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There are plenty of options if you don’t want to use vegetable oil! Here are the best substitutes for vegetable oil in recipes and baking.

Substitute for vegetable oil

Looking for a substitute for vegetable oil? Vegetable oil is a neutral oil used in cooking. It’s made from extracting oils from various types of seeds, grains, fruits and nuts. What makes vegetable oil unique is its neutral flavor. It’s often used in baked goods to add texture and richness. If you’re looking to avoid vegetable oil for health reasons or have just run out, here are the best ways to replace it!

Best substitutes for vegetable oil

1. Organic grapeseed oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil.

The best oil substitute? Another neutral oil! Try grapeseed oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil as a 1 for 1 substitute for vegetable oil. Find organic versions of these oils if you can. They all have a neutral flavor and are pretty interchangeable with vegetable oil.

2. Olive oil (for dressings or sauteing).

If you’re making something savory like a salad dressing or sauteing, you can use olive oil as a 1 for 1 substitute for vegetable oil. Olive oil is known as a healthy oil, and it cooks similarly to vegetable oil. Avoid using olive oil in baking, because it can add a strong floral flavor.

Compare the differences! See Vegetable Oil vs Olive Oil.

3. Melted coconut oil or butter (for baking).

Can you substitute butter for oil in baking? Yes! You can use melted coconut oil or butter as a 1-for-1 substitute for vegetable oil in baked goods like muffins, cakes and cookies. The resulting texture will be very similar, though it may have a subtly different flavor. Coconut oil is the best choice for vegan and plant based diets.

4. Applesauce (for baking).

Looking for a healthy oil substitute? If you’re looking to cut calories in baked goods, you can use applesauce or another fruit puree like mashed bananas as a substitute for vegetable oil. But beware: while using applesauce cuts calories, the texture of the baked good become much softer if you replace all of the oil. For this reason, we recommend to sub half the oil with applesauce, then use an alternate oil (above) for the remaining half.

Here are some of our favorite recipes where you could use an oil substitute:

Last updated: November 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. @acouplcooks
    👆Catchy name. ☝️
    After reading a thread on shortcuts for baking yams, I replied to a reader’s comment. I then searched your website here for a little while on various topics and subtopics.
    Very cool choices to use, as well as helpful. I think it’s a real asset when a young couple can work and corroborate together, to name a few.🥰
    The few other threads I read here was written quite well and will be very helpful for those just learning the “art of cooking” lol, tips, tricks, and sort cuts as they navigate their way around their kitchens.
    You two have done a wonderful service for so many, and let’s face it, everybody needs to eat and (should)learn how to not only boil water or grill burgers, but to actually know how to cook at least simple everyday meals. Right? 🤭🆒
    Hopefully the majority will learn the basics of sauteing, broiling, pan frying, stir frying, simmering vs boiling lol, and of course some simple baking recipies. 👌👍😃