8 Best Substitutes for Lard


Lard is the semi-soft, white fat located in the fattiest portions of a pig. It’s made of 100% pork fat which is separated from the fatty parts of a pig through rendering.

The separated fat is solid and opaque at room temperature.

It then turns into a clear liquid at around 95 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on its purity.

Portions like the pork belly, pork rear, or pork shoulder will render the most lard. Pure lard has a neutral taste and contains no pork flavor.

8 Best Substitutes for Lard

Sometimes people don’t want to use lard since it is an animal-based product. It may even cause an inflammatory response in some people.

Whether you have these reservations for lard or your kitchen has run out of it, don’t worry. There are plenty of things you can use as a substitute.


Butter is only made of 80% fat. It makes the obvious first choice when baking or roasting. It is very similar to lard and if you use it in your recipe, the taste won’t be very different. It will also add crispness to roasting and baking.

The only thing that is considered as a downside is the lower smoking point of the butter.

So, you’ll need more butter to substitute. In most recipes, you can use 1 ¼ cup of butter as an exchange for 1 cup of lard.

Vegetable Shortening

Another good substitute that will serve well in your dish is vegetable shortening. It is made from soybean, vegetable, or palm oil and is very close to lard.

The fat content is very high and it is a great option if you are frying.

It is very commonly used and since it has higher fat it is closer to lard, than butter. Also, it contains less water so you don’t need to worry about splattering.

Best of all, it is safe for vegetarians and vegans. For substituting, you could use a ratio of 1:1, that is, for 1 cup of lard use one cup of shortening.

Beef Tallow

Beef Tallow is an ingredient that is also saturated animal fat, which is a good replacement for lard. If you use beef tallow it will have the same results as using lard.

It is a good option for people who don’t eat pork. You must keep in mind that it has many calories, which makes it an unsuitable replacement for people who are on a low-calorie diet.

You can use the same quantity of beef tallow as you should’ve used lard and the results will be identical.

Coconut Oil

An ingredient that is very popular and commonly used- coconut oil. It has a high smoking point and will fit perfectly in your frying recipe.

Keep in mind that if you want to stick to the original taste of your dish, coconut oil might not be the best option.

Coconut oil is good for cooking meals in high heat. Coconut oil is very good for baking as well.

You can substitute equal amounts of coconut oil for lard in any recipe.

The fatty acids in coconut oil are a catalyst for the fat-burning process and provide energy to your body. They also raise HDL (good) cholesterol in your blood, which may help reduce heart disease risk.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is extracted from the fleshy part of the ripened fruit of the olive tree, Olea europaea. Olive oil varies in color from clear yellow to golden; some varieties obtained from unripe fruit have a greenish tinge.

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, including polyphenols, and healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. It can be used as a replacement for Lard.

A potential downside is that it will give a hint of olives which may not be appropriate for every dish.

Olive oil works perfectly in baking. It has a very low smoking point, so it is not very suitable for frying.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oils, or vegetable fats, are oils extracted from seeds or, less often, from other parts of fruits.

In common usage, vegetable oil may refer exclusively to vegetable fats which are liquid at room temperature.

This is a very good alternative for lard. It does not have a very high temperature but it is suitable for high heat cooking or frying.

The only downside is that this oil generates high concentrations of chemicals, so use a limited amount of vegetable oil when using.

You could use ⅞ cup of vegetable oil for 1 cup of lard.


Avocado is the fruit of the avocado tree, scientifically known as Persea americana. It has a high nutritive value and about 20 vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and “good fats” as opposed to saturated fats.

Avocado is the vegan substitute for Lard for making baked goods. The high quantity of water in avocado makes baked goods soft and less likely to crumble.


Clarified butter (ghee) has one of the highest smoke points of any fat. It even has a higher smoke point than lard.

It can be substituted for Lard, but you will not get the same “lardy” aroma. But if you use other stronger aromas/spices in your recipe it might not matter.


Is Crisco a substitute for lard?

Despite their differences, Crisco and lard are mostly interchangeable when it comes to cooking and baking. If you want to bake with lard, we don’t recommend using the fat leftover from cooking bacon or pork shoulder.

Are ghee and lard the same?

Lard is pig fat whereas ghee simply clarified butter used for centuries in Indian and Ayurveda cooking.

Is coconut oil a good substitute for lard?

Coconut oil is a good substitute for lard when you’re frying or cooking at high heat. It has a high smoke point, like lard. Baking recipes are increasingly using coconut oil so you could use it in cakes and biscuits as well.

Bottom Line

Lard is just as versatile as any other cooking fat and can be used for roasting, grilling, sauteing, frying, and baking.

It is difficult to find a perfect replacement for lard. Its ability to bring taste and texture to food is hard to compete with.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still make the dish. If you are looking for other or vegan substitutes, then you can find alternatives in the market.

Butter, vegetable shortening, beef tallow, vegetable oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, and ghee make great substitutes for lard.


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About Betty Ellis

Betty is a food researcher who spends most of her time analyzing the nutritional aspects of various foods. She also researches methods to enhance taste, as well as how to store certain types of foods. She enjoys cooking for herself and her three dogs even though she doesn't have a lot of free time outside work.