How to Cook Without Oil: 11 Healthy Recipes to Try

Are you thinking about switching to an oil-free diet or cutting back on your oil consumption?

While oil adds flavor to your dishes and offers some health benefits, cutting back on oil can also be beneficial for your health. 

For starters, it can help you save on calories. Just one tablespoon of olive oil has a whopping 120 calories! Additionally, an oil-free diet can help prevent heart disease

But, if you're used to cooking with oil, how do you make do without it?

Check out this guide to discover how to cook without oil using some very tasty recipes. 

General Tips for Cooking Without Oil 

Before we dive into the recipes, let's discuss some general tips for cooking without oil. Here's what you need to do to make it easier:

  • Invest in a Non-stick Pan: With cast-iron or stainless steel pans, your food could burn without oil, which is why a non-stick pan is the way to go
  • Replace Oil With Liquids When Frying: Instead of using oil to fry or saute things on the stove, try replacing it with a liquid such as water, soy sauce, liquid aminos, or vegetable broth
  • Try Steaming: Steaming veggies doesn't just help you cut back on oil, it also helps you cook your food faster. Many veggies that take up to an hour to cook in the oven can be steamed in as little as ten minutes
  • Use Your Oven More: To avoid using oil in the oven, we suggest lining your baking sheets with tin foil or parchment paper
  • Try Air Frying: Investing in an air fryer is another great way to cut back on oil. Additionally, air fryers allow you to cook your food in half the time 

As you can see, there are a lot of simple things you can do to cut back on the amount of oil you use throughout the day, as well as the amount of time you spend in the kitchen. 

How to Cook Without Oil: Top Recipes to Try 

Now that you have those tips for cooking without oil, let's talk about some of the best oil-free recipes you need to try. 

1. Garbanzo Bean Soup 


Garbanzo bean soup is the perfect recipe to start your oil-free journey. It's incredibly healthy, easy-to-make, and delicious. 

Here's what you need to make oil-free garbanzo bean soup:

  • 1 package of dry garbanzo (also known as chickpea) beans
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth

To make your soup extra veggie-filled, you may also want to add a cup of chopped carrots or a cup of chopped red potatoes. For a more robust flavor, you can also add a bit of basil and parsley. 

Here's how you prepare the soup:

  1. Soak the garbanzo beans the night before in about 6 cups of water
  2. Once soaked, drain and rinse them
  3. Place the beans in an instant pot along with 6 cups of water
  4. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes with the lid on
  5. Once the timer goes off, remove the lid and continue to cook beans in the "saute" mode
  6. While the beans cook, add onions, bell peppers, garlic and a 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to a medium saucepan
  7. Cook until tender, adding more veggies and broth as needed
  8. Once the veggies are soft, add them to the bean mixture
  9. Once the beans are soft, add in the spices and white vinegar
  10. Continue cooking beans over low heat until you reach your desired consistency

Once done, serve up with some fresh slices of avocado, bread, corn tortillas, or whatever your preferred side dish is!

2. Vegan Fettucini Alfredo 


A lot of the time, pasta and olive oil go hand in hand. But, you don't need to load your pasta with olive oil and heavy amounts of dairy in order for it to be delicious, and this vegan fettucini alfredo is proof of that!

Here's what you need to make this oil-free pasta:

  • 1 medium cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 4 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1 cup of heavy cream (vegan) or 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp white miso paste
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 lb of fettucini noodles
  • Pepper to taste
  • Parsley and vegan parmesan as a garnish

Here's how you prepare the pasta:

  1. Bring the vegetable broth, cauliflower, and garlic to a simmer over medium heat in a large saucepan
  2. Cook for about 10 minutes, or to the point where the cauliflower is soft and easily breaks apart when piercing it with a fork
  3. Add in the salt and white miso paste
  4. Blend the cauliflower along with the liquid into an immersion blender or stand blender, being careful not to pour too much in at once so hot liquid doesn't explode through the top
  5. In the meantime, cook the fettucini according to the package directions to make it al-dente
  6. Drain and return it to the pan, and then pour the sauce over the top 
  7. Stir until the sauce is heated, and then serve with fresh ground pepper, parsley, and parmesan!

Once you take a bite of this delicious pasta, you'll realize that oil isn't so necessary after all. 

3. Kidney Bean Burger 


If you're looking for a recipe that's oil-free and requires minimal ingredients, then this is the recipe for you. 

Here's what you need to make oil-free kidney bean burgers:

  • 1 can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp of ketchup
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup quick oats

To prepare the oil-free burgers, here's what you need to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Mash the beans into a mixing bowl using a fork or a potato masher until there are almost no whole beans left
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined
  4. Roll the mixture into 4 equal-sized balls
  5. Flatten the balls into patties on your baking sheet
  6. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip and bake for another 10
  7. Enjoy!

These kidney bean burgers go great with avocado, aioli, hot sauce, or pretty much any condiment that you enjoy on a regular burger!

4. Crispy Oil-Free Roasted Potatoes 


It's hard to imagine a tasty plate of potatoes without involving oil. But, you can definitely whip up some tasty roasted potatoes without the use of oil. 

Here are the ingredients you'll need to cook oil-free roasted potatoes:

  • 2 lbs of potatoes
  • 1/3 cup of aquafaba (this is the liquid from the chickpea can- if you're making the garbanzo soup from above, you can put the liquid good use with this recipe)
  • 3 tbsp of semolina (you can also substitute cornmeal for semolina, as long as it isn't too coarse)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Then, here's what you need to do to make the potatoes:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Peel your potatoes and cut them into chunks. If you have medium potatoes, this means cutting each potato into about 5 pieces
  3. Place your potatoes on a pan on the oven and cover with water
  4. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender (poke them with a fork to check tenderness levels)
  5. As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them with a colander and then let them cool off for a few minutes
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper 
  7. Return the potatoes to the saucepan, and add the aquafaba and semolina
  8. Place the lid on the saucepan and shake vigorously to evenly distribute the liquid
  9. Stir the potatoes around a bit before lining them on your baking sheet
  10. Season with generous amounts of salt and pepper
  11. Place them in the oven and cook for 25 minutes
  12. After 25 minutes, flip the potatoes over and cook for another 20 minutes

Serve and enjoy! You can garnish your potatoes with cilantro, sour cream, greek yogurt, ketchup, or any of your regular toppings!

How to Cook Without Oil: Are You Ready to Try These Recipes? 

Now that you know how to cook without oil, it's time to give these recipes a try. Before you know it, oil will no longer be an essential cooking item for you, as there are so many creative and easy ways to cook without it!

Even if you don't give it up altogether, cutting back on your oil consumption can save you a ton of calories each day!

If you're looking for more healthy recipes, then be sure to check out this guide on the most delicious and healthy smoothies

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