9 Terrific Substitutes for Sesame Oil

Medically Reviewed on 6/24/2022
9 Terrific Substitutes for Sesame Oil
There are two types of sesame oil, toasted and light sesame oil.

Sesame oil is made from sesame seeds that are popular in Asian cooking. Varieties of sesame oil are obtained from pressed plain or toasted seeds. It is used in Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Middle Eastern cuisine.

What are the types of sesame oil?

There are two types of sesame oil, toasted and light sesame oil, and choosing which one to use depends on the purpose the oil is meant to serve.

  1. Toasted sesame oil is produced from toasted sesame seeds and can range from gold to brown. The strong nutty flavor of the oil makes it ideal to season and stir fry and for soup or noodle dishes.
  2. Light sesame oil is made with untoasted sesame seeds. This oil has a mild flavor and is lighter in color. The mild flavor and high smoke point make this oil great to stir and deep fry.

6 benefits of sesame oil

  1. Lower cholesterol
  2. Help strengthen bones
  3. Has potent anti-inflammatory effects
  4. Lower blood pressure
  5. Reduce the risk of heart disease
  6. Good for oral health

9 substitutes for sesame oil

  1. Perilla oil
    • Perilla oil is a seed oil similar to sesame oil. Its nutty, earthy flavor can be substituted to replicate the flavor of toasted sesame oil and is suitable for frying. 
    • Though this oil has many health benefits, it must be used with caution due to its possible anticoagulant effects and the potential for pulmonary (lung) toxicity.
  2. Walnut oil
    • Walnut oil has a nutty flavor and is a perfect substitute to use in uncooked sauces and dressings. Walnut oil is suitable to season Asian dishes.
  3. Olive oil
    • Despite the difference in composition, olive oil can be used as a good substitute for sesame oil because they are both considered healthy fats. Although there is a missing nutty flavor in olive oil, lighter olive oil can be used as an alternative to light sesame oil when you need the oil for cooking purposes.
  4. Canola oil
    • Canola oil is a great light sesame oil alternative because it does not have a strong taste. It can be used to fry, deep fry, or bake and do any other cooking where you do not require the oil to enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
  5. Avocado oil
    • This is a great oil substitute in situations where the flavor is key. The rich creamy avocado flavor compromises the nutty taste of sesame oil. Avocado oil can withstand high heat. Unfortunately, it may not be available in all grocery stores.
  6. Tahini
    • Tahini or sesame seed paste is a popular ingredient that can be substituted for sesame oil. It has a mild nutty, savory flavor and a creamy texture that can be used to spread on raw foods or added to food recipes.
  7. Grape-seed oil
    • Grapeseed oil is a common vegetable oil that has a neutral flavor and could be used in a range of dishes. It is particularly abundant in polyunsaturated fatty acids, and each serving contains a healthy dosage of vitamin E.
    • By neutralizing dangerous chemicals called free radicals, vitamin E may aid to avoid inflammation.
  8. Peanut oil
    • Peanut oil is a popular sesame oil replacement, especially for those who are allergic to sesame. (However, if you have a peanut allergy, you should avoid this oil and try another oil.)
    • Peanut oil is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, both of which are beneficial to heart health. It contains a good amount of vitamin E.
  9. Hemp seed oil
    • Hemp seed oil should only be used as a substitute for toasted sesame oil. Because this oil is extremely heat-sensitive, it should not be used in cooking. Instead, sprinkle hemp seed oil over dishes to provide a nutty flavor.
    • In tiny amounts, hemp seed oil can be used to provide a nutty flavor to salad dressings. Blend hemp salad dressing with sunflower or canola oil for a more flavorful result.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer
Medically Reviewed on 6/24/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Pathak N, Rai AK, Kumari R, Bhat KV. Value addition in sesame: A perspective on bioactive components for enhancing utility and profitability. Pharmacogn Rev. 2014;8(16):147-155. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4127822/

Marshall C. Substitutes For Sesame Oil: 13 of Our Best Picks. The Kitchen Community. https://thekitchencommunity.org/best-substitutes-for-sesame-oil/