Best Vegetable Shortening Substitute

Vegetable shortening is a solid fat product made from hydrogenated vegetable oil, usually from palm oil. It is a flavorless and odorless fat substitute for lard and butter and is best used for baking goods. Often used as a healthier choice for baking, it is perfect for coating flour and preventing water from activating the gluten.

Achieving that light and flaky texture found in biscuits and pie crusts minus the unhealthy fats is one of the best features of vegetable shortening. It’s also perfect for cookies since the dough won’t spread as much compared to traditional fats. Commonly found in short doughs, pie crusts, and other pastries, as well as for greasing pans – it’s also great for frying and sautéing dishes!

For recipes calling for vegetable shortening, here are some of the best alternatives people can use:

Vegetable Shortening Substitutes

Butter and/or Margarine

Butter or margarine is arguably the best substitute for baked goods simply because of the flavor it can provide. The biggest downside for substituting butter/margarine for traditional shortening is the consistency: vegetable shortening is 100% fat while the former is 85% fat and 10% water. That means the texture might slightly be different.


Lard is also a viable substitute for vegetable shortening as it is both used for cooking and baking. In fact, a lot of world-famous pies call for lard in their recipes, and for good reason – they taste great. While lard is generally cheaper to produce, the biggest downside for using Lard is that it produces gluten – which is not a good substitute for people with gluten allergies.

Coconut Oil

One of the healthier substitutes for vegetable shortening is coconut oil. The best part of using this as an alternative is that the ratio for use is 1:1 – the downside is that there will be a slight coconut aroma left in the food. To avoid this, bakers can opt to use refined coconut oil instead of the usual.

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