Best Clarified Butter Substitutes

Clarified butter is not the same as regular butter, although it originates from it. Clarified butter is said to be more beneficial for your health, which is why many people prefer it to other cooking oils.

Overall, clarified butter is long-lasting and tastes great. It also has a higher smoke point, which comes in handy when using it to fry or sautee foods.

So what are the best clarified butter substitutes? Ghee, lard, coconut oil, or a neutral oil such as vegetable or canola oil make for great clarified butter substitutes.

What are the Best Clarified Butter Alternatives?

Usually, when clarified butter is suggested in a recipe, it’s best to use another cooking oil as a substitute. The following have all proven to be good options:

  • Ghee
  • Lard
  • Coconut Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Canola Oil

Ghee is the most common and best alternative for clarified butter. We’ll go into more detail on ghee later on.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, lard is not the best alternative for you, as it’s made from animal fats. Rich in taste, lard is an excellent substitute for clarified butter when cooking meat.

Coconut oil has a lower smoking point than clarified butter, vegetable, and canola oil, and it also provides a rich taste that is comparable to that of clarified butter.

Out of this list, vegetable oil and canola oil are considered the most neutral in taste and have a high smoke point similar to clarified butter.

Overall, the best substitute for clarified butter is ghee butter.


People often mistake ghee and clarified butter for the same thing. While similar, the two are formed by different processes.

Ghee originated in India and is also used in many Middle Eastern cuisines. It has a nutty flavor, richer than that of clarified butter.

Ghee is made by heating butter (milk solids) for a longer period of time until all of the moisture is removed and the milk solids have carmelized in the fat. The milk solids are then strained out – giving the ghee its signature taste.

Some people like to think of ghee as a more solid version of clarified butter. It’s important to remember that the two have distinctly different tastes, and while easily substituted for one another, they are not the same.

Why Substitute Clarified Butter?

Despite being beneficial for those with lactose intolerance, clarified butter contains the same nutrients as regular butter, making it high in calories and saturated fats.

Those who are particularly health-conscious might try an alternative with a lower number of saturated fats, such as avocado or canola oil.