If you are making a recipe that calls for ghee but you are all out, no need to make a special trip to the grocery store.
There are multiple great substitutes you can use for ghee no matter what you are making. So if you need to know what to use instead of ghee and how to use it, read on for everything you need to know.
So what are the best substitutes for ghee?
The top ghee substitutes are clarified butter, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, canola oil, sunflower seed oil, soybean oil, and vegetable oil.
Ghee use has grown in popularity recently and can be found in all types of recipes. It provides a rich, nutty flavor that can be found in everything from Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern cuisine, to tasty desserts.
The key to properly substituting for ghee is using the right alternative for your dish in the right ratio. Read on for how to best use each ghee replacement.
Clarified butter is the most similar substitute to ghee. And that is because ghee is a form of clarified butter. So if you have some one hand it is an excellent alternative for any type of recipe that calls for ghee.
Clarified butter can be used in fried dishes to baked goods. It offers a flavor quite similar to ghee and no recipe alterations will be needed.
Equivalent1 tablespoon of clarified butter equals 1 tablespoon of ghee
While clarified butter is not commonly found in most kitchens, butter is. And it is a great all around substitute for ghee.
While it does not offer the same rich, nutty flavor as ghee, butter will work in any recipe that calls for ghee.
Butter does have a lower moisture level than ghee but no recipe changes will need to be made.
Equivalent1 tablespoon of butter equals 1 tablespoon of ghee
Another great substitute that you may already have on hand is olive oil. Olive oil, as other liquid oils, is not best suited for recipes that call for a solid fat but otherwise it will work in any other ghee recipe.
Olive oil also offers a flavor somewhat similar to ghee so it is one of my personal favorite alternatives.
Equivalent3/4 cup of olive oil equals 1 cup of ghee
Related: Olive Oil Substitutes
If you are looking for a ghee substitute with a rich flavor, coconut oil is the one you need. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature and liquid when heated. And it works wonderfully in almost any recipe that calls for ghee.
You can use refined or unrefined coconut oil, but I recommend unrefined if you have it available. You will get a deeper flavor than you will with refined coconut oil.
Equivalent1 cup of coconut oil equals 1 cup of ghee
Related: Coconut Oil Substitutes
Sesame oil is an excellent substitute for ghee when frying. It offers a complex, nutty flavor that compliments recipes that call for ghee.
There are multiple types of sesame oil and each of them will work as a ghee replacement. Keep in mind that toasted sesame oil will provide the most flavor.
Equivalent2/3 cup of sesame oil equals 1 cup of ghee
Canola oil is another kitchen staple that can be used instead of ghee. It is well suited for baked recipes as it offers a similar smoke point to ghee.
Canola oil does not have a strong flavor so you may want to increase other flavors to compensate for the lower flavor profile of canola oil.
Equivalent3/4 cup canola oil equals 1 cup of ghee
Sunflower Seed Oil
Sunflower seed oil is a great all around substitute for ghee. It offers a similar smoke point making it suitable for baked recipes and it provides a rich, nutty flavor that does well in recipes that call for ghee.
Sunflower oil also is great for frying or sautéing so feel free to use this versatile oil in your next recipe.
Equivalent3/4 cup of sesame oil equals 1 cup of ghee
The next two options are not my go to options but will work as a ghee alternative in a pinch. Soybean oil can be found in treated and untreated varieties. The treated form has a very mild flavor, so go with untreated if you want more flavor in your recipe.
Soybean oil is best suited for frying but can be used in baked dishes as well.
Equivalent3/4 cup soybean oil equals 1 cup of ghee
I don’t use vegetable oil often, but it is a common type found in most kitchens. If you don’t have any other options, vegetable oil can be used in place of ghee.
Vegetable oil can be used in everything from baked recipes to frying so it is quite versatile.
Equivalent1 cup of vegetable oil equals 1 cup of ghee
Related: Substitute for Vegetable Oil in Waffles
Ghee Replacement FAQ
Can you substitute regular butter for ghee?
Yes, regular butter can be used instead of ghee in most recipes. Butter does not offer as nutty of a flavor as ghee but it can provide the texture and consistency needed in recipes that call for ghee. Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing ghee with butter.
Is coconut oil a good substitute for ghee?
Yes, coconut oil is an excellent substitute for ghee. It provides a rich and nutty flavor that compliments most recipes that utilize ghee. Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting coconut oil for ghee.
What is a vegan substitute for ghee?
The best vegan substitutes for ghee are coconut oil, rapeseed oil, and avocado oil. They can be used in any recipe that calls for ghee. Use 3/4 cup of oil for 1 cup of ghee.
What is a good ghee substitute in curry?
The top ghee substitutes for curry are clarified butter, regular butter, coconut oil, and sesame oil.
Read above for the ratio to use for each substitute.