9 Best Substitutes For Lard

Lard is a type of semisolid fat that’s commonly used in cooking and baking foods. It gives dishes a rich flavor and creamy texture.

However, you may want to use other substitutes for lard if your dietary restrictions or religious beliefs prevent you from eating dishes high in saturated fat or made from pork.

Coconut oil, butter, beef tallow, olive oil, ghee, vegetable oil, avocado, and mashed banana are all good lard alternatives that you can use instead and still achieve delectable results.

Let’s dig further into them to see how they can replace lard in your diets!

What Is Lard?

Substitutes For Lard

To rightfully identify the possible substitutes for lard, you will need to understand what type of ingredient it is. 

Lard is a white product with a semi-solid form that can be made by steaming, boiling, or dry heating the fat tissue of the pig. 

Lard is generally obtained by a process called rendering, whereby the pork fat is separated from the fatty portions of a pig, mostly from the pork belly, but it can also be gotten from the pork shoulder as well.

Lard is an old ingredient that is usually used to add a crust to pies, but it’s mainly used nowadays for making pastry or for recipes that call for lard.

Lard has a semi-solid consistency and can be used for roasting, sauteing, frying, and baking. Its high melting point makes it a great choice to include in pie crusts and pastries. 

If you can’t get some lard or you want a healthier substitute, there are several other replacements you can use as a substitute for lard. They include olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil to mention but a few.

Many cuisines input lard as cooking fat or shortening, and it is spread just like butter. Most western cuisines now use vegetable oil, but many cooks and bakers still prefer lard. 

Good lard can be classified as unsaturated fat, which makes it healthier than most cooking butter that we usually make use of. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the different substitute for lard

Best Substitutes For Lard

1. Butter

A stick of butter works perfectly as a substitute for lard. It can be used in different recipes, including baking, frying, and cooking. It is particularly perfect in pie crusts, cookies, dough, and tortilla shells.

Butter contains less fat compared to lard which means you would need more butter than lard in most recipes. You can use unsalted or salted butter, but using unsalted butter is mostly recommended; this will keep the use of additional salt in check.

You’ll need 1 1/4 cups of butter in replacement of 1 cup of lard

2. Ghee

Ghee is a form of clarified butter and makes an excellent substitute for lard. It is sometimes overlooked, but it delivers the same rich buttery flavor which works well in pie crust, tortillas, beans, halal, and other baked dishes.

Ghee also contains lower fat compared to lard, so you’ll need more ghee when using it as a substitute for lard.

You’ll need 1-1/4 cups ghee in replacement of 1 cup of lard 

3. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is commonly used in deep frying and baking. It is also an excellent substitute for lard. Vegetable oil has a high smoke point which makes it ideal for frying, roasting, sautéing and grilling.

You can use vegetable oil to replace lard when making cookies and cakes to achieve a denser and less fluffy result.

Vegetable oil is better substituted for lard when frying than baking cakes and cookies.

You can substitute 7/8 cup of vegetable oil for 1 cup of lard 

4. Beef Tallow

Beef tallow serves as an excellent substitute for lard in different recipes. Beef tallow is quite similar to lard as it is also rendered fat that has had any impurities cooked out of it.

Their similarities allow you to use beef tallow in replacement for lard at a 1:1 ratio in almost all recipes.

Beef tallow can be used in pie crusts, frying, and baking. You may be unable to tell the difference when you replace lard with beef tallow in your recipe.

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing beef tallow with lard

5. Coconut Oil

A vegan substitute for lard is coconut oil; it makes an excellent replacement for lard in all types of dishes. Coconut oil can be used in baking, frying, roasting, and grilling.

Coconut tastes quite different from lard, which may impact your finished recipe and give it a noticeably different taste.

This is why you should only use coconut oil in dishes where coconut flavor is complimentary.

You can use a 1:1 substitution ratio when replacing lard with coconut oil

6. Avocado

This is another interesting lard alternative for those seeking a vegan or vegetarian replacement option. Avocado has a similar texture and a high-fat content like lard; this makes it excellent for baked recipes.

You can use avocado in replacement of lard when making cake or cookies. It also works great in bread and muffins.

Avocado has an amazing flavor that pairs well with many dishes, and they are easily sourced most times of the year.

You’ll need 1/2 cup of mashed avocado in place of 1 cup of lard 

7. Olive Oil

Olive oil has risen to stardom during recent years, and it’s no surprise why. There are very versatile with numerous nutrient content.

Olive oil is an excellent substitute for lard and can be used for frying, sautéing, and roasting.

However, olive oil has a different flavor than lard, this may be prominent in some dishes, but it usually works out fine in many dishes. If you are baking or making a sweet dessert, olive oil may not be the best replacement option for lard.

You can use a 1:1 ratio when substituting olive oil for lard

8. Mashed Bananas

Another vegan and low-calorie substitute for lard are mashed bananas. Mash bananas work excellently in baked dishes and provide extra nutrients to your dish. 

Bananas can be used for baked desserts but may not turn out very well for frying or savory recipes. You can use mashed bananas to replace lard when baking bread, muffins, or cake.

You can substitute 1 cup of lard with 1/2 cup of mashed bananas

9. Homemade Lard

If your recipe calls for the use of lard, but you cannot find it at your local grocery store, then you can decide to make your own lard. You will need about 2 lbs of pork back fat commonly used for cooking.

Chop the pork back into small, evenly sized chunks. Then add two tablespoons of tap water into a saucepan, this is to prevent the meat from sticking and burning off in the pan.

Place the pieces of pork back on the saucepan and cook them over medium-low heat. Within the first 10-15 minutes of cooking, the fat should draw out slowly. 

Stir the fat occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pan. Stirring constantly also helps to hasten the process as it enables the solid bits to come directly in contact with the pan.

Add more fat carefully to avoid spillage; once cooled, transfer the lard into a storage container. Continue cooking the pork back until you have no liquids left. This usually takes about 90 minutes, depending on the quantity of pork back.

When you have successfully melted down the final bits of liquid, allow it to cool down on the counter. You can store leftovers of fat known as chicharrones in the fridge for up to a month.

Recommended Readings:

Leave a Comment