11 Best Cornstarch Substitutes That You Must Try

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Are you out of cornstarch and looking for the best cornstarch substitutes? You are at the right place. One of the best thickening agents out there, there is no game without it in baking recipes. I once wanted to brew a magical vegetable soup and found myself out of cornstarch. I used a substitute, and it worked well. Curious to know what that was? Keep reading!

Cornstarch

Some of the best cornstarch substitutes are all-purpose flour, potato starch, rice flour, wheat flour, and tapioca starch. There are other substitutes as well, which I covered for you in this article.

Cornstarch is the starchy portion obtained from corn kernels. It is a popular thickening agent used to prepare gravies, marinades, sauces, soups, and casseroles. In baking recipes, it is also used as a substitute for eggs and other flours.

Cornstarch is a versatile ingredient that is hard to miss. But that shouldn’t let our spirits down right? I am going to cover all the best substitutes for cornstarch after we explore cornstarch, its uses, and its health benefits.

Cornstarch In The Culinary World

Cornstarch

Cornstarch is the white starchy portion obtained from the endosperm of corn kernels. It is mixed with other liquids to form a slurry and is used as a thickening agent. It is a very common food ingredient used for thickening and making syrups and sugars.

Many often assume cornstarch to be the same as corn flour, but both are not the same. Cornstarch is the starchy portion sourced from corn kernels, while corn flour refers to dried and ground corn kernels. 

Cornstarch is majorly used as a thickening agent in sauces, soups, and gravies. It is also a great substitute for various types of flour in baking recipes. It is used as an anticaking agent in powdered sugar. It is also a major ingredient in gluten-free cooking. Apart from culinary purposes, it finds applications in textiles, medical and adhesive industries.

Cornstarch On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Cornstarch is a gluten-free thickening agent, and that is its biggest advantage. Since it doesn’t contain many nutrients, it is often deemed as a less healthy ingredient. However, it helps improve your calorie intake and provides you with energy. Consumption of a high amount of cornstarch can quickly increase your blood sugar level. For better health benefits, you might want to try using modified cornstarch.

Why Should We Substitute Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is an easily available ingredient, so why should we bother about its substitutes? We have reasons! Cornstarch is a good thickening agent but is not a convincing ingredient regarding health benefits. If you are health-conscious, you might want to switch to thickening agents, which are healthier than cornstarch. That’s where the best cornstarch substitutes will help you.

Also, if you are allergic to corn or its related products, you definitely should look for some of the best cornstarch substitutes to enjoy your recipes with no worries. So, shall we talk about the best cornstarch substitutes right away?

11 Best Cornstarch Substitutes 

Now that you know everything you need to know about cornstarch, let us discuss the best substitutes for cornstarch.

1. All-Purpose Flour

All-Purpose Flour

All-Purpose flour, also known as flour or refined flour, is prepared using hard or soft varieties of wheat. Wheat grains are refined, milled, and bleached before they are used to make this flour. It is the most commonly used flour in baking recipes due to its thickening properties. It is deemed not-so-healthy since the bran and germ are removed for production. That said, it is a good source of micronutrients. 

All-purpose flour lacks a characteristic flavor of its own and has a powdery texture making it one of the best cornstarch substitutes. It is similar to cornstarch in terms of flavor and texture and thus can be used to replace cornstarch for thickening stews, soups, sauces, and gravies. You need to use two tablespoons of all-purpose flour for a tablespoon of cornstarch.

2. Potato Starch

Potato Starch

Potato starch, as you can easily surmise, is the starch obtained from potatoes. Potatoes are washed and peeled and then ground to form a fine powder. It is also a thickening agent that thickens soups, stews, puddings, and pies. Potato starch is used as a base for gelling agents in confectionery items. It controls blood sugar levels, and its consumption is great for metabolic health.

Potato starch has a bland flavor and a thick texture and thus is another excellent cornstarch substitute. For best results, you can add potato starch in the later stage of the cooking process since it absorbs water easily and breaks down quickly. This would lose the thickening properties of potato starch. You can replace cornstarch with potato starch on a 1:1 ratio. 

3. Rice Flour

Rice Flour

Rice flour is the flour obtained from grinding milled rice. It can be made using white rice or brown rice. There are other types too – red rice flour, green rice flour, and black rice flour. It is a thickening agent and is used to prepare rice cakes, noodles, pancakes, pastries, and cookies. It is a healthy, gluten-free substitute for many types of flour. It is a good source of fiber and protein and helps boost the functioning of the liver.

Rice flour has a mild, neutral flavor and a thick texture, making it a considerable substitute for cornstarch. It is colorless when mixed with water and thus is suitable to use as a thickening agent in clear liquids. Using two tablespoons of rice flour to substitute for a tablespoon of cornstarch. 

4. Wheat Flour

Wheat Flour

Wheat flour is simply powdered ground wheat. Based on gluten content, soft or hard varieties are used to make wheat flour. It is also a popular thickening agent used to thicken sauces or make a roux. It is used to bake bread, pancakes, and other baked goods. It is high in fiber and protein and reduces the risk of heart diseases. 

Wheat flour has a nutty flavor and a firm texture and thus can be a good cornstarch substitute. Since it is high in fiber content, you might need to add more water to form a thick paste without lumps. To form a paste, use cold water for best results. To substitute for a tablespoon of cornstarch, use two tablespoons of wheat flour. 

5. Tapioca Starch

Tapioca Starch

Tapioca starch is the starch obtained from the root of a cassava plant. It is also known as tapioca flour. It is a gluten-free thickening agent that can be used in baking recipes. It is also a good stabilizer that can be used while making fruit pies, soups, puddings, bread, and sauces. The best thing about tapioca starch is that it is an allergy-friendly ingredient devoid of common allergens. It is a good source of iron and calcium.

Tapioca starch is basically flavorless with a fine, powdery texture and is a worthy substitute for cornstarch. Some cassava plants may contain cyanide, and therefore it is essential to treat the flour first. Although tapioca starch is not as dense as cornstarch, it can still be a good substitute with increased quantity. You may have to avoid boiling tapioca starch since it can become soggy. For a tablespoon of cornstarch, use two tablespoons of tapioca starch.

6. Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder is obtained from a tuber called Maranta arundinacea. The roots of this plant are dried and ground to form a fine powder known as arrowroot powder. It also goes by the names arrowroot flour or arrowroot starch. It is a versatile ingredient that thickens sauces, jellies, and puddings. It is also used as a thickening agent in place of other flours in baking recipes. It is gluten-free and is a good source of proteins and B vitamins.

Arrowroot powder has a bland flavor and a fine, powdery texture, thus becoming a good substitute for cornstarch. You have to keep in mind that it doesn’t withstand high temperatures for long, and hence it is wise to add this in the later stage of the cooking process. Also, it doesn’t mix well with soups or sauces based on dairy. It is best to use two tablespoons of arrowroot powder to replace a tablespoon of cornstarch. 

7. Sorghum Flour

Sorghum Flour

Sorghum flour is flour made from ground sorghum. It is used to make gluten-free cakes and bread. It is used to make porridges and thickening stews and used in the production of alcoholic beverages. It is rich in fiber, protein, and iron and benefits bone health and weight loss.

Sorghum flour has a mild, sweet flavor and a smooth texture, making it a considerable substitute for cornstarch. It can be used instead of cornstarch in soups, chowders, and stews. It is a good choice to replace cornstarch in baking due to the texture it can provide. You can use two tablespoons of sorghum flour for a tablespoon of cornstarch.

8. Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum

Fermenting sugar with bacteria gives you xanthan gum. The sugar can be from wheat, soy, or corn. It is used as a binding agent, thickening agent, laxative, and emulsifier. It has a major role in gluten-free cooking. It gives food products great consistency, flavor, texture, and shelf-life. Consumption of xanthan gum is helpful for people with diabetes since it helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol. 

Xanthan gum has a neutral flavor and binding properties and thus is a worthy substitute for cornstarch. Many recipes can use it as a thickening agent instead of cornstarch. However, it doesn’t have many nutrients apart from sodium and potassium and thus is not always a healthy choice for replacing cornstarch. You can substitute cornstarch with xanthan gum on a 1:1 ratio. 

9. Ground Flaxseeds

Ground Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are also known as flax or linseeds. They are extremely healthy seeds full of antioxidants, fiber, and fat. Ground flaxseeds are used to make baked goods and granolas and replace eggs and meat in recipes. These are one of the best plant-based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. These help boost digestion and reduce heart diseases and certain types of cancer. 

When mixed with water, ground flaxseeds have a mild nutty flavor and a smooth, powdery texture and thus are one of the good substitutes for cornstarch. Ground flaxseeds mixed with water have a thick, gel-like consistency similar to cornstarch. Use two tablespoons of flax seeds with a tablespoon of water to create a gel, and this can be used to replace a tablespoon of cornstarch. 

10. Glucomannan

Glucomannan

Obtained from the konjac or elephant yam plant, glucomannan is dietary fiber. It is natural and water-soluble that has been used as a medicine and food in Asian cultures. Glucomannan powder works as a good thickening agent in sauces, soups, and smoothies. It is also a good gelling agent. Consumption of glucomannan helps treat constipation and Type 2 diabetes, assisting with weight loss and lowering cholesterol. 

Glucomannan powder has a bland flavor and a powdery texture making it ideal as a substitute for cornstarch. Being a probiotic, replacing cornstarch with glucomannan is a healthy option. It is colorless and odorless and great for blending with other ingredients besides thickening. It is mixed with water to form a paste, and a tablespoon of this paste is enough to replace a tablespoon of cornstarch. 

11. Guar Gum

Guar Gum

Guar gum is a gel-like product sourced from guar beans. It is also known as guaran and is used for thickening and stabilizing effects. Besides culinary purposes, guar gum is also used in the cosmetic industry, pharmaceuticals, paper, textile, explosives, and oil well drilling. It treats constipation, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and irritable bowel syndrome. 

Guar gum has a mild flavor with a slightly bitter finish and a thick texture and can be your last resort as a substitute for cornstarch. It becomes a good thickening agent when mixed with water and can be used in place of cornstarch in recipes. Start with a small amount to add guar gum with water. 

Short Recap Of Best Cornstarch Substitutes

That must have been an exhaustive read on the best substitutes, right? Let me make it easy for you to remember the details with the help of some points.

Best Cornstarch Substitutes In Terms of Flavor And Texture-

  1. All-Purpose Flour
  2. Potato Starch
  3. Rice Flour
  4. Wheat Flour

Best Cornstarch Substitutes That Are Healthy Options-

  1. Wheat Flour
  2. Arrowroot Powder
  3. Sorghum Flour
  4. Glucomannan
  5. Tapioca Starch

Best Cornstarch Substitutes That Are Gluten-Free-

  1. Potato Starch
  2. Rice Flour
  3. Tapioca Starch
  4. Arrowroot Powder
  5. Sorghum Flour
  6. Xanthan Gum
  7. Ground Flaxseeds
  8. Glucomannan
  9. Guar Gum

Best Cornstarch Substitutes That Are Keto-Friendly-

  1. Tapioca Starch
  2. Xanthan Gum
  3. Ground Flaxseeds
  4. Glucomannan
  5. Guar Gum

Final Musings

I hope the article gave you enough information on dealing with the unfortunate situation of being out of cornstarch. The substitutes are inclusive of gluten-free and keto-friendly ingredients. Their health benefits have also been covered so that you can choose anyone based on your preferences. Let me know your experimentation with the best cornstarch substitutes. See you soon with another list of best substitutes!

How To Use Cornstarch Substitutes In A Recipe

Cornstarch

Cornstarch Substitutes

If you are out of cornstarch to make a delicious vegetable soup, don't fret. Take the help of these substitutes. Some of the best cornstarch substitutes are all-purpose flour, potato starch, rice flour, wheat flour, and tapioca starch.
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Potato Starch
  • Rice Flour
  • Wheat Flour
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Arrowroot Powder
  • Sorghum Flour
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Ground Flaxseeds
  • Glucomannan
  • Guar Gum

Instructions
 

  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use instead of cornstarch for frying?

All-purpose flour and potato starch can be used instead of frying.

Can I use baking powder instead of cornstarch for frying?

It is not a good idea to use baking powder instead of cornstarch for frying due to the flavor differences.

What are the healthy substitutes for cornstarch?

Wheat flour, arrowroot powder, glucomannan, sorghum flour and tapioca flour are some of the healthy substitutes for cornstarch.

Can corn flour be used instead of cornstarch?

Corn flour can’t be used instead of cornstarch due to the differences in their compositions.

Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cornstarch?

All-purpose flour can be used instead of cornstarch on a 2:1 ratio.

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