The 13 Best Substitutes For Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is a principal component of Asian cuisine. Renowned for it’s well rounded nutty taste that blends a variety of recipes perfectly together.

Sesame oil is also rich in magnesium and calcium and can be used in medicine to treat arthritis, diabetes, and can be used to improve your circulation.

Regardless of its rich flavor and health benefits, a lot of people are allergic and need to find more suitable alternatives. There are various substitutes for sesame in regards to flavor and consistency, but nothing can replace it directly. 

However, we’ve compiled a list of the 13 best substitutes for sesame oil to get you up to speed with what you should be using, how it compares, and any health benefits that come with the. 

We’ve even made a buyer’s guide and frequently asked question’s section at the end to cover all bases and to help guide you to find the perfect substitute for sesame oil to suit your needs.

In a hurry to get cooking?

If you’re longing to purchase a new sesame oil alternative and start cooking some new recipes then we’ve saved you some time and proposed our top pick right here for you.

We’ve chosen Olive Oil as our top substitute for sesame oil due to its versatility thanks to its more subtle neutral flavor and also the similar health properties that it shares with those of sesame oil.

 Here’s a short summarised list of why we love it:

  • Rich in nutrients that can help with inflammation
  • Low in saturated fats
  • Contains Vitamins E and K
  • Good for those who suffer from heart diseases
  • Can be used for a variety of cuisines
  • Can be used for cooking and dressing dishes#
  • Can be found in nearly every supermarket across the world

OUR TOP PICK

Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil, First Cold Pressed, Mild and Delicate Flavor, Perfect for Sauteing & Stir-Frying, 68 FL. OZ.

Olive oil is one of the most commonly used oils in kitchens, it is a very versatile oil for cooking and baking and is very similar in consistency to sesame oil.

It is filled with antioxidants and polyunsaturated fat that can help with cholesterol and blood pressure, similar health benefits to those of sesame oil.

Olive oil is widely available in supermarkets across the world, whilst extra-virgin olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. 

However, regular olive oil does not have the same nutty flavor as sesame oil but due to its neutral flavor, it can be used for many recipes without adding too much dimension to a dish.

Extra-virgin olive oil has a more prominent tangy olive flavor, so it’s best to avoid it if you are looking for something to replace your sesame oil. 

Pros:

  • Low in saturated fat so good if you’re eating healthy
  • Filled with nutrients that can tame inflammation
  • Contains Vitamin E and K
  • Good for people who suffer from heart diseases
  • Used for cooking and dressing dishes

Cons:

  • High in calories (120 per tablespoon)

Best used for:

It’s best used for cooking savory recipes such as stir fry’s, roasting dishes and can be used to help marinate foods.

You can also use extra-virgin oil for dipping your bread and as a salad dressing.

EDITORS CHOICE

Baron's Pure Tahini Sesame Paste | Rich Creamy Taste for Hummus, Dips & Baba Ghanoush | Kosher, All-Natural, Keto-Friendly Ground Seeds | Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten- & Peanut-Free | 2 Jars of 16 Oz.

Tahini is an oily paste made from sesame seeds which makes the perfect taste replacement for sesame oil.

It captures the same roasted, nutty essence of sesame oil but just without the consistency.

Obviously, if you were looking for an alternative to sesame oil-based on allergies, you’ll have to avoid this one. 

Tahini is great for that health focussed as it is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin B1 and B6, and is great in aiding digestion. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help with your skin and also any bodily issues.

In comparison to some other sesame oil alternatives, tahini does have quite a high-calorie content (89 calories per tablespoon).

This may not appear that bad if you’re using it in small doses, but due to its paste-like consistency if you want to use it for cooking you’d have to mix it with another alternative oil, therefore adding extra calories again. 

Pros:

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • High in Vitamin B1 and B6
  • Good for digestion
  • Good source of phosphorus and manganese
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Similar nutty taste as sesame oil

Cons:

  • It’s a paste, not an oil, so will need to be mixed with another oil

Best used for:

You can use tahini to cook with various meats or to drizzle on afterward.

It can be used in hummus or as a dip on its own as a healthier alternative to dipping your veggies in ranch dressing. 

It can also be used as the main component of vegan salad dressings.

BEST VALUE

Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Peanut Oil, 128 Fl Oz

Whilst peanut oil is less bold in its flavor compared to sesame oil, it is still a great alternative to fill the nutty void.

It can go with the same variety of dishes that is well suited for sesame oil due to its nutty taste and also the similar smoking point.

Peanut oil contains cholesterol blocking compounds that reduce the absorption of cholesterol from foods, so is great if you’re trying to lead a healthier lifestyle to reduce the risk of heart disease.

It also contains mono and polyunsaturated fats which can lead to weight loss, has anti-inflammatory benefits, and can also reduce the risk of heart disease.

Peanut oil also stimulates white blood cell production which helps fight bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign intruder in your body.

Pros:

  • Cholesterol-free
  • Contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
  • Stimulates white blood cells in the body
  • Lowers blood pressure levels
  • Similar nutty taste

Cons:

  • High in omega 6 which if over consumed in diets can increase the risk of heart disease

Best used for

Just like sesame oil, peanut oil can go hand in hand with dishes like stir fry and most Asian dishes.

It can be used for just regular cooking dishes and some fast-food restaurants use peanut oil to cook their fries.

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Barlean's Fresh Flax Oil with 7,640mg ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Improving Heart Health - USDA Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten Free - 16-Ounce

FlaxSeed Oil has a similar nutty flavor as sesame oil, but can have a peculiar taste and should mainly be used for specific dishes.

It has a low smoking point so is not great for cooking with like sesame oil is, however, you can pour it over hot meals if you enjoy the taste.

It is most commonly used as a nutty addition to adding to salads, dips, and sauces.

This oil is a great one for vegans as it is high in omega 3 fatty acid, something that is predominantly found in animal products or fish which boosts brain function and can reduce the risk of arthritis.

The properties of flaxseed oil can help reduce and lower cholesterol levels in the body.

Pros:

  • High in omega 3 fatty acids
  • Helps lower cholesterol
  • Similar nutty flavor
  • Enhances skin health

Cons:

  • Overconsumption can lead to gas

Best used for

Flaxseed oils working well as a salad dressing as it is lower in calories compared to most shop bought pre-made salad dressings.

You can also add a tablespoon of flaxseed oil to smoothies and shakes to reap the health benefits, whilst avoiding a pungent flavor.

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Pompeian 100% Grapeseed Oil, Light, Subtle Flavor, Perfect for High-Heat Cooking, Deep Frying and Baking, Rich in Vitamin E, Naturally Gluten Free, Non-Allergenic, Non-GMO, 68 FL. OZ., Single Bottle

Grapeseed oil is one of the most neutral-tasting oils out there and has an extremely high smoking point which makes it incredible for cooking most things.

Its inoffensive flavor makes it a great alternative for cooking, especially if you don’t want your ingredients in your recipes to have their flavor adjusted by the oil.

Whilst it misses out on the nutty flavor of sesame oil, it is still a great substitute to cook with.

Grapeseed oil contains Vitamin E and fatty acids that can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. You can even use the oil directly on the skin to encourage clearer skin and reduce UV damage.

However, if you are seeking to lead a healthier lifestyle by being in a calorie deficit, grapeseed oil may not be the best alternative to cook with as it contains 120 calories per tablespoon.

Grapeseed oil does have a short lifespan compared to other alternative oils and can go bad very quickly.

Surprisingly, even though it has a very neutral taste, it can taste and smell sour when it’s gone bad, so make sure you smell the oil before using it if you’ve had it for a longer period.

Pros:

  • Antioxidant properties
  • Contains polyunsaturated fats
  • Neutral tasting so is very versatile
  • High smoke point
  • Anti-inflammatory

Cons:

  • Short life span

Best used for

Due to its neutral flavor, you can use grapeseed oil to cook pretty much everything and as a result of its high smoking point, it’s great for sauteing, stir fry, baking, and even in soups.

We don’t recommend using it cold on foods as you’ll just have an oily dressing with no flavor.

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BetterBody Foods Avocado Oil, Refined Non-GMO Cooking Oil for Paleo and Keto, 500 Milliliters

Avocado oil is another neutral-tasting oil when used in cooking and is great for high-heat recipes.

It does not contribute much flavor like sesame oil does in cooking but is still a great alternative for stir fry and sauteing vegetables.

Avocado oil is very similar to olive oil in terms of its health benefits and utility. It is unrefined and still retains some of the natural green colors of the fruit.

It’s high in oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat that can also help reduce coronary heart disease and lowers blood pressure.

It’s rich in omega 9 fatty acids, which can reduce cholesterol and help eradicate the build of plaque in the arteries which can lead to heart diseases.

It’s also rich in vitamin E which can help the body absorb other vitamins. Notably, cold-pressed avocado oil will have the most health benefits.

Pros:

  • High in oleic acid
  • Rich in omega 9
  • Contains Vitamin E

Cons:

  • High in calories (128 per tbsp)

Best used for

Avocado oil can be best used for broiling, sauteing, and pan-searing dishes, however, we don’t recommend you deep fry with this oil. You can even use it in baking due to its neutral flavor.

When cold and uncooked it has a fresh grassy flavor, so if this is your thing, you could use it as dressings on dishes.

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Korean Cold Pressed Perilla Oil 250ml 8.4 fl.oz Omega-3 Linolenic Acid Supplement HAEGAYEON [해가연 생들기름]

Perilla is seventh on the list and is another nutty-tasting oil made from the perilla plant, which is a member of the mint family.

It’s an enormously featured oil in Korean cuisine, most prominently in dips and sauces. It’s very close in flavor and consistency to sesame oil but it can be difficult to find in your local supermarket.

Perilla oil has 50% more fatty acids compared to the most common cooking oils and has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with allergies.

This oil can also help people with asthma by improving airflow. 

It is definitely not the healthiest of oils though, it is rich in allergens and high in calories, so if you are looking for an oil to use whilst on a diet then this won’t be for you.

It is also said that women who are pregnant should discuss perilla oil with their medical practitioner before consuming it.

It is highly unlikely that you’ll be able to find perilla oil in your local supermarket, as they are most commonly sold in Asian shops, so we have linked our recommendation on amazon for you.

Pros:

  • 50% more fatty acids than other oils
  • Contains omega 3 fatty acids
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • High in calories

Best used for

Perilla oil has a high smoking point so can be used for a variety of uses like deep frying and roasting.

It can also be used as salad dressing because of its earthy flavoring

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Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce

Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook with flavor but is very different in flavor from sesame oil.

It is fairly resistant to heat so will cook well with most ingredients. However, coconut does have a recognizable taste and will be noticeable in dishes if you cook with it.

Coconut has gained in popularity over the last several as it has several uses excluding cooking such as deodorant, hair care, and even sunscreen.

But it’s not just beauty that this wonderful oil can be used for, coconut is very beneficial for health and is full of fatty acid, vitamin E, and is known for speeding up metabolism. It can even be used to be protective against infections by the fatty acids it’s made up of.

Whilst coconut is primarily healthy when in small doses, it does contain a high percentage of saturated fat in just one serving so it can be easy to over-consume your daily allowance, which if it is repeated on a regular basis can become an issue for cholesterol levels.

However, coconut oil also contains fatty acids that boost the good cholesterol in your body and turn the bad cholesterol into less damaging cholesterol. 

Coconut oil can be found in most supermarkets and also drug stores nowadays, however, you’ll want to double-check that the coconut oil that you’re buying is suitable for cooking and it’s not mixed with other ingredients for beauty regimes.

Pros:

  • Readily available
  • High in Vitamin E
  • Speeds up metabolism
  • Sweet flavor
  • Protective against infections

Cons:

  • High in saturated fat

Best used for

You can use coconut oil for stir-frying meat and vegetables to give an aromatic flavor.

It goes nicely in sauces and is perfect for baking especially if you are making something with coconut flavoring anyway.

Coconut oil is good for making Indian dishes like curry.

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Crisco Pure Canola Oil, 48 Fl Oz

Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil that is very popular with households across the country and is a healthier alternative to lard and butter.

It contains the least amount of ‘bad’ fats out of all the cooking oils. It is very mild and neutral in flavor and can be used for cooking and baking as it has a high smoke point.

Canola oil is high in omega-6 which is good for the heart, however, it does contain too much omega-6 which can lead to systemic inflammation in the body which is a common denominator in things such as diabetes and heart disease.

As an alternative to sesame oil, it does not compare on a flavor level at all, but in terms of health benefits, it is a really convenient option.

It’s important to note that most canola oil is genetically modified, whilst scientists have not confirmed the link between genetically modified crops and poor health, we think it is worth knowing before you purchase.

Pros:

  • High in omega-6
  • High in omega-3
  • Aids weight loss
  • Lowers cholesterol

Cons:

  • Too high in omega-6

Best used for

You can use canola oil to cook almost anything you like, however, due to the neutral flavor we don’t recommend using it as a dressing on food or salads.

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365 by Whole Foods Market, Organic Expeller Pressed Cooking Oil, Sunflower Seed, 16.9 Fl Oz

Sunflower oil is derived from the seeds of sunflowers.

Like many of our substitutes recommended today, it is quite neutral in taste but is still a highly popular oil in all cuisines across the entire world. 

It’s readily available in most supermarkets and is on the lower end of the price scale compared to other oils on the market.

It contains high polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which exude high energy for your body whilst vitamin E maintains strong immunity and protects our organs.

Sunflower oil is easily absorbed by your digestive system and can act as a mild laxative sometimes.

Just like sesame oil, it has a high smoking point so it can be used to cook foods like stir fry at a very high heat without burning.

Research has shown that when heated up over a long period, sunflower oil can generate polar compounds which can increase the risk of chronic diseases, however, some nutritionists and scientists claim that there is no set-in-stone human evidence to prove this.

Pros:

  • Contains Vitamin E
  • Widely available and affordable
  • Contains omega-6
  • Improves digestion
  • Rich in antioxidants

Cons:

  • Generates polar compounds

Best used for

Unlike sesame oil, it doesn’t enhance or bring flavor to a dish, so we don’t suggest using it on its own as a dressing.

It serves its purpose through its efficiency of cooking any food at a very high heat.

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Baja Precious - Sweet Almond Oil, 1 Gallon

Just like sesame oil, almond oil is used to enhance any dish with its rich flavor and can really take any bog-standard recipe to another level.

It is a lot sweeter and creamier in taste than sesame oil and is more commonly used in baking.

Unrefined almond oil is the recommended oil to cook food with as it has a high smoking point and can be used for cooking various dishes.

It is full of monounsaturated fatty acids that can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body whilst boosting the levels of good cholesterol in your body.

Almond oil is a good healthy alternative for sesame oil as it is low in unsaturated fats and calories, it also contains omega-3,6, and 9, all of which contribute to healthy joints and organs.

One tablespoon of the creamy almond oil offers 26% of your daily recommended vitamin K, a nutrient that reduces blood clotting and regulates blood calcium levels.

We’ve noticed that almond oil can be a little more difficult to find in local supermarkets so we’ve linked you to our favorite one to save you searching the shops.

Pros:

  • High in vitamin K
  • Rich in flavor
  • Lowers bad cholesterol
  • Contains omega-6, 3 and 9

Cons:

  • May be harder to find in supermarkets

Best used for

As it’s not recommended to cook almond oil at high temperatures if it is unrefined, it’s best served as a finishing product on meals or dressing a salad.

You can also replace your regular oil in baking with almond oil to add a rich nutty flavor to your goodies.

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4th & Heart Original Grass-Fed Ghee, Keto, Pasture Raised, Non-GMO, Lactose Free, Certified Paleo -16 Ounce

There are a few types of butter you can buy to cook your food in, including unsalted butter, salted butter, and also grass-fed butter all of which hold different nutritional and moral values.

Butter makes a good substitute for sesame oil when it is browned in the pan to develop flavor.

It also tends to be an ingredient that households commonly keep in their fridge, so this won’t be an extra thing you need to buy on your next shopping trip.

An organic, hormone-free butter will bring more nutritional value for you than standard butter.

It doesn't offer the same health benefits as sesame oil does but does provide vitamin A and E to support skin, bone, and eye health.

It has a rich creamy flavor, very different from the nutty and earthiness of sesame oil, and works well for cooking food on high heat to prevent sticking but also adding good flavor.

Butter is high in saturated fat which if over consumed can lead to heart problems in the long term, but if eaten in moderation and balanced with other healthy fats and oils derived from natural foods like nuts and fish, will not cause any harm.

Pros:

  • Contains Vitamin A 
  • Contains Vitamin E
  • Rich in flavor
  • High smoke point

Cons:

  • High in saturated fat

Best used for

Butter is most commonly used in baking and is a key ingredient in most baked goods.

It can also be used to spread on bread or used to add a rich flavor to vegetable dishes or pasta.

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Carlson - The Very Finest Fish Oil, 1600 mg Omega-3s, Liquid Fish Oil Supplement, Norwegian Fish Oil, Wild-Caught, Sustainably Sourced Fish Oil Liquid, Lemon, 16.9 Fl Oz

Whilst fish oil is not commonly used or recommended for cooking hot food, we still think it deserved a place on this list for the health benefits it provides.

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and contributes to brain function and growth and development.

A deficiency in omega-3 can lead to heart problems, mood problems, and also arthritis further down the line.

Whilst sesame oil is more versatile in how you can consume it, the most common way to get your daily omega-3 intake is to take fish oil on a spoon or as a supplement. 

Fish oil contains Vitamin A which helps boost your immune system, your vision and reproduction system and Vitamin D which helps regulate the magnesium and phosphate in your body.

It’s even been given to children and teenagers to improve attention and hyperactivity during term and exam times.

It may not be to everyone’s taste, but incorporating or blending fish oil with more pleasant tasting ingredients can help you easily get your recommended daily allowance.

We recommend putting some in smoothies, so the sweetness of fruits hide the fish taste.

Pros:

  • High in omega-3
  • Contains Vitamin A and D
  • Contributes to brain function
  • Easy accessible in supermarkets and drugstores

Cons:

  • Not good to cook with
  • Unpleasant taste

The 13 Best Substitutes For Sesame Oil Buying Guide

Health

Most oils will have some sort of health benefits ranging from heart care, brain function, and even skincare, but it’s easy to get carried away trying to seek the benefits and undermining the health implications that using high volumes of oil over a sustained period of time can create.

Key things to look out for is, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are healthy fats can reduce heart disease. If a product is high in saturated fat, is it most likely not very good for you.

Flavor

There is such an array of oils to choose from nowadays and most will carry different tastes and flavors.

Oils that are derived from fruits or nuts will be strong in flavor, which may seem like a positive, but once you consider the various dishes you’ll be cooking, all of which may not suit having an essence of the strong taste of that oil.

Some oils are more neutral and mild in taste and tend to be the most suitable for cooking all food, allowing the sand-out ingredients to take pride and place.

However, these will be less versatile in their use and won't add any dimension as a finishing product on top of meals like salads and pasta dishes.

Use

All different oils have various smoking points, meaning they can be used for different ways of cooking and making food.

Oils that have a higher smoke point can be cooked at high temperatures to make foods such as their fries.

Whereas those that have a lower smoke point should be used to slowly cook food at a lower heat. Some oils don’t do well with cooking at all and are best served cold to dress a recipe. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sesame oil healthier than olive oil?

Studies have been done that show people who had sesame over a trial period had lower cholesterol levels than those who had olive oil throughout the trial period.

Can I use sesame oil in baking?

You can bake with it as it is a neutral oil.

Is sesame seed oil the same as sesame oil?

Sesame oil is made from raw pressed sesames whereas sesame seed oil is made from and completely changes the oil’s flavor.

What is the healthiest oil?

Extra-virgin olive oil is the healthiest, it's an unrefined oil that contains monounsaturated fats and some polyunsaturated fatty acids which have been scientifically linked to promoting good heart health. You have many choices looking for a sesame oil substitute. Toasted sesame oil is one of my favorites, but I've always been a fan of toasted sesame seeds. Walnut oil and safflower oil also come to mind.

Cassie Marshall
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