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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Lard

Lard’s out, now what? Swap it, that’s what. In the kitchen, flexibility is key.

You’re whipping up a storm, and bam, no lard in sight. It’s cool. We’ve all been there.

Today, we’re here to flip the script on that oh-so-traditional ingredient. Think lard’s irreplaceable?

Think again. We’re digging into five stellar swaps that’ll keep your dishes on point without missing a beat.

Butter, oils, and even some surprises are queued up to save your bacon (pun intended).

Ready to turn a potential cooking crisis into your next great dish? Let’s get into it.

what is lard

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lard

Since lard is such a versatile cooking fat, you’ll want to use it as often as possible.

There are times, though, when you can’t or don’t want to use it (such as if you’re trying to watch your cholesterol).

Here’s a detailed comparison of the 5 best substitutes for lard, along with their key characteristics and proper ratios:

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
ButterButter is a popular substitute for lard, especially in baking. It adds flavor and richness to recipes and can be used as a 1:1 replacement.Use an equal amount of butter as you would with lard in your recipe.
Coconut OilCoconut oil is a plant-based substitute for lard. It has a mild flavor and can be used in both cooking and baking.Use an equal amount of coconut oil as you would with lard in your recipe.
ShorteningShortening is a solid fat made from vegetable oils. It has a high melting point, making it suitable for baking and frying.Use an equal amount of shortening as you would with lard in your recipe.
Vegetable FatVegetable fat is a generic term that includes various types of plant-based fats, such as palm or soybean oil. It can be used as a lard substitute.Use an equal amount of vegetable fat as you would with lard in your recipe.
MargarineMargarine is a spread made from vegetable oils. It is a suitable substitute for lard in many recipes, including baking and cooking.Use an equal amount of margarine as you would with lard in your recipe.

Now, let’s discuss each substitute in more detail:

1 – Butter


Another common substitution for lard is butter.

The best way to do this with fatback is by using it in equal quantities.

You can also use half butter and half shortening or three-quarters of a cup of each to every one cup of lard that’s needed.

This type of cooking has become very popular recently, and it is especially common in French and Italian homes.

This new type of cooking has gained a lot of steam and even some renown, and some people use butter as lard while others make compound butter; this may be because they want to add more taste or flavor.

2 – Coconut Oil

coconut oil

Coconut oil is a popular choice as a replacement for lard.

It is an easily attainable type of oil and can be found in most grocery or health food stores.

The best way to substitute coconut oil for lard is by using equal amounts, but it’s important to remember that the flavor will change slightly since this type of fat doesn’t have as neutral of a flavor as lard does.

Coconut oil is incredibly versatile and can be used in most recipes that call for lard.

It has become popular worldwide, but it has gained its popularity greatly in Western countries because of health concerns with animal products or hydrogenated oils (including margarine).

3 – Shortening


Shortening is another viable substitute for lard that you can use.

There are a few important things to keep in mind when using shortening, including how it behaves differently during the cooking process than lard does.

For example, it won’t provide the same flakiness or crispy texture since it’s made so that it doesn’t melt until very high temperatures.

Shortening is a product made from vegetable oils, and for this reason, it has gained popularity among vegetarians and vegans alike.

Many who shun animal products have been using shortening as their lard substitute even though they know that it’s not the healthiest of fats.

The good news is that some types of shortening are made with healthy oils, such as olive oil or canola oil.

4 – Vegetable Fat

vegetable fat

Another good substitute for lard is vegetable fat, which has recently gained popularity since it provides a flavor and texture similar to lard without negative health effects.

It’s important to note, though, that the frying temperatures will be different when using vegetable fat as a substitute.

Unlike lard or shortening, which doesn’t liquefy until very high temperatures, vegetable fat starts to melt at a much lower temperature.

This means that you’ll want to use it in recipes where the temperature will stay relatively low during cooking.

Using vegetable fat as a substitute for lard helps you avoid unhealthy ingredients and provides a flavor and texture that is very similar to what you get with lard.

It’s perfect for those who have been cooking with lard their entire lives and want to cut back on animal products or saturated fats from animal sources without sacrificing taste or texture.

5 – Margarine


Some people use margarine as a substitute for lard because it’s another easily accessible option for those who don’t want to cook with animal products.

It has the same properties as shortening when used as a replacement.

Although margarine is not as popular as vegetable fat or coconut oil, it is still a good substitute for lard because of its low cost and many varieties that allow you to use different flavors if desired.

Many people will consider margarine an alternative to lard since it has the same properties and texture when used in cooking and baking.

Margarine also comes with no cholesterol or saturated fats, which are two of the main ingredients found in animal lard.

If you’re looking for a substitute for lard that works just as well but doesn’t have the same health concerns, margarine is an excellent choice.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lard

Searching for alternatives to lard? Your quest ends here! Explore our carefully selected list of the 5 best substitutes for lard. Whether you're looking for healthier options or different flavor profiles, we've got you covered with these versatile alternatives to elevate your culinary creations.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Shortening
  • Vegetable Fat
  • Margarine


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for lard
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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