Olive oil is one of the most commonly used and most versatile ingredients in cooking. You can use it for frying, sauteing, flavoring, roasting, and making salad dressings.
Don’t worry if you’ve run out of olive oil in your pantry, here are some alternatives that you can use:
- Coconut Oil
- Canola Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Walnut Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Flaxseed Oil
If you are really unlucky and still unable to find any of the alternatives mentioned above, read on to find out the full comprehensive best olive oil substitutes for cooking.
13 Best Substitute For Olive Oil
Olive oil is made from pressing and grinding olives. In addition to enhancing the taste of your food, olive oil has health benefits.
With only 119 calories for every tablespoon, olive oil contains low saturated fats and high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
When you run out of olive oil, one of the best substitutes will be coconut oil which you can use for multiple purposes like frying, salad dressings or baking and is also considered a healthy oil.
If you cannot find it then the following are some other substitutes you can consider.
As mentioned above, coconut oil is one of the healthy alternatives to olive oil. it is made from pressed coconut meat. You can find coconut oil in its unrefined or refined forms.
The unrefined variety is more popularly known as virgin coconut oil. It solidifies at room temperature. It has a low melting point, hence, unstable for frying, but ideal for sauteing and baking.
It is known to have a strong coconut flavor, which might not go well with other ingredients.
On the other hand, refined coconut oil has a milder coconut flavor and a higher smoke point, which is ideal for frying. You can also use it for salad dressings as it remains in its liquid form at room temperature.
You can use coconut oil when cooking stir fry and curry dishes, as well as when making salad dressings. You can also use it in baking because its coconut flavor is not overpowering.
Ratio: 1 part coconut oil to 1 part olive oil
Canola oil, which has a milder flavor than olive oil, is made from pressing rapeseeds. It can be used for frying, baking, and making salad dressings it is known as a neutral oil that is a good olive oil alternative.
It helps lower bad cholesterol levels and control blood glucose levels because of its high monosaturated fatty acids content.
Canola oil also has the lowest amount of trans and saturated fats. You can use canola oil for stir-fry dishes and salad dressings.
Ratio: 1 part canola oil to 1 part olive oil
Pressed peanuts yield peanut oil. Its high smoke point makes it an ideal substitute to use when frying or roasting. It has a nutty flavor and is not too overpowering, so you can use it in baking.
Traditionally, peanut oil is used in Chinese cuisine. The next time you’re roasting vegetables and you run out of olive oil, peanut oil can be a good replacement.
Peanut oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated trans fats. Refined peanut oil is 100% allergen-free, making it ideal for cooking.
Peanuts undergo processes like purification, bleaching, refining, and deodorizing, thus completely eliminating the allergenic proteins.
Ratio: 1 part peanut oil to 1 part olive oil
Avocado oil is a healthy substitute for olive oil. it contains high amounts of oleic acid, which is a heart-healthy monosaturated fat. It is also rich in lutein, which is good for the eyes.
Avocado oil is an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin E; thus, it is good for your skin. It is rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, which is good for the heart.
Avocado oil has an extremely high smoke point, so it is ideal for any kind of cooking method like sauteing, frying, searing, and grilling.
You can also use it in baking since it has a relatively light flavor, and it won’t affect the overall taste of any of your favorite baked goods.
Ratio: 1 part avocado oil to 1 part olive oil
Walnut oil can be used as a replacement for olive oil for frying or sauteing. It is made by pressing walnuts. It gives a nutty flavor, but is not overpowering and is used in different Chinese dishes.
Unlike coconut oil or canola oil, walnut oil is not always available in groceries and supermarkets, but if you find one, it’s a great alternative to olive oil. Walnut oil has a thicker consistency than olive oil.
Ratio: 1 part walnut oil to 1 part olive oil
Sunflower oil is made from pressed sunflower seeds. It is considered a neutral oil that gives off a mild flavor. You can use it when making salad dressings, baking, and frying. Its high smoke point makes it appropriate for different recipes.
Sunflower oil contains low levels of saturated fatty acids and doesn’t contain trans fats. It is a great substitute for olive oil since both are basically optimum for similar dishes.
Many users consider sunflower oil as one of the best alternatives when olive oil is not available as they are in the same range in terms of smoke point.
It is readily available in many groceries and supermarkets.
Ratio: 1 part sunflower oil to 1 part olive oil
Vegetable oil is extracted from vegetable seeds. The most common form of vegetable oil is made from soybean. Most household pantries have them.
It is ideal for use in any type of cooking and baking. Typically, its flavor is milder compared to olive oil.
Ratio: 1 part vegetable oil to 1 part olive oil
Grapeseed oil is a tasty alternative to olive oil. It is derived from pressing grape seeds. One of the most important benefits of using grapeseed oil is that it has been proven to reduce a person’s risk of experiencing a stroke.
It has a high smoke point, so you can use it in sauteing, frying, and roasting meats and vegetables. Grapeseed oil can also be used in making salad dressings.
One notable advantage of grapeseed oil over olive oil — it makes a good alternative to butter or shortening when baking.
Ratio: 1 part grapeseed oil to 1 part olive oil
Flaxseed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to have several health benefits, such as reduced blood pressure and improved heart health.
Flaxseed oil does not have a high smoke point which can cause harmful compounds to form if you used it for cooking [Source]
However, it is still a good substitute for olive oil when making salad dressings, dips and sauces.
Ratio: 1 part flaxseed oil to 1 part olive oil
Almond oil is rich in Vitamin E and is proven to help reduce total cholesterol levels. It is a flavorful ingredient in baking. You can also use almond oil when cooking pasta and soups, and even when making salad dressings.
Ratio: 1 part almond oil to 1 part olive oil
Can you use butter as an olive oil substitute? The answer is yes, butter is a good alternative, much like ghee. Butter is a versatile ingredient, you can use it for baking, frying, sauteing, and roasting.
Butter has a milder flavor than olive oil, though it gives a delicious richness to pasta dishes. It is one of the most commonly used olive oil substitutes because it is readily available and most homes have them in stock.
It has high levels of fat-soluble vitamins, like Vitamin A, vitamin E, and K2 vitamins.
We already know the benefits of Vitamins A and E, but with regards to K2 vitamins, they help in calcium metabolism.
In baking, you can use melted butter in place of olive oil. For example, if a recipe calls for 3 tablespoons oil, use 4 tablespoons of melted butter.
Butter ratio: 1 part butter to 3/4 part olive oil
Ghee is a type of clarified butter. It’s more concentrated in fat than butter, as its water and milk solids have been removed. It has been used in Indian and Pakistani cultures for thousands of years.[Source]
This form has a higher smoke point and it doesn’t burn like butter when subjected to extremely high temperatures.
Ghee has small amounts of lactose; hence, it is ideal for people who are lactose intolerant. Being more versatile than olive oil, you can use ghee for pan-frying, roasting, and even deep frying.
Ghee ratio: 1 part ghee to 1 part olive oil
Butter and ghee are not a good alternative to olive oil in salad dressings; use avocado oil instead.
Lard is made from 100% animal fat, usually from a pig, but goose and tallow may also be the source. Lard has a high smoke point which makes it an ideal substitute for olive oil when cooking needs lots of heat.
Lard cannot be used as an alternative to olive oil in making salad dressings or other cold dishes. Lard is better used in baking and frying.
For instance, lard from tallow has a smoke pint of 40° F, hence, you can use it for deep frying.
Animal fats can actually improve the flavor of your dishes with their rich and deep flavor.
Ratio: 1 part lard to 1 part olive oil
If olive oil is not available and you don’t have any other alternative that you can use, bananas should come in handy. For one, it is a healthy substitute, being low fat.
Bananas have high levels of fiber and potassium, plus they regulate your blood sugar levels and help improve heart health.
Bananas produce a smooth texture when mashed, making them a good olive oil substitute, primarily in baking. It gives a hint of freshness and delicious fruity flavor to food. Use ripe bananas.
Ratio: 1 part mashed bananas to 1 part olive oil
Olive Oil Substitute Related FAQs
What type of olive oil is the best choice for baking?
For baking, you should make sure that you use high-quality olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil provides the best flavor to a baked dessert without overpowering the taste of your main ingredient.
Why should I use an alternative in the absence of olive oil?
For one, you might have run out of olive oil and you are unable to go out to replenish your stocks.
Another reason is if you want to experiment on different flavors or you want to look for a healthy alternative.
What are cold-pressed oils?
Cold-pressed oils are oils made by first grinding nuts, seeds, fruits or vegetables (depending on the oil being made) into a paste. Then an oil stone or other tool is used to press the paste which forces the oil to separate.[Source]
Cold-pressed oils are the best olive oil replacements when making salad dressings.
Examples are walnut oil and pumpkin seed oil.