I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of almond butter substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion. Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, looking for a last-minute pantry substitute, or want a swap that fits your diet, I’ve got the answers.
Peanut butter is the best substitute for almond butter if you’re not allergic. But if you have dietary restrictions, sunflower butter is another great option. You can also go with tahini, granola butter, or coconut butter. For a low-fat substitute, try sweetened pureed black beans.
I whipped up a batch of plain oatmeal to put different almond butter substitutes to the test.
Almond butter is a creamy spread made from roasted and ground almonds. It’s commonly used as a substitute for peanut butter, but its prominent nutty flavor and subtle sweetness have made it a popular ingredient in its own right. You can find it used as a spread over toast or in a sandwich, or as an ingredient used in smoothies, dips, desserts, and energy bars.
Peanut butter may seem like an obvious substitute for almond butter, but I couldn’t not include it. It’s got a richer flavor that isn’t as sweet as almond butter, and it also tends to be slightly saltier. Because peanuts have more oil, the texture of the butter is also slightly creamier than almond butter, which can be grainy.
Peanut butter is more common than almond butter, which means it can be easier to find and it also tends to be less expensive. Both nut butters are similar in terms of calorie content, but peanut butter contains (very) slightly more protein.
Note: Make sure you pick up a natural peanut butter rather than one with lots of added sugar and preservatives.
How to substitute: Replace almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with peanut butter.
Sunflower butter (nut free)
Need to avoid nuts completely? Sunflower seed butter is the closest thing to almond butter in this case. It’s got a similar creamy texture, but quite a distinct flavor that can take some getting used to at first.
It’s less sweet than almond butter with an earthy, bitter undertone. You’ll find that lots of brands of sunflower seed butter have added sugar to help balance out the bitterness. The flavor is robust and hearty.
Sunflower butter is one of the most popular nut-free butters, so you’ll have lots of options to choose from. And it should be around the same price as almond butter.
How to substitute: Replace almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with sunflower butter.
Cashew butter is my favorite nut butter (maybe because I have a sweet tooth). It’s sweeter than almond butter with a more buttery quality to it and a creamy, velvety texture. The nuttiness isn’t as pronounced as it is in almond butter, so this is a good option if you’re looking for a more subtle replacement.
Psst… The smooth texture and mild taste mean cashew butter is perfect for thickening smoothies, soups, and vegan sauces.
How to substitute: Replace almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with cashew butter.
Homemade almond butter
This isn’t really a substitute for almond butter, but if it’s just availability or price holding you back then why not try making your own almond butter at home?
All you need are raw almonds and a relatively powerful blender.
The first step is to roast the almonds to enhance their flavor. Then you need to wait for them to cool down before throwing them in your blender. If the butter seems a little dry, you can add a small amount of neutral-flavored oil to help the texture.
You can also add in some extra flavors like cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla, or salt if you feel like it. My friend swears by adding a touch of chili to her nut butter to cut through the richness.
Another customization is to skip roasting the almonds. This is a good option if you prefer a milder flavor.
How to substitute: Replace store-bought almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with homemade almond butter.
Tahini is another solid nut-free alternative to almond butter. This Middle Eastern favorite is made from sesame seeds and has a unique nutty flavor that can also be pretty bitter. How bitter the tahini is will vary based on the type of sesame seeds used to make it, with unhulled, heavily roasted seeds being the most bitter.
Unlike sunflower seed butter, tahini doesn’t tend to have added sugar to balance out the bitter flavor because its primary purpose isn’t for use as a spread. But you can always add this in yourself. A squeeze of honey worked wonders in my tahini, and lemon can also help mask bitterness.
Psst… Despite not being made from nuts, tahini is rich in monounsaturated fats, just like almond butter!
How to substitute: Replace almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with tahini.
Other nut butters
Almond butter, peanut butter, and cashew butter are the most popular and readily available nut butters. But you can make a butter out of pretty much any nut.
These options are niche, so they won’t be cheap, but try them if you want to treat yourself!
- Walnut Butter: Offers a robust, earthy flavor profile with a distinctive, slightly astringent aftertaste.
- Pecan Butter: Has a naturally sweet and buttery taste, often with a note of caramel.
- Pistachio Butter: Rich and slightly sweet, with an inviting green color.
- Hazelnut Butter: Boasts a bold, sweetly nutty flavor, and pairs perfectly with chocolate.
- Macadamia Butter: Provides a creamy, luxurious taste with a subtle, butter-like sweetness.
- Mixed Nut Butter: Offers more complexity than a single nut butter.
Whenever I make my own almond butter I always throw a few walnuts in because of their high omega-3 content.
How to substitute: Replace almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with your choice of another nut butter.
Coconut butter is a less conventional alternative to almond butter, but it’s worth trying if you want to switch things up. It’s made from shredded coconut, giving it a sweet, nutty flavor with a distinctly tropical twist. I love it in smoothies with other tropical fruits.
At room temperature, coconut butter has a smooth, spreadable consistency. But once chilled, it will harden (similar to coconut oil). You can ‘melt’ it in the microwave in a few seconds.
A small caveat: While this is an exciting substitute, coconut butter is high in saturated fats compared to almond butter, so use it in moderation.
How to substitute: Replace almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with coconut butter.
This is a complete departure from the nutty taste of almond butter, but this might be what you’re looking for if you want something sweeter. It’s made from Speculoos or spiced cookies, which create a rich, brown spread with a warm and caramel-like flavor.
It’s perfect for baked goods and desserts, but you might want to reduce the amount of sugar you add to the recipe to make sure things don’t get too sweet.
How to substitute: Replace almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with cookie butter.
Pureed black beans (low fat)
Here’s a creative and healthy alternative to almond butter. Black beans are easy to mash and once pureed will have a similar texture to almond butter. If you find the paste too thick, you can always mix in a tiny amount of oil or water to thin the mixture out.
Black beans have a lot less fat and calories compared to almonds, and they’re rich in protein and fiber. Win win!
The taste of black beans is obviously pretty different from almonds. There’s no nuttiness or sweetness. Instead, they’re earthy and savory. But you can easily sweeten them up by adding your favorite sweetener along with something like cocoa powder or vanilla extract.
In fact, sweet bean paste is a favorite filling for mochi!
How to substitute: Replace almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with pureed black beans.
Just when you thought you’d exhausted all the different ‘butters’ you can get, let me introduce granola butter. It was featured on the 13th season of the popular show “Shark Tank” under the name Oat Haus, but it didn’t secure any funding.
This didn’t deter the team behind Oat Haus though, and the brand has become more and more popular. The spread is crafted from a blend of oats, maple syrup, coconut oil, olive oil, salt, and a blend of spices. It has a longer ingredient list than almond butter, but it’s still free from all the major allergens.
The spread also comes in a few different flavors, including cookie dough, cinnamon roll, and birthday cake.
How to substitute: Replace almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with granola butter.
These options are a departure from almond butter and don’t taste anything like it, but if you’re after some inspiration for new spreads they’re great options! Guacamole is zesty, vibrant, and fresh. It’s lighter than almond butter but still has lots of healthy fats. I love using it in smoothies.
For a more subtle replacement taste, cream cheese is nice and mild. And you can pair it with fruit jams if you still want some sweetness. Mashed bananas are a good natural thickener for smoothies and bring sweetness without the need for added sugars.
If you prefer a savory option, hummus is a versatile choice that can be spread over toast or served as a dip, all while keeping the fat content in check.
How to substitute: Replace almond butter in a 1:1 ratio with your choice of an alternative spread.
Chopped or sliced almonds
If you’re just after the flavor of almonds and you don’t need the creamy texture of a butter, you can use chopped or sliced almonds in your recipe. But be aware of how the textural differences will affect the final dish.
For example, if you swap almond butter for sliced almonds in a stir fry, you might end up with a thinner sauce. And the flavor of the almonds will be less uniformly spread out. But they would be fine in a smoothie or sprinkled over pancakes.
How to substitute: Replace almond butter with a handful of sliced almonds.
Other substitutes to consider
The suggestions mentioned in the list above are my top almond butter substitutes. But there’s a lot more you can use:
- Soy nut butter: Despite the name, this alternative is nut-free. It’s made from roasted soybeans and has a pretty similar flavor to peanut butter, but still makes for a great alternative to almond butter.
- Peabutter: Who knew you could make a faux nut butter out of brown peas? No Nuts’ Peabutter has a more earthy and less sweet flavor profile than almond butter, but that’s easy to fix with some sweetener.
- Pumpkin seed butter: This nut-free butter also has an earthier, more savory flavor than almond butter. But I love its dark green color! It’s an easy way to jazz up a boring breakfast.
- Maple butter: If you love maple syrup, this alternative is a must-try. It’s made from maple syrup that has been cooked down and turned into a thick spread. It’s far sweeter than almond butter, so use less than what you normally would.
- Peanut butter powder: This is a low-fat and low-calorie nut butter alternative. It’s made from peanuts that have been pressed to remove most of the oil, before being ground into a powder. You can use it as is, or mix it with water to give it a paste-like consistency.
Substitutes to avoid
A few blogs I came across recommended using Greek yogurt instead of almond butter, but I didn’t find this a good swap. Greek yogurt has a lot more moisture than almond butter, so isn’t a good texture match. And the flavor was a lot more tangy and milky.
With more savory-tasting substitutes, you can add sweeteners to bring them closer to the flavor of almond butter. But with Greek yogurt, there wasn’t much you could do to alter the flavor.
Regular butter is another substitute I would avoid. This will only work as a spread on toast so it’s not versatile enough.
Best Almond Butter Substitutes + 2 To Avoid
- 4 cups raw almonds
- 3 to 4 tbsp neutral-flavored oil, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if roasting almonds, if not, proceed to Step 4)
- Transfer the raw almonds into a parchment-line baking tray and roast for 10-13 minutes.
- Let the almonds cool completely, about 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer the almonds into your blender or food processor. Add the oil using. Place the lid and blitz the almonds on high. Make sure to scrape down the sides. After a minute or two of blending, you should have a smooth, creamy paste. If not, continue blending.
- Transfer the almond butter into an airtight container and keep in the fridge.