CopyKat Answers Your Questions – What is Salad Oil?

So we know that peanut oil from peanuts, corn oil comes from corn, sunflower oil well comes from sunflower seeds. So does salad oil come from salads? Well, I must say it does not come from salads at all. In fact, salad oil can mean many different types of oils.

vegetable oil poured over a salad

Recipes used to call salad oil

Salad oil is a generic term referring to a variety of oil that you can use for a recipe. Many recipes written years ago often refer to salad oil. Lots of recipes in my grandmother’s recipe archives all call for this type of oil.

Salad oil is another term for light tasting vegetable oil. You can use oils like vegetable, canola, corn, peanut, or other light flavored oils. You will want to stay away from oils that give a lot of flavor to a dish.

different bottles of vegetable oil

Oils that are poor substitutes

You might be inclined to think that an extra virgin olive oil would be perfect, but it is not a good choice because an oil like an extra virgin olive oil has a lot of extra flavors. An oil like a nut oil would also be a poor choice because they also impart a flavor that will not allow the recipe’s flavors to shine through.

So when you see a recipe with this type of oil listed in there, be sure to pick something very neutral that will not give any additional flavors. Again, shoot for an oil that has no flavor.

Recipes designed for Salad oil


Get Answers to These Ingredient Questions

Be sure to check out more of my easy copycat recipes and homemade salads and dressings.

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. evixir

    I’m looking through old recipes but maybe this will help someone — not sure if ‘sandwich oil’ is considered the same thing, but you can often find that product near the grocery store deli or sometimes in the salad dressing section.

  2. Patcsrq

    I have often fretted because I took a gamble and used either vegetable oil or canola oil when a recipe called for salad oil. I have NEVER found anything on any grocery shelf that said salad oil. I finally woke up and “googled” it. Thank you for your explanation.

  3. Socio BR

    óleo de salada, é um termo genérico ,utilizado pelos fabricantes de óleos para nomear um produto que é uma mistura de óleos, normalmente um sub-produto da indústria.
    O melhor óleo para saladas é o azeite de oliva extra-virgem com acidez de 0,5 %.
    Abraços Socio

  4. Anonymous

    olive oil is great on salads. I’ve only ever used extra virgin olive oil on salad and I could not dream of using anything else. But then again, I’m Italian.

    • Todd

      Salad oil is not referring to salad dressing oil. But rather it is a cooking term that means light or NO flavor oils . As the article said. Of course olive oil could be good on a salad as a dressing.

  5. MaggieB

    Not often you see that term in a recipe anymore… made me think of my daughter…. at Christmas time she borrowed my pizzelle iron & I loaned her my mother’s recipe that came with it.
    I got a phone call asking what the heck oleo is! LOL!
    I never had given it a thought before that, there are recipes out there with terms that the 30 and unders do not have a clue what some of the terms in them mean!

    • Jennifer

      That’s too funny, I was looking through a family recipe book and noticed a lot of recipes called for oleo. I had to call my mom and ask her what it was, I never heard of it! My mom got a kick out of that too.

    • namor

      because these smug >30s couldn’t be bothered to say their secrets, oleo is just a colloquial term for margarine.

      WOW LIKE OMG !!!

      • RX3wactx

        There was something called Salad oil (the label actually said Salad oil) seems like it faded out around the late 1960’s, I wonder what happened

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