Best substitute for egg noodles | Top 11 alternatives [healthy, gluten-free, flavorful]

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  May 29, 2022

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Egg noodles are a popular ingredient in many dishes like wonton noodle soup, but some people may be allergic to them, looking for a vegan option, or perhaps they’re out of egg noodles and need a suitable substitute.

In this article, I’ll explore some of the best substitutes for egg noodles – some will contain egg and some won’t.

Best substitute for egg noodles | Top 11 alternatives [healthy, gluten-free, flavorful]

The best substitute for egg noodles is fettuccine because this pasta is also made with eggs and has a similarly wide, flat shape, and nutty flavor. Fettuccine can be used in the same way as Chinese egg noodles and has a similar chewy texture.

But the best healthy substitute for Asian-style dishes is Shirataki noodles made from konjac flour because these noodles look just like egg noodles.

In this list, I’m sharing the best substitutes you can use if you don’t have egg noodles on hand for your recipe.

What are egg noodles?

Egg noodles are a type of pasta made with eggs and wheat flour and then rolled into a dough. Then, the dough is rolled into very wide flat sheets which are cut into long ribbon shapes.

The noodles can have various widths and lengths. Generally, egg noodles have a flat and wider appearance compared to other wheat noodles.

They are popular in all kinds of dishes such as beef stroganoff or Italian pasta dishes but you probably know them for Wonton soup.

These noodles are very common in Asian cuisine, especially Chinese and Vietnamese dishes.

Chinese egg noodles are used to make dishes such as chow mein, lo mein, and wonton soup. Many Chinese egg noodles are labeled as “lo mein” or “chow mein” although that also refers to the name of the dish.

The texture of egg noodles is chewy and they have a slightly yellow color from the eggs. The taste is rich and a bit nutty.

You can compare egg noodles to Italian pasta varieties like fettuccine or linguine because the flavors are similar.

Egg noodles aren’t quite like some of the other Asian noodles which are usually egg-free or made with other types of flour (not wheat flour) but the egg noodles are a classic eggy, rich, and thick pasta.

Vietnamese egg noodles are used in pho soup and other liquidy recipes.

Western-style egg noodles and Chinese egg noodles are pretty much the same things.

What to look for in an egg noodle substitute

When choosing an egg noodle substitute, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • The pasta shape: should be long, flat, and wide
  • The texture: should be chewy
  • The flavor: should be rich and nutty
  • The color: should be slightly yellow
  • How the noodles will hold up in soup or with sauce
  • How fast they cook

Best substitute for egg noodles

There are plenty of noodles and pasta varieties you can choose from and in this guide, I’ll share classic alternatives as well as some healthier options.

Fettucine

If you need a substitute for egg noodles in a dish like beef stroganoff or Wonton soup, then look no further than fettuccine. This pasta is also made with eggs and has a similar shape and flavor.

Even the color is yellow like Chinese egg noodles.

Therefore, this is the perfect substitute to use if you want your dish to look the same.

Fettucine pasta is a little bit wider and flatter than egg noodles, but it will still work well in most dishes.

Just make sure to cook the fettuccine a little bit longer than the egg noodles so that it is tender and not overcooked.

When using Fettucine in Asian dishes, I would recommend breaking the noodles in half so that they are easier to eat with chopsticks.

Shirataki noodles

If you are looking for a healthy substitute for egg noodles in an Asian-style dish, then shirataki noodles are a great option.

These noodles are made from konjac flour and are very low in calories and carbs.

Shirataki noodles have a slightly rubbery texture, but they absorb the flavors of the dish well. They can be found in most Asian markets or online.

Shirataki noodles are usually used in recipes such as soups, stir-fries, or Thai curries.

You can substitute shirataki for egg noodles in any dish without a noticeable or tasteable difference. The color of shirataki noodles is also similar to egg noodles.

Also read: 8 different types of Japanese noodles (with recipes!)

Ribbon pasta

Another great substitute for egg noodles is ribbon pasta. This pasta is made with wheat flour and water and then extruded into long, thin ribbons.

Ribbon pasta has a similar chewy texture to egg noodles and can be used in all the same dishes. The only difference is that ribbon pasta is usually a little bit thinner than egg noodles.

At first glance, ribbon pasta is so similar to egg noodles, you almost can’t tell the difference.

Ribbon pasta works very well in stir-fries and other Asian dishes like Japanese soups.

Lo mein & chow mein noodles

If you want a more authentic substitute for egg noodles in your Asian dishes, then use chow mein and lo mein noodles.

Although these noodles aren’t really a “type” of noodle, they refer to thinner wavy Chinese egg noodles. Many people like to use either of them as an egg noodle substitute for the classic thicker egg noodle.

Chow mein noodles are usually fried before they are used in dishes like chow mein or lo mein.

Lo mein noodles are made with wheat flour and eggs, just like egg noodles.

The difference is that lo mein noodles are boiled before they are added to the dish.

This gives them a softer texture and makes them easier to eat.

You can use these types of noodles for the same dishes as you would other egg noodles. These work especially well for wonton noodle soup.

Both of these noodles can be found in most Asian markets or online.

Linguine

Linguine is another type of Italian pasta that can be used as a substitute for egg noodles.

Linguine is made with wheat flour and eggs and has a very similar flavor and texture to egg noodles.

The only difference is that linguine is a little bit thinner than egg noodles.

This pasta works well in all the same dishes as egg noodles, including soups, stews, and casseroles.

Spaghetti

Spaghetti is the classic Italian pasta and it can also be used as a substitute for egg noodles.

Spaghetti is made with wheat flour and water and has a similar texture to egg noodles. The only difference is that spaghetti is a lot thinner than egg noodles AND linguine.

Spaghetti works well as an egg noodle substitute in stir-fries, stews, and other creamy dishes. However, spaghetti isn’t the best for soups because it can get mushy.

Ramen noodles

Ramen noodles are a type of Japanese noodle that is made with wheat flour and eggs.

They have a chewy texture and can be used in all the same dishes as egg noodles.

The main difference is that ramen noodles are usually a little bit thinner than egg noodles and have a wavy shape. Also, their texture is a bit more firm.

Ramen noodles are most commonly used in soups, but they can also be used in stir-fries and other Asian dishes.

You should boil the ramen noodles for a shorter amount of time than egg noodles because they cook faster.

Soba noodles: best egg-free, flour-free & gluten-free substitute

If you are looking for an egg-free, flour-free, and gluten-free substitute for egg noodles then soba noodles are the way to go.

Soba noodles are made with buckwheat flour and water and have a very similar texture to egg noodles. The soba noodle has a tender texture but its shape is more like spaghetti.

The only difference is that soba noodles have a nuttier flavor than egg noodles and they have a brownish color.

Soba noodles are very popular in Japanese cuisine and can be used in all the same dishes as egg noodles.

The best way to cook soba noodles is to boil them for a shorter amount of time than you would other noodles.

Udon noodles

Udon noodles are another type of Japanese noodle that is made with wheat flour and water.

They have a chewy texture and can be used in all the same dishes as Chinese egg noodles. The main difference is that udon noodles are usually a slight bit thinner and rounder.

Udon noodles are most commonly used in udon soup, but they can also be used in stir-fries and other Asian dishes.

Bean thread noodles

Another great option for a healthy egg noodle substitute is bean thread noodles.

These noodles look different from egg noodles because they are translucent and have a thinner shape. They’re most similar to vermicelli noodles.

Bean thread noodles are made from mung bean flour and water and they have a very chewy texture. They cook quickly and absorb the flavors of the dish well.

They are commonly used in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine.

When substituting the bean thread noodles for egg noodles, use a little less because they absorb liquid more. Also, these noodles have a mushier, more tender texture.

Zucchini noodles

If you are looking for a completely gluten-free and vegan option, then zucchini noodles are a great substitute for egg noodles. They are also known as ‘zoodles.’

Zucchini noodles are made with, you guessed it, zucchini! These noodles have a slightly sweeter flavor than egg noodles but they can be used in many dishes except soup.

Since it’s a raw zucchini “noodle”, it gets mushy if cooked too long. But, it can work great as a healthy alternative to pasta in stir-fries and other dishes.

FAQs

How to cook egg noodles & their substitutes?

Egg noodles, like other noodles, are usually cooked in boiling water.

You can cook them in chicken broth or beef broth for extra flavor.

They only take a few minutes to cook and then they’re ready to be added to your recipe.

It takes about 3-4 minutes to cook dried egg noodles and about 1-2 minutes for fresh egg noodles.

The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the noodle.

If you use other noodles instead of egg noodles, the cooking time may vary.

You can serve egg noodles like you would regular noodles or pasta.

Can you use macaroni instead of egg noodles?

Yes! Macaroni is a type of egg noodle and can be used as a substitute but it requires that you use less water. The cooking time is about the same.

However, there’s a major difference: macaroni is a lot smaller than other egg noodles.

The macaroni shape is also a lot shorter and thicker which makes it quite different from the flat, thick strips of egg noodles.

This means that it will absorb more sauce and seasonings than other egg noodles.

Macaroni is most commonly used in mac and cheese but can also be used in soups, stews, and other dishes. But macaroni is not actually a noodle, it’s a regular pasta with a small tube-like shape (usually).

I didn’t include macaroni as one of the best substitutes because the shape is just too different.

Penne or spiral macaroni just doesn’t work in a Wonton soup or other Asian-style soup like noodles do. You can’t use it instead of egg noodles in most Asian recipes.

What is the difference between egg noodles and regular pasta?

The main difference between egg noodles and regular pasta is that egg noodles are made with eggs and regular pasta is not.

Eggs give egg noodles a yellow color and a slightly different flavor. They also make the noodles more tender.

Egg noodles are also usually a bit thinner than regular pasta.

Can you replace egg noodles with rice noodles?

Yes, but only in certain dishes. Rice noodles are thinner and have a completely different texture than egg noodles.

They’re most commonly used in Asian dishes like pad thai, pho, and spring rolls.

You can use rice noodles as a substitute for egg noodles but only in recipes where the egg noodles are being used as an accompaniment and not as the main ingredient.

So, you could use rice noodles instead of egg noodles in a stir-fry or salad but not in a soup or casserole.

Takeaway

As you can tell, the best egg noodle substitute is Fettucine pasta because of its similar appearance, taste, and texture. It can be used in the same way as Chinese egg noodles and other eggy noodles.

These substitutes work well in your stir fry, tuna noodle casserole, or favorite Chinese noodle soup.

The culinary world is full of great, flavorful egg noodle substitutes.

Some, like fettuccine pasta, linguine, and other pasta varieties are common grocery store items, so you’ll have no problem finding them.

Also learn about the unique flavor of mirin and 12 best substitutes for mirin (in case you don’t have any)

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.