Olive oil is one of the most popular oils used in cooking. It features one of the lowest smoke points among oils at 325-375ºF, making it perfect for sauteeing or other mid-high heat cooking. With a flavor similar to fresh herbs and fruits, olive oil can have a diverse range of profiles ranging from delicate to complex. It has a pungent, fruity smell that will elevate your dish, and it’s packed in healthy monounsaturated fats that won’t break down when heated.
If you’ve run out of this holy grail, you can use any of these 8 substitutes for olive oil to enjoy a similar flavor instead.
1. Peanut Oil
Featuring a mild nutty flavor, peanut oil is high in monounsaturated fats, rich in Vitamin E, and contains no cholesterol. Thanks to intensive purifying methods that eliminate all allergenic proteins, its refined version is also 100% allergen-free. It’s also super affordable, making it an excellent substitute for olive oil.
Keep in mind that peanut oil has a high smoke point. While it can be used for just about every cooking method, including grilling, sauteing, roasting, and deep-frying, it works best in Asian stir-fry recipes. Because peanut oil has a neutral flavor, it does not absorb the flavor of the food it cooks, meaning peanut oil can be reused.
1 tablespoon of olive oil = 1 tablespoon of peanut oil.
2. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil, which is prepared from pressed grape seeds, is a healthy alternative to olive oil and has been linked to a reduced risk of stroke. It has a mild flavor and a nutty finish but is robust enough to act as a stand-in for olive oil in numerous recipes.
Grapeseed oil, thanks to its high smoke point, can be used as a substitute in both vegetable and meat dishes, and it works particularly well in homemade salad dressings. Keep this product on hand because it can be used to replace butter or shortening in baking recipes, too.
1 tablespoon olive oil = 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil.
3. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil has a buttery taste that is richer than olive oil. It’s high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid that’s beneficial for your heart, as well as vitamins A and E, and lutein — nutrients that are good for your skin and eyes. It’s thus safe to say avocado oil offers a slew of health benefits.
Avocado oil makes for a great substitute for olive oil. It has a high smoke point, so it’s perfect for everything from grilling and roasting to sautéing and searing vegetables and meat. It also works well as a salad dressing since it has a light flavor that complements rather than overpowers the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish.
1 tablespoon olive oil = 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed avocado oil.
Butter has a rich flavor but is milder than olive oil. It contains a lot of fat-soluble vitamins including A, E, and K2 (which help with calcium metabolism), offering a plethora of health benefits. It is also easily available, making it a great substitute for olive oil.
Butter has a slightly lower smoke point and can be used to sauté vegetables or to add flavor to pasta sauces. It’s a staple in baking as it offers more texture to the recipes. To use butter, you can either chop, melt, or cream it before adding it to everyday recipes for a fresh burst of richer, more savory flavor. Keep in mind that it will not work in salad dressings, so if you’re making a salad, it’s best to explore other options.
1 tablespoon olive oil = 1 tablespoon melted butter.
5. Canola, Sunflower, or Vegetable Oil
Sunflower oil, prepared from pressed sunflower seeds, has a mild flavor. It has no trans fat, is low in saturated fatty acids, and is high in oleic acid, which can help maintain heart health. Sunflower oil has the same smoke point as olive oil and is also quite versatile, making it an excellent replacement. Just make sure to use premium-quality sunflower oil, so you can be assured it retains its nutrient value.
You can also use pantry staples like canola or vegetable oil, but keep in mind that they aren’t as nutritious or as clean as sunflower oil. In a pinch, however, they can be used to replace olive oil in stir-fries and salad dressings.
1 tablespoon olive oil = 1 tablespoon of canola/sunflower/vegetable oil.
6. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil has a mild nutty flavor and is abundant in omega-3 fats, which are beneficial to your heart. It has a low smoke point, so it burns fast, but it can be used as a substitute for olive oil in a pinch.
You can use flaxseed oil as a stand-in for olive oil in salad dressings or as a topping to garnish a dish for an added kick of flavor.
1 tablespoon olive oil = 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil.
7. Almond Oil
Almond oil is a mild, nutty-flavored oil. It is high in Vitamin E and has been proven to reduce total cholesterol. It’s not only good for your health, but it’s also delicious, making it a fantastic alternative to olive oil.
You can use almond oil to substitute for olive oil in various recipes including in baked goods, soups, salad dressings, and pasta.
1 tablespoon olive oil = 1 tablespoon almond oil.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil, made by pressing coconut meat, has a subtle coconutty flavor. It’s available in both refined and unrefined versions. It contains lauric acid, which has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, making it an excellent substitution in diverse dishes.
You can use coconut oil as a stand-in for olive oil in curries, stir-fries, and even in baking recipes such as cookies and cake. Keep in mind that it may give the dish a slight coconut flavor. So, if you don’t want that, look for alternative options. It also has a low smoking point, so it won’t work in frying recipes. Coconut oil also solidifies at room temperature, so it won’t work in salad dressings or marinades.
1 tablespoon of olive oil = 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.