Substitutes for Sesame Oil

When you have a recipe that lists sesame oil as an ingredient and you do not have it, using a substitute or an alternate can be done.  For alternatives when you do not have sesame oil, this list includes so many choices that there is likely something you have already that you can use in a pinch.   There are many oils that can be used as a substitution but tahini and other ingredients are also ideal to use in place of sesame oil.  

Depending on what you will be cooking or making, you may need to take into account the smoke point of the oil you will be replacing sesame oil with.   If you want to stir fry you want a high smoke point but if you are making a salad dressing, you may not care about smoke point.  To know more about smoke point, why it matters, and a smoke point index of oils, read more at SERIOUSEATS. 



Substitute for Sesame Oil PN1



Sesame Oil vs Toasted Sesame Oil

What is sesame oil and is it different than toasted sesame oil?  They are basically the same in the content of the ingredients but they are derived differently, have slightly differing tastes, and are used in cooking in different manners.  To break it down here is how I remember when and how to use sesame oil or toasted sesame oil.

Sesame Oil Uses & Benefits

Sesame oil is derived from raw sesame seeds and has a light color to it. I think of it as virgin oil, similar to olive oil that is minimally processed. It is used typically as a cooking oil. This is likely why it is used for stir-fries a lot in Asian cuisine.  It adds a slightly nutty flavor to dishes.

Toasted sesame oil is darker in color and is derived from sesame seeds that have been toasted or roasted and then pressed. Therefore, it is dark in color.  Toasted sesame oil also has a deeper sesame flavor and aroma than regular sesame oil. It is mainly used as flavored oil to finish a recipe or in cold preparations like salad dressings or a drizzle over cold noodle dishes. 

Black sesame seed oil is also a thing. It is made from black sesame seeds and as you guessed it, has a rich flavor that is nuttier than regular sesame oil. It is typically unprocessed or cold-pressed. This variety too is used mostly in dressings and as a finishing oil. 

Sesame oil is not just delicious but has nutritious health benefits as well.  A little goes a long way in terms of adding flavor to a recipe and wellness benefits to your diet.  It is low in saturated fats and high in Omega-6.

1 TABLESPOON OF SESAME OIL = 120 calories, 14g fat

82% of the fat is unsaturated

rich in Omega-6 fatty acids

anti-inflammatory & antioxidant properties


Substitute for Sesame Oil sesame seeds and olive oil


Substitutes for Sesame Oil

Alternatives to sesame oil can be simply using commonly found items you may already have in your pantry or refrigerator. So the next time you run out, rest assured it is easy to replace sesame oil in a recipe by using any of the ideas I share below.  I also include my favorite recipe for the perfect sesame oil substitute.  It is quick, easy, and replaces sesame oil in any recipe you are making.  

Cooking Alternates to Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is used mainly for cooking and with high heat recipes. I find the best substitutions for sesame oil are different than for toasted sesame oil.   Ideally using virgin olive oil with sesame seeds would be the best method to get a good cooking oil but some of the sesame flavor. I have done this by substituting sesame oil with olive oil when cooking, then adding some sesame seeds to the dish at the end if that is possible. This works great in 



Recipe Alternates to Toasted Sesame Oil

Since toasted sesame oil is used mostly in cold applications for recipes, I find the best substitutions for toasted sesame oil are different than for regular sesame oil.   Toasted sesame seed oil is used often in salad dressings, marinades, dipping sauces, or drizzled on recipes when they are complete.  Because of this I find toasting raw sesame seeds in a dry pan and then adding virgin olive oil is the best.

All you have to do is warm the oil and toasted sesame seeds together for about 5 minutes is perfect. This substitution infuses the flavor of the toasted or roasted sesame seeds into the olive oil.  You can then strain the sesame seeds from the oil and use that oil in your recipe as a replacement for toasted sesame seed oil. (of if you want the seeds, leave them!) 


Substitute for Sesame Oil sesame seeds in a saute pan on the stove



Other Alternates to Sesame Oil

  • Neutral Cooking Oils – you can use your favorite mild-flavored cooking oil as a sesame oil substitute.  Simply use a 1:1 measurement replacement. Organic grapeseed is my favorite out of all of the below choices. Grapeseed oil is mild and versatile so it won’t change the flavor of the dish too much if used in place of sesame oil. 
    • grapeseed
    • canola (rapeseed) 
    • flaxseed
    • corn
    • sunflower


Other Alternates to Toasted Sesame Oil

  • Nutty or More Flavorful Cooking Oils – you can use your favorite nut oil, like peanut or almond oil,  as a toasted sesame oil substitute.  Simply use a 1:1 measurement replacement. Organic perilla oil is my favorite out of all of the below choices.  You may not have it on hand either but if you do it is the closest to toasted sesame seed oil since it is derived from perilla seeds. It also has a mild nutty flavor and is used in Korean and Japanese cooking.
    • perilla 
    • avocado
    • almond 
    • peanut 
    • walnut 
    • hazelnut

One choice I do not substitute with is coconut oil. It changes the flavor too much and coconut oil has a distinct coconut flavor that will change the flavor of the recipe too much. I do not recommend using coconut oil to replace sesame oil as a substitution. 


Tahini as a Sesame Seed Oil Substitute

Since tahini is made from sesame seeds, it has the same flavor as sesame oil would. Therefore, it makes a great sesame oil substitute if you have it on hand but no oil.   How to substitute sesame oil with tahini follow this simple recipe:  for 1 TB Sesame Oil replace it with 3/4 TB tahini plus 1/4 TB olive oil. 


Recipes Using Sesame Oil

Here are some of my favorite recipes that use sesame oil.  If you end up making one of these substitutes for sesame oil, make enough to try some of these recipes too. 

The sesame oil substitute recipe below is also great for making fried rice, teriyaki sauce, stir fry, Asian salad dressings, or marinades. 




Substitute for Sesame Oil PIN image with a jar of sesame seeds and a bottle of olive oil


Product Recommendations for this Recipe:




The Short Order Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you. This helps with the costs of running the blog. Thank you! 



Substitute for Sesame Oil featured close up of sesame seed in a spice jar and a bottle of olive oil

Substitute for Sesame Oil

When you are making a recipe that calls for sesame oil and you do not have any, this substitute works best as an alternative. Replace sesame oil with this homemade recipe substitution for an easy swap.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 7 mins
Total Time 8 mins
Servings 2


  • 1 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 2 TBSP olive oil


  • In a small dry saute pan, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat. Stir to ensure both sides start to brown and watch carefully so they do not burn. This should take about 2 minutes.
  • When they are a light golden brown, they are ready for the olive oil. Add the olive oil and turn the stove to low. (for toasted sesame oil, cook the seeds a bit longer until they are a dark brown color but not burnt)
  • Let the sesame seeds and olive oil warm over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir it occasionally. Turn off the heat and let cool.
  • Using a fine-meshed sieve, strain the seeds from the oil over a small bowl. Reserve the seeds as a garnish if needed for your recipe, otherwise, discard.
  • 2 Tablespoons of sesame seed infused olive oil is the perfect sesame oil substitute. If not using immediately, store in an air-tight container in a cupboard counter in a cool dark location for up to 2 days.
Keyword Asian, gluten-free, oil



Did you make this The Short Order Cook Recipe?

Tag @theshortordercookblog (Instagram & Facebook) or @shortorder_cook (Twitter). 

I would love to see your latest creations and kitchen adventures.


Related Posts

Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick

Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick

Teriyaki chicken on a stick is an easy family favorite recipe.  These tasty marinated chicken teriyaki kebabs are grilled to perfection for the ultimate sweet, salty, and savory bite.  Japanese teriyaki sauce is so easy to make at home and this recipe is wonderful as […]

Asian Avocado Peanut Coleslaw

Asian Avocado Peanut Coleslaw

If you want an easy peanutty coleslaw recipe, this Asian avocado peanut coleslaw is the best.  This slaw has cabbage, avocado, sweet peppers, green onions, and peanuts plus a savory tamari and peanut butter dressing. It is crunchy, fresh, colorful, and healthy.  It is the […]

3 thoughts on “Substitutes for Sesame Oil”

  • 5 stars
    I tried this to use in place of sesame oil and it was great. It tasted just like sesame oil and saved my recipe for a peanut butter dipping sauce with chicken skewers. No need to but it again, I will just make this. Thanks so much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating