15 Best Sesame Oil Substitutes

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil can be a key ingredient in many recipes thanks to its rich flavor. You can use it in salads, stir-fries, and even soups and stews or baked dishes.

This oil will add a tasty flavor to almost any type of food, which is why you will find it in many recipes. However, it can happen to miss this type of oil from your kitchen.

If that is the case, do not panic, as you can still put together a great meal with one of the substitutes in this guide. Grapeseed oil is one of the best replacements for sesame oil. You can also use any other oil such as sunflower oil, canola oil, or even olive oil.

But let’s look at not less than 15 substitutes for sesame oil that can save any recipe.

Sesame Oil Substitutes 

Use any of the following oils as a substitute for sesame oil in your recipe and enjoy a delicious meal.

1. Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is the best substitute for sesame oil not only in terms of taste. However, also thanks to its high smoking point. You can use it in pasta, lasagna, soups, stews, baked meals, and different salads.

This oil goes great in cooked dishes as well as cold ones and you can benefit from a lower calorie count if you replace your sesame oil with grapeseed oil. Use it in the same way you would use your sesame oil and your food will turn out deliciously.

2. Sunflower oil

Sunflower Oil

This oil can replace sesame seeds mostly in cooked dishes. It has a high heat resistance that you will enjoy. And it is easy to use in any type of recipe.

However, the flavor of sunflower oil will not be as rich as the one you get from sesame oil. Having an earthly, neutral taste, you will find it easy to use sunflower oil instead of sesame oil in all cooked dishes as it blends in with all types of seasonings.

3. Canola oil

Canola Oil

Canola oil is a very good replacement for sesame oil as it has a neutral taste. It works well in most recipes. This oil has a golden color that will go great in your foods. And you will find it easy to season.

Canola oil is a great backup to have in your kitchen when you need to replace even other types of oil. Use it in the same quantity as you would use sesame oil but keep in mind that this type of oil works best for cooking. It will not add too much flavor to your food if you want that.

4. Olive oil

Olive oil

If you choose to replace sesame oil with olive oil, you can use this product in both salads and cooked dishes. It has a high heat tolerance but will reach higher temperatures faster than other types of oil.

Olive oil comes in a wide variety and you can even find it with different added flavors. It is a great choice for Italian dishes and appetizers of all kinds.

5. Avocado oil

Avocado oil

Avocado oil can replace sesame oil in almost any recipe but you have to keep in mind that this oil comes in a stronger flavor than sesame oil.

Therefore, you will have to use it in smaller quantities if you don’t want to alter the taste of your food too much. This oil works great for cooking as well as flavoring, making it a great ingredient in a wide range of dishes.

6. Walnut oil

Walnut oil can replace sesame oil mostly in cold dishes. The taste is fairly similar even if the walnut oil will add a more nutty flavor to your food.

If you choose to use walnut oil in cooked dishes, you will see that it turns bitter so it might not be the best choice for stir-fries or baked foods.

The best way to use walnut oil is in salad dressings and marinades. Use it as you would use sesame oil in cold recipes and you will not regret it.

7. Roasted sesame seeds

Black sesame seeds

If you don’t want to use any oil instead of sesame oil but you like the flavor sesame seeds bring to your dish you can choose to add roasted sesame seeds directly.

All you have to do is add some sesame seeds on top of your food to enhance the flavor but you will not get the oily texture you would get by using sesame oil.

This is why, most often, sesame seeds are used in combination with an oil substitute. Thus, you can have the best of both worlds.

8. Perilla oil

If you are looking to keep the nutty flavor in your dish, you will love Perilla oil. You can use this replacement for frying as well as for seasoning salads and it will work just as well.

The only downside of Pernilla oil is that it is difficult to find in supermarkets. Meaning, you will have to go to Asian markets to have a real chance of finding this oil.

9. Hemp seeds oil

Hemp seed oil

The hemp seed oil has plenty of health benefits. So, you can use it not only as a substitute for sesame oil but also as part of your hair care and skincare routine.

Hemp seeds oil doesn’t work for high temperatures. Thus, you shouldn’t use it in stir-fries. However, you can use it in salads as well as medium heat dishes.

As for the flavor, you can expect a nutty flavor from hemp seeds oil as well even if it will not be as intense as the sesame oil flavor.

10. Peanut oil

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil might not be as common as other substitutes. However, it is definitely a great choice to go for if you are missing sesame oil from your kitchen.

If you replace sesame oil with peanut oil, you will still get the nutty flavor even if the taste is a bit different. A great advantage of using peanut oil is that you can prepare foods with it at high temperatures as it will not create a lot of smoke. 

11. Tahini paste


Tahini paste is made of sesame seeds. And thanks to that, it can replace sesame oil in your recipes. You can easily find this product in your local stores. The best part? It provides that rich sesame flavor you want in your food.

The best way you can use this paste is in cold dishes and sauces. It will not be as tasty if you fry it or use it in baked recipes which is why it remains mainly a seasoning option.

12. Coconut oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most flexible oils you will find. It is solid in its pure form but once it touches heat it turns liquid. You can use it mostly in cooked dishes thanks to its flexibility.

This oil has a mild coconut taste that will change the flavor of your food for the better. An important aspect to consider is that when you refrigerate your food, the coconut oil will become solid again.

13. Butter


Butter will work just as great as a substitute for any kind of oil. It gives you healthy fats and it can be used in both cold and cooked dishes.

Most of the time, butter is used in stir-fries and other fried recipes as it also adds a tasty flavor to your food. This is not a substitute for vegans though. But if you don’t follow a vegan diet, you might actually prefer butter to sesame oil.

14. Pumpkin seed oil

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seed oil might not be easy to find compared to sesame oil. But if you do find it, know that it can be a great substitute. If you like pumpkin seeds taste you will most likely love to use this oil in your food.

It works best in salads and other cold dishes. You can also use it to add flavor to cooked recipes as well. This oil can be a great choice for desserts as well such as pies and even ice cream.

The color of this oil will be slightly different from the sesame oil goldish shade. However, it will compliment most of your dishes nicely.

15. Flaxseed oil


Flaxseed oil is one of the healthiest oils you can use in your recipes as well as on your skin and hair. Keep in mind that this is not the best option for cooked dishes and frying as it will not sustain heat well enough.

You can use it in sauces and salads thanks to its rich nutty taste and lovely color. It is also a great ingredient for soups and stews if you want to get an oily texture and delicious flavor.

What Can I Substitute for Sesame Oil in Fried Rice?

Fried rice in all recipes tastes very good with sesame oil but if you don’t have this oil, you can always use olive oil or grapeseed oil.

These are the best substitutes as you will still get a rich aroma and no smoke thanks to the high heat point of these oils. You can also use sunflower oil if you are missing these substitutes. 

How Do You Make Sesame Oil?

If you are thinking to make your own sesame oil, you should know that it is not complicated, to begin with.

You will need about 3 cups of roasted sesame seeds to obtain one cup of sesame oil. You can roast the sesame seeds by yourself at 350 F in the oven until they turn a dark goldish color.

Pour 1/4 cups of seeds into a pot along with a neutral oil of your choice such as sunflower oil. For 3 cups of seeds, you will need 12 cups of oil.

Place the mix of sesame seeds and oil on the stove at medium heat. The heat will help get the oil from the sesame seeds naturally and with no hassle on your part.

After 5 minutes, get the mix off the stove and pour it into a blender. Blend everything for a few minutes until you notice the seeds were crushed as well as possible.

Leave the mix in the blender for up to 2 hours. You should notice the seeds separating naturally from the oil.

Does Sesame Oil Add Flavor?

If you want to use sesame oil, you have to take into account the flavor it adds to food. You might or might not like this flavor but it is nevertheless present and you should know that it will alter the taste of your food.

Depending on the extra oil used to create sesame oil, you might end up with a plethora of flavors. If you use peanut oil as a base oil to make sesame oil, the nutty flavor will be richer. But even with a neutral oil, you will feel a tasty sesame flavor that enhances the aroma of your food.


Sesame oil is one of the most appreciated oils not only for its interesting taste but also for its health benefits and the beautiful color it adds to the food.

You want to use it in moderation though, especially because of its strong flavor and if you don’t have this oil on hand, don’t hesitate to replace it with one of our substitutes. You will still enjoy delicious food and you might even prefer some of the replacements in this guide.

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