We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Alternatives to Cooking Oil?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cooking oil is an important addition to many recipes. Many baking recipes require this ingredient, while several other recipes call for using it in the pan that will be used for cooking. Unfortunately, this material is high in fat and is not the healthiest ingredient to add to a recipe. Thankfully, there are many available alternatives to it.

When baking muffins or cakes, mashed bananas, applesauce, prunes, and plain yogurt can each be an excellent alternative for cooking oil. It may also be beneficial to add a bit of skim milk to the fruit in order to liquefy it if the oil needs to be liquid for the recipe. Not only does this replacement reduce the amount of fat in the recipe, but it also adds a bit of flavor and a healthy component to these otherwise unhealthy foods.

Pureed fruit can be used to replace cooking oil in an equal substitution. If the recipe calls for ¼ cup of oil, for example, ¼ cup of applesauce can be used as a replacement. This provides the baked good with the necessary moisture. It is also acceptable to replace only a portion of the cooking oil with a fruit puree substitute.

Meats can also be cooked without using cooking oil. In order to eliminate the need for oil altogether, the meat can be wrapped in foil and cooked on a grill. By adding some vegetables inside the foil, the meat can get a little extra flavor while an entire meal is cooked.

Many recipes, particularly baking recipes, require adding baking oil to the pan in order to prevent sticking. In order to avoid adding this extra fat to the dish, a non-stick cooking spray is an excellent alternative. It prevents sticking, yet eliminates the unwanted fat and calories associated with cooking oil. Care must be taken, however, to avoid using too much of this spray on a pan. Otherwise, non-stick cooking sprays can add more fat to the recipe than using traditional cooking oil. Only a thin layer of non-stick cooking spray is necessary.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon957284 — On Jun 19, 2014

Vegetable oils like corn, canola and soybean are genetically modified and treated with "Round Up" herbicide made by the same jerks who made Agent Orange in 'Nam: Monsanto.

Canola (Rapeseed ) oil is used for lubrication for turbine engines in ocean liners. I only use olive or coconut for frying and sauteeing.

By golf07 — On Oct 19, 2012

After reading this article and the comments posted, I realize there are a lot of changes I can make. One thing I have done recently is use peanut oil instead of vegetable oil when making popcorn. This is healthier for you and also doesn't leave a residue on the popper like vegetable oil does.

I am going to try substituting yogurt or pureed fruit in some of my recipes. It sounds like this is a great way to cut down on extra calories and add some good nutrition at the same time.

By myharley — On Oct 18, 2012

When I am hungry for fried chicken, I like to use an electric skillet. This doesn't require any oil at all and the chicken turns out very moist and good. Chicken has its own natural oil and when it is heated up in the electric skillet, there is enough moisture there so you don't need to add any extra oil.

By sunshined — On Oct 18, 2012

Once I began substituting applesauce for cooking oil when making cakes and brownies I have never used anything else. This not only makes the baked product a little bit better for you, but I think it also keeps it moist longer.

I have never used mashed bananas for this before. I might have to give this a try as well. Depending on what you are making it could add some good flavor. I think mashed bananas would go great with chocolate cake, apple muffins or even a batch of brownies.

By bagley79 — On Oct 17, 2012

@anon138367-- I think there are cooking oils that are much healthier for you than others. I would much prefer to use olive oil over something like vegetable oil any day. I would stay away from the cheap cooking oil that you find on the supermarket shelves. Coconut oil is also something that might be a good alternative depending on how high the heat will be.

By anon152808 — On Feb 15, 2011

In practice, any monounsaturated fat heated to smoking point turns into a trans fat, which is worse for you than all other fats put together.

By anon148298 — On Feb 01, 2011

Actually, #8, contrary to popular belief, olive oil raises LDL and lowers HDL. Nuts, seeds, unprocessed olives, and avocado are examples of healthy fats that lower bad cholesterol and raise HDL, but no oil is a healthy fat. Olive oil is one of the better oils to cook with if you must use oil, but it is better to saute food in water or vegetable stock than in olive oil. See the work of Dr. Joel Fuhrman or Dr. John McDougall for clarification.

By anon144119 — On Jan 18, 2011

Number 6's response is totally wrong. As a matter of fact, everything said is the opposite.

The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol) levels. (1-3) No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil -mainly oleic acid.

By anon138367 — On Dec 31, 2010

is vegetable oil still unhealthy because that's what I usually use when cooking. -Morgan

By anon124615 — On Nov 06, 2010

I wish olive oil were a healthy fat but it isn't. Besides the high fat, it weakens blood vessels and contributes to cardiovascular problems. Fruit works for baking and water or wine for sauteeing. None of them taste as good but what's more important, a tasty meal or living longer. Any processed fat is unhealthy.

By anon109306 — On Sep 06, 2010

Oil is indispensable. Period.

By anon75989 — On Apr 08, 2010

i don't have olive oil and this is a great site to help me cook healthier. plus most cakes and meat usually need oil so this is a great place to find a substitute!

By debm — On Apr 22, 2009

Can chicken broth be substituted (successfully) for oil in recipes calling for deep frying?

By bigmetal — On Feb 12, 2008

i love cooking with olive oil too! i've just recently heard, however, that you have to be very careful when cooking with it, not to overheat it in the pan. this damages the antioxidants and nutrients in the olive oil. it's best to coat the food with the olive oil, then add to a hot pan, rather than heating it up, then adding the food.

By somerset — On Feb 11, 2008

Olive oil is a healthy fat, however, it has a lot of calories. As a matter of fact 1 tablespoon contains 120 calories. For sauteing I use as little oil as I can get away with, than saute whatever I am preparing for a few minutes, than add chicken or vegetable broth and continue cooking. Broth adds flavor at a fraction of calories of oil.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.