11 Olive Oil Substitutes (How To Use Them)

olive oil poured into bowl and olives

If you are out of olive oil but need it for your recipe, don’t worry. There are a number of great substitutes for olive oil that you can use.

There are many uses for olive oil, from baking, to roasting, to topping salads, and no matter what you need an olive oil replacement for you will find an excellent alternative below.

So what are the best substitutes for olive oil?

The top olive oil substitutes are vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, ghee, butter, and mashed bananas.

Read on for how to use each olive oil alternative so you know which is best for your recipe.

Best Olive Oil Alternatives

Vegetable Oil

vegetable oil in clear bowl

Vegetable oil is derived from extracting oil from vegetable seeds. Soybean is the most common form of vegetable in the US. It is found in most pantries and works well as an olive oil replacement in baking and cooking recipes. It offers a much milder flavor than olive oil though so another sub should be used when making dressing or topping a salad.

Canola Oil

canola oil on towel in bowl

Canola oil is another mild alternative to olive oil. It is a product of pressing rapeseeds. Canola is a great option for baking, frying, and in dressings. Canola is found in most grocery stores and offers a mild flavor that works in most recipes. Like vegetable oil, canola is a neutral oil making it a good all around substitute for olive oil.

Grapeseed Oil

grapeseed oil in decanter with grapes

Grapeseed oil is made by pressing the seeds of grapes following making wine. It is a versatile oil great for subbing in for olive oil in all types of recipes. It works particularly well in salad dressings, sautéing, roasting, and baking.

Grapeseed oil offers a subtle flavor that won’t overpower any recipe while being stronger than vegetable or canola oil.

Sunflower Oil

sunflower oil in jar with sunflowers

Sunflower oil is made by pressing the seeds of sunflower. It is a neutral oil that offers a mild flavor that is popular in frying, baking, and in dressings. Sunflower oil is found in many grocery stores making it a solid option for substituting in place of olive oil.

It’s mild flavor and high smoke point make it a good choice for all types of recipes.

Peanut Oil

peanut oil in bottle with whole peanuts in basket

Peanut oil is made by pressing peanuts. It offers a high smoke point making it a good option for recipes that call for roasting or frying. Peanut oil offers a mild nutty flavor that also works well in baked dishes. Peanut oil is traditionally used in Chinese style cooking so if you are roasting veggies it is an excellent alternative to olive oil.

Coconut Oil

whole coconut and coconut oil in bowl

Coconut oil is a popular option touted for it’s nutritional content. It is made by pressing coconuts and is found in most grocery stores. It’s is one of the more expensive olive oil substitutes but if your dish will work well with a hint of coconut, it is an excellent replacement for olive oil.

Coconut oil works well when frying, sautéing, and baking but is not ideal for using as a dressing.

Walnut Oil

walnut oil in jar and whole walnuts in bag

Made by pressing walnuts, this oil is another great alternative when frying or sautéing. Walnut oil offers a mild nutty flavor that is also used often in Chinese style cooking. While not as easy to find as other options on this list, if your store carries walnut oil it is a great option to go with.

Ghee

measuring spoon with ghee in it

Ghee is clarified butter that has had the excess water removed. It has a robust flavor that works well in many types of recipes. Ghee can be used in any baking, frying, or sautéing recipe making it one of the best substitutes for olive oil.

Ghee is relatively pricey but is available in most supermarkets. It can be used in almost any recipe that calls for olive oil but does not work well as a salad dressing.

Butter

butter on cutting board

Butter can be used as an olive oil substitute much like ghee. It works well in baked dishes, sautéing, and when frying or roasting. Most people have butter already on hand making it one of the most commonly used olive oil substitutes. It provides a milder flavor than olive oil but it’s versatility more than makes up for that.

Mashed Bananas

two ripe bananas on table

If you don’t have any of the other options above, or are looking for a low fat alternative to olive oil then mashed bananas fit the bill. Bananas work well in baked recipes that call for olive oil and most people will have bananas on hand.

Use a 1:2 ratio of mashed banana to olive oil. Ripe bananas work best.

What type of olive oil is best for baking?

When baking, a high quality extra virgin olive oil should always be used. Extra virgin olive oil offers the best flavor while not risking overpowering a baked dessert. When selecting an olive oil you should avoid cheap, low quality options.

Written by Liv

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