Can vegetable oil be substituted for olive oil? (+7 alternatives)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can vegetable oil be substituted for olive oil?’, and what are the other alternatives to olive oil in baking and cooking?

Can vegetable oil be substituted for olive oil?

Yes, vegetable oil can be substituted for olive oil. Olive oil is suitable to use for low-medium heat dishes or added raw in salad dressings. However, vegetable oil is the go-to oil if you don’t like the olive oil flavor. It is the best olive oil alternative for frying.

What is the difference between vegetable oil and olive oil?

Vegetable oil is extracted from seeds like sunflower, canola, safflower, rapeseed, etc, and is marketed in blended form i.e it contains multiple oils in different concentrations. While olive oil is pressed from the olive fruit.

Vegetable oil is quite economical as compared to olive oil. Vegetable oil has a very neutral taste and it allows you to enjoy the flavors of the other ingredients to their full potential. Wheres olive oil has a very distinctly pungent and herbaceous flavor especially for the extra virgin olive oil which is minimally processed.

Vegetable oil has a high smoke point i.e 400°F and is best for stir-frying, deep-frying, and baking. On the other hand, olive oil has a relatively low smoke point i.e 390°F. Therefore, olive oil is best used for salad dressings, sauteing, or dipping bread.

Vegetable oil vs olive oil-Which is the healthies of the two?

Vegetable oil is heavily processed to remove odor and make it shelf-stable. This also results in a loss of essential nutrients. Olive oil is minimally processed especially its extra-virgin variety. This helps in retaining a lot of original flavor and micro-nutrients.

Vegetable oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids which are polyunsaturated fats whereas olive oil has a considerable amount of monounsaturated fatty acids.

Monounsaturated fats have been found to promote heart health and have anti-inflammatory properties. While omega-6 fats, when taken in large amounts, have pro-inflammatory effects on the body. When taken in optimal quantities. Omega-6  reduces the risk of heart diseases, cancer and helps lower the bad cholesterol.

Due to the least processing, olive oil preserves a rich amount of antioxidants like tocopherols, carotenoids, and anti-inflammatory compounds like polyphenols, phytosterols, and co-enzyme Q. Other than that, it also retains a decent amount of vitamin E and vitamin K.

Vegetable oil does not have anti-oxidants due to the processing.

Other FAQs about Oils which you may be interested in.

Does canola oil go bad?

Other Substitutes for olive oil

Peanut Oil

Peanut oil has a high smoke point i.e 449.6°F. Highly refined peanut oil does not have a strong peanut flavor and is also free of any allergens. Peanut oil has no cholesterol, is rich in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated and trans fats. This is a great susbtitute for olive oil for frying due to a higher smoke point.


This high in saturated fats can provide you a lot of important fat soluble vitamins like A, E and K2. Vitamin A is good for skin, teeth and skeletal muscles whereas vitamin E is an excellent anti-oxidant. A rare vitamin, K2, helps metabolize calcium.

Butter has a low smoke oint than olive oil but adds a lot of richness and flavor to your recipe. It is perfect for baking, roasting and stir-frying.

Coconut Oil

Though rich in saturated fats, consuming coconut oil has been linked with good heart health and a lower bad cholestrol. Coconut is a perfect substitute for olive oil in baking, desserts, frying, sauteing and you can even spread it on your toast.


Ghee is a type of clarified butter and is used predominantly in the subcontinent. Ghee is used to make desserts like halva, laddu and dishes like parathas, dosa, kadhi etc. 

Walnut oil

Walnut oil is extracted from whole walnuts and is a good substitute fro olive oil in salad dressings and cold dishes. Raw walnu toil has a nutty flavor.

Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil is pressed from the sunflower seeds. This low in saturated fats and high in unsaturated fats like oleic acid is a nutritious substitute for olive oil. Apart from this, sunflower and olive oil have similar smoke points. This oil has no trans fats.

Canola oil

Canola oil is extracted from hybrid canola seeds. Many people avoid using canola because it is pressed from GMO plant seeds. Canola has been found to possess the highest level of monounsaturated fats and the lowest levels of saturated and trans fats.

It can be used as an olive oil substitute in slad dressings stir-frying and deep frying.


In this article, we answered the question “Can vegetable oil be substituted for olive oil?’, and what are the other alternatives to olive oil in baking and cooking?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.