How to Replace Butter for Olive Oil

Olive oil is a healthy substitute for butter. One tbsp. of olive oil has 120 calories and 14 g of total fat, including 12 g of unsaturated fat. Olive oil contains no trans fats or cholesterol. Salted butter has 102 calories per tbsp. and 11.5 g of total fat, of which 7 g are saturated. Butter also contains 31 mg of cholesterol. Excess monounsaturated fats, a low saturated-fat content and an absence of cholesterol make olive oil a better alternative than butter for the heart.

Crusty French bread with olive oil. Credit: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

Step 1

Convert butter measurements to olive-oil measurements for your recipes. One tsp. of butter can be replaced by 3/4 tsp. of olive oil; 2 1/4 tsp. of olive oil can be used instead of 1 tbsp. of butter. Replace 1/4 cup of butter with 3 tbsp. of olive oil and 1/3 cup of butter with 1/4 cup of olive oil. One-half cup of butter can be substituted for 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. of olive oil; replace 2/3 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of olive oil. Replace 1 cup of butter with 3/4 cup of olive oil. Substitute 3/4 cup of butter with 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Use these conversions for baking, sautéing or frying.

Step 2

Spread or spray olive oil onto breads to which you would normally add butter, including garlic bread, French bread, bagels and toast. Pour olive oil into a small bowl and dip your breads into the oil for flavoring.

Step 3

Use an olive-oil spray to coat your pans when frying and baking instead of adding a layer of butter. This will add flavor and moisture to your meals as well as prevent your food from sticking to your pans. Purchase extra-virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil to ensure quality and preserve flavor. Use virgin olive oil, which is less expensive, for baking, frying and sautéing and extra-virgin olive oil for uncooked dishes such as side salads or breads.

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