled and rolled and rolled for intricate pastas. So instead, she uses a combination of whole eggs and egg yolks.

2. Grand (Desk) Aïoli

If you have just one or two leftover egg yolks, use it to make aioli, which you can then serve alongside French friessteamed vegetables, or spread on crusty bread in place of mayonnaise. And it'll make you feel so ~chic~ eating it.

3. Simplest Bread Pudding with Salted Brown Sugar Sauce

Leave it to Emma Laperruque, Food52's Food Editor and author of Big Little Recipes, to develop a bread pudding recipe that has the shortest ingredient list we've ever seen but with the biggest, boldest flavor.

4. Salted Egg Yolk Pound Cake

This is no ordinary pound cake. It takes days of planning to prepare the salted egg yolks, a widely used ingredient in Asian cuisine. The result not only will help clear out your fridge, but make for a complex cake with a sturdy crumb.

5. Pistachio and Honey Crème Brûlée

You've always wanted to try your hand at baking crème brûlée and now you finally have enough leftover egg yolks to try it out. This one uses four of them, but their richness is offset by the lightness of the honey and pistachio-infused cream.

6. Custard Strudel

"Filled with a thick cream cheese filling and drowned in sweet custard, I refer to it as custard strudel," says Food52's Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. It uses a lot of eggs, including two egg yolks, and the brown sugar strudel flows through the citrus cream cheese filling like a sweet edible lazy river.

7. Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is rich in egg yolks and perfect for a DIY holiday food gift for friends, co-workers, or that special someone who insists that they absolutely don't want or need any presents.

8. Just-the-Best Vanilla Ice Cream

Recipe developer Coral Lee found that the ideal number of egg yolks for a classic vanilla ice cream is three. This number will add richness and protect against iciness, without being too rich or too dense that they're the only thing you taste.

9. Honey Lemon (or Lime) Curd

This tangy, tart curd can be whatever you want it to be (at least when it comes to the citrus flavor) but we promise that it will be easy to prepare and endlessly versatile.

10. Alice's Vanilla Ice Cream 2.0

Many ice cream recipes call for egg yolks, which make the custard base creamy and thick — and it's never too cold for ice cream. You can also dollop your ice cream with zabaglione, an egg-based custard sauce.

12. Hollandaise Sauce

Leftover egg yolks are not a problem — in fact, they're a good excuse to make Eggs Benedict. Egg yolks plus butter make a dreamy hollandaise sauce to drizzle over poached eggs, Canadian bacon, and craggy English muffins.

13. Coconuttiest Coconut Cream Pie

There are so many ways to make a delicious coconut cream pie, but this one is, as the name implies, the coconuttiest. For starters, it's not made with any old pie crust. This recipe calls for a coconut shortbread crust. But we're just getting started. The filling is made with coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut oil, and the only thing is topped with coconut chips.

14. Frozen Custard

Frozen custard is not unlike ice cream, but really deserves a gleaming pedestal of its own. It's made entirely of eight egg yolks (okay and heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, etc. etc.) and the result is one very underrated sweet treat.

15. Crème Brûlée Pie

I've already talked about how crème brûlée is a great way to use up extra egg yolks. But I got distracted by so many other brilliant uses that I forgot about possibly the greatest recipe on Food52's website: this 2-in-1 brûléed vanilla custard pie.

16. Spaghetti Carbonara

When you're craving spaghetti carbonara, in all its fatty, salty, eggy glory, this is the only recipe you need.

By Caroline Lange

MORE FROM Caroline Lange

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