When I got married my neighbor gave me a big basket of kitchen essentials as a wedding gift. One of the ‘essentials’ she included was a container of cornstarch. I’m going to be honest – I don’t know if I had ever used it before then. But wow, she’s right. Cornstarch IS essential for cooking and baking!
As a versatile thickening agent, cornstarch seamlessly blends whatever you’re making, be it sauces, soups, desserts, etc – ensuring the right consistency without altering the flavor.
But if you happen to run out or have dietary restrictions, don’t worry, there are substitute for cornstarch that you can turn to!
Substitutes for Cornstarch
*Remember to always introduce you substitutes for cornstarch slowly and stir frequently to avoid lumps!
- Arrowroot Powder – A great gluten-free alternative, arrowroot powder has a similar thickening power to cornstarch! Use it in a 1:1 ratio. This is ideal for acidic dishes & can withstand long cooking times.
- Tapioca Starch – Derived from the cassava root, it provides a glossy finish to dishes. Use 2 teaspoons of tapioca starch for every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. This is best in pies, especially fruit ones, because of it’s gorgeous glossy finish.
- Potato Starch – Another neutral-flavored thickener. Use it in a 1:1 ratio as a cornstarch substitute. This works well in soups & gravies, but weirdly enough it shouldn’t be boiled because it might lose its thickening power.
- Rice Flour – While not as potent in its thickening power, rice flour can be a handy alternative. Use twice the amount of rice flour as you would cornstarch. This is commonly used in Asian cuisines, specifically sauces!
So while cornstarch may be a kitchen staple, it isn’t irreplaceable! So next time your recipe calls for Cornstarch but you cannot use it, give one of these substitutes for cornstarch a try!