Olive oil is a common ingredient in many dishes from salads to baked and fried recipes.
This type of oil is considered healthier than other oils. It even became an ingredient in different skincare and haircare products thanks to its nutrients.
It is rich in antioxidants, monounsaturated fats and it can help prevent strokes as well as other heart conditions. But you can make your favorite recipes even if you don’t have olive oil as long as you use one of the substitutes in this guide.
Some of the best substitutes for olive oil include vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, grapeseeds oil, peanut oil, and many other options you will find in this guide.
Best Substitutes For Olive Oil
Choose the substitute from the following list that is most appropriate for your recipe but also that compliments your taste best!
1. Vegetable oil
Vegetable oil is one of the best alternatives to olive oil. It is fairly easy to find. It comes in many forms and consists of the seeds of vegetable seeds such as soybean. You will find this type of oil in most grocery stores at a fairly affordable cost.
When you use vegetable oil instead of olive oil, maintain the same ratio. However, take into account that the taste might be a bit different. You will notice the difference in taste especially if you use it in cold dishes such as salads.
2. Canola oil
Canola oil can save any dish that requires olive oil and it has a milder taste as well. This oil is obtained from pressed rapeseeds. It has an earthly flavor to it that many love in their dishes.
It makes a perfect substitute for fried and baked dishes as well as for different salads and dressings. Being a neutral oil, canola oil can make one of the best substitutes for olive oil.
3. Sunflower oil
One of the most common substitutes for olive oil in Europe but also in other parts of the world is sunflower oil. This oil is made from pressed sunflower seeds and it can come in different versions as well. You will find sunflower oil with different flavors from chili to other seeds.
Sunflower oil is ideal for fried dishes as well as baked ones but it can complement salads as well. This oil will also have a mild flavor that will not affect the taste of your food but due to its high caloric number, you will want to use it in moderation.
4. Grapeseed oil
Grapeseed oil will save your recipes that require olive oil. However, this substitute might be a bit pricier and harder to find in stores in some parts of the world.
Grapeseed oil is obtained from grapeseeds through a pressing process and it has a mild to moderate flavor to it. Used in a raw version such as in salad dressings, it can have a fruity taste but this flavor is mostly lost when it is cooked.
Replace olive oil with grapeseed oil in sauteing, frying, baking, and different dressings or sauces you might want to make.
5. Coconut oil
Coconut oil comes in a solid form. However, you can melt it fairly easily and use it instead of olive oil in any type of recipe.
This substitute is rich in nutrients and many prefer using it due to its health benefits. It is one of the pricier options, but even a small quantity of it will give your dish a delicious taste.
Keep in mind that coconut oil gets to a solid form when it is stored in cold temperatures. And this feature of it might change the texture of your dish when you store it as well.
6. Peanut oil
If you are looking for a more special substitute for olive oil, you can choose peanut oil. This oil has a nutty flavor that will enrich the taste of any dressing or dish you add it to.
Peanut oil has a high smoke point which makes it ideal for fried or roasted dishes. But you will love its flavor in cold recipes as well such as salads and other dressings.
7. Walnut oil
Walnut oil is obtained from pressing walnuts. And it is highly appreciated by those who want to experience new flavors in their food.
Thanks to its mild nutty flavor, walnut oil is common in Chinese cuisine. It doesn’t have a high smoke point but you can still use it in some fried dishes. This type of oil works best in salads and sauces.
However, it can be more difficult to find. But if you do get it, you will be impressed by the way it compliments your food.
Butter can save all your dishes that require any type of oil. It will melt as soon as you expose it to heat and it will taste simply delicious in all your food.
It makes a great substitute for all cooked dishes such as sauteed, fries, and roasting ones. Butter will add an interesting flavor to your food that is not similar to olive oil, but some people might actually prefer it.
It will not be the best option for salads or cold dishes though, since it is not melting unless it is exposed to heat.
Ghee is actually a butter that has water removed, also known as clarified butter.
It has a stronger buttery flavor that goes great with both vegetable dishes and meat ones. Therefore, ghee is ideal for frying recipes as well as baked dishes.
You can easily find ghee in stores. However, it comes at a higher price. And you can find it both salted and unsalted.
10. Mashed bananas
If you want a low-fat alternative, mashed bananas can be just what you need.
All you have to do is mash 1-2 bananas, then add them to your pan before you add the rest of the ingredients. The riper the bananas are, the best they will work as a substitute for olive oil.
Use a ratio of 1:2 of mashed bananas to olive oil. This substitute works great in saute dishes but also fried ones. And if you blend your bananas you can add them in some toppings as well.
11. Avocado oil
Avocado oil will definitely save your dressing if you need olive oil but you don’t have any.
This replacement has an even higher smoke point compared to olive oil. So, you can use it successfully in dishes that require a prolonged cooking time.
Avocado oil will taste great in both cooked and cold dishes and it has a mild avocado flavor that will complement all types of dishes as it blends well with the rest of the ingredients.
12. Flaxseed oil
If you are a fan of nutty flavors, flaxseeds oil can be a perfect choice if you are lacking olive oil. It is compatible with all kinds of ingredients from veggies to meats.
However, this product will work best for cold dishes as it doesn’t have a high smoke point. You can use it in smoothies or as a finishing oil for dips and dressings.
You can find flaxseed oil in most stores. However, it is not as common as the other substitutes.
13. Sesame oil
Sesame oil can add a different taste to any type of dish, especially if you add it to salads. You will only need a few drops to enhance the flavor of your salad. And in many cases, it will be tastier than olive oil.
You can use it as an all-purpose oil as well since it has a high smoke point. So, feel free to add it to your baked or fried dishes as well. Sesame oil works particularly great in marinates as well as different Asian dishes.
14. Hemp seed oil
Hemp oil is rich in nutrients and it will compliment all your dishes just as well as olive oil does. However, this type of oil will not work for cooked dishes as it has a low smoke point.
Use it for salads or as a topping on soups, marinates, or dressings. Hemp oil is fairly easy to find and the price varies depending on the brand.
When you replace olive oil with hemp seed oil, try to maintain the same ratio. If you prefer the nutty taste of this substitute, you can always add more of it.
Olive Oil Substitute For Baking
If you need olive oil substitute for baking, sunflower oil, butter, vegetable oil, canola oil, or any other oil with a high smoke point will provide great results.
It is important to check the smoke point as this determines how resistant the oil is to high heat. Grapeseed oil is another great alternative for olive oil in both baked and fried recipes.
Olive Oil Substitute For Pesto
For a great pesto, you will need to use virgin olive oil to get the greasy texture you want without altering the flavor of the other ingredients. If you don’t have virgin olive oil, you can replace it with sesame oil or flaxseeds oil.
Pesto is a thick sauce or topping originally made of olive oil, basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts or walnuts, and baby spinach leaves. The ingredients can vary based on the recipes, chefs, and different preparation techniques in different parts of the world. However, one ingredient stays the same. And that is olive oil.
So, it is very important to not replace virgin olive oil with vegetable oil or sunflower oil because it will not give your pesto the proper texture. Use a nutty oil with a low smoke point since pesto doesn’t require any type of heat exposure.
Olive Oil Substitute For Pizza
Olive oil can add some flavor and texture to the pizza dough, but it is not mandatory.
Still, it is great for improving the stretchiness of the dough and offers it a level of hydration that results in a much tastier pizza. So, if you don’t have olive oil, you could still make pizza without this ingredient.
If you still want to use a type of oil in your pizza, you can use sunflower oil, vegetable oil, or any other type of oil with a medium-high smoke point so that it can handle the cooking process without burning.
Olive Oil Substitute For Pasta
Similar to pizza, pasta requires some olive oil not only in the dough but many times, different sauces for pasta contain olive oil. You can however use any type of vegetable oil instead of olive oil as it has a neutral flavor and it will not alter the taste of your pasta dish.
You can also use peanut oil that has a richer and nutty flavor if you don’t mind the slightly different taste that your dish will have. If you need to substitute olive oil in a pasta salad, you can use any low smoke point oil such as flaxseed oil and you will obtain a delicious salad.
Olive oil, be it virgin or richer in fats, is one of the main ingredients to have in your kitchen.
However, the way you use it is just as important and you should know that this type of oil is not irreplaceable. If you don’t have olive oil, chances are that you will find some of the substitutes in this guide at your local grocery store.
Always check the smoke point of your olive oil substitute as well as the flavor. Also, make sure it will mix well with the rest of your ingredients.
It is important to adapt your recipe in a way that will be in accordance with your preferences so you can make the most out of your meal. Ultimately, any of the olive oil substitutes listed above will save your dish and some of them will even give it a better flavor.