Almond oil is a premium cooking oil used for its flavor and health benefits. It is especially popular in French cooking. Finding the perfect replacement will not be easy. Here are some of the best almond oil substitutes:
Your best bet: Walnut oil
Extracted from walnuts, walnut oil is a nut oil just like almond oil. But the similarities don’t end there. Both oils are known for their nutty flavor profiles and are important ingredients in French cooking. In France, walnut oil is used in the same ways and for the same kinds of dishes that call for almond oil, making it an excellent substitute. Use it for vinaigrettes and for baking where its nuttiness will enhance the flavors of both savory and sweet ingredients. It also works well on fish and poultry.
When it comes to nutrition, walnut oil offers a very different profile from that of almond oil. For starters, it is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which provide some important health benefits that include heart disease prevention and improved brain health. You won’t get omega-3s from almond oil. Walnut oil also has higher vitamin K levels than almond oil, though it does contain much less vitamin E.
Like almond oil, walnut oil will be difficult to find in most brick and mortar grocery stores. It is also likely to be on the pricey side.
A decent second choice: Hazelnut oil
The hazelnut oil used in cooking is pressed from ground and roasted hazelnuts. Hazelnuts are sometimes called filberts. Like almond oil, hazelnut oil is a gourmet cooking oil that you can use to add a light nutty flavor to meats and fish as well as to pasta. It is commonly drizzled on as a finishing oil, but you can use it for cooking over medium to high heat. It can work as a substitute for almond oil in baked items where the nutty flavor is essential. It also offers a similar flavor to almond oil in vinaigrettes.
Nutritionally speaking, it has a lot in common since both oils are good sources of vitamin E and neither is a good source of any other vitamin. Hazelnut and almond oils are similar in another way: Both will give you high levels of omega-6 fatty acids and low levels of saturated fat.
Hazelnut oil is not the easiest cooking oil to find in the grocery store. It will be easier to find in a specialty store or online. In both cases, it will be costly.
In a pinch: Peanut oil
Because it is not a premium oil like almond oil or the two substitutes above, refined peanut oil is both easier to find and more affordable than all three. Refined peanut oil has a nutritional profile similar to refined almond oil’s as well. Both have high smoke points and high vitamin E contents. Both refined almond oil and refined peanut oil have muted flavor profiles, so you are unlikely to notice a significant flavor difference between them.
The main downside of peanut oil as an almond oil substitute is that it has considerably more saturated fat. Saturated fat is associated with heart disease.
Sunflower oil is extracted from the sunflower seeds and has a light nutty flavor just like almond oil. It is also easier to find and more affordable as well. The downside of sunflower oil is that it is safest to use it for uncooked applications only since it produces toxic compounds at relatively low temperatures when heated.