The Best Way To Store Leftover Egg Whites For Long-Lasting Use

Most home cooks will be familiar with separating eggs. From homemade mayonnaise or fresh pasta to making your own crème brûlée, plenty of recipes call for just egg yolks, which add richness to many dishes as well as acting as an emulsifier.

But that begs the question: What do you do with all the leftover egg whites? While it's easy enough to whip up an egg white omelet or a meringue, or even to use them for a boozy, frothy egg white cocktail, you still may be left with a glut of whites, especially if you're following a recipe that calls for a large number of yolks, such as hollandaise sauce or a custard-based dessert. And what if you don't wish to use the whites right away?

Egg whites will keep in a container in the refrigerator for up to four days. And the good news is, egg whites can also easily be frozen for later use. Not only that, they keep for a good while. The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises that egg whites can be kept in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Use an ice cube tray to freeze individual egg white portions

While egg yolks can be tricky to freeze and need a bit of special treatment, egg whites are very simple. They can be poured straight into freezer containers, and all you'll need to do is label them with the date of freezing, and the number of whites, ready to use at a later date. Just make sure there are no bits of yolk in the whites first.

To make things even easier, you can freeze egg whites individually by using a regular ice cube tray. Just pour each white into one of the separate compartments in the tray, and freeze them until they turn solid. Then, tip the frozen egg white cubes into a ziplock bag or freezer-safe container, labeled with the date.

When you're ready to use the frozen egg white portions, you'll simply need to thaw however many you need overnight in the refrigerator. Then the thawed whites can be used in a number of different ways.

Creative ways to use thawed egg whites

Once you've thawed frozen egg whites, you can treat them much like fresh whites in many recipes. However, leaving the defrosted egg whites out of the refrigerator at room temperature for 30 minutes before you use them will make them easier to whip.

Fancy trying an alternative dessert? The recipes for both macarons and macaroons call for egg whites that have been whisked to stiff peaks. Sweet soufflés also often tend to use more egg whites than yolks, which give the dish its signature fluffiness, making it a great way to use up individual whites.

It's not only sweet dishes that make the most out of leftover egg whites, either. Savory soufflés, such as classic cheese, become light and airy thanks to the addition of aerated egg whites. And frittatas, which are started on the stove and finished in the oven, can also be made with just egg whites for a lighter dish, in a similar way to omelets. Or try adding extra whites to whole eggs to make omelets fluffier, with a richer taste than just using the whites.