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Cornstarch Substitute

User Rating 3 Star Rating (1 Review)



Corn Starch Substitute

Photo © Erin Huffstetler
All out of cornstarch, and need something to thicken your gravy, sauce, pie or pudding? Turn to one of these cornstarch substitutes:


  • All-purpose flour
  • Instant tapioca
  • Arrowroot starch


Option 1: Replace the cornstarch in your recipe with double the amount of all-purpose flour. This is the best substitute for dairy-based sauces, and a good substitute for all sauces.

Option 2: Replace the cornstarch with an equal amount of instant Tapioca (Minute Tapioca). This is a good substitute to use in sauces, but does not work well in dairy-based sauces. It's also good in dishes that will be cooked at a high temperature (pies) or anything that you plan to freeze. Tapioca doesn't dissolve completely when cooked, so you will have little balls in your finished dish. If this is a concern, grind your tapioca into a fine powder before using it. Only have regular tapioca or pearl tapioca on hand? Just grind it first. Recipes prepared with tapioca will have a glossier finish than those prepared with cornstarch. With pies, this is usually a plus. For the best results, add the tapioca, and allow the recipe to sit for 5-15 minutes before cooking. This will give the tapioca time to start absorbing the liquids in the dish.

Option 3: Replace the cornstarch with an equal amount of arrowroot starch. Arrowroot works well in cooked dishes and foods that are destined for the freezer. It is not a good substitute to use in dairy-based recipes because it will result in a slimy texture.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Worked, but not without a hitch..., Member lafleurdelili

I used this idea for making the filling of a strawberry pie, which is probably one of the best uses for the substitution. It worked alright, but not as well as the cornstarch the recipe called for because the doubled amount of flour caused the filling to become too gooey, so I needed to add water. After the cooking process was finished, I tried a little and realised that the strawberry 'jam' tasted a little artificial. Less like the fresh, incredible strawberries I had used, and more like a strawberry jello mix. In a pinch substituting the flour for the cornstarch was fine, but I wouldn't do it frequently, and in more difficult recipes it could really ruin your dish what with the weird liquid:powder ratio.

72 out of 78 people found this helpful.

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