There are plenty of options if you don’t want to use canola oil! Here’s the best canola oil substitute to use in recipes and baking.

Canola oil substitute

Looking for canola oil substitute? Canola oil is a neutral oil that’s made from the rapeseed plant. There’s some conflicting information over whether it’s healthy or to be avoided (here’s more on whether canola oil is good for you). This oil is often used in baked goods to add texture and richness. If you’re looking to avoid canola oil for health reasons or have just run out, here are the best ways to substitute it!

Best substitutes for canola oil

1. Olive oil (for dressings or sauteing).

The best substitute for canola oil? Olive oil is well known to be a heart-healthy cooking oil (source). If you’re making something savory like a salad dressing or sauteing, you can use olive oil as a 1 for 1 substitute for canola oil. It cooks similarly to vegetable oil. Avoid using olive oil in baking, because it can add a strong floral flavor.

2. Organic grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, or sunflower oil.

The best substitute for canola oil in baking? Another neutral oil! Try grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, or sunflower oil as a 1 for 1 substitute for canola oil. Find organic versions of these oils if you can. They all have a neutral flavor and are pretty interchangeable with canola 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 substitute? If you’re looking to cut calories in baked goods, you can use applesauce or another fruit puree as a substitute for vegetable oil. While using applesauce cuts calories, the texture of the baked good become much softer if you substitute 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 that call for a neutral oil like canola oil:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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