Are olive oil and vegetable oil interchangeable?

In this article, we will answer the question “ Are olive oil and vegetable oil interchangeable”? and discuss the similarities and differences between olive oil and vegetable oil. 

Are olive oil and vegetable oil interchangeable?

Yes, olive and vegetable oil are interchangeable. Olive oil and vegetable oils have unique characteristics and are the most popular plant oils used all over the world.  

Choosing the right type of cooking oil to put in a recipe will surely affect its outcome. The most popular oils used for cuisines are vegetable oil and olive oil, but the question is “what’s the difference between them”? When should you use vegetable oil vs olive oil? 

What is vegetable Oil?

Vegetable oil has a wide variety of uses. Despite its disadvantages, vegetable oil has been utilized in the kitchen for years.

As vegetable oils are extracted from various plants, it is often difficult to discover the origin or complete chemical makeup of the vegetable oil. 

Research has also found that vegetable oils will oxidize when heated. This oxidation is dangerous as it may cause inflammation that has been reported to be associated with heart attacks.

What is olive oil?

Olive oil is a much healthier alternative to vegetable oil. Olive oil and vegetable oil came from different sources. Unlike vegetable oils, olive oil obtained from the olive fruit by the process of extracting. 

Olive oil also possesses a higher percentage of monounsaturated fats than vegetable oil. Olive oil has an anti-inflammatory property and is known to improve heart health. 

The process of creating olive oils also provides the client with several types of olive oils to choose from.

Extra virgin olive oil 

Extra virgin olive oil obtained from olives harvested earlier in the season. This is the least processed and has the highest level of polyphenols, which means it is packed with antioxidants. 

Virgin Olive Oil 

This form of olive oil is more inexpensive than extra virgin olive oil. Virgin olive oil is of lower quality due to more processing and later harvesting.  

What are the differences between olive oil and vegetable oil?

Plant oils are commonly used for cooking practices like sautéing or frying vegetables, making sauces, drizzling onto pizzas, and preventing pasta from sticking together.

Let’s have a look at the differences between olive oil and vegetable oil which include their uses, taste, nutrition, and potential health benefits.

Olive oil

  • It is obtained from processed olives
  • Commonly used in salad dressing, sautéing, and for a bread dip
  • It possesses vitamin K and E 
  • Have high antioxidants content

Vegetable oil

  • It is obtained from multiple plant sources, like sunflower, corn, canola, soy etc
  • Used mainly in baking and frying
  • Has fewer antioxidants
  • Vegetable oil is highly processed

While olive oil and vegetable oils have different culinary uses, the healthiest option is extra virgin olive oil, which is the least processed and offers the most beneficial compounds.

What are the similarities between olive and vegetable oil?

Olive oil and vegetable oil have similar smoke points, sitting around 205°C. The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which it can be heated before its fat begins to break down into glycerol and free fatty acids.

Like vegetable oil, some types of olive oil like pomace oil are highly processed. These types lack micronutrients, as well as the characteristic flavour that you get from extra virgin olive oil.

“Virgin” or “extra virgin” are not included in refined olive oil due to their higher degree of processing. 

Other FAQs about Oils which you may be interested in.

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Are canola and vegetable oil interchangeable?

When You Should Be Using Vegetable Oil vs Olive Oil?

When to Use Vegetable Oil?

Vegetable oil is a basic universal oil that can be used in almost any recipe. Vegetable oil can be used for deep frying and stir-frying. Vegetable oil is also relatively cheap, so you can easily buy it. 

When to Use Olive Oil?

As olive oil and vegetable oil seem very similar in regards to the fact that it’s a universal oil, olive oil is typically used in fancier dishes because of its specific flavour. It is more expensive than vegetable oil.

To answer the question of when you should be using vegetable oil vs olive oil, you should remember a few things: vegetable oil is a universal oil that should be used when cooking at high temperatures, and olive oil is an oil that adds flavour that should be used when cooking at medium temperatures.

Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil?

Yes, you can easily substitute olive oil for vegetable oil. Both types of oils have similar smoke points. You can replace vegetable oil with olive oil in any cooking process such as frying. 

In particular, virgin olive oil will not affect the flavour of the food as it retains very little taste and also has limited unsaturated fats that the user can easily ingest. Extra virgin olive oil also contains large quantities of vitamin K and vitamin E.

Olive oil can be used to replace vegetable oil in marinades and dressings! The oils are also interchangeable during baking, however, due to the flavour, virgin olive oil might be a better replacement than extra virgin oil in such cases.


In this article, we answered the question “Are olive oil and vegetable oil interchangeable”? and discussed the similarities and differences between olive oil and vegetable oil”.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.