Olive oil is arguably the healthiest cooking oil in existence due to its balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as its oleic acid content. It can also be flavorful and can enhance many protein and vegetable dishes when used correctly. While it is easy to find and affordable in most places, going to the grocery store is not always an option. If you have run out, try one of the effective olive oil substitutes below.
Your best bet: Avocado oil
Most cooks find that avocado oil does a great job of replacing olive oil, especially when it comes to positive effects on health. Like olive oil, avocado oil is an excellent source of oleic acid. Most of the antioxidant benefits of both olive and avocado oils come from oleic acid. Avocado oil has a high smoke point, which makes it a good option for high-temperature frying, similar to light olive oil.
Avocado oil does not have the same robust flavor that you get from extra virgin olive oil, so it won’t be a great alternative if your priority is flavor. It is also quite expensive.
A decent second choice: Walnut oil
If you need something that replaces the flavor of a robust extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil is one of the best olive oil substitutes. Walnut oil has a robust and nutty flavor that can work in many of the uncooked preparations for which olive oil is traditionally used. You can use it in salad dressings and baked goods like bread and muffins. It also works for drizzling over roasted vegetables. Nutritionally speaking, walnut oil is not as healthy as olive oil, but it is still a good source of the same omega-3 fatty acids that make olive one of the healthiest cooking oils.
One potential downside of walnut oil is that it has a very low smoke point, which means that it’s not a great substitute for light olive oil but might be a better one for extra virgin.
In a pinch: Peanut oil
Peanut oil is another healthy oil that can stand in for olive oil. Both are good sources of monounsaturated fat, which is better for cardiovascular health than saturated fat. Like light olive oil, peanut oil is an excellent opinion for frying since it doesn’t burn at high temperatures. Refined peanut oil — which is the kind in most grocery stores — contains no allergens and so it is safe for people with peanut allergies to consume.
Peanut oil won’t give the same flavor that you would get from olive oil. Its flavor is considered neutral, and its popularity comes from the fact that it won’t obscure or mask the flavors of ingredients in your dish.
Sunflower oil can work as an olive oil substitute in some recipes despite not being as flavorful. It is a healthy oil with no trans fats and can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
Almond oil contains a significant amount of vitamin E and can help to lower LDL cholesterol. What’s more, olive oil can be roasted to take on a strong nutty flavor making it one of the few olive oil alternatives that can enhance the taste of a dish. Refined almond oil has a high smoke point making it an excellent option for frying, but the unrefined oil is best used as an extra virgin olive oil substitute in uncooked dishes.