Best Peanut Butter Substitute

Don’t have this popular nut butter or working around an allergy? Here’s the best peanut butter substitute to use on sandwiches or in recipes.

Peanut butter substitute

Making a recipe that calls for peanut butter and don’t have it? Or working around a peanut allergy? Peanut butter is the most popular nut butter around. It’s sweet and creamy, and good on just about anything. It’s perfect sandwiches, but it’s often used in recipes like no bake cookies, bars, desserts, and more. Need a replacement? Here’s the best peanut butter substitute.

Best peanut butter substitute

1. Sunflower butter

The best peanut butter substitute if you’re working around a nut allergy? Sunflower butter! This butter made with sunflower seeds is creamy and full flavored, a widely accepted substitute for any type of nut butter. You can find it at your local grocery or make it at home.

Keep in mind: if you add sunflower butter a baked good, it can turn a green color due to a chemical reaction with the baking soda or baking powder! It is safe to eat, per the Sunbutter website. They suggest reducing the baking powder or baking soda by 1/3 in baked goods.

2. Pumpkin seed butter

Another good peanut butter substitute for a nut allergy? Pumpkin seed butter! This creamy green butter is made with pumpkin seeds, or pepitas. You can find it in grocery stores or online these days, and it’s very delicious! Whether you’re making a sandwich or using it in baked goods, it’s a great alternative.

3. Cashew butter

The best nut-based peanut butter substitute? Cashew butter! In our opinion, the creamy texture and lightly sweet flavor of cashew butter is a closer match than the more popular almond butter. You can use it anywhere you’d use peanut butter: toast or baked goods. Buy it or make our Homemade Cashew Butter.

4. Almond butter

Another great peanut butter substitute? Almond butter! Almond butter is a fantastic replacement for PB, and works just as well in sandwiches, oatmeal, and baked goods. It does have a more neutral flavor. The texture can also differ: because almonds are harder than peanuts, sometimes almond butter can be a bit thicker. Try to find a creamy almond butter to sub for creamy peanut butter. Or try our Homemade Almond Butter.

5. Pecan butter

Another peanut butter substitute? Pecan butter! The nutty flavor and creamy texture of pecan butter is a close match, though the flavor is not as sweet. It’s harder to find at stores, but it’s very easy to make at home! Try this Homemade Pecan Butter.

6. Pistachio butter

Pistachio butter is another nut butter that works in place of peanut butter. It’s creamy and green: and it one of the best tasting nut butters around! You can find it at some grocery stores in the nut butter section or online, or it’s easy to make at home.

7. Hazelnut butter

Hazelnut butter is another nut butter that works in place of peanut butter. It’s creamy and has a beautifully nutty flavor (combine it with chocolate and it’s Nutella!). It’s more of a niche product, but you can find it at some grocery stores in the nut butter section or online.

8. Walnut butter

A final peanut butter substitute? Walnut butter! Walnut butter is creamy and ultra nutty in flavor, but it can have a bitter aftertaste so you may want to combine it with honey in a sandwich. Find it at grocery stores, online, or make your own homemade.

Here are some peanut butter recipes where you could use this substitute:

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nut butter recipe

Nut Butter Recipe (Substitute Any Nut!)


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 cup 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make nut butter at home! It’s easy to make, saves money, and comes out creamy and delicious. Substitute any nuts you have on hand!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups raw nuts of any kind (or 1/3 each almonds, cashews and walnuts)*
  • Kosher salt to taste**
  • Grapeseed or canola oil, as necessary (1 tablespoon)
  • Optional add in: Toasted coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread the nuts out onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for about 5 to 7 minutes, until fragrant and toasted. Allow to cool 2 to 3 minutes on tray.
  3. Add to food processor while warm and process about 4 minutes (or up to 10 minutes for almonds) until creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. The exact timing depends on your food processor and the age and type of the nuts. If at several minutes the nuts are very dry and crumbly, add up to a tablespoon of oil while processing.
  4. When creamy, add kosher salt to taste (we add 1/4 teaspoon for unsalted nuts). Move the nut butter to a jar and store refrigerated for up to 4 weeks.

Notes

*You can use any nuts; we used about 1/3 each raw walnuts, almonds and cashews. If some of the nuts you have on hand are already roasted, add them to the baking sheet in the last few minutes (or bake them just a few minutes), since heating them helps with the blending.

**The amount of salt will add based on the nuts you have on hand. If you use salted nuts, taste and add enough so the flavor pops. We use 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt with unsalted nuts.

  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Peanut butter substitute

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

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

Cookbook Author and photographer

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.

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