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5 Best Substitutes for Ghee to Consider

Home is not just where the heart resides; it’s also where we satisfy our deepest culinary cravings.

In the culinary dance, we treasure ghee for its rich, nutty flavor, drawing us and fellow food enthusiasts towards the cuisines of India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, promising a taste that’s hard to beat.

But what happens when dietary restrictions or the lack of ghee poses a challenge in our cooking adventures? We all love the golden delight of ghee, but let’s not overlook its equally capable substitutes.

Join us as we embark on a culinary expedition to discover five pantry heroes ready to save the day for ghee lovers when obstacles arise.

5 Best Substitutes for Ghee to Consider

1. Clarified Butter

Clarified butter stands as ghee’s less-flamboyant sibling, sharing the same core values of smoothness and rich dairy goodness, sans the golden hue. For those seeking a one-on-one swap, look no further than the unfussy world of clarified butter.

Whether sautéing, pan-frying, or baking, this substitute ensures your dishes maintain their intended flavors and textures, leaving the spotlight where it belongs—on your culinary creation.

Why We Love It

  • Ease of Use: Simply substitute equal parts of clarified butter for ghee in any recipe.
  • Versatility: Works across a multitude of cuisines without overpowering other flavors.
  • Health Benefits: A slightly lower fat content can be a healthier alternative for some dietary regimens.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil may transport your taste buds to the serene shores of some distant coastline, but its suitability as a ghee substitute extends far beyond the world of curries.

The slight hint of sweetness and a fragrant coconut aroma bring a unique dimension to your dish. It’s a worthy partner in both baked goods and vegetable stir-fries, where its sturdy form lends a hand.

Why We Love It

  • Flavor Profile: Offers a distinct nutty and sweet flavor, especially with desserts and spiced foods.
  • Vegan-Velvet: An ideal match for those sticking to plant-based or lactose-free diets.
  • Heat Tolerance: Stands up well to high temperatures, suitable for most cooking applications.

3. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil epitomizes a sumptuous greenness that can translate the silkiness of ghee’s texture into many a recipe. It boasts a high smoke point, making it not only an able stand-in for frying but also a great addition to salad dressings, where it imparts a lovely, subtle avocado undertone.

For those health-conscious chefs, avocado oil often spots a feather-light profile, making it one of the most accessible switches from ghee.

Why We Love It

  • Mild Flavor: Doesn’t overpower the original taste of the dish.
  • High Nutrient Content: Packed with beneficial fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Keto-Friendly: A top choice for those following keto or other low-carb diets.

4. Sesame Oil

With its deep, nutty profile, sesame oil invites itself into the more intense flavors of ghee-enriched recipes.

Primarily associated with Asian cuisines, it’s a must-have in the kitchens of the health-conscious and those wanting to sprinkle a tinge of earthiness into their meals. When using sesame oil as a ghee substitute, treat it as a flavor enhancer, especially in savory dishes.

Why We Love It

  • Rich Aroma: Deepens the profile of the dish, especially in stir-fries and dressings.
  • Rich in Antioxidants: Brings a healthy boost to your fare.
  • A Little Goes a Long Way: Use it judiciously to avoid an overpowering flavor punch.

5. Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil steps into the role of the genteel ghee with aplomb, its lightness making it a preferred choice for those who prefer to taste their ingredients, not the fats they’re cooked in.

This versatile oil can partner with almost any preparation where its benign nature won’t interfere with the original flavors. It’s the reliable best friend who knows when to step back and when to lend a hand.

Why We Love It

  • Nearly Flavorless: Allows the original dish’s profile to shine through.
  • Budget-Friendly: Accessible and widely available.
  • Multiply Myr: Sustainable and heart-healthy, packed with Vitamin E.


Whether for dietary reasons, availability, or experimentation, the pantry offers a vast expanse of replacements for ghee. Are these substitutes challenging the authority of the revered ghee? Not quite.

Each has a unique role in complementing different dishes, and we’re betting that there’s more than enough room for all these stars in any home cook’s kitchen. So go ahead, loosen the ghee’s grip on your taste buds and savor the flavors of these substitutes with an open mind.