Good substitutes for vegetable oil include applesauce, fruit puree, lard, vegetable shortening, melted margarine and melted butter. Certain vegetable oil substitutes work well in baked goods, while others are better suited to cooking or frying.
For baking recipes, applesauce or fruit puree can be substituted for vegetable oil. For frying recipes, vegetable oil can be substituted with lard or vegetable shortening. The vegetable oil in muffin recipes can be substituted for melted margarine, butter or shortening. Different substitutes have different impacts on the recipe. For instance, unsweetened applesauce and mashed bananas lower the calorie count of the recipe and add moisture. Using butter as a substitute gives the dish a richer flavor.