8 Best Vegetarian Substitutes for Lard (SIMPLE ALTERNATIVES)

image of Vegetarian Substitutes for Lard

Want to enjoy your favorite lard-filled dishes without losing the veggie lifestyle? Here’s a solution: vegetarian substitutes for lard!

Who knew that you didn’t have to compromise flavor and texture to keep your meals vegetarian?

The good news is that there are plenty of plant-based alternatives out there, so you can make all the same dishes you love but with a healthy twist.

From vegan butter to dairy-free options, our guide has everything you need when it comes to replacing lard with equally flavorful ingredients.

No matter what kind of dish you’re making, we’ve got the perfect vegetarian alternatives- explore now and get creative in the kitchen!

Read on!

8 Best Vegetarian Substitutes for Lard

DIY: Vegetarian Substitutes for Lard

Here’s an overview of the process and what you’ll need:

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

First things first, you’ll need to gather your ingredients. You can find most of these in any grocery store near you. The main ingredients you’ll need are:

  • Oil – Coconut oil is the best option for this recipe as it has a neutral taste and a high smoke point which makes it perfect for baking and frying at high temperatures.
  • Cream (dairy-free) – Experiment with different varieties of non-dairy cream until you find one that suits your taste. To get the closest texture to traditional lard, choose something like oat cream with added thickeners.
  • Flavorings – Add whatever flavorings strike your fancy! Spices like paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper all work wonderfully in this type of lard. Or try adding herbs like rosemary or thyme for something unique! Just be sure not to add too much as it will overpower the rest of the flavors.

Step 2: Prepare Your Ingredients

Once you have all your necessary ingredients ready to go, it’s time to prepare them for cooking.

  • Start by heating up a large pot over medium heat and then add your oil and cream together and stir until combined.
  • Then add in your chosen flavorings – start off small and gradually increase the quantity until you reach the desired level of taste.
  • Once everything is well mixed, reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until everything has reached a creamy consistency.

Step 3: Strain & Refrigerate

Once your mixture has simmered down, remove from heat and strain out any excess oil using cheesecloth or a sieve into an airtight container such as a jar or bowl.

Make sure there are no pieces of vegetable matter left behind before refrigerating overnight so that the fat fully solidifies into its lardy consistency.

Step 4: Enjoy!

And finally, once your vegan lard is ready – enjoy! Use it in any recipes that call for lard such as pie crusts or roasted vegetables as desired – just note that this homemade version may not be quite as hardy as regular lard since its fats are made from plants but that doesn’t mean it won’t still make amazing culinary creations!

image of using butter to replace lard


Butter is back in the superfood spotlight!  

When eaten in moderation, butter is a rich source of vitamins A, D, E, and K2. These vitamins are fat soluble and absorbed more effectively when eaten alongside other healthy vegetarian fats.  

For this reason, using butter as a spread on sandwiches or crackers is an excellent way to get your daily intake without overindulging. 

In particular, butter plays a vital role in several baking recipes. For optimal results, creaming your butter and sugar is the “secret” to a soft and fluffy texture cake or cupcake. 

Furthermore, we suggest using butter as a shortener for pies and pastries.  

Due to its high calorie and saturated fat content, we recommend cooking, frying, or eating raw butter in small quantities. For example, add a teaspoon (5ml) of butter to enhance the taste when cooking a veggie stir-fry.  

Don’t worry; we have vegetarian lard alternatives coming up that are perfect for cooking and frying.

  • Terrific Tip: consider unsalted butter over salted butter to reduce your daily salt intake.
image of using Ghee to swap for lard


Ghee is clarified butter, meaning all the milk solids and water have been removed from the butter by simmering and straining.

The butter’s quality impacts the ghee’s texture, color, and taste. 

Originally from India, it is popular in Indian cuisine. Additionally, it is used as a traditional medicine and for religious ceremonies.

From a nutritional point of view – butter and ghee are almost identical. However, the key factor here is ghee contains no lactose. Therefore, it is ideal for those with lactose intolerance.  

Ghee performs well when cooked at high temperatures, keeping the vitamins and nutrients.  

It is perfect to use as a spread or on steamed vegetables. We suggest a 1:1 ratio when substituting butter with ghee in cooking and baking recipes. 

Certainly, butter is kinder on your budget. Yet, ghee is growing in popularity whether you are lactose intolerant or enjoy the taste.  

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is widely used in both vegetarian and vegan diets.  

Besides being an excellent alternative for cooking and frying, the added health benefits make coconut oil a must-have in your kitchen.  

Health benefits of Coconut oil may include:

  • Antimicrobial and antioxidant properties
  • Improve skin and oral health
  • Encourage fat burning
  • A quick energy source
  • Nourish and strengthen your hair
  • Assist in managing Alzheimer’s disease

Notably, studies are ongoing to understand this miraculous product fully.

When it comes to cooking and frying, coconut oil retains a high quantity of nutritional value when brought to high temperatures. Therefore, you can shallow and deep-fry with coconut oil.  

The sweet coconut flavor is ideal for Thai-inspired recipes, stir-fries, and baking. Also, it is a great shortener for vegan-based pie crusts.  

Sure, not everyone enjoys the taste of coconut. Yet, the process of extracting the flavor could remove the health benefits. 

We recommended using organic refined coconut oil as opposed to unflavored coconut oil.  

  • Tempting Tip: use coconut oil when preparing popcorn. Your children will love it!

Learn more: What Can You Substitute For Coconut Oil? (#3 You Have NOW)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil has been a go-to ingredient for cooking and baking for thousands of years. From its origin in the Middle Eastern region, it has spread rapidly to all corners of the globe. (*)

Decidedly, olive oil contributes to the distinct flavor of Mediterranean cuisine when drizzled over garden-fresh salads or used in recipes.

Renowned for its taste ranging from buttery, peppery, fruity, earthy, and nutty, to name a few, it’s no wonder olive oil is never far when preparing any meal or baking a treat.

Extra virgin olive oil is packed with beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants. Moreover, its high polyunsaturated fat content makes it resistant to losing health benefits when cooked at high temperatures while retaining its distinct taste simultaneously. (*)

Also, you can spoil yourself with eight tablespoons (40 milliliters) of extra virgin olive daily for optimal healthy-heart benefits. 

When used in baking, it adds flavor and moisture to your cake recipes. We recommend you use olive oil with a fruity or nutty back taste for baking.  

  • Tempting Tip: drizzle olive oil over your vegetables for roasting; for extra flavor, add a healthy pinch of salt and 2 or 3 20cm sprigs of fresh rosemary. Delicious!

Sunflower Oil

We recommend using Sunflower oil for shallow and deep frying on a budget. You can use the same oil 3 – 4 times before you dispose of it responsibly.  

This is excellent news for your monthly grocery bill and the looming sunflower oil shortage.  

And it doesn’t stop there! Replacing half the olive oil with sunflower oil for your basting sauces and salad dressings reduces costs.  

With this said, sunflower oil is not as stable as olive oil and coconut oil when cooked at high temperatures.  

Research suggests that toxic compounds may be released when heated repeatedly. (*)

In addition, some varieties are high in Omega-6 and, when consumed in excess, can result in body inflammation.  

Don’t panic; it is not all gloom and doom for sunflower oil. We suggest using it at cooler temperatures as much as possible. 

Of course, using sunflower oil in baking recipes and treating yourself to deep-fried eggplant or fries is ok should your health be in check.

Nut Butter

We are all familiar with peanut butter—a staple for sandwiches, smoothies, baking, and cooking. 

In recent years, other nut-based butter has started to appear in our diets, and with good reason.

Nuts are an excellent source of protein and contain unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, plant sterols, and L-arginine. 

In their raw form, they make an energy-packed healthy snack. When processed into butter, they become a great vegetarian lard alternative. 

There are a variety of nut butter options available, including:

  • Almond 
  • Cashew
  • Walnut
  • Pecan
  • Pistachio
  • Macadamia, to name a few.

The flavor associated with nut butter is ideal for vegetable-basting sauces and is popular in several Thai recipes. 

Of course, each nut butter tastes different. So you can choose which one best suits your dish and palette. 

Next time you make a smoothie, pop some in. If you are a pecan nut pie fan, replace up to 2 tablespoons of butter with Pecan Nut butter. Pure decadence!

Avocado and Avocado Oil

Avocado is the ultimate superfood!  

It contains 20 vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. Therefore, when you use it as an alternative to lard, you know your body will be pleased.

Undoubtedly, one of the most versatile vegetables available to you. Avocado is delicious spread on toast, added to smoothies, or eaten on its own when you are on the run. 

Ideal condiments for avocado include a dash of lemon, salt, and a touch of chili for that added vitamin C and flavor.

Furthermore, avocado oil is fantastic for salad dressings and drizzling onto vegetables for roasting. 

Oh, and it is excellent for frying too. Its ability to reach a high smoke point and not lose too much of its nutritional value puts it on par with olive and coconut oil. (*)

Tempting Tip: avocado makes a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate mouse or lemon fridge tart. Your family or guests are not likely to know it is avocado! Healthy and delicious with every bite.  

Learn more: 12 Great Avocado Oil Substitute for All Types of Dishes

Banana (Mashed or Sliced)

Lastly, mashed bananas are a great alternative to lard. Certainly, they are sweet. So using sparingly is wise.  

Bananas are rich in potassium and fiber and low in sodium. They play an essential role in heart-healthy diets. 

We recommend spreading your favorite nut butter on toast and topping it off with a mashed banana for a quick and sweet snack. 

Your sweet craving is satisfied, and you can pride yourself in opting for something extremely healthy.  

When it comes to baking, most of you are likely to have a banana bread recipe passed down the family line. We recommend you replace two tablespoons of the butter with a nut butter of your choice.  

Suppose you have a savory tooth and fancy a sweet touch. Consider slicing a banana as a condiment for your vegetable curry. If you use coconut oil in your recipe, the sweetness of the coconut oil compliments the banana condiment. 

We hope you have enjoyed reading our best vegetarian substitutes for lard.  Have fun experimenting and enhancing your favorite recipes!


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