Don’t have cornstarch, or realized you’re all out while you’re cooking? Here’s the best cornstarch substitute to use for thickening in recipes.

Substitutes for Cornstarch

Making a recipe that calls for cornstarch and don’t have it? Don’t worry, there are few options that are perfectly suited as a substitution. Cornstarch is used as a thickener for sauces: both savory and sweet. You’ll find it in fruity desserts like strawberry rhubarb crisp, and savory recipes like vegetable stir fry. Whether you’re addressing an allergy or just ran out, there are a few easy substitutes that work well.

Best cornstarch substitute

1. Arrowroot starch

The best substitute for cornstarch? Arrowroot starch. It’s the starch extracted from the arrowroot plant, and often used in gluten-free baking to bring a light texture to baked goods. It’s a great substitute for cornstarch that works for people with corn allergies, and it provides that nice glossy shine just like cornstarch. Replace arrowroot starch 1 for 1 with cornstarch. (Here’s an example recipe: Blueberry Crisp.)

2. Flour

Another great substitute for cornstarch? Flour! Flour acts in a similar way to thicken sauces, though the sauce won’t end up with the glossy finish that cornstarch gives. Here’s the substitution ratio: use 2 tablespoons flour for every 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a recipe.

Other substitutes you can try: tapioca starch or rice flour. We haven’t worked with either in our recipes, so can’t comment to the effectiveness. But you’re welcome to try! Let us know how it goes in the comments below.

Note: Our Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream and other dairy-free ice cream recipes use cornstarch as a thickener to get a creamy texture. You could try with arrowroot starch, but flour wouldn’t have the same properties.

Here are some recipes where you could use this cornstarch substitution:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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