Tried-and-True Tips for Cooking with Young Living Essential Oils

19 December 15, 2014 - At Home, Essential Oil Recipes, Essential Oils, Recipes, Vitality™ essential oils

As your essential oil collection increases, so does your know-how. You learn which oils are best to use in the morning. You curate a mental list of diffusion blends that change the mood in your home. And you know which essential oils help you find your Zen when added to bathwater. But did you know that many of our oils can be used in the kitchen?


We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips for using essential oils in the kitchen. Add these delicious tips to your repertoire!



  1. Essential Oil infused waffle mixWaffles: Add 1–4 drops of Orange essential oil to wet waffle mix.
  2. Oatmeal: Add 1 drop of Cinnamon Oil and 2 drops of Orange essential oil to a bowl of oatmeal or oat bran, and then sweeten with Blue Agave.
  3. Lemon with Berries: Add Lemon essential oil to berry protein shakes or to plain yogurt and top with berries.



  1. Cream Cheese Spread: Put cream cheese into a bowl and mix in Lemon essential oil to taste.
  2. Olive Oil: Add various culinary herb essential oils to your olive oil, such as Rosemary. Pour over a plate of balsamic vinegar and use foccacia bread for dipping.



  1. Tomato Pasta Sauce: Add 2 drops of Basil essential oil and 1 drop each of Rosemary and Thyme essential oil to tomato sauce base.
  2. Olive Oil Dipping Sauce with Young Living Rosemary Essential OilPotato Salad: Add 1–2 drops of Dill essential oil to potato salad.
  3. Rice Pilaf: Add 4 drops of Lemon essential oil to water before adding rice.
  4. Salad and Fruit Rinse: Use 3 drops of Lemon essential oil in a bowl of water when rinsing lettuce, grapes, berries, and greens.
  5. Tuna Salad Sandwiches: Add 2 drops of Lemon essential oil per can of tuna and mix with mayonnaise and freshly ground pepper. Spoon onto bread and serve topped with alfalfa sprouts.



  1. Horchata with Young Living Cinnamon Bark Essential OilHot Lemon Tea: In 1 cup of hot water, mix in 3 drops of Lemon essential oil and Blue Agave to taste.
  2. Horchata with a Twist: Add 1 drop of Cinnamon Bark essential oil to a tall glass filled with ice and vanilla rice milk.
  3. Vanilla Protein Shake: Add 2 drops of Lemon or Peppermint essential oil to any vanilla protein shake.
  4. Flavored Water: Add 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil to your gym water bottle.


What other  secrets do you have for using essential oils in the kitchen? Share your ideas in the comments!

  • Adele Ridpath

    Do you have the recipe for the delicious drink that was served at the Monaco Farm Day during convention last year on the Wednesday farm day? I know it had guava and pineapple in it. But would love the full recipe.

  • Linda

    I have been wondering for some time now how to incorporate the EO into mainly baking. This has all been extremely helpful for my starting point. I have a pie shop and I would like not to zest for the time and money factor. I excited to experiment now.

  • Good job sharing this content

  • I like peppermint hot cocoa. I make up a cup of hot chocolate and then I dip a toothpick into peppermint vitality essential oil and then swirl the toothpick into my cup of hot chocolate. It is great for cold winter nights! YUM!

  • Nicole Endres

    I’m baking a cake and want to use nutmeg vitality. How much would I use if it cake for a teaspoon? For the amount differ for the frosting?

    • Young Living

      Hi Nicole, You can add essential oils in your favorite recipes that call for dried herbs, spices, or fruit juices. Simply replace these ingredients with the equivalent essential oil. Keep in mind that essential oils have a much stronger flavor than dried herbs and spices, so a much smaller amount is generally sufficient. We recommend starting out with small amounts of oil and then increasing the amount according to your own taste. Also, remember that essential oils have highly volatile constituents and can be changed or altered during the cooking process, so it is best to avoid exposing them to extreme heat. This can be prevented by lowering your stovetop temperature, using the essential oils in conjunction with extra virgin olive oil, or by adding the oils after the dish has been removed from heat.

      These ratios can also provide a guideline for how much essential oil to use in substitutions:

      • Juice or zest of one citrus fruit = 10–15 drops of oil
      • 1 liquid tablespoon or more = ½–1 drop of oil
      • Less than 1 tablespoon = 1 toothpick swirl of oil

  • Jason

    I love YLEO and I was sharing with a friend who recently asked me a question about the “Vitality” brands.

    Can you use regular Oregano EO or others like Peppermint that come in the 15ml bottles to cook with also?
    Can you add a drop or two of regular Peppermint to a glass of water for flavor or does it have to be the “Vitality” labeled Peppermint?

    In regard to all the oils in the “Vitality” group;
    Should you only use “Vitality” oils for cooking and/or flavoring or can you use the same oils that can be ordered in the 15ml bottles?

    Both regular EO & “Vitality” brand say 100% Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil. (Same ingredients, same oil).
    Is there any difference between the regular 15ml bottle of EO and the oils labeled as “Vitality”?

    The only difference I can see is that the “Vitality” labeled group are only available in the smaller 5ml bottles.

    Would you please clarify?
    Thank you.

    • Young Living

      Hi Jason, Young Living® has recently made some changes to the instruction panel on our essential oil labels. These changes were made to align our labels with FDA regulations that state a product cannot be labeled for use as a dietary supplement AND for topical or aromatic use, both could not be on the same label. In compliance with these regulations, our essential oils have been displaying labels that distinguish the products intended as a dietary supplement and those intended to be used for topical application or aromatic use. This labeling did not reflect any changes to the constituents or benefits of our essential oils. With that being said the Vitality line of oils is the same 100% therapeutic-grade essential oils for which Young Living has become known. The Vitality line has been created so that members can now draw clear distinction between topical/aromatic use and dietary use. This should drastically widen the communication opportunities for Young Living essential oils moving forward. We recommend following the usage directions as listed on the individual bottle labels. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Teresa Pretlow

    I have used a tea of culinary lavender in home canned peach jam before and would like to know if lavender essential oil may also be used? Will the high heat of a water bath canner alter the flavor of lavender, i.e. become bitter? Thanks!

    • Young Living

      Hi Teresa, We cannot guarantee the aroma or taste of the Lavender essential oil when exposed to extreme heat, such as in the canning process, as the oil may lose some compounds due to evaporation. Thanks for stopping by with your question!

  • Cherbear

    Can you make lemonade with essential oils?

  • Crystal Drumheller

    How many drops of Rosemary is equivalent to 1/2 tsp of dried rosemary leaves, crushed? I am making sausage balls for Memorial Day. Thanks!

    • Young Living

      Hi Crystal, Great question! Dried rosemary can be replaced with just a drop of Rosemary Vitality™ in your favorite recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Brady

    Is it safe to cook with Essential Oils when you have children under the age of 6 in the house?

    • Great question, Brady. Essential oils can be safely used around and for children. Please always follow the directions and safety guidelines on each individual product label. In addition, due to the small amount of essential oil which is typically required for cooking there should be no need for concern. However, if you have further questions regarding using essential oils in dishes for your children, we would suggest speaking with a health professional. Thanks for stopping by!

  • vicki

    Does anyone have a chocolate cupcake recipe that would be healthy that uses Essential Oils or Pure Protein?

  • Rhonda Koeller

    Skip the cream (and fat calories) in your coffee and still get a flavorful brew by adding several drops of cinnamon bark to the grounds before brewing.

  • Andrea

    How many drops of Orange essential oil equal 1/8 tsp of orange zest?

    • Hi Andrea, We would recommend adding 10–15 drops of oil. We hope this information is helpful!

  • Rachel

    Thieves Popcorn – this was a hit at vendor event especially with the kids
    1/2 c popcorn kernels
    1/8+ c unrefined coconut oil
    1/8+ c maple syrup
    4 drops Thieves EO or 3 drops Thieves & 1 drop Cinnamon Bark
    Optional: sprinkle cinnamon & salt to taste
    Air pop corn, melt coconut oil lightly on low heat, remove from heat, stir in maple syrup & EO and mix. Pour over popcorn & mix.

  • Donna

    I add essential oils to cake mixes and icing. Chocolate cake with Spearmint oil. Lemon oil to lemon cake and Citrus Fresh icing. Carrot cake with Carrot Seed oil and Orange icing.
    Also add Lemon, Orange or Lime essential oil to ice cream. It’s delicious!

    • Lydia E.

      So trying this!!! Thanks Rachel!

  • Jane Stewart

    I know heating essential oils destroys some of their healing ingredients. How hot can these oils be heated?

    • Young Living

      Hi Jane, Thanks for your question. Essential oils do not retain their therapeutic qualities if heated to their flash points. The flash point will vary with each oil. If there are specific oils you are interest in, please e-mail for more information. We hope this information is helpful!

  • Michelle Cox

    I made pumpkin bread with Nutmeg Vitality and Cinnamon Bark Vitality and made cream cheese frosting it was simply amazing! I also do several variations of my butternut squash soup, one with Orange Vitality and Ginger Vitality, the other with Nutmeg Vitality and Cinnamon Bark Vitality. Both are simply wonderful topped with toasted sunflower seeds and Greek yogurt! I think I ought to do a cookbook! I just love my Young Living Essential Oils!

    • Cheryl

      Have you tried or seen any recipes for dehydrating apples using a soak with sort of an apple pie spice flavoring?

    • Terrie

      How much cinnamon bark vitality and nutmeg vitality did you put in your recipe?

  • Marylou

    Put Orange oil in vanilla ice cream. I do a drop per scoop.

  • Deborah

    I’ve added 10-12 drops of Peppermint to the chocolate brownie mix. Absolutely wonderful.
    I’ve also added Lemon to a lemon cake. The lemon flavor is so much more rich!

  • jackie

    I added 4-5 drops of orange to chocolate brownies and 2-3 drops to the cream cheese frosting . Then sprinkled a bit of orange zest and chopped pistachios on the top for a pretty fall look. Enjoyed it was a glass of red wine….amazing!

  • Rhonda

    Hi, I would like to cook more with my YLEOs but am not sure what conversion I should use. What is the equivalent tsp of dried oregano or fresh oregano to 1 drop EO. The same for basil, thyme, etc. Is this documented somewhere? It would make it easier to convert a conventional recipe.

    • Young Living

      Hi Rhonda! You can add essential oils in your favorite recipes that call for dried herbs, spices, or fruit juices. Simply replace these ingredients with the equivalent essential oil. Keep in mind that essential oils have a much stronger flavor than dried herbs and spices, so a much smaller amount is generally enough. We recommend starting out with small amounts of oil and then increasing the amount according to your own taste. These ratios can also provide a guideline for how much essential oil to use in substitutions:

      • Juice or zest of one citrus fruit = 10–15 drops of oil
      • 1 liquid tablespoon or more = ½–1 drop of oil
      • Less than 1 tablespoon = 1 toothpick swirl of oil

      Hope this helps!

  • Interesting article

  • Samantha

    Has anyone ever infused butter? I’ve made a lavender honey butter with dried lavender but would LOVE to use oil instead! Just not quite sure of what ratios to use! Trial and error with butter sounds painful.. lol

    • I would divide the butter into small batches and start with just one drop. You could do several flavors! Cinnamon and honey butter, Thieves or Orange – Oh my! I’m going to try this with my next batch! I go to the dairy tomorrow morning for fresh cream. Yum!

  • Marinela

    When I make pineapple juice in my vita-mix, I include the rinds and an avocado seed. I have been including the contents of my already used up Slique Tea bag!! I use it all up and blend away! Before pouring my drink into my up-cycled NingXia Red bottles I add a couple of drops of Lime or other EO’s.

    • Bryan

      Would you share a recipe for all of that?

  • Natalie

    This morning, I added a few drops of peppermint to my normal vanilla iced coffee. Wow! Nice little jolt of peppermint kicked me into gear quickly. I also have been making a non-mayo potato salad and adding in lemon oil with fresh dill – at least until my Dill oil arrives. Wonderful, bright dressing mixed with Olive Oil.

  • Tanya Lillie

    I was told in a class that heat destroys the health and beneficial properties of the essential oil. So I’m wondering what the benefit of using EO in recipes that heat the oil through the cooking or baking process?

    • Young Living

      HI Tanya! Heating essential oils may diminish their beneficial properties, but oils can also be used in recipes for flavor only. Hope this helps!

      • Try adding the oils after cooking and removing from heat. Enjoy!

  • At the Orlando Grand Convention YL was serving a Lavender infused salad dressing. Any chance of getting that recipe posted. I didn’t get to taste it, but the aroma coming from that area made my mouth water!

    • Toni Mc

      Did you get the recipe for this. I would love to try this dressing.

      • Not likely since Lavender is labeled topical/aromatic. However, I do know that ONE drop goes a long way! They do have other salad dressing recipes posted in the blog you could get creative with!

    • Pam Kline

      Would love to try this too!

    • DT

      Hi Wendy, try to put some fresh lavender sprigs into apple cider vinager. Crush them a little first, and if you dare, add 1 dried chili pepper. If you are adventurous, add some garlic, too. Let sit for 2 weeks. Wonderful in salads!

  • Rose

    I like to add a drop of Longevity to a bowl of vegetable soup. It is unlike anything I have ever tasted and I feel like I am really supporting my good health, plus I like the flavor!

  • danadeitz

    I like that.

  • sandra sowell

    there was a pudding in a small cup at the national convention 2014. YUM, YUM any chances of getting the recipe?

    • Young Living

      Hi Sandra, thanks for your comment! Was it an “Orange Julius” in the Tasteful Kitchen booth? If so, I can post that recipe!

      • Rebecca

        I’d like the Orange Julius recipe.

        • Young Living

          Hi Rebecca – sure!
          2 peeled oranges
          1/2 cup agave or honey
          3 cups vanilla almond milk
          1 scoop Pure Protein Complete
          3 cups ice

          Peel orange, pull apart into fourths and add to blender. Add all orhter ingredients to blender with the ice added last. Blend until smooth, about 10 sec on high.


  • Katherine

    I add two drops of Peppermint essential oil along with a spoonful of hot chocolate mix to my morning coffee. Just like drinking a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie. Yummy!

    • Maarybeth

      I added lemon oil to the mayo for my first time making and serving to mother in law lobster rolls. She said the taste was refreshing and one of the best she ever had.

  • Lisa

    I add a few drops of oregano to my socca (chick pea flour) flatbread to make a pizza base.

  • Dawn

    I substitute nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger for the actual spices in my pumpkin pie. Everyone said it was the best pumpkin pie they have ever tasted 🙂

    • Lana

      Dawn, how many drops of each do you use for your pumpkin pie. I want to try, but concerned about putting in too much. Thanks

      • Deborah

        With Thanksgiving coming up, I’d like to know how many drops of each of these you added. I may have to try it.

        • Susan

          Dawn, I too am looking to replace actual spices with essential oils in my fall baking. Any help with the amounts you used in your pumpkin pie would be very much appreciated!
          Thank you!

          • Amanda

            I use 2 drops of Cinnamon Bark Vitality, 1 drop Clove Vitality, 1 drop Nutmeg vitality, 1 drop Ginger vitality. Tastes awesome! I do the same for my molasses cookies, minus the Nutmeg vitalaity, and I up the Ginger vitality to 2 drops for my ginger cookies.

    • Jeannie

      I to would like to get your recipe for pumpkin pie using EO

  • Melanie

    I add 1 drop Oregano oil , Rosemary and or Basil to the water before cooking my spaghetti pasta. I experimented putting the oils directly into the sauce and it was overpowering. Putting it in the water is Perfection

  • I add a drop of lime to a bowl of guacamole. I also diffuse purification to get rid of the odor after hard-boiling eggs. That’s sort of “cooking with” essential oils 🙂

  • Kathy

    I add a couple drops of lemon to chicken salad!

    • Diane

      I add a drop of Basil Essential Oil and a drop of Oregano Essential Oil to my home made minestrone soup.

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