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Simple and Surprising Swaps for Common Ingredients

They always say not to play with your food, but what about your recipes? Whether you’re looking to stretch your budget, accommodate dietary needs or experiment in the kitchen, get creative with your ingredients. These inventive substitutions combined with our flaky phyllo dough open the door to even more possibilities. 


Opening your fridge to an empty carton of eggs can feel like a let down. But that doesn’t mean your phyllo fillings should fall flat. After 2-3 minutes of mixing ground flaxseed and water, you’ll have a perfect binding substitute packed with omega-3s and fiber. The leftover banana on your counter can also add texture, moisture and sweetness to recipes like Chocolate Baklava Phyllo Cake with a bit of mashing.

Measurements: 1 egg = 1 tsp baking soda + 1 tbsp vinegar = 1 mashed banana = 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water


If you’re fresh out of butter or usually opt for dairy-free alternatives, test out these single ingredient substitutions. Coconut oil works great for brushing your layers of flaky phyllo and squeezing in some extra antioxidants. Melted vegan butter and other plant based oils like avocado or sunflower can do the job just as well.

Measurements: 1 cup butter = 1 cup coconut oil = 1 cup melted vegan butter = 1 cup avocado oil 


With cottage cheese growing in internet popularity, it only makes sense to include it as a protein-rich swap for mayonnaise. Once properly blended, cottage cheese works as a creamy base for dressings, spreads and recipes like our Lobster Roll Phyllo Bites. Like a tang? Greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr can also provide that creamy, rich counterpoint to flaky phyllo at a fraction of the calories. 

Measurements: 1 cup mayo = 1 cup blended cottage cheese = 1 cup Greek yogurt = 1 cup skyr

Soy Sauce 

Packed with umami flavor, soy sauce makes a great addition to dishes like these Air Fried Mushroom Wontons or Mini Tostadas. But, its sodium content might have you reaching for an alternative. Coconut aminos offer a similar savory flavor with much less salt.

Measurements: 1 tbsp soy sauce = 1 tbsp coconut aminos

Parmesan Cheese 

Often a vegan favorite for replicating that classic cheesy and nutty flavor, nutritional yeast can be used in place of parmesan. It’s also a great source of plant protein and b vitamins, and can be sprinkled for seasoning or added for thickening.

Measurements: 1 tbsp parmesan = 1/2  tbsp nutritional yeast

Staying flexible in the kitchen allows you to be a fearless cook with a creative edge. Don’t let a missing ingredient keep you from the fun — check out our Instagram or Pinterest for more recipe inspiration. And sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out on all the phyllo flakiness.