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Can You Can Mix Olive Oil And Vegetable Oil? Answered

Olive oil and vegetable oil, a dynamic duo or oil disaster? Dive into this slippery subject with our editor and find out!

You’re home, preparing to cook up a meal that requires a generous glug or two of olive oil.

You pull out the extra virgin olive oil bottle only to find it nearly empty. A quick search of your pantry reveals a full bottle of vegetable oil.

Now, you’re left wondering: Can you mix olive oil and vegetable oil? If so, just how well do these two oils play together? Is what you’re thinking about culinary heresy, or could you have made an ingenious discovery?

The answer is not black and white, and as is often the case in cooking, it depends. Different oils, after all, perform differently under varying cooking conditions—and each has its unique flavor profile. So today, we’re going to explore the possibilities, the do’s and don’ts, and the whys and why nots of mixing olive oil and vegetable oil.

Mixing Olive Oil and Vegetable Oil

Can You Mix Olive Oil And Vegetable Oil When Frying?

While you certainly can mix olive oil and vegetable oil when frying, it’s essential to understand the properties of these oils if you want to do so effectively.

Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, has a low smoke point at anywhere between 350°F and 410°F.1Eckelkamp, S. (2021, January 21). What to Know About Olive Oil’s Smoke Point. OliveOil.com. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from https://www.oliveoil.com/olive-oil-smoke-point/ In contrast, vegetable oil, which is often made from soybeans, corn, or sunflower seeds, has a higher smoke point—closer to 450°F.2(2023, March 13). Cooking Oil Smoke Points. WebstaurantStore. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from https://www.webstaurantstore.com/article/800/cooking-oil-smoke-points.html

If you’re shallow frying or sautéing, a mix of these oils could work. The olive oil would impart a distinctive, robust flavor, while the vegetable oil would afford a little more heat tolerance.

Even so, it’s a good idea to keep a watchful eye on the pan. Overheating the oils can lead to a smoky kitchen and an unpleasantly bitter taste in your food.

Can You Mix Olive Oil And Vegetable Oil When Deep Frying?

For deep frying, the temperature is key.

When deep frying, you’re typically working with temperatures around 325°F to 375°F—a range that sits at the upper limit of olive oil’s smoke point.3Dunford, N. (2021, March 1). Deep Fat Frying Basics for Food Services. OSU Extension. Retrieved May 19, 2023, from https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/deep-fat-frying-basics-for-food-services.html

While olive oil can technically withstand these temperatures, its unique flavor compounds can degrade, resulting in a lost opportunity to imbue your food with that distinct olive oil charm.

A mix of olive and vegetable oil could potentially help you strike a balance between flavor and temperature tolerance. Just bear in mind that you won’t get the same olive oil punch that you’d experience in a sauté or shallow fry.

Can You Mix Olive Oil And Vegetable Oil When Baking?

Olive oil and vegetable oil can make for a harmonious partnership in baking.

As baking generally involves lower temperatures than frying, the smoke point of olive oil is going to be less of an issue. Olive oil’s robust flavor can enhance many baked goods, while the milder vegetable oil can ensure the olive oil doesn’t overpower.

Experimentation is key here. Try a 50/50 mix in a simple recipe—say, a quick bread or an experimental batch of muffins—and adjust based on your flavor preference.

Can You Mix Olive Oil And Vegetable Oil For Salad Dressing?

Absolutely. In fact, this is where the mix of olive oil and vegetable oil can shine.

Olive oil provides the rich, fruity notes, while vegetable oil offers a neutral background that allows other dressing ingredients—like tangy vinegar, fresh herbs, or pungent garlic—to take center stage.

Here too, a 50/50 ratio is a good starting point. From there, you can tweak to your heart’s content, perhaps opting for more olive oil if you want a fuller flavor or leaning into vegetable oil for a more muted taste.

Can You Mix Olive Oil And Vegetable Oil For Marinade?

Marinades are another arena where the combination of olive oil and vegetable oil can excel.

Like in a salad dressing, the blend of these oils allows you to balance flavor and subtlety, ensuring that the oils complement rather than compete with your marinade’s other components.

The ratio?

Again, a 50/50 ratio can work beautifully, but feel free to adjust it based on your specific needs.

If you’re marinating a delicately flavored fish, for example, you might want more vegetable oil to let the fish’s flavor shine. For a robust cut of beef, a higher proportion of olive oil could provide the assertive presence you’re after.

Olive Oil and Vegetable Oil, Compared

Olive oil and vegetable oil, despite their common presence in kitchens, are quite different beasts.


Olive oil, with its rich history and central role in Mediterranean cuisine, is celebrated for its depth of flavor and potential health benefits. Its distinct notes can range from fruity to spicy, depending on the variety.

Vegetable oil, on the other hand, is often appreciated for its versatility and neutrality. It’s the culinary equivalent of a blank canvas, ready to let other ingredients take the spotlight. This flexibility, combined with its high smoke point, makes it a go-to for many cooks, especially for high-heat cooking methods.


Price is another key distinction between olive oil and vegetable oil. Generally, olive oil is more expensive than vegetable oil.

The cost of olive oil reflects several factors, including its manufacturing process, which requires a large number of olives and a rigorous process to ensure quality. Furthermore, extra virgin olive oil, which represents the highest quality tier, is derived from the first pressing of the olives, contributing to its premium price.

Vegetable oil, typically composed of cheaper and more readily available crops such as soybeans, corn, or sunflower seeds, is less expensive to produce and therefore less costly for the consumer. This affordability, coupled with its versatile cooking properties, is why vegetable oil is a staple in many kitchens.

That said, the choice between these oils often boils down to a balance between budget, flavor preference, and nutritional considerations. See below for the latter.

Nutritional Value

When it comes to nutritional value, both olive oil and vegetable oil are fat sources and, as such, high in calories —around 120 calories per tablespoon, to be precise.4USDA (2017, January 1). Olive Oil. FoodData Central. Retrieved May 20, 2023, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103861/nutrients However, the type of fats and other nutrients they contain set them apart.

Olive oil, particularly extra virgin, is known for its health benefits.5Ilak Peršurić, A.S., & Težak Damijanić, A. (2021). Connections between Healthy Behaviour, Perception of Olive Oil Health Benefits, and Olive Oil Consumption Motives. Sustainability.

Its main fat is oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid that makes up about 72% of its total fat content.6Puthli, A., Tiwari, R., & Prasad Mishra, K. (2018). Normal bystander keratinocytes protected by oleic acid against low dose radiation induced factor’s. Journal of Cancer Prevention & Current Research, 9(3). https://doi.org/10.15406/jcpcr.2018.09.00338

Monounsaturated fatty acids have been linked to heart health as they can help reduce bad cholesterol levels and provide some nutrients that can help lower the risk of heart disease.7Grundy S. M. (1989). Monounsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol metabolism: implications for dietary recommendations. The Journal of nutrition119(4), 529–533. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/119.4.5298Summaries for patients. Changes in triglyceride levels and risk for coronary heart disease in young men. (2007). Annals of internal medicine147(6), I45. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-147-6-200709180-00003

Additionally, extra virgin olive oil is packed with antioxidants, such as vitamin E and polyphenols. These substances can help fight inflammation and have been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, although the opinion of the scientific community of their exact role is mixed.9La Fata, G., Weber, P., & Mohajeri, M. H. (2014). Effects of vitamin E on cognitive performance during ageing and in Alzheimer’s disease. Nutrients6(12), 5453–5472. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu612545310Jiang Q. (2019). Natural forms of vitamin E and metabolites-regulation of cancer cell death and underlying mechanisms. IUBMB life71(4), 495–506. https://doi.org/10.1002/iub.1978 Olive oil also contains a modest amount of vitamin K.

Vegetable oil, on the other hand, is a broad term for any plant-based oil, but in the United States, it usually refers to soybean oil.

The exact nutritional composition can vary depending on the specific blend of oils, but generally, vegetable oils are rich in polyunsaturated fats, including omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.11Wallis, J. G., Bengtsson, J. D., & Browse, J. (2022). Molecular Approaches Reduce Saturates and Eliminate trans Fats in Food Oils. Frontiers in plant science13, 908608. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.90860812Mukhametov, A.E., & Guerrini, L. (2022). QUALITATIVE INDICATORS MAYONNESIS «DOMASHNII» FROM A MIXTURE OF VEGETABLE OILS. HERALD OF SCIENCE OF S SEIFULLIN KAZAKH AGRO TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY.

While polyunsaturated fats are essential fats that our bodies can’t produce, a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats—quite common in the western diet—can contribute to inflammation and has been associated with an increased risk of certain diseases.13May-Wilson, S., Sud, A., Law, P. J., Palin, K., Tuupanen, S., Gylfe, A., Hänninen, U. A., Cajuso, T., Tanskanen, T., Kondelin, J., Kaasinen, E., Sarin, A. P., Eriksson, J. G., Rissanen, H., Knekt, P., Pukkala, E., Jousilahti, P., Salomaa, V., Ripatti, S., Palotie, A., … Houlston, R. S. (2017). Pro-inflammatory fatty acid profile and colorectal cancer risk: A Mendelian randomisation analysis. European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990)84, 228–238. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2017.07.034

In other words, while vegetable oils are not unhealthy per se, their health impact can depend on the overall balance of fats in your diet.

The Takeaways

Can you mix olive oil and vegetable oil?

Yes, you absolutely and positively can. But for best results, do so cautiously.

When frying or deep frying, a mix can work, but be aware of the different smoke points and how they can affect your food’s flavor.

In baking, a blend of olive and vegetable oil can offer a balance of richness and subtlety.

For salad dressings and marinades, mixing these two oils can allow you to fine-tune the flavor to suit your taste buds.

In the end, cooking is both a science and an art. Knowledge of the basic principles—like oil properties—provides a strong foundation. But from there, it’s all about your personal preferences and the joy of experimentation.

Know your author

Written by

Dim is a food writer, cookbook author, and the editor of Home Cook World. His first book, Cooking Methods & Techniques, was published in 2022. He is a certified food handler with Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates in Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering, and a trained cook with a Level 3 Professional Chef Diploma.