Cooking Tips

Don’t Use Cornstarch – Try These Substitutes Instead

Do you want your pie fillings to be silkier and your gravies a little thicker?
Do you like crispy, fried chicken? Are you aiming to have that nice texture for certain dishes? If so, you should always keep cornstarch in your kitchen.

Aside from flour, cornstarch is that white powder that is essential when cooking and baking. It’s one of the most important ingredients in various recipes. But things happen. What if you forgot to buy a pack? What if you did not notice that you already run out? Worry not as there are substitutes. Here they are:

Wheat Flour

Wheat flour has protein, fiber, and starch, making it a great substitute for cornstarch. However, you need to use (twice as much) more so that you will be able to achieve the same effect, particularly if you are using brown and whole grain flour.

So how do you utilize wheat flour to replace cornstarch? You need to form a paste by mixing wheat flour with a little bit of cold water.

Potato Starch

This right here is a refined starch. It is high in carbs but low in protein and fat. The ratio is 1:1, which means that if you need 1 cup of cornstarch, you can use 1 cup of potato starch. Chefs recommend that you also utilize arrowroot to achieve better results.


Tapioca is extracted from a root vegetable known as cassava. The roots need to be ground and the liquid filtered out. It will then be dried into tapioca flour. To be on the safe side, it is highly recommended that you cure the cassava first.

To substitute cornstarch with tapioca, the ratio that you have to follow is 1:2. If you need 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, replace it with 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour.

Ground Flaxseeds

Ground flaxseeds are jelly when you mix it with water. But the thing is, the consistency would be a little bit gritty. To utilize this substitute, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with about 4 tablespoons of water. The result can replace about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

Rice Flour

Rice flour is commonly used in desserts as well as in soups and rice noodles. But it can also be utilized to thicken certain recipes. It is colorless, which means that you can use it to thicken clear liquids. You can mix it with either hot or cold water to form a paste, and the ratio is 1:2 (cornstarch vs. rice flour).

Psyllium Husk

Psyllium husk is high in soluble fiber but is low in carbs. One good thing about this cornstarch replacement is that you only need a small amount. It is advisable that you start from 1 teaspoon.

Xanthan Gum

When sugar is fermented by a bacteria known as Xanthomonas campestris, the result is xanthan gum. The gel needs to be dried so it will turn into a powder that you can utilize to thicken certain recipes. Just like psyllium husk, it would be better to start with a small amount.

All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour may not be able to produce a glossy shine as cornstarch does but it sure is an excellent substitute. The ratio is 1:2 as well.

Pureed White Beans

Pureed plant-based ingredients like white beans can replace cornstarch, too, but this depends on the recipe. It works really well with gravies, but you can expect a little change in flavor.

Mashed Potatoes

Just like potato starch, mashed potatoes can take the place of cornstarch, too, especially when making stews. You have to be careful, though, when using ready-made potatoes because they contain butter, salt, and other ingredients.

Thickening sauces, stews, or soups, cornstarch is not the only thing that you can use. You have lots of options. The bottom line is, it is important that you utilize the best replacement, depending on the dish that you are making.

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