Lard substitute?


I have a cookbook of traditional Hungarian recipes at home that I’m itching to use. Most of them use meat, which can easily be substituted for, but the problem is that almost every dish calls for lard.

Can anyone recommend a good substitute for lard (and how much would be equal to x lbs. of lard)?

18 Responses to “Lard substitute?”

  1. CompassRose

    That depends on where the lard is going, and how low-fat you want to be.

    If the lard is just being used in a stew or something, for preliminary sauteing, for instance, substitute oil of your choice. (Or oil spray, if you like.) You can usually reduce the oil A LOT as well, possibly with the addition of water, broth, wine or whatever if the sauteed materials start to stick a bit.

    If it’s in baking, you can substitute any vegetable shortening. Spectrum (maybe?) makes one that doesn’t have transfats. There’s been a lot of discussion over on Vegsource about this.

    Again, if you want to be lower-fat (even all-natural organic vegetable shortening is 100% fat) there are other workarounds. For savoury baking, you can use various ratios of shortening or margarine to tofu/well-pureed cottage cheese/yogourt/pumpkin/etc. For sweet baking, you can do the same, with the addition of other fruit purees: applesauce, prune, date… depending on other ingredients. This is largely a matter of experimentation.

    As to how much lard weighs, I’m not sure. If you’re substituting straight shortening, I’d try weight-for-weight; they should be about the same. The Joy of Cooking may have this info, if you’ve got it.

    What kinda recipes you talking, here?

  2. Ryan

    CompassRose — thanks for the reply.

    When I head home this evening, I’ll give you some more specific examples of recipes in the book… I know there are a bunch of stews and goulashes in there.

  3. Rob

    You can substitute it with your ass. Lard ass.

  4. Robert

    I knew Rob would beat me to the joke punch. Curse you, Craven!

    My mom says that when/where she grew up it was common to eat straight lard for breakfast. Ugh.

  5. Alice

    Do you know what 1/4 cup of lard would translate to in veg oil?

  6. Missy

    I found this here site while looking up lard substitutes, and then found one with some better answers, so I thought I’d share. Here’s the website:
    And here’s the info:

    For baking
    General notes: Reducing fat will give baked goods a denser texture; to correct for this, try increasing the sugar in the recipe and/or beating the egg whites and folding them into the batter. Also try using a softer flour, like pastry or cake flour.
    applesauce (Applesauce can replace up to of the shortening in many recipes. Add with the liquid ingredients and reduce sugar in recipe if the applesauce is sweetened.) OR
    pureed prunes (Pureed prunes can replace up to of the shortening in many recipes; it works especially well with chocolate. Add with the liquid ingredients.) OR
    apple butter (Apple butter can replace up to of the shortening in many recipes, also reduce sugar in recipe if the apple butter is sweetened. Add with the liquid ingredients.) OR
    fruit-based fat substitutes (Especially good when baking with chocolate; add with the liquid ingredients. For best results, substitute only 3/4 of the fat with this.)OR
    ricotta cheese (This works well in many yeast breads that call for solid fat. Substitute measure for measure. For best results, substitute no more than 3/4 of the fat with this.) OR
    bananas (mashed) (Substitute measure for measure.) OR
    omit or reduce (In many recipes for quick breads, muffins, and cookies, you can reduce the amount of fat in the recipe by about a third without seriously compromising the quality.
    oil (Avoid substituting oils for solid fats when baking cookies, cakes, and pastries; it will make the dish greasy and dense. If you must do so, substitute 3 parts oil for every 4 parts solid fat and consider increasing the amount of sugar and eggs in the recipe. Pie crusts made with oil aren’t as flaky as those made with solid fat.)

    Hope this is helpful!

  7. lazydazy

    how do you propose i make refried beans w/o using lard? i definitely don’t want to use it b/c it’s gross and b/c it’s so fattening. any ideas on low fat refritos?

  8. Delores Langley

    Can I use butter in place of Crisco in cookies? If so how much butter is equal to to Crisco amt.

  9. Karla Thorner

    I am looking for a re fried beans recipe also… Any help here… what can be used as substitute for lard?

  10. Natalie

    I have made vegetarian refried beans two different ways. The first is to add butter, the other is to add olive oil (to make them vegan). In either recipe, I always add cumin, and liquid smoke. I find that a tiny amount of vinegar at the end rounds out the flavors nicely. I have never made veg refried beans using Crisco ( or any other veg shortening) does anyone have any input on the use of Crisco?

  11. Heather

    Delores, butter can be used in cookies weight-for-weight and from personal experience butter always turns out better than Crisco (at least cookie-wise).

  12. Tii

    Hi, in my culture we usually have tamales for the Christmas Holiday’s but I’m trying to stay fit because I’ve been on a diet for awhile. I would rather make my own tamales w/o using LARD, could I substitute that for Canola Oiil?

  13. Tii

    Oops meant OIL, not Oiil.

  14. melinda robles

    can i use lard for butter icing?

  15. ryan

    You probably can, technically, but it’s freaking disgusting and sucks for the animals, so don’t.

  16. Sally @ Find Return

    Have you tried a really light oil?

  17. Katharine Varga

    I found a tamale recipe that calls for lard and that grossed me out. I think I’ll try mashed sweet plantains in place of. With the cornmeal I think it will do and add a nice sweet touch. Wish me luck.

  18. Julius

    I don’t have proof, but I’m testing a theory to see if goat cheese will work.

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