I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of avocado oil substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured I’ve got you covered.
The best substitutes for refined avocado oil are canola oil or light olive oil. Both these oils are neutral tasting, have a high smoke point, and they’re high in healthy fats like avocado oil. If you want to substitute unrefined avocado oil, go for extra virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
I seared steaks and made a simple arugula side salad (it was sooo tasty) to try out different avocado oil substitutes.
Avocado oil comes from the pulp of avocados (no surprise there). There’s a refined and unrefined version.
The refined version has a mildly buttery, grassy flavor and is best used for raw applications.
While the unrefined has a neutral taste and can be heated up to 500°F – the highest among all cooking oils!
Avocado oil is known for being low in saturated fats, so I was looking for a substitute that’s just as versatile and healthy.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Other cooking oils||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Other flavored oils||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Macadamia nut oil||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Refined coconut oil||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Ghee/Clarified Butter||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Tallow||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Homemade Avocado Oil||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
Common uses for avocado oil and their best substitutes
Here are some popular ways to use avocado oil and the best substitutes for those situations:
- For high-heat cooking applications (sautéing, deep-frying, etc.): Try using canola oil, peanut oil, or lard.
- For baking and roasting: Try using light olive oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil. You can also use macadamia nut oil, but it’s pricey.
- For vinaigrettes: Try using other flavored oils or homemade avocado oil.
Substitutes for refined avocado oil
First up lets look at refined avocado oil.
Canola oil is a great substitute for refined avocado oil.
It’s flavorless, and has a smoke point high enough for deep frying.
It’s much more affordable than avocado oil, and has a similar composition in terms of fats.
The majority of the fats and monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, and there’s minimal saturated fats involved.
How to substitute: replace avocado oil in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with canola oil.
Other cooking oils
You can use any of these cooking oils as a substitute for avocado oil!
Again, they’re neutral-tasting and they have relatively high smoking points (although not as high as refined avocado oil), making them a viable alternative for baking, frying, and everything in between.
Plus, they’re generally a good source of healthier fats.
- Corn oil: Approximately 450°F
- Light olive oil: Approximately 468°F
- Refined sunflower oil: Approximately 440°F
- Refined peanut oil: Approximately 450°F
Psst… not the light olive oil, this isn’t the same as extra virgin olive oil!
How to substitute: replace avocado oil in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with your choice of cooking oil.
Lard is a type of fat derived from pork.
When it comes to flavor lard is surprisingly neutral. But it does add a subtle richness to your dishes, making it a perfect choice for meat-lovers out there (apologies to my plant-based friends!).
It has a reputation for being really unhealthy, but it’s actually not as bad as most people think.
It’s about 60% unsaturated fats and 40% saturated, which is better than butter! It’s also a good source of vitamin D, a super important vitamin thats normally hard to get from foods.
Pro tip: get fresh lard to ensure there’s no added trans fat.
How to substitute: replace avocado oil in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with lard.
Substitutes for unrefined avocado oil
Now let’s explore substitutes for the unrefined avocado oil.
Unrefined avocado oil is flavored, so you’ll want another flavored oil to replace it. No oil is an exact match for extra virgin avocado oil’s buttery, grassy notes – but some come close!
Extra virgin olive oil
This is a classic dressing oil, and it’s a great swap for avocado oil.
It has pronounced fruity, grassy, and slightly peppery notes. It’s an excellent drizzle for Mediterranean dishes, salads, and dips.
If you’re feeling indulgent, this truffle oil is the way to go.
Its flavor profile is more complex than refined avocado oil, with bold earthy, woody notes. But it’s just as buttery.
These flavored oils all have nutty notes that can bring an interesting twist to your salads. Pick your favorite nut and get cooking!
- Hazelnut oil
- Pistachio oil
- Pumpkin seed oil
- Toasted sesame oil
- Almond oil
- Walnut oil
Homemade avocado oil
I’ll let you in on a little secret – you can make your own unrefined avocado oil right in the comfort of your own kitchen. If you’re up for a fun DIY project, this is for you.
Homemade avocado oil is made by drying the avocado meat and pressing it to extract the oil. A bit of effort? Sure.
But the satisfaction of making your own oil? Priceless.
And you can use it for more than just cooking. It’s great for using in skin and hair care too.
How to substitute: replace store-bought avocado oil in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with your chosen flavored oil.
Macadamia nut oil
This nut oil has a spot all of its own in the list because it’s a substitute for refined and unrefined avocado oil.
It boasts a high smoke point, which means you can heat it up to a whopping 450°F without it breaking down.
But, it also comes with a rich, buttery flavor that’ll add a touch of decadence to your dishes.
And just like avocado oil, it’s loaded with monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
The only catch with this superb substitute? Your wallet might feel a bit lighter because macadamia nut oil isn’t cheap!
But if you’re after quality and taste, this is a worthy splurge.
How to substitute: replace avocado oil in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio with Macadamia nut oil.
Substitutes to avoid
Despite what other blogs may say, not every oil or fat are good swaps for avocado oil. Here are some I’d avoid.
- Pam oil – palm oil is affordable and can tolerate high-temperature cooking. But it has high levels of saturated fats, over 49% and it’s often cited as the reason for a number of environmental problems.
- Coconut oil – coconut oil is often marketed as healthy, but in reality it’s over 90% saturated fat!
- Butter / ghee – like coconut oil, butter isn’t a healthy fat to use in cooking. So I don’t recommend using it to replace avocado oil.
Best Avocado Oil Substitutes + 3 To Avoid
- 10 medium ripe avocados
- Mash the avocados into a smooth paste. Spread the avocado paste in a thin layer over a parchment-lined tray. The paste should not be thicker than ½ inch.
- Allow the avocado paste to dry naturally in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight for a 4 to 5 days. Once you notice the top layer of your avocado paste has gone brown, mix it well and re-spread thinly. You'll have to do this twice a day. Continue with this process until you have a very smooth, dark brown paste.
- Place the avocado paste in a nut milk bag or muslin cloth. You can leave it to naturally drain or hand-squeeze the oil into your container.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container, away from direct heat and sunlight.