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16 Equally Delicious Ghee Substitutes You Need To Try

Ghee is a well-loved ingredient used in many different dishes, especially in Indian cooking. These days it is becoming increasingly popular in the west, and more and more recipes seem to call for ghee. You can also opt for ghee substitutes for healthier choice. 

However, sometimes it might be hard to find it at your local grocery store, or you simply run out of ghee at the last minute. In those moments, it is essential to have a replacement on hand.

Up ahead, you’ll find the best ghee substitutes you can use for any.

What Is Ghee?

Ghee is a form of clarified butter that has been used in Indian and Pakistani cooking for generations. It is made from butter that has been heated until the liquid and milk solids separate from the fat. This then results in fat-rich butter with a high smoking point and incredible flavor.   

It is commonly used to make all kinds of food, from soups, sauces, rice, and even pan-fried bread like naan. 

Ghee was initially created to prevent butter from spoiling during warm weather, and as such, it does not require refrigeration and often turns solid at room temperature.

This is because all the liquid and milk solids have been removed during the heating process. It is overall a very versatile type of butter with a great taste and incredible health benefits.

However, when you can’t get your hands on it, you of course, need a replacement to use, and the great news is that there are many options available.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Value TableCalories (Per 100g)
Avocado Oil884
Browned Butter717
Soybean Oil884
Plain Butter717
Sesame Oil884
Clarified Butter900
Coconut Oil862
Olive Oil884
Sunflower Oil884
Rapeseed Oil884
Canola Oil884
Vegetable Oil884
Butter717
Margarine717
Peanut Oil884
Safflower Oil884

1. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is a great substitute for ghee as it has a fairly high smoking point, making it good for the type of high-heat cooking ghee is often used for. 

It is a plant-based oil extracted from the pulp of avocados, and its mild taste makes it a great replacement to use in just about any dish since it doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor or scent. 

It is loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, and E. So, if you’re looking for a healthy ghee substitute, this is a great one to choose.

How To Substitute

Avocado oil can be substituted for ghee at a 1:1 ratio. So, if you’re using it in a recipe that calls for ghee, simply use the same required amount of ghee.

2. Browned Butter

Browned butter is one of the easiest ghee substitutes you can get your hands on, and that’s because it is very easy to make. 

It is simply melted butter cooked until lightly browned to produce a bold nutty flavor. It is quite similar to ghee in that the milk solids in the butter are lightly toasted until you’re left with mostly the fat portion of the butter.

Browned butter is ideally a french staple, but it can be used in just about any dish, from pasta to rich sauces. 

How To Substitute

If you are using browned butter in place of ghee, you can do so using a 1:1 ratio. However, browned butter tends to burn very quickly, so you may want to reduce the heat or ensure you don’t use it for high-heat cooking.

3. Soybean Oil

Soybean oil is another great option you can use in place of ghee. It has a mild and somewhat neutral taste similar to ghee, allowing it to seamlessly blend well into any dish it is added to while also taking on the flavor of the main ingredients.

It is extracted from soybean seeds and is rich in vitamins B, K1, and other essential nutrients. It is also very accessible, so you can find it at just about any grocery store.

How To Substitute

When using soybean oil in place of ghee, you’ll need to use a 3:4 ratio to ensure your dish isn’t too oily.

If you’re looking for inspiration for a dish you can make with soybean oil, here’s a video to give you some ideas.

RELATED: Best Butter Substitutes In Mac And Cheese

4. Plain Butter

As we’ve mentioned earlier, ghee is simply butter that has been heated and clarified, which is why a great alternative to use when you don’t have ghee is to simply go back to the original product it was made from.  

Butter is an easily accessible ghee substitute that most people likely already have in their fridge, and while it is slightly creamier in texture, it still makes a great addition to any recipe that calls for ghee. 

Just keep in mind that using butter might give the dish a rich creaminess and a subtle sweet taste, and that’s certainly never a bad thing in our book.

How To Substitute

You can replace ghee with butter at a 1:1 ratio. However, you’ll need to avoid using it for extremely high-heat cooking as the butter has a low smoking point. This could cause it to burn very quickly on extremely high heat and leave a bitter taste in your dish. 

5. Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is another great vegetable oil you can use in place of ghee. It has a neutral yet subtly toasty and nutty flavor that blends seamlessly with dishes that require ghee. 

It is well suited to high-heat cooking as its high smoking point makes it withstand heat from frying, roasting, or sauteing.

In addition, this oil is rich in vitamin E and has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great option for those looking for healthy cooking oil.

How To Substitute

You’ll need to substitute sesame oil for ghee at a 3:4 ratio to get the right taste and texture in your dish.

6. Clarified Butter

Most people often assume ghee is the same thing as clarified butter. However, though they possess many similarities, they are in fact, quite different. 

Ghee is a type of clarified butter heated for slightly longer to create a nutty aroma before the milk solids are strained out.

On the other hand, regular clarified butter is only heated for a short while until the milk solids are gone, so there is no intense toasty flavor. 

The main thing to note is that both ghee and clarified butter are fat-based butter with the liquid and milk solids removed which is why clarified butter is the perfect substitute for ghee.

It has the same high smoking point and can be used in any dish that calls for ghee.

How To Substitute

Since they are almost the same thing, you can substitute ghee for clarified butter at a 1: 1 ratio.

RELATED: Best Butter Substitutes In Mac And Cheese

7. Coconut Oil

If you are looking for a ghee substitute that will impart that nutty taste and unique aroma often associated with ghee, coconut oil is a great option to try. 

Just like ghee, it is solid at room temperature and has a high smoking point, making it suitable for high-heat cooking, frying, or even baking.  

You can use either refined or unrefined coconut oil, but if you really want to replicate that nutty ghee taste in your dish, then unrefined is the best choice.

How To Substitute

Since it has an equally high smoking point and similar texture to ghee, you can use a 1:1 ratio when replacing ghee with coconut oil.

8. Olive Oil

Olive oil is another great ghee substitute, and it is likely one of the easiest ones to get your hands on, as you may likely even have it in your pantry. 

It is extracted from pressed whole olives and is a great antioxidant rich in fatty acids, Vitamin E, and K. 

Depending on the type of olive oil you purchase, the taste can range from mildly neutral to aromatic and slightly fruity. However, it works well in just about any recipe that calls for ghee.

How To Substitute

If you’re using olive oil as a ghee substitute, you’ll need to do so at a 3:4 ratio. However, olive oil has a fairly low smoking point, so you’ll need to be a bit more cautious if you use it for high-heat cooking.

RELATED: 6 Amazing Butter Substitutes For Your Toast

9. Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is another great neutral-flavored substitute for ghee. It doesn’t impart any of its own flavors into a dish, and its high smoking point makes it a great replacement for ghee recipes that require high-heat cooking. 

It is rich in oleic acids and vitamin E and is known to be a great oil for heart health.

How To Substitute

Use a 3:4 measurement ratio when using sunflower oil in place of ghee.

10. Rapeseed Oil

Also known as canola oil, rapeseed oil is a great substitute for ghee. It is often neutral or flavorless, making it a great replacement for ghee in any recipe, as it allows all the other spices and flavors to shine. 

It has a high smoking point preventing it from burning at high temperatures, which is essential if you’re making an Indian ghee recipe requiring high heat.

How To Substitute

When replacing ghee with rapeseed oil, use a 3:4 measurement ratio.

11. Canola Oil

Canola oil is a vegetable oil that is low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated fats. It is also a versatile cooking oil for sautéing, stir-frying, and roasting.

For example, you can use it for deep frying when you need the highest heat.

Ghee is a butter with the milk solids and water removed, which leaves the fat intact. Ghee is a staple in Indian cooking and is made by melting butter and simmering it until the milk solids separate from the water.

You may use canola oil to replace ghee in any recipe that calls for the latter.

How To Substitute

You may use canola oil to replace ghee in your recipe.

12. Vegetable Oil

Ghee is a popular cooking oil that is commonly used in Indian cuisine. However, it has a high smoke point and becomes unusable if you cook it at high heat.

Vegetable oil is an ideal substitute for ghee because it has a higher smoke point, and you can use it at high temperatures without smoking.

Vegetable oil is a healthy alternative to ghee. It consists of a neutral flavor and is easily available to substitute.

How To Substitute

Use vegetable oil to replace ghee in a 1:1 substitution ratio.

13. Butter

Butter is a perfect substitute to replace ghee. However, if you are on a vegan diet or don’t have lactose tolerance, you may go for a plant-based alternative.

You may substitute ghee with butter in many recipes, though the flavor may vary depending on what you’re replacing it for.

If your recipe doesn’t call for moisture, then butter is the perfect substitute that you can make in your recipe.

How To Substitute

Use one teaspoon of butter for one teaspoon of ghee in your recipe.

14. Margarine

If you have a food intolerance, you might want to substitute ghee for margarine. Ghee is a type of clarified butter. It has a high smoke point, so it’s excellent for frying.

Margarine is a fat spread from vegetable oils and contains no cholesterol. However, margarine has many of the same properties as ghee and is used similarly. 

Margarine has a light buttery taste and is often used in baking, and you may use butter in various recipes.

How To Substitute

You may use margarine for ghee in a 1:1 ratio.

15. Peanut Oil

There is a substitute for ghee that is often used in Indian cuisine: peanut oil. You can use peanut oil similarly to ghee, just heating it and adding it to a dish. 

Peanut oil is made from the peanut, a legume that grows on a tree. It is low in saturated fat and contains a lot of monounsaturated fats.

It is commonly used in cooking. For example, it is a common condiment in several Indian dishes, including the South Indian Chicken Curry.

How To Substitute

Use peanut oil to substitute ghee similarly in an equal ratio.

16. Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is an excellent substitute for ghee because it has a higher smoke point and doesn’t have the same taste or smell as ghee. It is a good option for sautéing and frying because it can withstand higher temperatures than other oils.

Safflower oil is a cooking oil used in Indian cuisine and has many health benefits. There are many ways to substitute ghee with safflower oil, but one way is to heat the safflower oil in a pan until it begins to sizzle, then add a little ghee, stirring constantly.

How To Substitute

Use safflower oil to replace ghee in the similar way your recipe calls for ghee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Regular Butter Instead Of Ghee?

You can substitute regular butter for ghee. However, you’ll need to avoid cooking it at very high temperatures as butter has a lower smoking point than ghee, which means it can burn much quicker.

What Is A Good Vegan Ghee Substitute?

The best option for a vegan ghee substitute is a vegetable or plant-based cooking oil since they are completely dairy-free. The best vegan ghee substitutes include oils like avocado oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, and sunflower oil.

Is Ghee Just Clarified Butter?

Ghee is a type of clarified butter. It is similar to regular clarified butter in that both are made from heated butter with the liquid and milk solids removed.

However, ghee is cooked for slightly longer, resulting in a toasty and nutty flavor that regular clarified butter does not have.

Does Ghee Need To Be Refrigerated?

Ghee does not need to be refrigerated as it has a very stable shelf life.

This is because the liquid and milk solids that often spoil butter at room temperature have been removed, so the ghee becomes solid and shelf-stable at room temperature. This ensures it lasts a long time without needing to be refrigerated.

What Is The Difference Between Ghee And Butter?

The main difference between ghee and regular butter is that ghee is heated and does not contain any of the liquid and milk protein solids that butter has.

This means ghee has a slightly toasty flavor that regular butter does not possess. Ghee also has a much higher smoking point.

Can You Use Oil Instead Of Ghee?

You can use cooking oil instead of ghee. However, you need to do so at a 3:4 ratio. This means for every 1 cup of ghee required; you’ll use ¾ of a cup of cooking oil.

Is Ghee Gluten-Free?

Ghee is gluten-free as it is a product of dairy. Gluten is a protein often found in wheat and grains.

Is Ghee Dairy Free?

Ghee is not fully dairy free since it is a product of butter fat. However, it is lactose-free since the process it is made from requires all the milk protein solids to be removed. 

The removal of milk solids makes it a great option for those who would typically avoid dairy products because of a lactose intolerance. However, ghee might not be your best option if you want a completely dairy-free product.

16 Equally Delicious Ghee Substitutes You Need To Try

Prep time

6

minutes
Cooking time

8

minutes
Total time

15

minutes

Ghee was initially created to prevent the butter from spoiling during warm weather, and as such, it does not require refrigeration and often turns solid at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • Avocado Oil

  • Brown Butter

  • Soybean Oil

  • Plain Butter

  • Sesame Oil

  • Clarified Butter

  • Coconut Oil

  • Olive Oil

  • Sunflower Oil

  • Rapeseed Oil

  • Canola Oil

  • Vegetable Oil

  • Butter

  • Margarine

  • Peanut Oil

  • Safflower Oil

Directions

  • Pick any substitute you prefer from the lists above.
  • Follow the recipe instructions for your preferred substitute and use the proper ratio required while cooking.

Recipe Video

Jess Smith
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Sunday 4th of June 2023

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