Is there no cornstarch? Instead, try one of these cornstarch substitutes!

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Cornstarch is typically our go-to for thickening meals such as gravies, sauces, soups, chowders, and more since it adds texture rather than flavor. Cornstarch is also naturally gluten-free, making it ideal for individuals who are gluten-intolerant.

Cornstarch was originally extracted from maize kernels in 1842 and employed as a laundry starch, but it did not take long for cornstarch to become a vital addition to Victorian recipes.

Corn flour and cornstarch are occasionally used interchangeably. Corn flour is flour made from the whole corn kernel, including its fiber, protein, starch, vitamins, and minerals, while cornstarch is made exclusively from the starchy core, or endosperm, of the corn kernel.

This implies that cornstarch has a restricted nutritional profile and will be tasteless when used appropriately for thickening and in lesser quantities.

Cornstarch may struggle to thicken acidic sauces, such as those with a tomato basis, or fattier sauces prepared with egg yolks or butter, therefore flour is frequently a superior thickener for these sorts of sauces.

Cornstarch may be added at the beginning of the cooking process and is more heat stable than other forms of thickeners. Cornstarch is beneficial for meals such as pie fillings because it gelatinizes when it cools. To avoid clumping, cornstarch may be used with confectioners sugar.

Unfortunately, there are times when we cannot find cornstarch in the back of the cupboard, or if we do, it is well past its expiration date. Why not try some of the cornstarch replacements mentioned below instead of going to the grocery store, particularly if your dish or gravy is already cooking? You may be shocked how many of them you have in your kitchen.

Alternatives to gum that are natural.We have divided our cornstarch replacements into three categories: flour substitutes, starch substitutes, and veggie substitutes.

Flours are excellent cornstarch alternatives since they include starch as well. Flours, on the other hand, contain less starch than cornstarch since they are processed from entire grains rather than just the kernels.

This implies that you should use twice or three times the quantity of flour in a recipe as you would cornstarch.

However, adding too much flour can cause the food to become thick and gummy, and you may also get a floury taste in your mouth, even if you cook it for a few minutes longer to help remove some of the raw flour flavor. Flours will also give meals a matte surface.

1. All-Purpose Flour

One of the most common cornstarch substitutes since most of us always have some on hand, and certain recipes may ask for flour combined with oil (roux) to be used as a foundation for gravies or sauces.

Try using twice as much flour in lieu of cornstarch when using all-purpose flour. You may always add a bit more if necessary. To keep it from clumping together, make a paste with a little chilled water before adding it to the mixture.

If you use whole grain wheat flour, keep in mind that although it includes more fiber than white flour, it has less starch, therefore you will need to use more whole grain flour than white flour.

Wheat flours are not appropriate cornstarch alternatives for gluten-free recipes because to their high gluten content.

2. Corn Flour

Corn flour or cornmeal may be used as a thickening, using about double the quantity of flour as cornstarch. Too much corn flour or cornmeal will impart corn flavor to the final dish, making it ineffective as an all-purpose thickening.

3. Sorghum flour

Sorghum flour is naturally gluten free and provides more protein than cornstarch. It also includes iron, niacin, phosphorus, and certain B vitamins.

Sorghum flour is historically used in the Pacific Islands to thicken stews. It is ideal for thickening chowders, stews, and soups. In lieu of cornstarch, use almost twice as much sorghum flour.

4. Rice Flour

Brown rice flour, white rice flour, and sweet glutinous rice flour are all natural gluten-free cornstarch substitutes. White rice flours provide a smoother finish, but brown rice flour may add grittiness to a dish and hence is not always the best thickener.

Unlike wheat flours, rice flour may simply be sprinkled into the dish and stirred in. Rice flour thickens fairly immediately, making it simple to add more if necessary, and when combined with water, it remains colorless, so it may be used to thicken transparent soups.

Allow about two tablespoons of flour per cup of liquid to be thickened, and simply sprinkle the rice flour into the liquid to be thickened, stirring to combine. It must be sprinkled in or else it will clump.

Root Starch Substitutes

No Cornstarch? Try One of These Cornstarch Substitutes Instead!

Root starches are inherently gluten-free and, unlike wheat thickeners, will not cloud final foods.

Root starches are significantly more heat sensitive than cornstarch, which means they will thicken at lower temperatures and should always be added at the end of cooking; otherwise, if left on the fire, a root starch will actually start thinning.

5. Arrowroot

Arrowroot is a form of starch derived from the tubers of several South American plants. It may be used as a cornstarch alternative and, unlike certain thickeners, produces transparent rather than hazy jellies. Arrowroot powder has more fiber than cornstarch.

One significant benefit of arrowroot is that it is used in recipes in the same amount as cornstarch. When using arrowroot powder, it thickens more than flour replacements, so if you were planning to thicken your soup with two teaspoons of all-purpose flour, add one tablespoon of arrowroot powder instead.

If you’re making a jelly or clear soup, or cream sauces like custards, mix arrowroot powder with cool water before adding it to the pot, but be careful with dairy-based foods because arrowroot does not always mix well with them. Turn off the heat as soon as the dish has thickened to prevent it from thinning.

6. Potato Starch

Potato starch is a refined starch derived from potatoes, as opposed to potato flour, which is prepared from crushed potatoes. Before adding it to dishes at the end of cooking, make a slurry with water. Potato starch is excellent for pie crusts, gravies, and soups.

Substitute the same amount of potato starch for the cornstarch, but be cautious because potato starch is more prone to clumping when mixed. You should also avoid cooking meals that include potato starch.

Potato starch has more vitamin B6 than cornstarch and, being a resistant starch, it goes through the stomach undigested, producing no variations in blood sugar levels.

7.  Tapioca

Tapioca is extracted from cassava root and, like arrowroot and potato starch, must be added at the end of cooking. Tapioca starch, commonly known as tapioca flour, is beneficial in acidic foods when cornstarch cannot thicken as effectively. Tapioca-thickened dishes retain their texture even after being frozen and thawed.

Tapioca will provide a cleaner finish and is naturally gluten-free. When using tapioca instead of cornstarch, you must double the amount.

8. Kuzu

Kuzu is a starch thickener produced from the roots of the Kuzu plant. It is also known as Japanese arrowroot or kudzu. In contrast to other forms of carbohydrates, it is high in isoflavones, some of which have health advantages.

Kuzu has a neutral taste, and a half to one teaspoon can thicken one cup of liquid. Make a slurry with cold liquid before adding to anything hot. Once added to the sauce or soup, continue to stir until the color changes from milky white to clear.

Natural/Vegetable Gums to Replace Cornstarch

Gums are natural in nature and are often employed in commercial applications; nevertheless, they are also accessible to us as home chefs. Gums may thicken, stabilize, and emulsify liquids.

9. Guar Gum

Guar gum is derived from the guar or clusterbean plant, which is indigenous to India. Guar gum is not only a thickening, but it is also a stabilizer and may be used to lend structure to gluten-free baked products.

Unlike cornstarch and other cornstarch substitutes, guar gum does not need heat to thicken, hence it may thicken cold or room temperature liquids. Guar gum does take a few minutes to hydrate, which is why it is often advised that it be heated.

Because guar gum has approximately eight times the thickening ability of cornstarch, you only need to add an eighth of the amount of guar gum to your recipe, and the amount should be carefully measured out to avoid overthickening.

If you wish to use guar gum instead of flour thickening, use one-sixteenth of the quantity of flour. Two tablespoons of flour, for example, will need to be replaced by three-eighths of a teaspoon of guar gum.

The easiest approach to utilize guar gum is to sprinkle it immediately over the meal and then swirl or whisk it thoroughly to help avoid clumping. If it does clump, let the liquid or sauce to settle for a few minutes might assist.

Cornstarch thickens acidic meals better than guar gum.

10. Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum, a frequent thickening in salad dressings, ice creams, and other frozen foods, is produced by fermenting Xanthomonas campestris bacteria with sugar. It is often used as a thickener at concentrations ranging from 0.5% to 1%.

Xanthan gum, like guar gum, is used in gluten-free cooking and is good for thickening gravies, albeit it requires more preparation time.

To thicken gravy, whisk together two teaspoons xanthan gum and one tablespoon hot water (for each cup of gravy) until the gum mixture is smooth. Whisk this into the gravy. Allow the gravy to simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes while whisking.

Continue to add xanthan gum and water until the gravy reaches the desired consistency, then sieve to eliminate any big lumps of gum. The gravy should then be cooked for another five minutes, with the possibility of tiny lumps remaining.

11. Pectin

Pectin is a vegetable gum made from apple or citrus peels that may be used as a cornstarch alternative and is well-known to those of us who can or make sweets on a daily basis. Cornstarch, interestingly, may be used as a pectin alternative when canning.

No-sugar pectin is great for thickening savory sauces; it takes about a minute to thicken and has no effect on the flavor of the sauce. For every one cup of sauce, add three quarters of a tablespoon of no-sugar pectin and two tablespoons of milk if the sauce does not include dairy.

For sweet sauces, use dry-regular pectin, which, like no-sugar pectin, has no effect on flavor. Simply substitute two tablespoons of dry-regular pectin for each cup of sugar in the sauce.

Cook the sauce and season it before adding the pectin to thicken it. Because the pectin has no effect on the flavors, you can season before thickening.

Stir or whisk the pectin into the sauce, bring it to a boil, and let it to simmer for one minute before turning off the heat. Allow the sauce to cool for about a minute after stirring. As the sauce cools to 158°F, it will thicken completely.

A Few Other Cornstarch Substitutes

flakes in stews, soups, and gravies, and yogurt in Middle Eastern and Eastern European soup dishes.Other foods you may have on hand that can be used as cornstarch substitutes include instant mashed potato granules.

A tablespoon of ground flaxseeds mixed with four tablespoons of water may substitute for two teaspoons of cornstarch. Although ground flaxseeds give a dish a grittier texture, they also increase the fiber content.

Depending on what you’re cooking and how much time you have, you may also raise the heat slightly, remove the cover, and let the liquid to naturally diminish and thicken the meal. This is not always good for gravies, and there is a danger of spoilage if they are thickened this manner. Reducing can also overconcentrate flavors.

Just to Summarize

They’re being mixed in.What meal or liquid you are thickening will dictate which substitution you select, as some are better for savory than sweet, some perform better over heat than others, some dissolve clear and fast while others need more time and effort whisking.

This article has provided you with a variety of cornstarch replacements. Some of them are extremely common, and chances are you have them in your pantry, but others, such as gums, are a bit more specialized, but worth researching for future usage.


What can I substitute if I don’t have cornstarch?

6 Cornstarch Substitutes for Everyday Cooking and Baking
Starch from potatoes. Kendra Vaculin, assistant food editor, prefers potato starch as a cornstarch replacement.
Flour made from rice.
Flour for All Purpose.
Tapioca Flour is a kind of starch.
Powdered arrowroot.
Xanthan Gum is a kind of gum.

What is the most common cornstarch substitute?

The following is a list of the finest cornstarch substitutes and why they are effective:
Flour made from wheat. Pin it to Pinterest Wheat flour is healthier than cornstarch.
Flour made from rice.
Flour made from arrowroot.
Starch derived from potatoes.
Flour made from sorghum.
The gum guar.
Xanthan gum is a kind of gum.
Tapioca or cassava flour.

What can I substitute with in the absence of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in ingredients?

1 tablespoon cornstarch (for thickening).

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or 2 teaspoons granular tapioca may be substituted.

What can I use in place of cornstarch in pie filling?

In pie fillings, all-purpose flour works well in place of cornstarch; tapioca starch also works. For every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch specified for in the recipe, substitute 2 tablespoons flour or tapioca starch.

What is a 1 1 substitute for cornstarch?

In a 1:1 ratio, replace potato starch with cornstarch. This implies that if your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, replace it with 1 tablespoon of potato starch. It’s also worth mentioning that many chefs advocate for adding root or tuber starches like potato or arrowroot later in the cooking process.

Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cornstarch?

Cornstarch has double the thickening power of all-purpose flour, so use twice as much of it. As a result, for every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, add 2 teaspoons of flour.

What is a common cornstarch substitute for thickening?

Cornstarch is used in a number of dishes to thicken liquids, including sauces, gravies, pies, puddings, and stir-fries. Flour, arrowroot, potato starch, tapioca, and even instant mashed potato granules may be used in its stead.

Can I use baking powder instead of cornstarch?

Never substitute baking soda or baking powder for cornstarch. It just will not thicken the meal enough. It will also lend a poor taste to the food, which may destroy it. These items are leavening agents and should be used only as specified in a recipe.

What happens if you leave cornstarch out of a recipe?

All-Purpose Flour 5 Best Cornstarch Substitutes. Yes, all-purpose flour is an extremely stable thickener.
Powdered arrowroot. You’re in luck if you have this starch on hand: It has the same thickening power as cornstarch and produces a lovely, sparkly sauce.
Starch from potatoes.
Flour made from rice.
Tapioca Starch is a kind of starch.

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