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15 Simple Ways to Substitute for Olive Oil

Here are 15 easy ways to substitute for olive oil in a pinch. You’ll find healthy olive oil alternatives and non-oil substitutes, too!

Olive oil is a popular, heart healthy oil used to sauté, drizzle, and in a multitude of dressings, dips and spreads.

In places like Spain and Europe, it’s usually one of the only oils you can find in the grocery store or market.

Health-conscious people love to reach for this oil because it’s low in saturated fats (which aren’t good for your health) and rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (the good kind!).

But, what do you do if you run out of olive oil, can’t find it in the store, or simply don’t like the taste?

Luckily, there are several easy ways to substitute for olive oil in a punch.

Below, are the best substitutes that are commonly used, plus delicious recipes to try your favorites.

Olive Oil 101

Large jar of olive oil surrounded by fresh green olives spilling from basket.

As mentioned above, olive oil not only tastes great, but it’s also good for your health and chock full of nutritional value.

Nutrition Facts

1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains:

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 0 grams (g)
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs): 10 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat (PUFA): 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugars: 0 g

Health Benefits

Olive oil also:

  • Helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like A, D, E, and K.
  • May reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Improves blood vessel function, cholesterol, and insulin sensitivity.
  • May lower high blood pressure.
  • May reduce the risk of death from heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Common Ways to Substitute for Olive Oil

Here are several common olive oil substitutes that are easily found in stores and some you probably have in your pantry right now. A few of these may even surprise you, but they absolutely work for the right context!

1. Grapeseed Oil

White grapes spill from a small bowl next to bottle of grapeseed oil.

Grapeseed oil is a great olive oil substitute due to its similar nutrient value and high smoke point. It has a robust flavor and a nutty finish that’s bold enough to stand in olive oil’s shoes but is still considered neutral. Grapeseed oil is great for sautéing, drizzling, and for salad dressings.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

2. Canola Oil

Small glass bowl filled with canola oil next to canola plant and flowers.

If you’re looking for a neutral oil, canola oil is an excellent option, though it doesn’t quite match olive oil’s health benefits and is less bold.

Still, canola oil has one of the highest levels of monounsaturated fatty acids which is great for cholesterol and blood glucose and is also a good source of vitamin E.

It’s not rich enough in flavor to use as a finishing oil, but you can use it anywhere else you would olive oil as a 1 to 1 substitute.

3. Vegetable Oil

Several bottles of vegetable oil on store shelves with golden yellow caps.

Vegetable oil isn’t the healthiest option to replace olive oil, but it’s very affordable. It’s neutral and usually made from a blend of oils that’s typically soy-based. It may also include canola or safflower oil.

This oil isn’t great for drizzling or adding richness to a dish, but it’s perfect for sautéing, frying, and as a base for dressings in a pinch.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute and make sure you’re using a vegetable oil that still has a good shelf life.

4. Sunflower Oil

Large glass jar of sunflower oil next to large fresh sunflower.

Here’s another neutral oil in the same smoke point range as olive oil. It’s a great source of oleic acid so long as you stick to a premium brand so its nutrient value is retained.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut cut in half next to glass jar of liquid coconut oil.

Liquid coconut oil is great for sautéing and roasting but doesn’t work well for dressings or dips as it’s solid at room temperature. It will also lend a slight coconut flavor to your dish.

It’s best for baked recipes like cookies, cakes, and muffins or for dishes like curry that may already have coconut flavoring.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

6. Butter

Melted butter in small white mixing bowl next to wooden basting brush.

You can use melted butter as a 1 to 1 substitute for sautéing and roasting. It will add a nice rich flavor to your dish or make baked goods more flaky and moist. It’s not the healthiest olive oil replacement, but it’s certainly delicious and you probably have some on hand!

7. Peanut Oil

Small glass jar of peanut oil next to pile of unshelled peanuts.

Peanut oil is a great substitute in stir-fries, curries, and Asian cuisine. It contains no cholesterol and has a mild nutty flavor.

Use it as a 1 to 1 substitute when pan-frying.

8. Ghee

Large wooden spoon lifts dollop of bright yellow ghee from glass jar.

If you’ve never heard of ghee, it’s simply butter that’s been clarified (a process where almost all milk solids are removed). This process makes ghee lactose and casein free.

Because of that, it’s ideal for high-heat cooking.

Use ghee as a 1 to 1 substitute for curries, for flavoring rice, or for pan-frying.

9. Walnut Oil

Large glass bottle of walnut oil on burlap cloth surrounded by walnuts.

Walnut oil is a great substitute for olive oil in salads and cold dishes. But it’s not great in heated dishes because it can become bitter. This neutral oil has a mild flavor and it’s also a good source of healthy fats, similar to olive oil.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

10. Mashed Bananas

Woman mashes several bananas in large glass mixing bowl next to peels.

Did you know you can use mashed bananas to replace olive oil or other oils in baking? Just be sure it complements the other flavors of your baked good and that your bananas are very ripe.

Follow a 2 to 1 ratio, olive oil to banana.

11. Avocado Oil

Fresh cut avocados next to small clear glass jar of avocado oil.

Avocado oil has a really high smoke point, making it great for roasting and grilling. It has similar health properties to olive oil and both are great sources of heart-healthy oleic acid.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute anywhere you would olive oil.

12. Almond Oil

White bowl filled with almonds next to bowl of almond oil and wooden spoon.

This olive oil substitute is a great source of vitamin E and an excellent option for those needing to control their cholesterol levels.

Use almond oil as a 1 to 1 substitute in baked goods, pastas, soups and dressings.

13. Flaxseed Oil

Glass bowl filled with flaxseeds next to bowl of flaxseed oil and purple flowers.

Flaxseed oil is high in healthy omega-3s, but has a low smoke point. It’s best used as a replacement for olive oil in salad dressings and as a finisher to garnish a meal.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

14. Palm Oil

Large pile of palm seeds on green palm frond next to bottle of palm oil.

This particular oil has a rich earthy flavor and is popular in African, Asian and Brazilian cuisines. Palm oil is great for curry recipes, noodle dishes, stews, and more. It’s also a great source of Vitamin E.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

15. Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Chicken stock in mason jar next to chicken stock ingredients and bones.

You’ll lose a lot of flavor with this olive oil substitute, but you’ll also spend fewer calories. Chicken stock is great for those on a diet, but should only be used as a substitute when sautéing vegetables or meat and it may affect the texture of your dish.

Use just enough to lubricate your pan and cook through your food.

Smoke Points for Cooking Oils

Now that we’ve covered the best substitutes for olive oil, here’s a handy chart to help you decide which oil is best for your cooking needs.

Oils with a higher smoke point are best for deep-frying, searing, and stir-frying.

Oils with a low smoke point should be used as a dressing or finisher.

OilSmoke PointBest Used For
Refined Avocado Oil520° FDeep-frying, searing, stir-frying
Refined/Light Olive Oil465° FGrilling, sautéing, stir-frying
Refined Peanut Oil450° FDeep-frying, stir-frying
Ghee/Clarified Butter450° FSautéing, stir-frying
Corn/Sunflower/Safflower Oil450° FSautéing, searing
Palm Oil450° FFrying, sautéing
Refined Coconut Oil450° FSautéing, stir-frying
Refined Sesame Oil410° FStir-frying
Canola Oil400° FBaking, grilling, sautéing
Grapeseed Oil400° FSautéing, stir-frying, dressing
Extra Virgin Olive Oil375-400 ° FBaking, dressing, sautéing
Vegetable Oil400° FBaking, deep frying, roasting, searing
Unrefined Virgin Avocado Oil375° FRoasting, searing, sautéing
Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil350° FSautéing
Unrefined Sesame Oil350° FSautéing
Unrefined Walnut/Peanut Oil320° FDrizzle for salads and vegetables
Walnut Oil300-350° FDrizzle for salads and vegetables
Butter300° FBaking, searing


What is a healthy substitute for oil in cooking?

Avocado oil, flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, and coconut oil are the healthiest cooking oils to substitute for olive oil in cooking.

How much butter do I use instead of olive oil?

You can use melted butter as a 1-to-1 substitute for olive oil when sautéing, baking, searing, and roasting. So if you need a tablespoon of olive oil for your recipe, you would melt 1 tablespoon of butter.

Recipes with Olive Oil

Here are some easy recipes that call for olive oil. Use these to try out your favorite substitute for olive oil, above.

Easy Spaghetti with Olive Oil and Garlic

Spaghetti with olive oil and garlic on wood plate with gold knife and fork.

Cilantro Chickpea Salad With Avocado And Feta

Chickpea salad with cilantro and feta in white bowls on wooden cutting board.

Healthy and Delicious Lasagna Zucchini Boats

Zucchini boats with ground beef and fork with piece of zucchini resting on plate.

The Easiest One Pan Balsamic Chicken And Veggies

Large white platter of balsamic chicken skillet with green beans and tomatoes.

Healthy Chicken Power Bowl with Roasted Vegetables

Chicken power bowl with roasted vegetables and cilantro on wood cutting board with striped towel nearby.