The Best Substitutes for Parchment Paper

Need a quick substitute for parchment paper in your baking? We've got you covered.

Potatoes on parchment paper lined half sheet pan

Simply Recipes / Karishma Pradhan

Parchment paper is a popular choice for cooking and baking due to its nonstick, heat-resistant surface. Typically, we use parchment paper for lining baking sheets or cake pans to prevent baked goods, such as cookies and cakes, from sticking; wrapping fish or vegetables into a parcel (en papillote); separating brownies, bars, and other sticky treats for storage; or creating a makeshift work surface to reduce mess or rolling out pastry dough.

If you don't have access to parchment paper, though, there are several suitable alternatives. Many of these options are quick and easy replacements that you likely already have at home. Read on below to find the best substitute for your cooking and baking needs.

potatoes on parchment paper lined half sheet pan

Simply Recipes / Karishma Pradhan

5 Substitutes for Parchment Paper

1. Silpat: Best for Lining Baking Sheets

Max temperature: 480°F - 500°F (oven, microwave and freezer-safe)

The Silpat, a well-known silicone baking mat, is an excellent substitute used to line baking sheets. It is durable, nonstick, and oven-safe at high temperatures.

When lining a baking sheet for cookies, roasting vegetables, or bagels, you can easily use a Silpat in place of parchment paper.

2. Wax Paper: Best for Room Temperature Storage and Makeshift Work Surfaces

Max temperature: Wax paper has a paraffin coating that melts around 120°F, so in most cases, it shouldn't be heated past room temperature.

Technically, the USDA states that wax paper can be heated if it is completely covered (for example, if you bake a cake in the oven, and the cake batter completely covers the wax paper), but I wouldn't recommend taking a chance here, as wax paper can melt, smoke, or even ignite when improperly used. Stick to another alternative for baking.

Wax paper is a solid option for room temperature storage (wrapping cheese, brownies, and bars) or creating a makeshift work surface for rolling out dough. You can freeze wax paper, but it isn't as moisture-resistant as freezer paper, for example, so it is best kept for short-term usage.

Wax paper is also microwave-safe.

Waxed paper next to aluminum foil

Simply Recipes / Karishma Pradhan

3. Greased Baking Sheet: Good for Baking

Max temperature: Typically varies between 400°F and 500°F, depending on the baking sheet

A greased baking sheet is a quick, easy substitute for parchment paper. This method works for most cases unless you have a particularly sticky ingredient. Both the additional fat and the direct contact of the food with the baking sheet can subtly impact the resulting food. For example, the bottoms of cookies might be slightly darker than if using parchment paper. 

To replicate the non-stick surface of parchment paper, generously grease a baking sheet with oil or butter.

Do note that a greased baking sheet will require a deeper scrub afterward.

4. Aluminum Foil with Oil: Good for Baking, Especially at Hotter Temperatures

Max temperature: Very hot! (1,220°F)

Aluminum foil with oil is another good substitute for parchment paper. As with a greased baking sheet, the fat may subtly impact the way your food cooks. Additionally, there is a chance that some of the food may stick to the pan.

In this cookie test from Food Network, cookies baked with foil had a darker, crispier edge compared to parchment paper. But a lot of this comes down to preference - you may prefer a crunchier cookie. And for roasted vegetables, a browner bottom can yield more caramelization and flavor. Foil also makes a great pouch for baking fish in the oven.

5. Nonstick Sheet Pans: Good for Baking

Max temperature: Typically varies between 400°F and 500°F, depending on the baking sheet

A high-quality nonstick sheet pan is another suitable substitute for parchment paper. If the sheet pan is truly nonstick, it will be a breeze to clean, too. Some nonstick sheet pans need an extra oil coating but will still perform better than other sheet pans. You may need to replace them every couple of years as the nonstick coating wears off.

A nonstick sheet pan is a worthwhile investment, especially for times when you run out of parchment paper. In doing your research, opt for a nonstick pan with positive reviews so that you don't have to worry about whether or not your cookies are going to stick as they're baking in the oven. We have some great suggestions here: