Essential Oils for Cooking:  Easy Tips and Flavorful Recipes

how to use essential oils for cooking


Are you looking for a natural way to cook your food without using the chemicals found in most kitchens? We know that cooking with essential oils is a great alternative. Essential oils can be used to help create flavorful dishes and provide other benefits such as cleansing, purification, and so much more. In this blog post we are going to give you some tips on how to use essential oils for cooking.


Affiliate disclosure– Links in this post may contain affiliate links.  Read my full affiliate link disclosure here.  

What Are Essential Oils and How do They Work?


Essential oils are concentrated liquids that contain volatile chemicals naturally produced by plants. They do not dissolve in water but can be mixed with other ingredients to be absorbed through the skin. Though they come from many different parts of a plant — like the flowers, rinds, leaves or bark — essential oils each have their own distinct aroma and healing properties.

Essential oils are concentrated essences of a particular plant or tree. They can be used for a variety of household needs from cleaning to cooking.  Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in natural remedies and cures.

Some essential oil benefits include:

  • antiseptic
  • antibacterial
  • anti-inflammatory
  • analgesic
  • insect repellent
  • aphrodisiac
  • fungicidal
  • cleansing and detoxification
  • diuretic
  • expectorant
  • sedative
  • antipyretic
  • skin healing
  • immune-enhancing
  • and more…

Are Essential Oils Safe for Cooking?

When essential oils are used properly, they don’t just enhance the flavor of your food but also reduce the need for certain additives. Most essential oils can withstand higher temperatures when cooking and most essential oil uses in food preparation are safe. Be sure to check your essential oils labels to make sure they are safe for consumption. And, of course, only buy pure essential oils from a trusted company.

Get started by using essential oils with your favorite recipes.  Then get creative and start making new recipes.  Be sure to share your favorites in the comments below.

Best essential oils for cooking

How Essential Oils Can be Used for Cooking

Using essential oils in the kitchen is simple. It’s important to remember how potent essential oils are. Always start with the smallest amount, usually just 1-2 drops per recipe. With very strong oils like oregano and cilantro*, you might even want to try with less than one drop. The easiest way to do that is to dip a toothpick into the oil then swirl the toothpick into your recipe.

Remember, you can always add more oils to your recipes, but you can never take them out.

A safe way to start using essential oils in your recipes is with infused oils and salts. That way you’re not adding essential oils directly to a recipe with the potential to ruin an entire meal.

Infused Oils:

One of the easiest and most popular ways to use essential oils is through infused oil. To make essential oil-infused olive oil, simply add several drops of essential oil to a bottle of plain olive oil. Some essential oils to try are rosemary, lemon, oregano, thyme*, basil, black pepper*, dill, orange, peppermint, or spearmint*. These are just preliminary suggestions to help you get your creative juices flowing. You can store the oil in the fridge or pantry. As long as it’s sealed tightly with a lid or cap, your essential oil-infused oil will stay fresh for months at a time.

I always like to provide fun inspiration.  Check out these beautiful oil containers and dispensers.

Infused Salts:

Another way to use essential oils for cooking is with essential oil-infused salts. Infused salts have essential oils added to them and allowed to completely dry. Some possible essential oil combinations include lemon and rosemary, or cilantro and lime.

Pro tip:  Use high-quality sea salt and avoid table salt.  Real sea salt contains important minerals and has lots of health benefits.  Table salt is refined and stripped of any minerals and is void of any health benefits.

Try cilantro and lime* salt in your next salsa or guacamole recipe. Or try rosemary and lemon salt to your next soup recipe.  This minestrone soup recipe calls for a drop of rosemary*, thyme*, oregano*, or black pepper* essential oils.

Show off your gourmet salt in this beautiful salt container.

Cooking with essential oils:

Always start with a tiny amount of essential oil, typically 1-2 drops per recipe. Start off by replacing dried herbs with a drop of essential oils. You can do this with sauces, dips, curry, dressings, and soups to name a few.

You can also add essential oils to baked goods.

  • Try adding a few drops of peppermint* or cinnamon* to your favorite brownie recipe.
  • Add a few drops of lemon* to your lemon bars.
  • Add cinnamon and clove* essential oils to your pumpkin pie recipe.
  • Add orange* or lemon essential oils to your frosting recipes for a tangy zip.



Here are a few essential oil cooking tips:

Learn how to use essential oils for flavoring

Use essential oils as ingredients when creating your favorite recipes. You can experiment with essential oils to find the right combination of flavors. Some essential oil uses for cooking include:

Basil* or oregano* essential oil – These essential oils go nicely with tomato sauce.

Lemon* essential oil – Flavor your fish or other seafood dishes with essential oils that have a citrusy flavor.

Peppermint essential oil – Start your morning with peppermint essential oil in your coffee.  Read this article to learn more ways to make your coffee more healthy. 

essential oils for flavoring

Use essential oils to enhance flavors of slightly bland foods

If you find yourself with slightly bland or boring foods, essential oils can help.  Just add a few drops of essential oils and watch the flavors become more robust while still remaining healthy.

This is an especially helpful trick if you’re tired of drinking plain water.  You probably already know drinking water is vital to good health.  And maybe you get bored sipping on plain water all day.  Flavor your water with essential oils.  Essential oils don’t mix with water and tend to float on top.  To help disperse them throughout the water, put the oils in first, then add ice, and lastly your clean, filtered water.  And be sure not to use oils in plastic or styrofoam containers.  The oils will start to break down the chemicals and leach them into your water.  Here are some really fun, fancy, and healthy ways to enjoy your essential oil-flavored water.

Healing crystal glass water bottle

Beautiful, personalized stainless steel water bottle

Personalized etched glass water bottle

Use essential oils as seasonings

In addition to using essential oils in your cooking, essential oils can also be used as seasonings. Some essential oil uses for cooking include:

Basil essential oil – Try adding basil essential oil to your marinara sauce or salad dressing.  A personal favorite is to use a drop of basil in homemade balsamic vinaigrette.  Of course,  you can add a few drops to store-bought vinaigrettes too.

Lemon essential oil – Lemon is so versatile and works well with lots of options.  One you might not have considered is tomatoes.  Lemon oil can also be added to salad dressings.

Cinnamon essential oil-  Take your apple slices to the next level with some cinnamon essential oil.

Pro tip:  Add a spray top to your essential oil bottle so you can spray and disperse the oils across your food.

Use essential oils in homemade air-popped popcorn

Homemade air-popped popcorn is a great way to start using essential oils for cooking. All you need is your favorite flavored essential oil, popcorn kernels, olive oil or butter,  and brown paper bags to make the perfect snack for movie night.

If your craving something sweet, try cinnamon or orange essential oils.  Or combine them together.

If your craving something savory, rosemary* works really well.

This is a healthy replacement for microwaved popcorn which is full of additives and toxic ingredients.  Now you can enjoy popcorn guilt-free.

Check out this gorgeous handmade popcorn popper.

doTerra essential oils for cooking

Where to Buy Essential Oils for Cooking


It’s important to purchase 100% pure oils from a reputable company.  Please do your research on this one.  Buying essential oils at Walmart is not the same as buying oils from a company dedicated to providing 100% pure essential oils.  I started off buying oils from health food stores, then I switched to Amazon.  I had to learn the hard way the oils were not pure and did not provide the health benefits I was looking for.  After doing lots of research, I chose doTerra.  Here’s why.

If you’re interested in learning more about the powerful health benefits of doTerra essential oils and toxin-free products, let’s chat.  Set up a time here.  

* I provide links to doTerra essential oils for a few reasons.  If you click on the link, you’ll be taken to a page where you can learn more about the oil.  DoTerra provides factual, scientific information on all its oils and products.  There is also an option to purchase the oil from that page.  It’s a convenient way to buy trusted essential oils.  But, it’s not the most economical way.  If you just want to try an oil out and see what you think of it, it’s a good option.  But, if you’re serious about using essential oils and learning more about DoTerra, it would be way more economical for you to get wholesale prices.  If that intrigues you, click the link above to set up a time to learn more.


Essential oils are a great way to add additional flavor and health benefits to your recipes. To learn more about cooking with essential oils, check out our how to cook with essential oils guide.  



Book Recommendations to Learn More About Essential Oils for Cooking

Need to get your creative juices flowing?  Here are some books with great recipes that taste good and are easy to make.

The Essential Oils Diet by Eric Zielinski

The Essential Life

Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine by Dr. Josh Axe


How To Cook with Essential Oils


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