Truffle oil offers a wonderful flavor to dishes that showcases the earthy, musky, and slightly nutty flavors of a good-quality truffle. However, not everyone can afford or find quality truffles to use in their dishes. If you are looking for a substitute or replacement for truffle oil, there are many options available to suit your needs.
From using other flavorful oils to adding crushed herbs like rosemary and parsley; these substitutes offer very different flavors than what you might be used to with traditional truffle oil but will work in a pinch.
So what are the best truffle oil substitutes?
The most commonly used replacement for truffle oil is extra virgin olive oil. You can also use vegetable oil, canola, peanut, safflower oil, or grapeseed oil.
If you have olive oil definitely use that as it offers the closest flavor and consistency as you can get to white truffle oil. But if that isn’t an option any of the other alternatives will also work. Read on for more about each truffle replacement and for how to best use them in your recipe.
What Are Truffles?
A truffle is a type of underground fungus that grows in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of trees and plants in temperate forests throughout the world.
The most common species of truffles are black, brown, and white, with black truffles being the most highly prized and expensive kind.
Black truffles have a complex aroma that is earthy, musky and slightly nutty. White truffles have more delicate flavors which include buttery notes, garlic or mushroom flavors.
What Is Black Truffle Oil?
Black truffle oil is olive oil infused with pieces of black truffle.
Truffle oil should be used sparingly as it is quite potent and a little goes a long way.
What Is White Truffle Oil?
White truffle oil is made from white truffles that are cooked and then infused into olive oil. It has a buttery, earthy and slightly floral flavor profile with a bit of a nutty finish.
How To Use Truffle Oil
Truffle oil is commonly used to add flavor to dishes such as vegetables, eggs, pasta sauces and even desserts.
To use it, place a few drops into the dish you wish to flavor and mix well.
What Are The Best Alternatives And Replacements For Truffle Oil?
While you probably don’t have truffles laying around in your pantry, there are a number of food products that can be used to create a similar flavor. These work well when discarded truffle shavings are not available:)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is the best substitute for truffle oil, according to most home cooks. And it’s a great alternative because it has a similar consistency and flavor. It can be used over pasta, mixed into mashed potatoes or even as garnish on bread. It works well in most any recipe.
You could of course also use any other type of olive oil such as virgin olive oil with chopped rosemary and shallots for a truffle flavored version.
A good quality vegetable oil can also be used as an alternative for truffle oil. Although it doesn’t have the same rich flavor as olive oil it will still have some of the earthy and nutty flavors you are looking for.
Safflower oil is very similar to vegetable oil with a similar consistency and flavor. It is most commonly used in Asian cuisine.
Canola oil is a great substitute for truffle oil in salad dressings and marinades. It is commonly used in canola mayonnaise so it might be a good idea to keep some around for when you need a good versatile oil.
Grapeseed oil has a medium texture and neutral flavor which makes it the perfect alternative for white truffle oil. It works well in sauces, salad dressings and marinades.
Herbs and Spices
Rosemary, shallots, parsley, sage, cilantro and garlic are all herbs that offer great flavors that will work well as substitutes for truffle oil.
While there really isn’t a perfect substitute for truffle oil you can make your recipe taste delicious still.
The best way to get that truffle flavor is to use real truffle shavings or cubes which will offer the best taste and aroma. But if you don’t have those on hand, you can also make do with an assortment of flavorful herbs and spices, olive or another alternative oil.