Avocado oil is a versatile and nutrient-rich oil extracted from the flesh of avocados, usually those with cosmetic defects that aren’t deemed suitable for retail sale. Not only does it work well in most dishes, both raw and cooked, but it also can be used for cosmetic purposes for hair and skin!
Being so healthy and versatile, it is an oil I always have in the kitchen. So, let’s say I run out. What do I use instead? It depends on the situation, but here are some of my go-to substitutes.
- Macadamia oil
- Vegetable oil
- Pecan oil
- Cold-pressed nut oils
Best All-Around Substitute For Avocado Oil: Macadamia Oil
Macadamia oil is a great all-around substitute for avocado oil. They both have similar flavors, and though avocado lacks the nuttiness and is more subtle overall, they work well in the same recipes. Its smoke point is not as high as avocado oil, but it is still suitable for medium to high heat cooking below 410 degrees.
I love drizzling macadamia oil on veggies before roasting, particularly carrots and pumpkins, for a rich nutty, and buttery taste. It also tastes excellent in raw dips and sauces like hummus, as a healthy fat addition to a fruit smoothie, and it even gives macadamia nut butter its rich depth of flavor.
Best Raw and Regular Cooking Substitute For Avocado Oil: Macadamia Oil
When it comes to raw cooking and regular heat cooking, macadamia oil works perfectly. Its flavor profile is suitable for sweet and savory dishes and most types of cuisine. In its raw form, it retains its nutrients better and is high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. It can also be used for cosmetic purposes much like avocado oil, as it has a similar nutrient profile.
Best Avocado Oil Substitute for High-Heat Cooking: Vegetable Oil or Pecan Oil
Avocado oil is one of the best cold-pressed oils for higher-heat cooking due to its whopping smoke point of 520 degrees. While macadamia oil has a pretty decent smoke point, it isn’t that great for high-heat applications, and it’s also expensive if you need to use a large quantity. In that case, I substitute with some kind of refined vegetable or peanut oil with a high smoke point for deep frying (yes, I know it is unhealthy, but it is also only occasional).
For non-deep frying, pecan oil works. Pecan oil has a light, nutty, buttery flavor with a subtle hint of pecans and a relatively high smoke point of around 470 degrees. Its taste is mild enough not to overpower other ingredients, making it suitable for various culinary applications.
Avocado Oil Substitute that is Closest in Flavor: Macadamia Oil or Butter
According to my tastebuds, the closest flavor to avocado oil is unsalted butter. They even have a similar mouthfeel. However, if you are on a plant-based diet or avoiding saturated fat, a healthy option that is close in flavor is macadamia nut oil. It has a buttery taste with mild nuttiness as an added bonus!
Best Neutral-Flavored Avocado Oil Substitute: Vegetable Oil
Avocado oil itself is pretty subtle when it comes to flavor, but if you want no flavor or hardly any taste at all, then your best bet will always be some varietal of refined vegetable oil. When oil is refined, most of the taste and scent are neutralized. A good choice for this would be canola, sunflower, a vegetable oil blend, or grape seed oil.
Refined vegetable oils are also the most budget-friendly alternatives to avocado oil, and the price difference is pretty significant as avocado oil does not come cheap.
Best Healthy Avocado Oil Substitute: Macadamia Oil/Cold Pressed Nut Oils
If you need to substitute your avocado oil with something else, and health is your most important criterion, then macadamia or cold-pressed nut oils are your best choices. Macadamia oil, in particular, is high in oleic acid, is known to promote heart health and lower harmful cholesterol levels, and is also high in antioxidants like vitamin E. This makes it pretty nutritionally similar to avocado oil.
Other cold-pressed nut oils will have different nutritional benefits. For example, walnut oil has lots of omega-3, pistachio oil has lots of antioxidants, and hazelnut oil is full of vitamins like magnesium and potassium. Just make sure that the oil you use has an appropriate smoke point for the kind of cooking you are doing.
Best Keto/Paleo/Whole30 Avocado Oil Substitute: Macadamia Oil
Aaannnnd no surprises here, when it comes to the best oil sub for avocado if you are on a keto, paleo, or Whole30, macadamia oil is my number one choice, followed by other kinds of cold pressed nut oils (not seed oils or any refined oils!)
Yes, you can substitute any oil for any other oil, really, as long as you are aware of the varying smoke points and know that your oil is okay to use for that particular cooking method, and also understand that the flavor profiles will be different. Olive oil and avocado oil taste nothing alike!
I think that depends on what you need. Avocado oil has a higher smoke point and is higher in monounsaturated fat, but extra virgin olive oil is higher in antioxidants. I have both, and I switch them around to use for different things to get the best of both worlds!
No, the flavor profiles are entirely different. Coconut oil has a more tropical flavor, while avocado oil is more neutral and buttery. They also have very different smoke points and structures at room temperature due to the saturated fat content (avocado oil is liquid, and coconut oil is solid).