There are many reasons to have a ready list of canola oil substitutes. Some people prefer a healthier oil, and others just don’t feel the need to have every type of oil out there on the shelf. Then concerns over GMOs and highly processed oils have many people taking a closer look at the oil they use.
Oops, no canola oil in the pantry; what do I do? No problem. Several oils do the job just as well or better. Whether you’re making a cake or bread, doing a stir fry, or throwing salad dressing together, I’ve got you covered. 👍🏾
I have to say that I love organic canola oil for cooking. It’s cheaper and doesn’t burn as fast as olive oil. But good, organic canola oil can be a little pricey. On the other hand, we don’t always have the exact ingredient the recipe calls for, and it’s nice to know what else will work.
What Is Canola Oil?
Many vegetable oils have a high percentage of canola oil. It is an almost flavorless oil made from rapeseed (a brassica just like cabbage and mustard). And it has a higher smoke point than other oils (225-400℉/107-204℃, depending on if it’s refined or unrefined), making it a good oil for frying. However, it can be highly processed. And because of the controversy over GMOs (genetically modified organisms), canola is one of the oils I prefer buying organic (or at least non-GMO).
Perfect Substitutes for Canola Oil
- Grapeseed Oil: This oil is an economical option and winemaking byproduct. While many of the grapes we call table grapes are seedless, wine grapes have seeds. Yeah, we can make oil with them. It’s a neutral-flavored oil that is a good substitute for canola oil and is one of my preferred subs.😁
- Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is a neutral-flavored oil that can handle high heat. Unfortunately, many people find it a less-than-healthy option because the “vegetables” in vegetable oil include corn, soy, cottonseed, peanut, and canola oils. However, if it’s all you have, it can substitute for canola oil.
- Safflower Oil: Oil from safflower seeds is often overlooked. However, it boasts many health benefits and a high smoke point (450-500℉/℃). It has a neutral taste and is excellent for deep frying.
- Avocado Oil: This oil is one of the best but is also the most expensive. It fries up potatoes so crispy and delicious. Refined avocado has a smoke point of 520℉/210℃ and is great for deep-frying.
- Sunflower Oil: One of my standby oils is sunflower oil. The neutral flavor is perfect for salad dressing and mayo. The smoke point for refined sunflower oil is 450-490℉/232-255℃, which makes it ideal for frying and sauteing. I really like this one for my homemade mayo.
- Melted Butter or Ghee: Butter with a low smoke point of 300℉/150℃ is better for baking. Ghee has a higher smoke point (482℉/250℃), which makes it better for baking or frying. It is super easy to make clarified butter or ghee. You simply melt the butter until the milk solids separate, then skim them off, leaving only the fat. The result is a higher smoke point and longer shelf life.
- Coconut Oil: I love coconut oil, and not just for its taste. Refined coconut oil, with a more neutral flavor than unrefined, offers the advantage of a higher smoke point (400℉/204℃) than virgin coconut oil (350℉/177℃). It tastes great in muffins and desserts. It’s also fantastic in dishes that have coconut milk. Coconut rice is one of my go-to ways to fix rice.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest oil, hands down. However, it also has a more robust flavor. This may not be a problem in savory dishes, but it does have a low smoke point (320-400℉/℃), so it’s not suitable for frying. Burning olive oil makes it bitter, and bitter oil is nasty.
- Lard: Lard is not as unhealthy as many people think. If you are into paleo or keto, you know what I’m talking about. Real lard makes the best pie crust and flour tortillas. Potatoes fried in lard may not be the healthiest choice, but they are certainly the most delicious.
Yes, you can! In fact, I prefer it, especially if the canola oil is non-GMO. You can also use safflower or grapeseed oil for neutral-flavored replacements.
Replacing your baking oil is probably easier than frying oil. Butter is my favorite, but you can use vegetable, safflower, grapeseed, or sunflower oils for an economical replacement. Avocado or light olive oil works great, too, but they’re much more expensive.
That depends on the oil and who you ask. I’m no doctor, but common sense tells me that non-GMO, cold-pressed oil is the best oil. Unfortunately, the old saying, “you get what you pay for,” is all too true. If your canola oil is refined and cheap, it’s probably not the healthiest option.
More Delicious Oil-Based Recipes To Try
- Caesar Salad Dressing – A delicious creamy salad dressing with mayonnaise and sour cream that goes great on more than just salads. I also love to use it as a dip for fresh veggie sticks.
- Southern Fried Chicken – This is an excellent reason to have grapeseed oil in the pantry. Light and crispy fried chicken in my favorite spicy batter is food for the soul.
- Fondant Potatoes – Crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, these deliciously fried potatoes go great with everything. And they’re quick and super easy.
- Homemade Ranch Dressing – A creamy, flavorful delight, this dressing will enhance just about any salad.
- Southern Fried Okra – Okra coated in cornmeal, then fried to golden perfection, is classic comfort food.
So there you have it! Whether you use safflower, lard, butter, or vegetable oil, you now know which one works best in which situation. Which oil did you decide to use as your go-to substitute for canola oil? Let me know in the comments. ❤️