The Best Vegetable Oil Substitutes

No matter what you're whipping up in your kitchen, seldom a day goes by when you won't use a splash of vegetable oil in your cooking.

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By Cookist

Whether you're baking cupcakes, frying onions, or making a batch of deep-fried chicken, this pantry staple is used for all sorts of recipes. With its high smoke point and neutral flavor, it's no wonder people rely on vegetable oil. But if you're in the middle of cooking and look into your cupboard only to discover you're fresh out of vegetable oil, don't fret. There are many excellent vegetable oil substitutes you can use, many of which you probably already have at home. Exactly which vegetable oil substitute to use will depend on what it's for. Are you baking or deep frying? Sautéing or making a dressing? No matter what you're making, there's a perfect substitute out there for you. These are our top picks for vegetable oil substitutes.

Avocado Oil


Thanks to its high smoke point, avocado oil is an excellent alternative to vegetable oil if you're deep frying. It's great for grilling and sauteing as well. What's more, avocado oil is packed with vitamin E and other nutrients, making it a healthy substitute. Because it has a neutral flavor, you can even use it for baking, sauces, and marinades.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

If you're hunting for cooking oil or something to add to a salad dressing in place of vegetable oil, look no further than extra virgin olive oil. This heart-healthy oil is excellent for sauteing foods or making marinades or dressings. Keep in mind it has a noticeable flavor, so if you need a vegetable oil substitute for cupcakes or cookies, choose one of the other options on this list.



For baked recipes, applesauce is an amazing vegan-friendly vegetable oil substitute. It'll add some natural sweetness, so you can cut back the sugar in your recipes, and will help make your baked goods ultra-moist and tender. Applesauce also has fewer calories than vegetable oil, making it a fantastic substitute if you're watching your calorie intake.

Pureed Fruit 

If you don't have applesauce, you can use any type of mashed or pureed fruit as a vegetable oil substitute. Bananas, pumpkin, and avocado can all be used to add moisture and flavor to your baked treats.

Flaxseed Oil


Another healthy oil you can use instead of vegetable oil is flaxseed oil. It's ideal for sauces, marinades, and as a finishing oil, however, it has a low smoke point, so flaxseed shouldn't be used for baking or cooking.

Sesame Oil

For marinades, dressings, and sauces, sesame oil is a healthy, brilliant alternative to vegetable oil. It's incredibly flavorful, so it's best used as a seasoning rather than to cook with or in your baking recipes.



Whether you're gently sauteing some vegetables or baking a cake, butter is always a great choice. It's a perfect substitute for vegetable oil in any baking recipe and will add loads of richness to your baked goods. It can also be used to lightly fry vegetables and meat and will infuse any dish with so much flavor.


Made from clarified butter, ghee is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. Ghee is heated to remove the milk solids and water from butter, which gives it a high smoke point. You can use it for frying, baking, and general cooking.



For baking recipes, you can use plain yogurt as a vegetable oil substitute. Its thick, creamy texture will add richness to your baked treats and help keep them moist and tender. Plain Greek yogurt is the gold standard, but you can use flavored yogurts for an extra layer of flavor.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is fantastic for deep frying thanks to its high smoke point. It's also amazing for baking because coconut oil has a lightly sweet flavor and a subtle coconut taste. It's ideal for cakes, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, and more!

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