What are the best substitutes for canola oil?

In this brief blog we will answer the question, “What are the best substitutes of canola oil?” We will discuss the various alternatives and why they act as great substitutes.

What are the best substitutes for canola oil?

There are a lot of great substitutes for canola oil, some of them are vegetable oil, safflower oil, olive oil, organic grapeseed oil, melted coconut oil or butter and applesauce. We will look at why they are good substitutes and their health benefits shortly.

What are the best substitutes for canola oil?

Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is derived from the seeds of the safflower plant. It tends to have a light color with a very neutral flavor and it works as an excellent substitute for canola oil. When it comes to the nutritional value, safflower oil provides an almost nutritional value to canola oil. Safflower oil can be used in a wide range of high-heat cooking such as sauteing and frying.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is well known for being heart healthy. It is also a good substitute for canola oil as it has more health benefits while not compromising on the flavor of the final dish. It can however have an effect on the color of the dish.

When substituting canola oil for olive oil, ensure that you opt for refined olive oil because it is much lighter in color and has a mild flavor. The downside of virgin olive oil is that it is very flavorful and may not come out well in some recipes where any olive oil flavor isn’t required.

Olive oil works best as a substitute for canola oil when it comes to salad dressings and sauteing. You should however note that it has a lower smoke point than other types of oils and is therefore not a good substitute for deep frying.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is very versatile and has the advantage of being lighter in color and having a neutral flavor similar to canola oil which makes it a great one-to-one substitute for canola oil. You should however note that vegetable oils may have a blend of vegetable oils such as soy,corn and even canola oil.

You should always check the labels if you happen to have an allergy to any of the aforementioned oils so as not to get allergic reactions. Vegetable oil is widely available and is an affordable cooking oil. It also has the advantage of having a high smoke point and thus can be used for sauteing and frying.

Organic grapeseed oil or sunflower oil.

Grapeseed oil and sunflower oil are other great substitutes for canola oil more so in baking. This is because they are neutral oils similar to canola oil and can therefore be used as a 1 for 1 substitute. 

To derive more health benefits from them, find and use organic versions of the oils. They all have a neutral flavor and can be used interchangeably with canola oil.


If you are baking, applesauce presents a healthy substitute. It can assist you in reducing the no. of calories in baked products and you can conveniently use applesauce or a fruit puree as an alternative to canola oil. 

The downside with using applesauce is that it can change the texture of the baked products and make them much softer if substituted for all of the oil. It is therefore recommended that you substitute half of the oil with applesauce and use an oil for the other half to better improve the texture.

Melted coconut oil or butter .

Melted coconut oil as well as butter can also be used as a 1 for 1 substitute for canola oil in baking. It works great for baked products such as cakes, muffins and cookies. The final product will be much similar to using canola oil with just slight variations on the flavor. If you are vegan, Coconut oil is an excellent option.

You can read more about the health benefits of coconut oil here.


In this brief blog we have answered the question, “What are the best substitutes of canola oil?” We discussed the various alternatives and why they act as great substitutes.