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Canola Oil Substitute: 6 Recommended Swaps

Canola Oil Substitute: 6 Recommended Swaps

Need a canola oil substitute? Here are the best canola oil replacements to use if you’re out of canola oil or looking for other suitable options. 

Canola oil is a common ingredient in American kitchens, favored for its versatility in cooking. But there are times when we might need to use a canola oil substitute, whether due to a desire for a different flavor or simply not having the ingredient on hand.

Whatever the reason, there are a few alternatives to canola oil that can be used in its place. consider the following oils as a canola oil substitute:

SubstituteRatio to Canola Oil
Olive Oil1:1
Sunflower Oil1:1
Coconut Oil1:1
Grapeseed Oil1:1
Corn Oil1:1
Safflower Oil1:1
A glass bottle of canola oil sits on a rustic wooden table, next to a cluster of vibrant yellow canola flowers.

Understanding Canola Oil

Before exploring the various substitutes, let’s first discuss canola oil and why it’s so widely used. 

Canola oil comes from the seeds of the canola plant, a type of rapeseed developed in Canada in the 1970s. Its name is a portmanteau of “Canadian” and “ola,” which means oil. Canola oil is prized for its light flavor, high smoke point, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

This oil is a reliable choice for frying, sautéing, and baking because of its neutral taste, allowing the flavors of other ingredients to take center stage. Moreover, its high smoke point of around 400°F makes it ideal for high-heat cooking, ensuring your dishes aren’t charred or bitter.

Top Substitutes for Canola Oil

Now, let’s delve deeper into the top substitutes for canola oil. Each alternative brings unique characteristics to recipes, and understanding their properties and best applications is crucial.

1. Olive Oil

Olive oil, a quintessential ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, is a top contender when replacing canola oil. Its rich history and distinctive flavors make it versatile for various dishes.

Substitute olive oil for canola oil in a 1:1 ratio.

Types of olive oil:

  • Extra virgin olive oil. This is the highest quality olive oil, known for its fruity and robust flavor. You can use it in recipes where its distinct taste can shine, such as salad dressings, drizzled over roasted vegetables, or as a finishing touch on pasta dishes.
  • Virgin olive oil. Slightly less intense than extra virgin olive oil, you can use it for sautéing and roasting.
  • Light olive oil. With a milder flavor and higher smoke point, light olive oil is suitable for high-heat cooking like frying and grilling.

Cooking applications:

  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over a Caprese salad for a burst of flavor.
  • Use virgin olive oil for sautéing garlic and onions as a base for pasta sauces.
  • Use light olive oil to fry your favorite chicken tenders or crispy French fries.

2. Sunflower Oil

Extracted from sunflower seeds, sunflower oil is another excellent substitute for canola oil, known for its neutral taste and high smoke point. It’s a go-to option for a versatile, all-purpose cooking oil.

Substitute sunflower oil for canola oil in a 1:1 ratio.

Properties and cooking applications

Sunflower oil boasts a smoke point of approximately 450°F, making it ideal for deep frying, pan-frying, and roasting. Its mild flavor doesn’t overpower the dish, allowing the natural flavors of your ingredients to shine through. 

Use sunflower oil in recipes that call for canola oil, such as stir-fries, tempura, and pan-seared seafood.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is the wildcard of canola substitutes, known for its distinctive tropical flavor and unique properties. While unsuitable for all applications, it adds a delightful twist to beverages, desserts, and baked goods.

Replace canola oil with coconut oil in a 1:1 ratio. 

Flavor profile

Coconut oil infuses dishes with a sweet, nutty, and tropical aroma. It’s a perfect choice for those looking to add a hint of the exotic to their recipes.

Cooking applications:

  • Baking. Coconut oil’s semi-solid state at room temperature can replace solid fats like butter or shortening in baked goods, yielding a slightly coconut-flavored treat. Try it in cookies, muffins, and cakes for a tropical twist.
  • Curries and stir-fries. Coconut oil complements the flavors of Southeast Asia and Indian cuisines beautifully. Use it as a base for curries or stir-fries to enhance the dish with its distinct coconut essence.

4. Grapeseed Oil

A good option for high-heat cooking due to its high smoke point, grapeseed oil also has a relatively neutral flavor. It’s suitable for high-heat cooking techniques such as frying, sautéing, and stir-frying, similar to canola oil.

Substitute grapeseed oil for canola oil in a 1:1 ratio.

Properties and cooking applications

Grapeseed oil can handle high-heat cooking up to 420°F without degrading. Its neutral taste makes it ideal for sautéing various foods without producing smoke. Additionally, it’s great for marinades, helping to infuse flavors and retain moisture.

5. Corn Oil

Similar to canola oil, corn oil has a fairly neutral taste, which means it doesn’t overpower or drastically change the flavors of dishes when used in cooking.

Substitute corn oil for canola oil in a 1:1 ratio.

Properties and cooking applications

Corn oil’s high smoke point allows it to handle frying and sautéing effectively without breaking down. Its neutral flavor also makes it suitable for dressings, especially when paired with strong vinegar or herbs.

6. Safflower Oil

Safflower oil comes from safflower plant seeds, and like canola oil, it’s liquid at room temperature, ensuring consistency in recipes requiring a liquid fat.

Substitute safflower oil for canola oil in a 1:1 ratio.

Types of safflower oil:

  • High-oleic safflower oil. Due to its high oleic acid content, this type of safflower oil has a higher smoke point, making it more suitable for high-heat cooking methods like frying and sautéing.
  • High-linoleic safflower oil. This one has a lower smoke point compared to high-oleic safflower oil, making it better suited for cold applications like salad dressings or low to medium-heat cooking.

Properties and cooking applications

Due to its high smoke point, high-oleic safflower oil is an excellent choice for frying and sautéing. Its mild texture and taste make it ideal for marinades for meat, poultry, and fish, and its adaptable nature allows it to substitute for other oils when a neutral flavor is desired in cooking.

A collage of canola oil in a jar.

How to Use Substitutes in Recipes

Using canola oil substitutes in your recipes requires a bit of understanding and experimentation:

  1. Quantity adjustment. When substituting canola oil with another oil, you can typically use a 1:1 ratio. However, if you’re using coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, melt it first before measuring.
  2. Consider smoke point. Be mindful of the smoke point of your chosen substitute. If you’re using olive oil for high-heat frying, monitor the temperature to prevent it from smoking and becoming bitter.
  3. Flavor impact. Recognize that the choice of substitute can alter the flavor of your dish. Olive oil will add its unique taste, while coconut oil will introduce a hint of coconut. Experiment to find combinations that enhance your recipes.
  4. Texture and consistency: When used in baking, coconut oil can lead to a slightly different texture and mouthfeel in your baked foods. Depending on the recipe, be prepared for a potential crumbly or denser result.

The bottom line

Adaptability is critical in cooking. While canola oil is an excellent all-purpose choice, there’s no harm in exploring alternatives. Olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oi, corn oil, safflower oil, and coconut oil each bring their distinct characteristics.

The beauty of cooking lies in the freedom to tailor recipes to your preferences. So, the next time you run out of canola oil or are simply curious about what else is out there, don’t hesitate to experiment with these substitutes.

More About Oil

6 Best Canola Oil Substitutes

6 Best Canola Oil Substitutes

Need a canola oil substitute? Here are the best canola oil replacements to use if you’re out of canola oil or looking for other options.


  • Olive oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil


  1. Substitute canola oil for one of our top six recommended options.
  2. The alternatives can be used in equal parts, also called “cup for cup”, as canola oil that’s called for in the recipe.

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