Best Vegan Butter: We Found the Best Plant-Based Butter Options

The best vegan butter should be smooth, rich, salty, creamy, and, most of all, it should taste like butter—delicate, sweet, and fatty. Plant based butter doesn’t have to taste like vegetable margarine. Vegan butters that include almond milk, coconut oil, or olive oil are completely welcome here. Butter is a concept, man. It’s a fat-and-water emulsion. So, that fat can be literally anything, just as long as it’s plant-based. There aren’t as many rules to vegan butter as you might think—we just want it to taste good, and these five absolutely did.

Lots of brands are recreating the flavor and texture of good butter without dairy. Doing so certainly isn’t as hard as, say, trying to make melty, cheesy, vegan mozzarella. Or trying to engineer science in such a way that it makes a plant-based hot dog taste like full-beef hot dog. No, margarine made from vegetable oil has existed for years. Today, there’s even more interesting plant-based products on the market, so I was thrilled to conduct this taste test. Here’s what I learned.

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Best of the Best

Country Crock Plant Butter with Olive Oil

This is the Country Crock spread, not the stick. Country Crock’s Plant Butter with Olive Oil is salty, spreadable, and deliciously rich. I took this product home with me to experiment with, and I’ve been cooking eggs in it all week. The olive oil flavor is slightly bitter and deep, unlike vegetable oil. Because it’s spreadable butter, it will also go great on toast—think something sturdy and chewy like sourdough. Every so often I’ll dip a cracker in this olive oil-based plant butter; that’s how good it is. This also has monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which I hear are actually good for you. The taste, flavor, and texture here are just spot on. It’s pure decadence. That’s why it’s our best vegan butter.

Credit: Liv Averett/Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Almond Taste

Kite Hill European Style Plant-Based Butter Alternative

Coconut oil is the first ingredient listed here, then almond milk. Naturally, this European-style plant-based butter tastes the most like those two things, and it’s quite delicious. The coconut oil is smooth and mellow, but the nuttiness of the almonds shines brightest. Kite Hill is creamy, salty, sweet, and absolutely delicious. In my opinion, plant-based butters are best when they taste like something other than vegetable oil; Kite Hill’s European-style butter is loaded with extra flavors. It’s the best vegan butter with an almond taste.

Credit: Liv Averett/Amazon

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Best Creamy

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter It’s Vegan

Another spreadable plant-based butter, this one made from soybean and palm oil. I Can’t Believe It’s not Butter’s vegan vegetable oil spread is very salty and extra smooth. It mostly tastes like margarine, but for those who don’t like the pure taste of olive oil, coconut oil, or almond milk, this has a more classic flavor to it. I personally think it’s not as tasty as the top two, but it’s still rich, smooth, and salty. It’s hard for this to taste bad when the product achieves  those three things. Plus, there is something so undeniably, pleasantly smooth about I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. It’s just so damn spreadable.

Credit: Liv Averett/Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Stick

Full Circle Market Butter Sticks with Coconut Oil

These sticks of coconut butter have a wonderfully pronounced coconut flavor to them. Full Circle Market isn’t as smooth and spreadable as some other plant-based butters, but it does have a rather unique flavor that’s mellow and almost fruity. Plus, studies show that coconut oil is pretty good for you, too. I think this butter is best to cook with. If you’re making any vegan sauces or curries at home, melt a few cold tablespoons of Full Circle Market’s coconut oil butter into the sauce at the end. It’ll up the richness factor without adding dairy, that’s why it’s the best vegan butter to cook with.

Credit: Liv Averett/Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Brick

Violife Salted Plant Butter

Violife products usually hit for us here at Sporked. They really understand how to mimic the delicious qualities of cheese and butter without using dairy products. This big brick of butter is salty, creamy, and delicious. It’s made with canola oil and sunflower oil, but thankfully doesn’t taste like low-rent margarine. I really like the aesthetic of a big brick of butter, too. It’s good to cook with, or to spread on toast or a freshly cooked ear of corn. It’s margarine adjacent, but tastes better than the cheap stuff. 

Credit: Liv Averett/Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: Earth Balance Soy Free, Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, Myokos European Style, Myokos Hint of Sea Salt, Land O Lakes.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • For baking, you have to use MELT brand sticks. They have some great butter-like properties when baking and the moisture level is not too watery LIKE THE Country Crock.
    I am SHOCKED you picked the Country Crock. I have been using Earth Balance soy-free to the point of where I am serving it to all my friends an no one realizes they are not eating butter. Country crock still tastes like margarine. Earth Balance has figured out how to mimic the flavor so much better than any other brand I have tried.

    Reply
    • yeah I agree with you, earth balance ROCKS

      Reply
  • I’m ngl, the earth balance vegan butter is for sure my go to! I also like smart balance. I’m surprised they didn’t make the cut! tastes sooo much like butter to me. I’ll for sure be trying the number one pick soon though!!

    Reply