Apricot kernel oil is a versatile and healthy cooking oil, but there are some excellent alternatives out there that can step in when you need them.
Here are the top three apricot kernel oil substitutes:
- Almond oil
- Pecan oil
- Peanut oil
Now, let’s get to which ones work best for your particular needs…
Best all-around apricot kernel oil substitute: Almond oil
The best all-around substitute for apricot kernel oil in cooking is almond oil, primarily due to its compatibility in taste and versatility in uses. Almond oil offers a mild, nutty flavor that closely resembles the subtle, slightly sweet notes of apricot kernel oil.
Other vegetable oils, such as olive oil or avocado oil, are too heavy for most cases. Almond oil, while slightly thicker than apricot kernel oil, is still relatively light and doesn’t overwhelm dishes with a heavy or greasy feel.
Similar to apricot kernel oil, almond oil can be used in salad dressings to impart a pleasant nutty note, used in baking to add moisture and flavor to baked goods, or drizzled over roasted vegetables or grilled meats as a finishing oil.
Always be mindful of any allergies or dietary restrictions when using almond oil as a substitute, as it is derived from tree nuts and may not be suitable for individuals with nut allergies.
Best apricot kernel oil substitute for raw cooking: Almond oil
Almond oil can be used in various raw culinary applications. It’s commonly used in salad dressings, marinades, and as a drizzle over raw vegetables, fruits, or even raw fish dishes.
Unrefined (cold-pressed) almond oil is better suited for mild heat applications, such as salad dressings, drizzling over cooked dishes, or low-temperature sautéing.
Best apricot kernel oil substitute for regular cooking: Almond oil
For everyday cooking purposes, you need an oil with a decent smoke point. The smoke point of apricot kernel oil is 480°F, which is pretty high. Almond oil is slightly lower, but at 430°F, you won’t have to worry about it breaking down and producing harmful smoke when heated.
Just make sure to buy refined almond oil if you’re using it for cooking. It has a higher smoke point than unrefined almond oil and has a more neutral flavor. This makes it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods like baking, sautéing, and roasting.
Best apricot kernel oil substitute for high-heat cooking: Pecan oil
Refined pecan oil is the best choice for high-heat cooking. It typically has a smoke point of around 450°F or higher, making it suitable for frying, deep-frying, sautéing, and other high-temperature cooking methods.
When purchasing pecan oil, always check the label for information about the oil’s smoke point. This will help you determine if it’s suitable for your intended cooking method.
Closest in flavor to apricot kernel oil: Almond oil
Almond oil, with its mild and slightly nutty flavor, comes closest in flavor to apricot kernel oil. Both oils share a subtle, slightly sweet, and delicately nutty taste profile, making almond oil a suitable alternative for culinary purposes when apricot kernel oil is not available, particularly in salads, dressings, or light sautéing.
For the best possible quality and flavor, make sure you’re following the best storage practices for almond oil.
Best neutral flavored apricot kernel oil substitute: Peanut oil
If apricot kernel oil is a little too sweet or flavorful for you, I recommend peanut oil.
Peanut oil has a more mild taste but a similar light texture, making it versatile for various culinary applications.
It also has a high smoke point, so it’s ideal for frying and sautéing, while also blending seamlessly in salad dressings, marinades, and baking recipes.
Best budget-friendly apricot kernel oil substitute: Peanut oil
Keep in mind that nut oils can be relatively expensive compared to some other cooking oils, so it’s worth considering your budget when choosing a substitute.
Peanut oil is often more budget-friendly than some of the other options on this list because it’s relatively inexpensive to make, so it’s a great affordable, widely available option.
Healthiest apricot kernel oil substitute: Almond oil
Almond oil stands out as one of the healthiest substitutes for apricot kernel oil due to its numerous nutritional benefits.
It is rich in monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which supports heart health by reducing bad cholesterol levels. Almond oil is also a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that promotes skin health and fights free radicals, aiding in overall well-being.
Plus, it contains essential fatty acids and minerals that contribute to improved hair and skin care.
Best apricot kernel oil substitute for keto/paleo/whole30: Almond oil
If you’re following a specific diet like keto, paleo, or Whole30, almond oil is your best bet. It’s low in carbohydrates, making it suitable for those following a keto or low-carb diet. Additionally, almond oil is naturally free from dairy, gluten, and grains, making it compatible with paleo and Whole30 diets that emphasize whole, unprocessed foods.
You can substitute apricot kernel oil with almond oil, pecan oil, or peanut oil, depending on your specific cooking needs and flavor preferences.
Almond oil is the most similar in flavor and versatility to apricot kernel oil. It offers a mild, nutty taste that complements a wide range of dishes.
Sweet almond oil and apricot kernel oil are both derived from nuts and share a similar mild, nutty flavor profile. However, sweet almond oil is often more widely available and versatile, making it a popular substitute for apricot kernel oil in various recipes.