Can you substitute vegetable oil for coconut oil?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you substitute vegetable oil for coconut oil?”, and how to substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil?

Can you substitute vegetable oil for coconut oil?

Yes, you can substitute vegetable oil for coconut oil. Coconut oil is best used in baking where it imparts richness and a sweet flavor to the end product. 

It is important to let the coconut oil melt and other ingredients reach room temperature before you start mixing. This ensures that the coconut oil does not re-solidify upon contact with refrigerated ingredients. 

Coconut oil is a rich source of saturated fats and in particular lauric acid, that increases blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, you must choose wisely if you have high blood cholesterol.

Healthy vegetable oil substitutes

Olive oil is one of the healthiest substitutes for vegetable oil. Olive oil is best used in dressings or marinades, and sautéed over low to medium heat due to its low smoke point.

Flaxseed oil or linseed oil packs amazing health benefits. It lowers blood cholesterol, prevents heart diseases, and relieves constipation. It does not withstand cooking temperature and is best sued in marinades and salad dressings, or drizzled over veggies or cooked food.

Avocado oil has a high smoke point and can be used for grilling, marinades, sauces, sauteing, stir-frying, baking and dressings, etc.

3 Ways to substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil

Method 1: Using coconut oil in baking

Use a 1:1 ratio

You can swap a cup(240 mL) of vegetable oil with a cup of coconut oil (240 mL). The substitution is a 1:1 ratio. 

Melt the coconut oil before use

If you are replacing vegetable oil with coconut oil, melt the coconut oil to mimic the consistency of the vegetable oil. Coconut oil usually melts at room temperature due to its low melting point i.e 76 °F (24 °C). Alternatively, you can melt the coconut oil by placing it in a bowl full of hot tap water.

Let the other ingredients come to room temperature

Let the eggs and butter reach room temperature before you proceed. This ensures that the coconut oil mixes more efficiently with the rest of the ingredients.

Method 2: Cooking with coconut oil

Use coconut oil to counter the bitterness in your dish

Coconut oil is best used to cook bitter veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, etc. It helps balance the bitter flavor of the veggies with its sweet flavor. If you are working with sweet veggies, opt fr something like olive oil or vegetable oil.

Use coconut oil for frying

If a recipe calls for vegetable oil for frying meat and veggies, you can easily replace it with coconut oil. Coconut oil does the same job of greasing the pan and preventing the food from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Use coconut oil for a tropical flavor

You can jazz things up by cooking your regular chicken and broccoli with some coconut oil for a tropical hint. The tropical flavor of coconut oil comes out best when used in stir-fries and curries. You can also swap vegetable oil with coconut oil for marinades and salad dressings.

Opt for extra virgin coconut oil for a stronger flavor

Extra virgin coconut oil, just like extra virgin olive oil, is the most flavorsome and nutritious of all coconut oil varieties due to the minimal processing. Extra virgin coconut oil is best used for cooking.

Opt for refined or pressed coconut oil for a milder flavor

If you want to reap all the health benefits of coconut oil but repulse its strong flavor, try using refined or pressed coconut oil. 

Method 3: Avoiding common mistakes

Consult your doctor before using coconut oil

This heads-up is relevant to people who are dealing with high cholesterol issues. Coconut oil is rich in saturated fats. So, it is wiser to consult with your doctor before incorporating coconut oil into your daily routine especially if you have underlying health issues.

Measure ingredients by weight over volume, if possible

Use measuring cups to accurately measure the amount of coconut oil or vegetable oil. It is easier if you have a weighing balance. 

Do not refrigerate coconut oil

If you are a frequent user of coconut oil, you already know why refrigerating coconut oil is not a good idea. It is because the coconut oil solidifies when refrigerated and you have to melt it each time before use. To save yourself from this hassle, keep the coconut oil in your kitchen cabinet.

Other FAQs about Oils that you may be interested in.

Can you eat lavender oil?

Can you substitute canola oil for olive oil?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you substitute vegetable oil for coconut oil?”, and how to substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil?