substitute for ghee

8 Best Substitutes for Ghee and How to Use Them

Ghee is a nutty and aromatic butter that people use for frying or sautéing. In fact, it is one of the most important ingredients in most Southeast Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Besides cooking, ghee is also used in religious practices and traditional medicine.

However, whether you run out of it or simply want to switch it for dietary purposes, you can’t always rely on ghee. Fortunately, there is always a perfect substitute for ghee, no matter what kind of dish you are planning to make. Let’s check out a few of those replacements and see how you can use them to improve your recipe!

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a popular, flavorful, and healthy ingredient that, similar to ghee, will improve the taste of your favorite dish. It’s important to mention that there are two varieties of coconut oil, so this replacement depends on your personal preferences.

On the one hand, you can have unrefined coconut oil, which has a strong and noticeable coconut flavor. On the other hand, you can choose refined coconut oil, whose coconut undertone is much more subtle.

When using coconut oil as a substitute for ghee, you should know that they both share a similar molecular structure. Therefore, you can replace ghee with it in a one-for-one ratio without having to worry about damaging the taste of your dish. And best of all, coconut oil is extremely easy to come by, as it’s available in most grocery stores.

1 Cup of Ghee = 1 Cup of Coconut Oil.

2. Canola Oil

Canola Oil

Canola oil is a perfect substitute for ghee, especially for those that want an almost flavorless alternative. As a matter of fact, the biggest advantage of canola oil is that you can add additional spices or butter to adjust its flavor to your own taste.

Another benefit of canola oil is that its smoke point is almost identical to ghee. As a result, you can cook using canola oil for the same amount of time as you would with ghee without the fear of burning or browning the oil too much.

Most recipes recommend that you replace ghee with canola in a three-to-four ratio. Yet, you can also do a one-for-one conversion as long as you reduce one of the recipe’s liquids.

1 Cup of Ghee = ¾ Cup of Canola Oil.

3. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the most common pantry items that you can use as a replacement for ghee. The main benefit of olive oil is that it can replicate ghee’s nutty flavor, making it ideal for most recipes. However, usually, ghee is solid while olive oil is a liquid, meaning that the latter won’t work as well for recipes that require creams or solid fats.

When it comes to quantities, olive oil can replace ghee in a three-to-four ratio. And while you could do a one-for-one conversion, it’s always better to start with a smaller amount of olive oil and just add more if you need to.

1 Cup of Ghee = ¾ Cup of Olive Oil.

4. Butter


You might already know that butter is the basis for ghee, making it an easy switch if you need a quick and reliable ghee substitute. More often than not, butter can replace ghee in a one-for-one ratio. Yet, ghee is moister than butter, meaning that you may need to change the amounts of dry ingredients to make up for it.

1 Tbsp of Ghee = 1 Tbsp of Butter.

If you want to replicate ghee’s texture and nutty flavor, you can mix olive oil and butter together. Thanks to the combined mixture’s smoke point, you also prevent burning your food.

1 Tbsp of Ghee = ¼ Cup of Olive Oil + ¼ Tbsp of Butter.

5. Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Oil

What makes sunflower oil such a good substitute for ghee is its nutty flavor and high smoke point. Therefore, you can use it for frying foods or sautéing just like you would with ghee. And if that wasn’t enough, sunflower oil also has all sorts of health benefits, making it an even healthier ingredient than ghee.

Intrigued by sunflower oil? Then you can use it to replace ghee in a three-to-four or one-to-one ratio. However, the latter requires you to reduce another liquid from your dish.

1 Cup of Ghee = ¾ Cup of Sunflower Oil.

6. Sesame Oil

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil has a strong flavor profile similar to ghee, which makes it a suitable replacement. And, just like ghee, you can use sesame oil for frying foods or sautéing.

But before you give it a try, it’s important to note that there are multiple types of sesame oil, such as cold-pressed, light, and toasted. Most chefs recommend that you use toasted sesame oil because the toasting process gives the oil a more intense flavor and texture. So, if you want to replicate ghee’s nutty flavor, toasted sesame oil is the way to go.

Like similar ingredients, sesame oil can substitute ghee in a three-to-four ratio. But you can always add more sesame oil if you feel like your recipe isn’t flavorful enough. Just try not to overdo it, as adding too much can ruin your favorite dish by giving it an oily texture.

1 Cup of Ghee = ¾ Cup of Sesame Oil.

7. Soybean Oil

Soybean Oil

If you are familiar with soybean oil, you already know that its raw variant has a green bean flavor. However, the manufactured and treated variants of soybean oil have a somewhat bland and mild taste, meaning that it is a perfect substitute for ghee. And, just like canola oil, you can always add more spices to make up for its lack of seasoning.

Generally speaking, you can replace ghee with soybean oil in a three-to-four ratio. And, as long as you reduce another liquid in your dish, you can also go for a one-to-one ratio.

1 Cup of Ghee = ¾ Cup of Soybean Oil.

8. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable Oil

Last but not least, vegetable oil is a less healthy yet highly effective substitute for ghee. Yet, due to its highly liquid nature, vegetable oil isn’t great for recipes that require solid fats or creams. Even so, if you are running out of ghee and need a quick fix, vegetable oil is one of the best replacements as almost everybody has it in their pantry. ‘

And since ghee can be substituted with vegetable oil in a one-for-one ratio, you don’t have to worry about messing up the dosage.

1 Cup of Ghee = 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.