Top 12 Substitutes For Sesame Oil

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Can you already imagine a culinary feast, with all those Asian meatballs and rice noodles? Well, everything sounds great.

You have made all the ingredients list into your head, so you are ready to start cooking. Except for one key component that you realized is missing: sesame oil.

Don’t fret because I have the best news for you: there are multiple options to save your dishes. I know many substitutes for sesame oil to help you get rid of your possible culinary problems and finally get the sweet, spicy taste you are looking for.

First Things First: What Is Sesame Oil?

Unlike many other oils, sesame oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, low saturated fats, and polyunsaturated. These types of fats help your organism keep cholesterol under control. Seems odd, right? An oil to lower cholesterol. Well, this is the beauty of sesame oil.

There is no wonder why sesame oil has become so popular among food enthusiasts, as it offers a unique nutty taste to each dish, whether it is Asian or not. You can use sesame oil for salad dressing, sources, marinades, and so on.

Here are some brief health benefits:

  • Has culinary, cosmetic uses, and medicinal intake [1]
  • High in antioxidants [2]
  • Has strong anti-inflammatory properties [3]
  • Improves heart rate and heart health [4]
  • Helps to control the blood sugar [5]


It is essential to keep sesame oil in the fridge. Otherwise, you risk getting it spoiled.

12 Best Sesame Oil Alternatives

If you don’t have sesame oil at your fingertips, there are great alternatives on the market to achieve that unique nutty taste you are looking for. Moreover, these options will bring you health benefits as well, so keep on reading:

1. Peanut Oil

Peanut Oil
Image Credit: J G Melon

People are using sesame oil due to the nutty taste. Peanut oil will offer the same taste benefits, and it is a close match to the milder types of sesame oil.

One of the top reasons you need to have this oil at home is its advantage in handling high heat. So don’t worry about the annoying smoke alarm while you are cooking.

Health Benefits [6]

  • Peanut oil is an excellent source of vitamin E (reduces the risk of heart disease)
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Decrease the risk of diabetes and blood sugar diseases

How To Use

Peanut oil is great in salads, sauces, and marinades.

Personal opinion: Check my favorite recipes using peanut oil as well as one of my favorite brands.


Peanut oil contains lots of fatty acids, though. Furthermore, this oil has a tendency to oxidize, making it unsafe as cooking oil. This means you should not use it for deep frying.

2. Canola Oil

Canola Oil
Image Credit: J G Melon

This substitute for sesame oil is probably one of the simplest to find and choose. Moreover, you may already have some canola oil in your kitchen.

Although this substitute for sesame oil does not have a distinct earthiness, its neutral flavor is still a great option.

Benefits of Canola Oil [7]

  • Low in saturated fat
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease
  • High in monounsaturated fat

How to use

Canola oil is a great companion in high-heat cooking of many kinds. I would recommend using canola oil for cooking rather than adding flavor to your dishes.

Personal opinion: Here is an organic canola oil you can consider.

3.  DIY Sesame Oil

DIY Sesame Oil
Image Credit: J G Melon

Another quick option that does not require you to go to the supermarket is making your own sesame oil. If you have some sesame seeds hanging out in your pantry, you just need to toast them in low heat, then add some neutral oil, such as canola.


Before making your own sesame oil, be sure that all the ingredients are fresh and safe to consume. After heating the mixture above, add everything to a blender and let them cool off.

Personal opinion: Here are some of the best sesame oil recipes you can find.

4. Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil
Image Credit: J G Melon

Although avocado oil lacks the nutty character of sesame oil, this is still a great substitute, mainly for its creaminess. Avocado oil gives that richness to your sauces or cooked dishes.

Benefits of Avocado Oil [8]

  • Vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fatty acids
  • Helps digestion and food processing
  • Helps your body absorb vitamins and nutrients

How to use

Avocado oil is not ideal for adding a particular taste, but it is a practical choice when you want to add texture to your meals. Furthermore, this oil tolerates high temperatures, so don’t worry about using it in cooked dishes.

Personal Opinion : I absolutely love avocado and avocado oil as well. I add it in sauces or to give texture to my creamy soups. There are so many ways in which you can use avocado oil. Just check out these suggestions.

This is one of my favorite pure avocado oil on the market.

5. Tahini

Image Credit: J G Melon

It’s a pity not to add Tahini to your diet. This is one of the creamiest, savory substitutes for sesame oil. The key ingredient? Sesame seeds.

These seeds have been firstly soaked, then crashed into an oily paste. As such, there is no surprise why Tahini has the same earthy, complex flavor as pure sesame oil.


Although Tahini is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, consuming too much of this ingredient may increase chronic inflammation and harm blood pressure. [9]

Best To Use

Most of us are using Tahini when cooking our home-made hummus. But there are so many delicious recipes to try.

Personal opinion: Also, here is a very nice organic tahini brand.

6. Walnut Oil

Walnut Oil
Image Credit: J G Melon

Walnut oil is an excellent alternative to sesame oil because it successfully imitates savory and earthy flavor depth.

Because the process of making walnut oil is a bit pricey, I recommend you to use it sparingly, only when you need to add that twist to your dishes. Moreover, walnut oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy for the organism. [10]

Best To Use

Walnut oil goes perfectly in marinades, over salads, pasta, or when you need to substitute the sesame oil flavor. Add it in uncooked sauces and dressings.

Personal opinion: You can try out one of my favorite brands.

Do Not!

Once the walnut oil is heated, it can turn bitter. As such, this oil is not meant for cooking at high temperatures.

7. Perilla Oil

Perilla Oil
Image Credit: J G Melon

Perilla oil is an excellent substitute for sesame oil, as it comes with the same richness and the nutty flavor I so love at sesame. The best place to find perilla oil is at the Asian grocery store, as this sauce is quite remarkable.

How To Use

Perilla oil has the advantage of sharing a high smoke point, so it works well when frying or cooking at high temperatures. Use this oil lightly in your sautés or salads, and it will complement the final taste with a nutty, earthy flavor.

You can also try making pestos or spicing the greens with the perilla flavor.

Personal Opinion: I love making a fresh dip with perilla oil as secret ingredients. I mix it with yogurt, perilla leaf, and lemon juice. If you want a genuine Korean perilla oil, I might suggest you try this one here.

8. Olive Oil

Olive Oil
Image Credit: J G Melon

I guess everybody has olive oil in their pantries. This is a commonly found oil that can replace sesame oil. Like avocado oil, the olive one might not reinterpret the earthy taste. However, it adds a creamy effect to food.

Olive Oil Health Benefits [11]

  • Full of polyunsaturated fats
  • Keeps cholesterol under check
  • Reduces the risk of severe depression
  • Reduces the risk of immunity diseases and cancer
  • Helps in curing Alzheimer’s and pancreatitis

How To Use

Olive oil is great to use in multiple ways. You can use it for cosmetic purposes or to make delicious dishes, as this is such a versatile ingredient. When it comes to cooking, add olive oil to your salads, marinades, pasta, or different dips. The recipes are endless, so choose your favorite recipes made with olive oil.

Personal opinion: Even though Greek olive oil is extremely famous, I prefer the Italian one better. Especially the one from Sicily. It has more kick and attitude.

9. Grape Seed Oil

Grape Seed Oil
Image Credit: J G Melon

Grape seed oil is a good substitute for sesame oil, even though it might not necessarily be the best one. However, the flavor is quite similar. While many people use grapeseed oil for cosmetic purposes, this ingredient works great for cooking too.

Health Benefits Of Grape Seed Oil [12]

  • Helps people with diabetes and heart diseases
  • Reduces pain
  • Keeps skin look younger
  • Perfect in hair care routines
  • Has anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties
  • Full of antioxidants


Grape seed oil is healthy to use. Nonetheless, try to consume it in moderation. This oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, so small quantities are the key.

Personal opinion: If you don’t know which grape seed oil to try, here is a great option.

10. Flax Oil

Flax Oil
Image Credit: J G Melon

Some of you might have never heard about flax oil. However, this substitute for sesame oil is popular among the plant-based community. This type of oil has a nutty flavor, making it a great alternative to sesame in many recipes.

How To Use

Flax oil works great in uncooked recipes, such as dressings and dips. However, this type of oil has a very low frying point, so I would not recommend it for this purpose. For other recipes, you can try an organic flax oil.

Health Benefits

Flax oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids, mainly found in animal products and fish. [13]

11. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil
Image Credit: J G Melon

Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils you can cook with, and as long as it is well refined, it will work excellent as a substitute for sesame oil. Although the flavor is different, coconut oil gives your food a great texture.

Keep in Mind!

Coconut oil cannot replace toasted sesame oil. Instead of the nutty, earthy flavor, your dishes might end up sweet and creamy. If this aspect does not bother you, then consider this healthy alternative to sesame oil.

Personal Opinion: Coconut oil is great for cooked dishes, but also as all raw. I prefer adding it to smoothies, omelets, and so on. Find some inspiration for using coconut oil here.

Also, if you are looking for a virgin coconut oil that I personally love to use when baking, this brand is one you should take into consideration.

12. Butter

Image Credit: J G Melon

Finally, if you enjoy cooking with sesame oil, but don’t have it at your fingertips, consider butter. It is an acceptable substitute, great to add in a pan and use its flavor. Try to purchase only good quality butter, so you can enjoy its nutritional value.

Health Benefits

Although it is a fat ingredient, those who eat butter daily can decrease the development of 2 types of diabetes. Furthermore, the intake of high fat daily, in small quantities, can reduce the risk of obesity. [14]

Be Careful!

Make sure you are buying hormone-free, organic butter. There would be nothing wrong with adding some Vitamins K, A, and E into your life. Furthermore, organic butter would be more nutritious.

Personal opinion: I prefer Irish butter because it is rich and flavorful. However, if you want a less fattier version, you might want to check the Italian brands. But let’s be honest for a second. If you want to have a buttery flavor then go for the real deal.

Final thoughts

As you have already noticed, there are many good, healthy substitutes for sesame oil. You can either choose one or use more of them. The main idea is to consume them moderately, as all can be very nutritious, but also fatty.

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