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11 Outstanding Arrowroot Starch Substitutes That You Would Love To Try

When it comes to making stews, soups, sauces, or marinades, chances are you’re going to need to use a thickening agent at some point in the process.

One of the most popular products to use for just this step in the cooking process is arrowroot starch.

8 Best Arrowroot Starch Substitutes

Whether it is a beef stew you are cooking up or even just some cake icing that needs to be a little less runny, arrowroot starch has your back!

That is, of course, unless you have suddenly run out of it!

When that happens, you’re going to either need to make a run to your local store and find another thickener or raid your pantry to see what else could work for your recipe.

So, what alternative to arrowroot starch are there that you can use?

This guide hopes to help you figure out just that, by showing you some of the best alternative thickening agents you can use in your cooking instead of this well-loved starch agent.

Nutritional/Calorie Table

SubstituteCalories per teaspoon
Cornstarch10
Tapioca Flour7
Potato Starch12
All-Purpose Flour9
Xanthan Gum10
Sweet Rice Flour9
Cream Of Tatar8
Arrowroot Flour15
Kuzu30
Glucomannan Powder12
Psyllium Husk12

Why Arrowroot Starch Works

However, before we go throwing random product recommendations at you, we should probably first establish what makes arrowroot starch such a good thickening agent in the first place, and what specific qualities you want to replicate in a good substitute.

Arrowroot starch is exactly what it sounds like. It is a starch-based product that is made from a root vegetable, very similar to potato or ginger.

This root is then ground down into the fine powder or flour-like substance that we know it best as.

As a root vegetable, it is often quite easy to grow and source to create more powder from, which is one of the reasons it has become as popular as it is.

Plus, the starch-based flour is excellent at absorbing moisture, which gives it the thickening qualities that we love about it in our food recipes!

The fact that it is also odorless, colorless, and tasteless, also means that it can be added to a recipe with very few other consequences that need to be accounted for.

Not needing to add extra ingredients to deal with an unwanted taste, color, or smell makes cooking with this thickener that much easier.

Plus, as a gluten-free substance, it can be added to a recipe that won’t trigger a person’s gluten sensitivity.

Like we said earlier, there’s a reason that this thickening agent is so popular!

Why Find A Substitute?

So, if this starch thickening agent is so good, why would you need to find a substitute for it?

Well, while arrowroot starch is great, it isn’t perfect, and there are some instances where you will need to find a substitute for it

  1. You may need to find a substitute if you have run out, and there are no stores near you that seem to sell this thickener.
  2. Whilst arrowroot starch is great for many sweet and savory dishes, it is not recommended that you use it for cream-based dishes, as it does change the texture of these foods into something that is not as smooth or desirable.
  3. Non-dairy desserts are off the table for arrowroot cornstarch too, as it will alter the texture of these recipes too into a slimy and unpleasant feeling texture.

In these circumstances, you’re going to need to find an alternative thickening agent for your food.

1. Cornstarch

Cornstarch

Of course, we couldn’t have a list of thickening agents in cooking, and not bring the king of them all!

Probably one of the most famous thickeners out there, cornstarch is used around the world for its ability to thicken virtually any recipe, in a very similar way to arrowroot starch.

Cornstarch is primarily made from corn, as the name implies, and can be used in a wide range of different recipes, meaning that if a recipe normally calls for arrowroot starch, then cornstarch will likely also be just as effective.

Arrowroot starch is often used as a substitute for cornstarch when the latter has run out from your pantries!

You can even use cornstarch in many non-frozen desserts such as a fruit crisp, which gives it an advantage over arrowroot starch.

Not only that, but cornstarch is an excellent way of getting a beautiful shine on your food item too!

If you have run out of arrowroot starch, cornstarch will almost certainly be your first port of call in this culinary storm!

How To Substitute

Cornstarch is one of the most common staples of everyone’s kitchen worldwide. It can work in any recipe that calls for arrowroot starch. It works as a thickening agent and provides a shine to your food, and even does not absorb moisture as well.

2. Tapioca Flour/Starch

Tapioca Flour/Starch

So, after cornstarch, what other thickeners can you use instead of arrowroot starch?

Well, one of the best options for you would likely be Tapioca flour, another popular thickener that is used when neither of our first two choices is handy.

While Tapioca flour is most often used in pies and jellies, it also makes more than an adequate substitute for our titular thickening agent.

Both Tapioca flour and arrowroot starch serve as excellent substitutes for each other, and can even be used in the same ratios for the same recipes.

Plus, this thickener is also gluten-free, so you won’t have to worry about dietary restrictions when including this substitute in your dishes.

If you cannot find any corn or arrowroot starch near you, this will always be a great safe option.

How To Substitute

You can substitute arrowroot starch with tapioca flour to create a creamy, white, and fluffy egg substitute. Tapioca flour is a starch derived from the root of the cassava plant and is a staple food in tropical regions like Latin America and Africa. Tapioca flour can be used as a thickening agent, binder, and stabilizer.

3. Potato Starch

Potato Starch

Do you remember how we mentioned that arrowroot starch comes from a root very similar to potato tubular?

Well, if this thickening agent comes from a related plant, can the humble potato be turned into an effective thickening agent?

The answer, it turns out, is yes!

Potatoes are full of starch, making them an ideal ingredient in making their thickening agent.

In cooking, potato starch is the perfect ingredient to help thicken up a stew or soup that is a little too liquid still after boiling down.

Not only that, but potato starch even has industrial uses too, as it can be used in paper manufacturing as a binding agent.

Of course, we don’t expect you to be making paper in the kitchen!

But if you need a thickener for your savory meal, potato starch will serve you very well.

How To Substitute

Potato starch is an excellent substitute for arrowroot starch. It can thicken soups and stews and add creaminess to sauces. It also can be used to make pie crusts. You can substitute it for arrowroot in most recipes.

4. All-Purpose Flour

All-Purpose Flour

While not necessarily a dedicated thickening agent in itself, we have found that all-purpose flour also does the job of arrowroot starch quite well.

As you will know as a cook, all-purpose flour is most often used in a variety of baked goods recipes.

However, when used in the correct quantities, it will also thicken up your soup or stew dish very well!

The only thing that we would not about this particular substitute is that you will not get the same shine from your food as you would from a more purpose-built thickener, such as arrowroot or cornstarch.

You will also need to add more all-purpose flour to a recipe to get a similar consistency as you would for arrowroot flour.

The ratios are approximately 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour for every one tablespoon of arrowroot a recipe asks for.

Again, it isn’t a dedicated thickening ingredient. It’s a jack of all-purpose flour, rather than a master thickener, you could say!

Still, if you’re in a pinch, all-purpose flour is a reliable ingredient to have.

How To Substitute

All-purpose flour can easily substitute arrowroot starch in various recipes. For example, you may use all-purpose flour to make bread, pancakes, and cakes. It also works exceptionally in substituting arrowroot for cornstarch to make gummy candies and for tapioca flour to make tapioca pudding.

5. Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is another reliable ingredient that is widely used for stabilizing and thickening food, so it can also be used as a reliable stand-in if you don’t have enough arrowroot starch handy.

This gum is derived from a bacterium found in many stem vegetables such as broccoli and has been cultivated to produce this fine powdery thickening agent for cooking and industrial uses, from cosmetic lotions to ice creams

Xanthan is very popular to use in many dessert and pudding recipes alongside the classic savory dishes that may need thickening, so this has a little more utility than even arrowroot in some cases.

The only thing that we would note is that some people seem to have some type of allergic reaction, prompting some minor digestive issues in those affected, so make sure to check with anyone you are feeding before reaching for this powdery thickener.

How To Substitute

If you’re looking for an alternative to arrowroot starch, xanthan gum is a good option. Xanthan gum is excellent to use in desserts and savory dishes. In addition, it’s often used as a thickener in soups, sauces, and puddings. To substitute arrowroot starch for xanthan gum, use a 1:1 ratio.

6. Sweet Rice Flour

Sweet Rice Flour

Staying with plant-derived thickeners, we have a powdery flour thickener that is derived from rice.

Sweet rice flour is a mainstay of many kitchen pantries, as it is ideal for many dessert recipes, as well as stews and sauces.

However, we would advise you to watch just how much of this flour you use as a substitute. You only need to use around half the amount of this sweet rice flour as you would for your recipe as you would use arrowroot traditionally.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you won’t get the same shine out of this thickener in your sauces as you would with other ingredients like arrowroot or cornstarch.

How To Substitute

If you run short of arrowroot starch while making your favorite recipe, here is your go-to choice. Sweet rice flour is an easy substitute for arrowroot starch in many recipes and is available in everyone’s kitchen.

7. Cream Of Tartar

Cream Of Tartar

You may only think of the cream of Tartar as an ingredient for meringue desserts.

However, this thickening and stabilizing agent is also very good as a substitute for arrowroot starch!

Adding this particular ingredient helps give that shine that arrowroot starch does to a sauce without actually using it, alongside the many puddings and custards that you would typically use this ingredient with.

Try it for yourself next time you’re out of other options!

How To Substitute

Tartar cream can easily replace arrowroot starch, especially if it is homemade. You can use a homemade tartar cream to replace the arrowroot starch. This tartar cream recipe is simple and can be made in about 10 minutes.

8. Arrowroot Flour

Arrowroot Flour

Is it cheating to suggest an arrowroot-based ingredient to replace another arrowroot-based ingredient? 

Maybe!

Still, so long as you are only using a third the amount of arrowroot flour as you would for the starch thickener, you’ll find it works remarkably well!

How To Substitute

Arrowroot starch is a thickening agent often used in baking, whereas arrowroot flour is a type of starch commonly used in baking and cooking. In addition, it is a thickening agent in bread, cakes, and other desserts. Thus, it is a great choice to replace arrowroot starch.

9. Kuzu

Kuzu is a Japanese Arrowroot and an everyday staple in soups, stews, and other dishes.
It provides a thick and glossy texture giving it a creamy consistency.

Although compared to Arrowroot, it is costly and worth the price seeing the results it provides.

Kuzu is one of the highest quality thickening agents with excellent healing properties and nutritional benefits.

How To Substitute

Despite being costly, Kuzu is considered a great alternative to Arrowroot starch. It works exceptionally well and gives a glossy and smoothest texture to soups and stews.

10. Glucomannan Powder

Arrowroot starch is a staple ingredient in gluten-free baking, and Glucomannan powder can lead to a less sticky and chewy result.

Like Arrowroot starch, Glucomannan powder is another starch typically used in baking recipes. Glucomannan powder is made from a type of seaweed called konjac. 

The powder is made into a fine powder, mixed with water and sugar, and will do great in recipes that call for Arrowroot starch.

How To Substitute

Glucomannan powder is a dietary fiber you may use as a substitute for Arrowroot starch. You may substitute arrowroot starch with one tablespoon of the powder, which you can add to a recipe without any other changes. For example, it helps you to thicken a soup or stew, but it must be heated in a pot before use.

11. Psyllium Husk

Some people have found it challenging to digest Arrowroot starch. It can cause bloating, cramps, gas, and diarrhea.

A popular solution is to use Psyllium Husk as a starch substitute in place of Arrowroot. It also works as a thickening agent.

Psyllium Husk is a ground-up seed used as a natural laxative for centuries. Psyllium Husk can also be used to prevent constipation. It is a soluble fiber that is prebiotic that helps feed the good bacteria in the gut.

How To Substitute

If you want to substitute Arrowroot starch with Psyllium Husk, you will need to grind it into powder. Once it is ground, you can use it to make various products. For example, you can make biscuits, cakes, cookies, and bread.

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, there are a plethora of options open to you when looking for a substitute for arrowroot starch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Almond Flour A Substitute For Arrowroot?

Almond flour is a substitute for arrowroot. Arrowroot is a type of starch often used in gluten-free cooking and baking.

Almond flour is made from ground almonds and has a texture similar to that of a fine powder. It is often used as a substitute for flour or cornstarch in baked goods.

Is Arrowroot Starch And Cornstarch The Same?

Arrowroot starch and cornstarch are interchangeable. Arrowroot starch is a root starch made from the arrowroot plant. It is used in gluten-free cooking because You can substitute for wheat flour in recipes and baked goods.

Cornstarch is a type of corn flour that is ground from dried corn kernels. It is also used in gluten-free cooking and can be substituted for wheat flour in recipes and baked goods.

Can I Use Coconut Flour In Place Of Arrowroot?

Coconut flour is a gluten-free flour made from dried coconut meat. It is a shallow-carb flour and a good substitute for arrowroot, tapioca, and potato starch.

You can use coconut flour in place of these flours in many recipes that call for these starches.

11 Best Arrowroot Starch Substitutes

5 from 5 votes
Prep time

1

minute
Cooking time

2

minutes
Total time

3

minutes

Arrowroot starch substitutes is a binding agent that is used in many different recipes. If you find yourself without this vital agent, you need to know your options!

Ingredients

  • Cornstarch

  • Tapioca Flour/Starch

  • Potato Starch

  • All-Purpose Flour

  • Xanthan Gum

  • Sweet Rice Flour

  • Cream Of Tartar

  • Arrowroot Flour

  • Kuzu

  • Glucomannan Powder

  • Psyllium Husk

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith