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Butter vs. Olive Oil: What's Better?

Butter vs. Olive Oil: What's Better?

Two cooking fats, butter and olive oil (along with canola oil), are among the more commonly used ones in home kitchens, but which is better? As someone who grew up in a non-butter household (genetic high cholesterol runs in the family), it was not a commonly used fat, as butter is an animal product so it’s not ideal for people on low-cholesterol diets. But when our editorial team set out to make recipes using lovely butter from Real California Milk, we realized that sometimes, butter is better.

Or maybe better isn’t the right word; perhaps different is what we’re looking for. Both olive oil and butter have their place in the kitchen and in cooking different recipes, but there are times when butter just makes that much of a difference in the dish. When cooking vegetables such as the lemon asparagus recipe below, it adds a rich sweetness to the dish that’s nicely balanced out by the acidity of the citrus juice. And it's great when scrambling eggs, or finishing off a steak.

It all depends on what you’re looking for and the dish you’re making, and sometimes butter and olive oil work well together. If you find yourself in the mood for butter or happen to have an ample amount of unsalted butter (best for cooking and baking) on hand, then try your hand at some of these delicious recipes below. (Also remember that butter is a food you can freeze, so don’t get rid of an extra butter!)

Panko-Crusted Veal with English Peas

It may seem like a lot of butter, but I was amazed at how the crust on each piece of veal just soaked it right up...

— Will Budiaman

Sautéed Shrimp with Pineapple

Pineapple and shrimp may seem like a surprising pairing, but when sautéed in butter...

— Molly Aronica

Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage Brown Butter

Browning butter creates a deep, almost nutty flavor...

Carly Goldsmith

Sautéed Asparagus with Lemon Butter Sauce

This quick and easy seasonal side dish would make a great accompaniment to grilled steak or pork chops...

— Maryse Chevriere

Goat Cheese Risotto with Broccoli Rabe

Hello all, I am the risotto queen, nice to meet you. Wait, what? True story...

Francesca Borgognone

Crêpes with Chicken and Morels

Savory crêpes make for a nice light weeknight meal...

Arthur Bovino


10 Reasons Butter Is Far Superior To Olive Oil

We owe many of our greatest dishes to butter and olive oil. They are two of the best ingredients in the kitchen, no question. (And the only ones we would happily get fat for.) Without the use of butter or olive oil, our dishes -- and lives -- would seriously suffer. Could you imagine a summer without olive-oil rich pesto? Or a winter without a piece of buttered bread to accompany a hearty bowl of soup? It would be a sad world to live in, that's for sure.

We love olive oil in all its grassy and fruity ways. Its ability to make a salad sing is unprecedented. And we adore what it does to a boring bowl of soup. Sometimes, we even pour a little in a spoon for an unadulterated taste.

With that said, if we had to pick between olive oil and butter, we would pick butter every time. No second thoughts. No looking back.

When olive oil burns, butter browns. Where olive oil leaves a greasy pool behind in a bowl of pasta, butter beautifully coats each strand of fettuccine. While there is a time and a place for olive oil, no doubt, in the grand scheme of things, butter is top dawg.

We're sure plenty of you olive oil fanatics might think we're nuts. You might come at us with health claims of why olive oil is superior. Or you might point a finger to the fine culinary gods of Greece and Italy. To you, we would like to say: we are not discussing health. Also, CROISSANTS.


10 Reasons Butter Is Far Superior To Olive Oil

We owe many of our greatest dishes to butter and olive oil. They are two of the best ingredients in the kitchen, no question. (And the only ones we would happily get fat for.) Without the use of butter or olive oil, our dishes -- and lives -- would seriously suffer. Could you imagine a summer without olive-oil rich pesto? Or a winter without a piece of buttered bread to accompany a hearty bowl of soup? It would be a sad world to live in, that's for sure.

We love olive oil in all its grassy and fruity ways. Its ability to make a salad sing is unprecedented. And we adore what it does to a boring bowl of soup. Sometimes, we even pour a little in a spoon for an unadulterated taste.

With that said, if we had to pick between olive oil and butter, we would pick butter every time. No second thoughts. No looking back.

When olive oil burns, butter browns. Where olive oil leaves a greasy pool behind in a bowl of pasta, butter beautifully coats each strand of fettuccine. While there is a time and a place for olive oil, no doubt, in the grand scheme of things, butter is top dawg.

We're sure plenty of you olive oil fanatics might think we're nuts. You might come at us with health claims of why olive oil is superior. Or you might point a finger to the fine culinary gods of Greece and Italy. To you, we would like to say: we are not discussing health. Also, CROISSANTS.


10 Reasons Butter Is Far Superior To Olive Oil

We owe many of our greatest dishes to butter and olive oil. They are two of the best ingredients in the kitchen, no question. (And the only ones we would happily get fat for.) Without the use of butter or olive oil, our dishes -- and lives -- would seriously suffer. Could you imagine a summer without olive-oil rich pesto? Or a winter without a piece of buttered bread to accompany a hearty bowl of soup? It would be a sad world to live in, that's for sure.

We love olive oil in all its grassy and fruity ways. Its ability to make a salad sing is unprecedented. And we adore what it does to a boring bowl of soup. Sometimes, we even pour a little in a spoon for an unadulterated taste.

With that said, if we had to pick between olive oil and butter, we would pick butter every time. No second thoughts. No looking back.

When olive oil burns, butter browns. Where olive oil leaves a greasy pool behind in a bowl of pasta, butter beautifully coats each strand of fettuccine. While there is a time and a place for olive oil, no doubt, in the grand scheme of things, butter is top dawg.

We're sure plenty of you olive oil fanatics might think we're nuts. You might come at us with health claims of why olive oil is superior. Or you might point a finger to the fine culinary gods of Greece and Italy. To you, we would like to say: we are not discussing health. Also, CROISSANTS.


10 Reasons Butter Is Far Superior To Olive Oil

We owe many of our greatest dishes to butter and olive oil. They are two of the best ingredients in the kitchen, no question. (And the only ones we would happily get fat for.) Without the use of butter or olive oil, our dishes -- and lives -- would seriously suffer. Could you imagine a summer without olive-oil rich pesto? Or a winter without a piece of buttered bread to accompany a hearty bowl of soup? It would be a sad world to live in, that's for sure.

We love olive oil in all its grassy and fruity ways. Its ability to make a salad sing is unprecedented. And we adore what it does to a boring bowl of soup. Sometimes, we even pour a little in a spoon for an unadulterated taste.

With that said, if we had to pick between olive oil and butter, we would pick butter every time. No second thoughts. No looking back.

When olive oil burns, butter browns. Where olive oil leaves a greasy pool behind in a bowl of pasta, butter beautifully coats each strand of fettuccine. While there is a time and a place for olive oil, no doubt, in the grand scheme of things, butter is top dawg.

We're sure plenty of you olive oil fanatics might think we're nuts. You might come at us with health claims of why olive oil is superior. Or you might point a finger to the fine culinary gods of Greece and Italy. To you, we would like to say: we are not discussing health. Also, CROISSANTS.


10 Reasons Butter Is Far Superior To Olive Oil

We owe many of our greatest dishes to butter and olive oil. They are two of the best ingredients in the kitchen, no question. (And the only ones we would happily get fat for.) Without the use of butter or olive oil, our dishes -- and lives -- would seriously suffer. Could you imagine a summer without olive-oil rich pesto? Or a winter without a piece of buttered bread to accompany a hearty bowl of soup? It would be a sad world to live in, that's for sure.

We love olive oil in all its grassy and fruity ways. Its ability to make a salad sing is unprecedented. And we adore what it does to a boring bowl of soup. Sometimes, we even pour a little in a spoon for an unadulterated taste.

With that said, if we had to pick between olive oil and butter, we would pick butter every time. No second thoughts. No looking back.

When olive oil burns, butter browns. Where olive oil leaves a greasy pool behind in a bowl of pasta, butter beautifully coats each strand of fettuccine. While there is a time and a place for olive oil, no doubt, in the grand scheme of things, butter is top dawg.

We're sure plenty of you olive oil fanatics might think we're nuts. You might come at us with health claims of why olive oil is superior. Or you might point a finger to the fine culinary gods of Greece and Italy. To you, we would like to say: we are not discussing health. Also, CROISSANTS.


10 Reasons Butter Is Far Superior To Olive Oil

We owe many of our greatest dishes to butter and olive oil. They are two of the best ingredients in the kitchen, no question. (And the only ones we would happily get fat for.) Without the use of butter or olive oil, our dishes -- and lives -- would seriously suffer. Could you imagine a summer without olive-oil rich pesto? Or a winter without a piece of buttered bread to accompany a hearty bowl of soup? It would be a sad world to live in, that's for sure.

We love olive oil in all its grassy and fruity ways. Its ability to make a salad sing is unprecedented. And we adore what it does to a boring bowl of soup. Sometimes, we even pour a little in a spoon for an unadulterated taste.

With that said, if we had to pick between olive oil and butter, we would pick butter every time. No second thoughts. No looking back.

When olive oil burns, butter browns. Where olive oil leaves a greasy pool behind in a bowl of pasta, butter beautifully coats each strand of fettuccine. While there is a time and a place for olive oil, no doubt, in the grand scheme of things, butter is top dawg.

We're sure plenty of you olive oil fanatics might think we're nuts. You might come at us with health claims of why olive oil is superior. Or you might point a finger to the fine culinary gods of Greece and Italy. To you, we would like to say: we are not discussing health. Also, CROISSANTS.


10 Reasons Butter Is Far Superior To Olive Oil

We owe many of our greatest dishes to butter and olive oil. They are two of the best ingredients in the kitchen, no question. (And the only ones we would happily get fat for.) Without the use of butter or olive oil, our dishes -- and lives -- would seriously suffer. Could you imagine a summer without olive-oil rich pesto? Or a winter without a piece of buttered bread to accompany a hearty bowl of soup? It would be a sad world to live in, that's for sure.

We love olive oil in all its grassy and fruity ways. Its ability to make a salad sing is unprecedented. And we adore what it does to a boring bowl of soup. Sometimes, we even pour a little in a spoon for an unadulterated taste.

With that said, if we had to pick between olive oil and butter, we would pick butter every time. No second thoughts. No looking back.

When olive oil burns, butter browns. Where olive oil leaves a greasy pool behind in a bowl of pasta, butter beautifully coats each strand of fettuccine. While there is a time and a place for olive oil, no doubt, in the grand scheme of things, butter is top dawg.

We're sure plenty of you olive oil fanatics might think we're nuts. You might come at us with health claims of why olive oil is superior. Or you might point a finger to the fine culinary gods of Greece and Italy. To you, we would like to say: we are not discussing health. Also, CROISSANTS.


10 Reasons Butter Is Far Superior To Olive Oil

We owe many of our greatest dishes to butter and olive oil. They are two of the best ingredients in the kitchen, no question. (And the only ones we would happily get fat for.) Without the use of butter or olive oil, our dishes -- and lives -- would seriously suffer. Could you imagine a summer without olive-oil rich pesto? Or a winter without a piece of buttered bread to accompany a hearty bowl of soup? It would be a sad world to live in, that's for sure.

We love olive oil in all its grassy and fruity ways. Its ability to make a salad sing is unprecedented. And we adore what it does to a boring bowl of soup. Sometimes, we even pour a little in a spoon for an unadulterated taste.

With that said, if we had to pick between olive oil and butter, we would pick butter every time. No second thoughts. No looking back.

When olive oil burns, butter browns. Where olive oil leaves a greasy pool behind in a bowl of pasta, butter beautifully coats each strand of fettuccine. While there is a time and a place for olive oil, no doubt, in the grand scheme of things, butter is top dawg.

We're sure plenty of you olive oil fanatics might think we're nuts. You might come at us with health claims of why olive oil is superior. Or you might point a finger to the fine culinary gods of Greece and Italy. To you, we would like to say: we are not discussing health. Also, CROISSANTS.


10 Reasons Butter Is Far Superior To Olive Oil

We owe many of our greatest dishes to butter and olive oil. They are two of the best ingredients in the kitchen, no question. (And the only ones we would happily get fat for.) Without the use of butter or olive oil, our dishes -- and lives -- would seriously suffer. Could you imagine a summer without olive-oil rich pesto? Or a winter without a piece of buttered bread to accompany a hearty bowl of soup? It would be a sad world to live in, that's for sure.

We love olive oil in all its grassy and fruity ways. Its ability to make a salad sing is unprecedented. And we adore what it does to a boring bowl of soup. Sometimes, we even pour a little in a spoon for an unadulterated taste.

With that said, if we had to pick between olive oil and butter, we would pick butter every time. No second thoughts. No looking back.

When olive oil burns, butter browns. Where olive oil leaves a greasy pool behind in a bowl of pasta, butter beautifully coats each strand of fettuccine. While there is a time and a place for olive oil, no doubt, in the grand scheme of things, butter is top dawg.

We're sure plenty of you olive oil fanatics might think we're nuts. You might come at us with health claims of why olive oil is superior. Or you might point a finger to the fine culinary gods of Greece and Italy. To you, we would like to say: we are not discussing health. Also, CROISSANTS.


10 Reasons Butter Is Far Superior To Olive Oil

We owe many of our greatest dishes to butter and olive oil. They are two of the best ingredients in the kitchen, no question. (And the only ones we would happily get fat for.) Without the use of butter or olive oil, our dishes -- and lives -- would seriously suffer. Could you imagine a summer without olive-oil rich pesto? Or a winter without a piece of buttered bread to accompany a hearty bowl of soup? It would be a sad world to live in, that's for sure.

We love olive oil in all its grassy and fruity ways. Its ability to make a salad sing is unprecedented. And we adore what it does to a boring bowl of soup. Sometimes, we even pour a little in a spoon for an unadulterated taste.

With that said, if we had to pick between olive oil and butter, we would pick butter every time. No second thoughts. No looking back.

When olive oil burns, butter browns. Where olive oil leaves a greasy pool behind in a bowl of pasta, butter beautifully coats each strand of fettuccine. While there is a time and a place for olive oil, no doubt, in the grand scheme of things, butter is top dawg.

We're sure plenty of you olive oil fanatics might think we're nuts. You might come at us with health claims of why olive oil is superior. Or you might point a finger to the fine culinary gods of Greece and Italy. To you, we would like to say: we are not discussing health. Also, CROISSANTS.