Loving Leftovers: How to Use Extra Egg Yolks


Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.


Why I'm Frugal

My mother and father were young adults at the time of the Great Depression, an era of hardship that shaped their values and continued to impact their lives in the years and decades that followed. They impressed upon us the value of hard work, frugality, and helping your fellow man.

At mealtime, everybody ate all the food on their plates without complaining. No food was wasted (I think it was a sin against the 11th Commandment), but we didn't have "leftovers." We had "planned-overs." That's the way I was raised and the method I use in my own kitchen 60+ years later.

On the first day of each month, I present an article that provides inspiration on how to use leftovers in a thoughtful, frugal, and tasty way. Together we have explored how to use:

  1. Leftover mashed potatoes
  2. Meatloaf
  3. Stale bread
  4. Too much zucchini
  5. Barbecue meats
  6. Spaghetti
  7. Ham
  8. Rice

Today we're going to look for innovative ways of using leftover egg yolks.


Homemade Mayonnaise (2 Yolks)


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup canola or olive oil


  1. Place all ingredients except oil in the jar of a blender. Process until blended.
  2. Remove central cap from lid.
  3. Place oil in liquid measuring cup with a lip.
  4. With lid in place but center part removed, turn on blender to low speed. Begin to dribble in oil, a few drops at a time.
  5. As mixture begins to emulsify carefully increase stream of oil. You should probably stop processing once or twice to scrape down the sides of the blender jar.
  6. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi (2 Yolks)

This recipe for spinach gnudi is from Scott Conant, an American celebrity chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author. He owns and operates the Italian restaurant, Scarpetta, in New York City. If you are new to making pasta (or think that you never could), watch Scott's video. He takes you through the entire process, step-by-step, and shows you how easy it can be.

Gnudi is a "cousin" of gnocchi, but the base is ricotta cheese, not cooked potato. Since there is no rolling involved these are a great first-pasta to try.

By the way, when I made these I thought that the dough was a little too soft, so I increased the all-purpose flour from 4 to 5 tablespoons and the panko from 3 to 4 tablespoons.


Chocolate Mousse (3 Yolks)


  • 1-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • large bowl filled with ice


  1. Using electric mixer whip cream until stiff peaks form. (Take care that you don't whip it too much—you want peaks, not butter.) Set aside.
  2. Place the chocolate, 1/4 cup of the water, and butter in a microwave-safe container. Heat until the chocolate and butter are melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
  3. In a small heavy saucepan, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and the remaining water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture reaches 160° or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat; whisk in chocolate mixture.
  4. Set saucepan in ice and stir until cooled, about 5-10 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Carbonara (4 Yolks)

Laurie McNamara is the creator of the blog Simply Scratch. She creates wonderful dishes "from scratch" with beautiful photographs, clear step-by-step instructions, and a witty/funny delivery that I absolutely adore. Her linguine alla carbonara is easy enough for family dinner but would be a show-stopper for company.

Lemon Curd (4 Yolks)

My dad was English, and he loved lemon curd—spread on toast, swirled on scones, or baked into lemon meringue pie, or eaten straight up like pudding. Trish has created a sweet-tart lemon curd that's perfect for breakfast or dessert. It would also make a wonderful gift.

© 2019 Linda Lum


Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 04, 2019:

Mizithra (or myzithra) is a dry sheep's milk Greek cheese (but you could probably figure that out from the name). It is white, salty, and very hard--perfect for grating but you can't slice it. Too crumbly.

If you've ever dined at the Old Spaghetti Factory, they have spaghetti with browned butter and mizithra cheese dusted on top. Swoon-worthy. But it is difficult to find. Ricotta salata is a reasonable substitute.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 04, 2019:

Linda, what's mizithra cheese? Never heard of it!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 04, 2019:

Hi Shauna, unlike other pasta (even gnocchi) I don't cloak my gnudi in red sauce. It is so pillowy and delicate that it deserves to shine on its own. Once they are cooked, I put them in a saute pan with a little olive oil (or ghee if you have it) and then dust with a shaving of mizithra cheese.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 04, 2019:

These recipes look yummy, Linda. I'll have to come back during my lunch hour to watch Scott Conant's video. I've never had gnudi (nor heard of it!), but I love spinach and cheese. When you made it, what did you serve with it?

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 02, 2019:

Audrey, I'm so happy to hear from you and to know that you will be using one of my recipes. Tomorrow I am planning a special dinner (not because of the Super Bowl) and had considered chocolate mousse, but at the last minute, my Muse had another idea. If it works out, I'll share the details.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 02, 2019:

Pamela, you are a ray of sunshine in my day.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on February 02, 2019:

Hi Linda. My parents also caught the tail-end of the depression and we kids cleaned our plates at each meal. A far cry from today's children who only eat what they want.

I'm making your recipe for chocolate mousse tomorrow. Looks wonderful and thanks.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 02, 2019:

I was raised much like you as my parents also grew up in the great depression. I haven't tried lemon curd but it sounds wonderful. Thanke for all the great recipes. I use your recipes frequently.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 02, 2019:

Mary, it's s good to hear from you. I think your sour tangerines would work perfectly in the curd recipe.

Mary Wickison from Brazil on February 02, 2019:

My husband also likes lemon curd and I have even replaced it with those sour tangerines we have. I must get some more made. Great variety of ways to use up those yolks.

I finished the book you recommended, "Kitchen Confidential". I enjoyed it. Now when my husband suggests opening a restaurant, I'll say, "read this book first".

I hope you had an enjoyable vacation.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 02, 2019:

Bill, I hope some of these ideas help you use up those extra eggs. Unfortunately yolks don't hold up well to freezing. However, whites can be stored in the freezer. More about that on March 1.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 02, 2019:

My parents were about the same age as yours. Tough times for sure, and they were frugal by nature.

No shortage of egg yolks around our house. :)

Snow coming? I hope so, but just long enough to say how pretty it is. lol

Have a great weekend, my friend!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 02, 2019:

Rinita, that is exactly why I wrote this article. I HATE to waste any food, even just a mere egg yolk. I think you and I are very much alike in that regard. Next month, we'll talk about what to do with extra egg whites.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 02, 2019:

Lisa Jane, if you have a blender it's as easy as can be. Once you are comfortable with the process, you can customize the flavor, add some grated garlic or some lime zest. I'm thinking about adding a few drops of dark sesame oil or some sriracha. Thanks for stopping bye.

Rinita Sen on February 02, 2019:

This is perfect. Much needed and simple. A lot of times when the recipe called for egg whites, I ended up adding the whole eggs, because I didn't know what to do with the yolks. Now I do.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 01, 2019:

Oh yes, just yolks. Sorry. lol

Lisa Jane from Washington on February 01, 2019:

Thanks for this article. I want to make my own mayo and this helped.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 01, 2019:

Well, John, you are most welcome. Actually, this one is just the yolks. Next time I'll give you ideas for using extra egg whites.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 01, 2019:

All very good and helpful tips for using egg yolks and whites, Linda. Thanks for sharing.

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