What to make with coconut oil? Here’s a collection of the best coconut oil recipes for every meal of the day, both sweet and savory.
What to make with coconut oil? There are so many tasty recipes to make with this cooking oil, both sweet and savory! This versatile oil is an especially great substitute for butter to make dairy free and vegan baked goods. But it’s not just for that: coconut oil is great for sauteing, cooking, and savory recipes like soups, stews and more. Really, there’s nothing coconut oil can’t do!
Here’s a collection of our best coconut oil recipes, from sweet to savory! There’s everything from our favorite coconut oil cookies to pie crust, mashed potatoes and the best cornbread you’ll have. Let’s get cooking!
First up in our coconut oil recipes...cookies! Coconut oil is great for cookies as a substitute for butter; it makes a slightly softer texture. What’s your ultimate cookie? These coconut oil peanut butter cookies are where it’s at for us! They’re soft but perfectly crumbly, and salty sweet. Decorated with the classic criss-cross pattern, they’ve got a sparkle of sugar.
Bliss bites are by far our most popular of all our coconut oil recipes! Basically a homemade peanut butter cup combined with a no bake cookie, people all over the world make and love them! They're made with maple syrup, coconut oil, and oats. Keep them in the freezer or refrigerator and nibble all week long!
Try these delicious coconut oil chocolate chip cookies! They're deliciously chewy, made of almond flour: a flour made of finely ground almonds (so they're also gluten free). A mix of coconut oil and almond butter is used instead of butter, and a flax egg holds the dough together. What results are cookies that are super chewy, salty sweet, and perfectly delicious.
“You’d never know these muffins don’t have butter or eggs.” That was my mother in law, one bite in. And with that, we knew we had a winner in this coconut oil recipe! These apple muffins are perfectly fluffy and moist. The best part is a crunchy apple streusel muffin topping: it gives each bite a perfectly sweet crunch, without being overly sugary.
Coconut oil isn't just for sweets and baking! You can use it for sauteing and cooking, like in this vegan potato soup recipe. It's so full of flavor and impossibly dreamy that you’d swear it had cream or milk in it. Turns out, it’s easy to make a potato soup without dairy -- and there’s no blender needed! This soup is beautifully chunky and flavored with savory Old Bay.
This coconut oil cornbread is the moistest, fluffiest, thickest recipe we’ve made, with the best sweet-savory tang! Brought to you by the magic of cornmeal and coconut oil, it’s all the nostalgia of sneaking licks of the Jiffy corn muffin mix spoon, without the processed part. It’s a short list of ingredients—and 100% plant-based too. Here are all the secrets to never needing the Jiffy box…again.
Coconut oil is great for adding richness to savory baked goods, like this naan bread! This Indian skillet bread is so delicious, it’s easy to get distracted by this traditional side dish. It's great with an Indian or Southeast Asian style vegetable curry. This plant based version is easy to make, perfectly fluffy, and tastes just as good as our traditional buttery garlic naan.
Want to make your favorite pie…but plant based? Here’s the baking trick you need: this Flaky Coconut Oil Pie Crust! This pastry crust is flaky, tender and perfectly seasoned: no one would guess there’s no butter. We’ve tested it on friends and family: no one will know the difference!
Put that coconut oil crust to use in this vegan apple pie! A flaky, golden crust encloses a filling that’s so full of cozy spiced flavor, you won’t want the bite to end. Here are all the tips and tricks for making the most classic apple pie…with no butter to speak of.
Here’s a vegan banana muffins recipe that will make everyone say, “Wow!” They’re fluffy and just sweet enough, with the perfect banana flavor. Even better, a streusel topping gives every bite a little crunch and extra touch of sweet. You’d really never know these are a vegan baked good, so they work for eaters of all diets!
Coconut oil is the perfect stand in for butter in cake recipes! This incredible, decadent coconut oil chocolate cake is fully plant based, from the rich, moist chocolate cake to the light and fluffy buttercream filling. Oh, and did we mention a dark chocolate ganache topping? You’re going to want to stop what you’re doing and run to the kitchen to make this: now.
Back to savory coconut oil recipes for a moment! This is the very best vegan pot pie you’ll find. The coconut oil crust is impossibly flaky, scented with sage. The filling is just the right amount of gooey, with earthy potatoes and onions, fried shallots and white beans. It has so much flavor, well: we can’t even explain it to you. This one's a must try.
These vegan mashed potatoes are light, fluffy, and satisfying and at the same time 100% plant based. You'll use both coconut oil and olive oil here. The coconut oil adds a creaminess and a light sweetness that is lacking with just olive oil. We use both often in our pantry, and it's a winning combination!
You've got the mashed potatoes, so why not add gravy too? A plant-based gravy can’t use dairy as a crutch…and turns out it doesn’t need it at all! This vegan brown gravy has big flavor, all from plants. Coconut oil, olive oil, shallots, fennel seed, and soy sauce combine to make a magically rich flavor.
This baked and breaded cauliflower recipe is totally crispy and crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. Coconut oil helps to adhere the breading to the roasted veggie. And the flavor? It's so many things at once: savory, tangy, sweet, and spicy. Your palate is simply overwhelmed by the complexity!
Fruit crumbles and crisps are easy to make with coconut oil! They’re also naturally gluten free and the perfect dessert for feeding a crowd of different diets! This is really best apple crumble: cinnamon and fresh ginger make the filling irresistible. And, it makes a big cozy 9 x 13 pan!
Cross our hearts, we promise that these pumpkin oatmeal cookies will quickly become a favorite. Because get this: they taste like oatmeal cream pies (hello, nostalgia!). They’re a healthy, pumpkin spiced spin decorated with an easy powdered sugar icing and made with coconut oil. Yum!
This oatmeal recipe tastes incredible: it's full of toasty flavor! Toast the oats in coconut oil before you add the liquid, and brings an irresistibly nutty flavor. AND it is full of plant based protein so it is seriously filling: you’re literally full for hours after you eat it. Top it with peanut butter and healthy strawberry jam, and it's a revelation.
Here's another way to incorporate coconut oil into breakfast recipes: these breakfast cookies! They’re hearty, tasty, and the texture is just right: pleasantly chewy, almost like a Cliff bar–but better! They’re also easily portable for traveling or breakfast on the go. Pull them out of the freezer when you’re running out the door!
Last but not least in our coconut oil recipes...chocolate mousse bites! They're a rich and chocolatey dessert using natural sweeteners and just a few whole food ingredients. Making chocolate mousse with coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder is simply heavenly!
Is coconut oil healthy?
Coconut oil has had some contention around it: it’s both gotten a bad wrap and been lauded as super healthy cooking oil. So is it healthy? Per Harvard Medical School, “coconut oil is neither superfood nor poison.” That means: it’s a cooking oil that’s best consumed in moderation: just like most other cooking oils! So it’s perfect for occasional use in baked goods and cooking, much like you’d use butter.
These coconut oil peanut butter cookies are soft and perfectly crumbly, with just the right salty sweetness! One of the best ways to use this tasty oil.
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup milk of choice (2%, almond milk or oat milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together the coconut oil, milk and vanilla extract until warm and combined. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the peanut butter and sugar. Stir until well combined (small peanut butter lumps are ok). Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt and stir with spatula until combined into a cohesive dough.
Transfer the dough to a covered container and refrigerate for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the bowl with the dough from the refrigerator. Make 24 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls (using a size 40 cookie scoop, if you have it) and place them onto the baking sheet. Roll the balls between your hands to make them as spherical as possible. Place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
Use a fork to flatten the balls and make a criss-cross pattern (it’s helpful to dip the fork into a small bowl of water before each one to prevent sticking). Sprinkle the tops with a little sugar.
Bake each tray separately, about 13 to 14 minutes total, (rotating halfway through at about 6 minutes) until edges are just firm. Cool for 5 minutes on the tray, then remove to a cooling rack. (Baking the tray separately gets the most even bake.) Serve once cooled to room temperature. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or freeze for 3 months.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.