Whether you are a non-vegetarian or vegetarian, finding the best substitutes for lard might be necessary if you want to avoid pork.

This traditional cooking fat is derived from the fatty parts of the pig through boiling or cooking to separate out impurities and water. 

Due to its unique flavor and high smoke point, lard is quite popular among chefs for baking and cooking in high heat, particularly for making pie crust or cooking Mexican, Central European, or Chinese cuisines.

However, consuming pig fat is not healthy for those who have heart disease. In that case, there are some widely available lard substitutes that you can use for cooking or baking.

Read on to learn about the available options you can use instead of lard.

Substitutes for Lard

Lard Substitutes You Can Try

1. Butter

Butter is a dairy product that is available in almost every grocery shop. It can be a great choice if you want to make your baking goods a bit flavorful. [1]

Butter is a popular choice in baking cakes, cookies, and bread. It can easily mimic the moistness and flakiness of lard, which make it one of the closest alternative to this pig fat.

However, if you’re a vegetarian or allergic to dairy products, butter won’t be a good option for you.

2. Beef Tallow

Beef tallow is the rendered form of beef fat that is primarily made up of triglycerides. This cooking fat is solid in the room temperature and can be stored without a refrigerator. [2]

Being an animal fat, beef tallow is a common substitute for lard when it comes to cooking in high heat, thanks to its high smoke point (400°F/250°C). 

If you want the similar meat flavor in your dishes but can’t have pork, beef tallow can be an excellent option for you.

3. Vegetable Shortening

Vegetable shortening is made from soybean or palm oil and can be a good option for baking and frying if you’re a vegetarian.

With a higher smoke point, this semi-solid fat has a lot in common with lard. Vegetable shortening is particularly safe for frying as it has less water and thus is less prone to spattering.

However, you’re suggested to avoid using palm shortening for the sake of the environment.

4. Coconut Oil

Rich in MCTs and antioxidants, coconut oil is considered as one of the healthiest substitutes for lard.

This popular kitchen staple can be an excellent choice of cooking for those who cannot use lard due to heart problems.

According to a 2016 research, regular consumption of coconut oil may reduce the risk of heart disease. [3]

Coconut oil can be perfect for frying as it has a high smoke point of 350°F/175°C.

Substitutes for Lard

5. Fruit Puree

If you love baking goods but want to avoid cholesterol and fat at the same time, fruit purees like prune puree or mashes banana can be a great replacement of lard.

Like lard, fruit puree can bring the moist texture in your baking dish with a slight fruity flavor in it. It’s a healthy alternative to lard as fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals.


Finding a good lard substitute is important whether you’re adopting the traditional cooking techniques or trying to keep your heart healthy.

Both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian alternatives are readily available at your nearest grocery shops. Some of them are even easy to make at home, such as fruit puree.

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