Almond butter is a popular and versatile ingredient used in both sweet and savory recipes. With its creamy texture and nutty flavor, almond butter makes a tasty spread, adds nutrition to smoothies, and can be used to make sauces, dips, and baked goods like cookies and muffins.
However, you may need or want an almond butter substitute for several reasons:
Allergies: You or someone you are cooking for may have an allergy or sensitivity to almonds or tree nuts. Having safe alternatives is important.
Availability: Almond butter can be more expensive or harder to find than some other nut butter. It may sell out at times.
Cost: Almond butter is generally pricier than peanut butter. Substitutes can save you money.
Flavor: While almond butter has a pleasant mild and nutty taste, you may sometimes want a different flavor profile.
Dietary Needs: Certain diets like paleo, keto, or vegan call for alternatives to almond butter at times.
Not to worry - there are many delicious options for replacing almond butter in recipes and uses!
Nut-Based Almond Butter Substitutes
If tree nuts are not a concern, these nut butter make excellent substitutes for the texture and nutrition of almond butter.
Peanut butter is one of the most popular and easiest-to-find almond butter alternatives. With its smooth, creamy texture and nutty flavor, peanut butter works wonderfully in place of almond butter in just about any recipe or use, from toast to cookies to smoothies.
It provides a similar nutritional profile with healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Just be aware that peanut butter has a slightly sweeter flavor, so the overall taste of the dish may change slightly. But the swap is easy since you can substitute 1:1 in recipes.
Cashew butter is a great option if you want a milder flavored nut butter. It has a subtle nutty sweetness and ultra-smooth and creamy consistency. Cashew butter contains beneficial nutrients like magnesium, copper, and antioxidants.
It works very well in spreads, smoothies, sauces, baked goods, and more in place of almond butter. The taste of the finished recipe will be a bit milder and subtly sweet since cashew butter has less prominent nutty notes.
With its very rich, robust nutty flavor and velvety texture, pecan butter makes a tasty almond butter substitute in both sweet and savory recipes. It provides nutrients like vitamin E, thiamin, zinc, and plant-based omega-3s.
Pecan butter is easy to make at home by grinding toasted pecans in a food processor. It works well in cookies, bars, smoothies, sauces, spreads, and more in place of almond butter.
Looking for a nut butter with a more indulgent flavor? Hazelnut butter is your ticket. With its intensely nutty, earthy, and subtly sweet flavor, hazelnut butter makes baked goods, spreads, sauces, and more taste extra gourmet.
It also happens to pair fabulously with chocolate. Like other nut butter, it provides healthy fats, plant-based protein, fiber, vitamin E, manganese, and folate. Substitute hazelnut butter 1:1 for almond butter in recipes.
Macadamia butter has a mild, sweet flavor with a velvety smooth texture. It has a higher fat content than other nut butter, providing the mono- and poly-unsaturated fats that are beneficial for heart health.
It has a creamy consistency that makes it perfect for smoothies, spreads, dressings, or anywhere else you want to add a nutty richness. Substitute 1:1 for almond butter.
Seed & Nut-Free Almond Butter Substitutes
For nut allergies or another reason to avoid nut butter, these seed and nut-free substitutes work beautifully.
Sunflower Seed Butter
Sunflower seed butter is a fantastic nut-free alternative with a similar consistency to almond butter. Made from roasted sunflower seeds, it has a distinctive earthy, nutty flavor. Sunflower seed butter contains vitamin E, magnesium, and healthy fats.
It works wonderfully in place of almond butter in baked goods, smoothies, sauces, spreads, and more. The greenish tinge it can impart to baked goods is harmless.
Pumpkin Seed Butter
With its mild nutty flavor and creamy green texture, pumpkin seed butter (made from pumpkin seeds aka pepitas) is a stellar nut-free choice. It provides nutrients like magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and protein.
Pumpkin seed butter can be used just like almond butter in spreads, smoothies, oatmeal, sauces, cookies, and more. It has a subtle earthy taste that complements both sweet and savory recipes.
Tahini is a versatile sesame seed butter that works beautifully in recipes calling for almond butter. Made from ground sesame seeds, it has an ultra-creamy texture and a distinct nutty, slightly bitter taste.
Tahini adds a wonderful flavor to hummus, salad dressings, sauces, baked goods, and more. It contains calcium, iron, zinc, copper, and other minerals. Substitute 1:1 for almond butter in recipes.
Coconut butter (not to be confused with coconut oil) is made from the meat of fresh coconut. It has a similar consistency to nut butter, with a rich, sweet coconut flavor.
Coconut butter contains beneficial nutrients like manganese, copper, iron, and fiber. It works very well in place of almond butter in smoothies, no-bake desserts, baked goods, oatmeal, and more.
Surprisingly, creamy mashed avocado can work as an almond butter substitute in some recipes thanks to its rich texture and healthy fats. It adds creaminess to smoothies and toast.
However, it does have a distinct green color and flavor. It works best in small amounts or recipes where avocado would complement other ingredients.
Other Creative Almond Butter Substitutes
These substitutions offer their own unique nutritional benefits and flavors.
In savory dishes that call for almond butter as an ingredient, peanut sauce makes a tasty substitution. Widely used in Thai and Asian cuisines, peanut sauce has a rich, nutty sweetness that complements stir-fries, noodle dishes, satays, spring rolls, and more.
In savory recipes, hummus can stand in for almond butter surprisingly well. It has a creamy consistency and provides nutrition like protein, fiber, and minerals from chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
Hummus works nicely as a substitute in spreads, dips, salad dressings, and sauces - anywhere you want a nutty creaminess.
While the flavor is different, protein-packed Greek yogurt mimics the rich, creamy texture of almond butter nicely. It works well as a substitute in smoothies, oatmeal, chia puddings, sauces, and more.
Just note Greek yogurt is not suitable for those avoiding dairy. Vegan yogurt is an option.
Applesauce makes an unexpected but effective substitute for small amounts of almond butter in baked goods thanks to its moisture and natural binding ability. It works best in recipes that are already sweet in flavor.
Mashed ripe bananas can mimic the texture of almond butter in some recipes. It works well in smoothies, baked goods, and chia puddings. Bananas provide fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.
Granola or Oat Butter
With its neutral, creamy flavor and texture, oat or granola butter made from blended oats can substitute for almond butter nicely in recipes where you want a milder flavor. It works well in smoothies, baked goods, spreads, and more.
How to Choose the Best Almond Butter Substitute
With so many options for almond butter swaps, which should you choose? Here are some tips:
- Allergies: Select a safe substitute if nut or peanut allergies are a concern. Sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, and coconut butter are good nut-free choices.
- Flavor: Think about the flavor profile you want. Peanut and cashew butter are milder, while pecan, hazelnut, and walnut butter are more robust. Coconut butter has tropical notes.
- Texture: If a recipe relies on almond butter for binding or structure, choose a substitute with a similar thick, creamy texture. Nut and seed butter fit the bill.
- Sweet or Savory: Nut butter works well in both sweet and savory recipes. Hummus, peanut sauce, and black bean paste are great for savory dishes. Applesauce and bananas work better in sweets.
- Use: Evaluate how the almond butter is being used. spreads, sauces, baked goods, smoothies, and oatmeal can all utilize the substitutes listed.
- Dietary Needs: If following paleo, keto, or vegan diets with restrictions, select a substitute that fits the diet.
With so many nutritious and delicious options, you can feel good about choosing an almond butter alternative that suits your recipe, taste preferences, and dietary needs!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is peanut butter a good substitute for almond butter?
Yes, peanut butter is one of the best and most popular substitutes for almond butter. The two have a very similar texture and both provide healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Peanut butter has a slightly sweeter and less prominent nutty taste, but it can be swapped 1:1 for almond butter in any recipe.
What's the healthiest almond butter substitute?
Some of the healthiest alternatives are cashew butter, walnut butter, sunflower seed butter, pumpkin seed butter, and pecan butter. These all provide healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals essential for good health. Which is healthiest comes down to your specific nutritional needs.
What can I use if I'm allergic to nuts?
Great nut-free substitutes for almond butter include sunflower seed butter, pumpkin seed butter, coconut butter, soy nut butter, mashed avocado, hummus, black bean spread, peanut sauce, and applesauce or banana. Always check labels for potential allergens.
Is sunflower seed butter a good substitute for almond butter?
Sunflower seed butter makes an excellent almond butter substitute, especially for those with nut allergies. It has a similar consistency and provides nutrients like healthy fats, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E. Sunflower seed butter has more of an earthy, green taste but can be swapped 1:1 for almond butter in recipes.
Can I use cashew butter in place of almond butter?
Yes, cashew butter can easily be substituted for almond butter. The two have very similar textures and nutritional profiles. Cashew butter has a more subtle, mildly sweet flavor. Otherwise, you can replace almond butter with an equal amount of cashew butter in any recipe.
With many great alternatives to choose from, you can find an almond butter substitute to suit your taste preferences, diet, and nutrition needs. Nut butters like peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and walnuts make tasty options. Seed butter like sunflower or pumpkin swap well for nut-free recipes. Applesauce, hummus, Greek yogurt, and more can work too.
Experiment with different almond butter swaps to find your favorites! Just keep in mind differences in flavor and texture. With versatile options for smoothies, toast, baked goods, sauces, and more, you can enjoy delicious recipes even without almond butter.