11 Great Vegetable Shortening Substitutes

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Here is the ultimate guide to the best substitutes for vegetable shortening in your cooking and baking. 

So that next time you’re in a pinch, you’ll know exactly what to do.

11 Vegetable Shortening Substitutes

1. Lard 

Lard is the most commonly suggested substitute for vegetable shortening in most recipes, and it works like a charm.

Especially if you are using it for frying, lard offers the best flavors and textures to your fried goodies. It is also great for pie crusts.

How to Substitute? 

You can replace vegetable shortening with more or less the same measure of lard. But there might be texture differences in the case of the pie crust recipe. 

Here is a lard-based pie crust for you to try at home instead of a shortening recipe – 

2. Butter

If you want to replace vegetable shortening in baking recipes, there is no better choice than butter.

Not only is it most likely already in your pantry, but it is also a flavor booster. Your pie crusts will taste just as good or better with butter.

How to Substitute? 

You can substitute vegetable shortening with the same measure of butter in your recipes and it should work just as well. 

Check out this butter pie crust recipe that you can try when you have run out of vegetable shortening – 

3. Margarine 

In both baking and cooking recipes, margarine can be a great alternative to vegetable shortening.

Although it is higher in water content, it is often used as a butter or shortening substitute and is just as flavorful.

How to Substitute? 

You might want to add an extra tablespoon or two of margarine compared to vegetable shortening to get the flavors and textures of the recipe right. 

For a margarine cake, check out this YouTube tutorial – 

4. Coconut Oil 

When looking for vegan options, coconut oil is your best bet.

Although it may add a distinct flavor to your dishes, it works wonderfully in most recipes. Be it baking, cooking, or frying, coconut oil is a perfect substitute.

If the flavor bothers you, you can look out for refined coconut oil, which has a neutral taste. 

How to Substitute? 

You can replace vegetable shortening with coconut oil in a 1:1 ratio in your recipes. 

For a coconut oil brownie recipe that you can easily make at home, check out this tutorial – 

5. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oils like avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or peanut oil can be used just as well as vegetable shortening in most recipes.

Each of these would offer distinct flavors of their own, but they work well in most recipes.

Because of their high smoke point, most are great to use for frying.

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of vegetable oil as vegetable shortening is called for in most recipes, though there may be slight flavor and texture differences. 

For an olive oil cake recipe, you can check out this YouTube tutorial – 

6. Bacon Fat/Grease

If you are a fan of bacon, then why not try incorporating its flavor into your baking or other recipes?

You can use it just as well as vegetable shortening in most recipes. It is especially great for savory baked recipes.

How to Substitute? 

You can use the same measure of bacon fat as vegetable shortening is used in your recipes. But keep in mind there will be flavor and texture differences. 

7. Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Although not the easiest find on the list, it is flavorful and a perfect alternative to your baking recipes.

Ghee is essentially clarified butter and hence has the same buttery-rich feeling.

How to Substitute? 

You can replace vegetable shortening with ghee in a 1:1 ratio in most recipes, except for frying, and it should turn out just as well.

Check out this cake recipe with ghee for when you have run out of shortening to work with – 

8. Vegan Butter

If you are looking for vegan options and happen to have vegan butter in stock, then you could easily use that as an alternative.

Although it might not be great for frying, most other recipes should be perfectly fine with vegan butter. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use the same measure of vegan butter as vegetable shortening is called for in your recipes. 

Here is a vegan butter pie crust recipe to check out – 

9. Applesauce

In sweet baking recipes, applesauce is a perfect quick-fix alternative to vegetable shortening.

It makes the dish denser, and it could also be a healthier option if you want to cut down your sugar consumption because applesauce is naturally sweet, you won’t need as much added sugar.

How to Substitute? 

You can use half the measure of applesauce compared to vegetable shortening in your recipe, although there may be slight flavor and texture differences. 

To make your own apple sauce from scratch, check out this YouTube tutorial – 

10. Mashed Bananas

Another fruit and vegan substitute, perfect for baking desserts.

It is a great way to cut down on your oil and sugar consumption, all the while keeping your cakes and baked goodies soft and moist.

It is also a great way to make the most of the extra overripe bananas in your pantry. 

How to Substitute? 

You would need only about half the measure of mashed bananas compared to vegetable shortening to get the recipe right.

11. Prune Juice 

For a super healthy and nutrient-packed alternative to vegetable shortening in your baking and sweet recipes, you could also use prune juice as a substitute.

It works much like applesauce or mashed bananas in your recipes. 

How to Substitute? 

To get the right consistency and flavor, it would be best to use half the measure of prune juice as vegetable shortening is called for in the recipe. the right consistency and flavor, it would be best to use half the measure of prune juice as vegetable shortening is called for in the recipe.

Bottom Line 

I hope you found this article helpful!

If you have any experience using vegetable shortening substitutes, please share them in the comments below.

And be sure to share this article with your friends and family if you found it useful.

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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.

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