Arrowroot Powder Substitutes

Arrowroot powder is a popular and versatile ingredient commonly used as a thickening agent in various recipes, including sauces, puddings, and baked goods. However, there might be instances when you find yourself without arrowroot powder or prefer to use something different due to dietary restrictions or taste preferences. Fortunately, many substitutes can effectively replace arrowroot powder in your cooking adventures.

Understanding the properties and functions of arrowroot powder is crucial when determining the most suitable alternative. Arrowroot powder acts as a thickening agent, providing a smooth consistency without altering the flavors of your dish. Because of this, a good substitute should possess similar characteristics while meeting any specific dietary needs or preferences.

When choosing an arrowroot powder substitute, you should also consider how it will perform in the context of your recipe. Some substitutes might be better suited for specific dishes or cooking methods. By taking these factors into account, you can confidently select the ideal substitute for your culinary creation.

Key Takeaways

  • Arrowroot powder is a versatile thickening agent that can be replaced by several substitutes
  • Your choice of substitute should consider the recipe’s context and your dietary preferences
  • Performance in specific recipes and cooking methods is crucial when selecting a suitable alternative

Understanding Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder is a versatile and valuable ingredient in your kitchen. Derived from the arrowroot plant’s rhizomes, this fine, white powder serves primarily as a starch-based thickening agent. While it might not be as well-known as cornstarch or flour, its unique properties lend themselves to a variety of uses in cooking and baking.

One of the primary benefits of using arrowroot powder is that it is gluten-free. This makes it an excellent choice for thickening agents in dishes that need to cater to gluten-sensitive individuals or those following a gluten-free diet. Additionally, arrowroot powder’s neutral flavor ensures it won’t alter the taste of your dishes as it works to thicken sauces, gravies, and puddings.

Another appealing aspect of arrowroot powder is its ability to create a smooth, glossy texture in your culinary creations. Unlike some other starches, arrowroot powder doesn’t result in a cloudy or chalky appearance, which makes it an ideal choice for clear sauces and glazes.

When working with arrowroot powder, remember that it will thicken your recipes at a lower temperature than other starches. This means it’s essential to mix it with a cool liquid before introducing it to the rest of your ingredients to avoid clumping. On the other hand, be cautious about heating it too much, as excessive heat can cause it to lose its thickening abilities.

In summary, arrowroot powder is a useful gluten-free starch that offers unique properties such as creating a smooth and glossy texture in your dishes. By understanding its strengths and limitations, you can make educated decisions for your cooking and baking needs, especially when searching for appropriate substitutes.

Top Arrowroot Powder Substitutes

If you’re in need of a arrowroot powder substitute, there are several alternatives that work well in various recipes. Here are some of the best options:

  • Cornstarch: A popular thickening agent, cornstarch works well as a substitute for arrowroot powder in sauces, gravies, and baked goods. Use half the amount of cornstarch as the required arrowroot powder.
  • Tapioca: Tapioca, whether in the form of tapioca starch or tapioca flour, is an excellent option for replacing arrowroot powder in recipes. It shares similar properties and works well as a thickening agent. Use equal amounts of tapioca as a substitute for arrowroot powder.
  • Rice flour: Rice flour is a gluten-free flour alternative that can be used in place of arrowroot powder. It is best used in thicker recipes like stews or puddings. Substitute rice flour in equal amounts as arrowroot powder.
  • Potato starch: Another gluten-free option for arrowroot powder substitute is potato starch. It provides a similar neutral taste and works well in recipes that require thickening. Use equal amounts of potato starch in place of arrowroot powder.
  • Xanthan gum: Although not the most common option, xanthan gum is a useful arrowroot powder substitute when you need a small quantity. It is a strong thickener and often used in gluten-free baking. Use xanthan gum sparingly, typically 1/4 to 1/2 tsp per cup of liquid instead of arrowroot powder.

When choosing the best arrowroot powder substitute for your needs, consider the type of recipe you’re preparing and the desired consistency. Some substitutes may work better for certain dishes, and experimenting with different options can help you achieve the perfect result.

How to Substitute Arrowroot in Recipes

When you find yourself in need of a substitute for arrowroot powder, there are several alternatives to consider. Each alternative functions a little differently, so choose wisely based on your recipe’s requirements.

Cornstarch: This is a popular choice for thickening sauces and soups. To use cornstarch as a substitute, you can replace arrowroot powder with twice the amount of cornstarch. Keep in mind that cornstarch might make your sauces slightly cloudy compared to arrowroot.

Tapioca Starch: Tapioca starch stems from the cassava root and can be an effective substitute for arrowroot powder in recipes. Use the same amount of tapioca starch as you would arrowroot powder. However, it may not work as well for dishes that require reheating, as tapioca can lose its thickening power in such situations.

Potato Starch: This gluten-free starch can work as an arrowroot substitute in certain recipes, especially for baking or for thickening stews and soups. Use the same quantity of potato starch as the arrowroot called for, but be aware that it might not create the same glossy finish like arrowroot does in desserts and jams.

Rice Flour: Rice flour, another gluten-free option, can be used as a substitute for arrowroot in some sauces and baking recipes. Replace arrowroot with an equal amount of rice flour. It might result in a slightly grainy texture in sauces, so it’s best suited for recipes where that won’t be an issue.

Wheat Flour: Although not gluten-free, wheat flour can be used to thicken recipes in place of arrowroot. You’ll need twice the amount of wheat flour compared to arrowroot. However, this substitute isn’t recommended for sweet dishes or baking cakes as it can alter the taste and texture.

When substituting arrowroot, consider the properties of these alternatives and choose the one that best suits your recipe and dietary needs.

Nutritional Differences and Considerations

When considering substitutes for arrowroot powder, it’s essential to be aware of the nutritional differences and how they may impact your dietary needs.

Tapioca starch is a common substitute and has similar calorie content to arrowroot powder. However, tapioca starch tends to be lower in fiber and protein. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you can confidently use tapioca starch as it’s naturally gluten-free.

Cornstarch, another popular substitute, is also gluten-free and low in calories. However, it’s essential to note that cornstarch is higher in carbs compared to arrowroot powder. If you follow a keto diet, you may want to choose a different option. For those concerned about GMO products, ensure you select a non-GMO cornstarch variety.

Potato starch can be suitable for those following a low-calorie and gluten-free diet. Similar to cornstarch, potato starch is higher in carbs, so careful consideration is needed for individuals on a keto diet. Additionally, potato starch provides less protein and fiber than arrowroot powder.

Rice flour is another alternative to arrowroot powder but contains higher amounts of calories, carbs, and protein. Rice flour is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten allergies. However, its higher carb content may not be ideal for a keto diet.

In summary, when selecting an arrowroot powder substitute, consider your dietary restrictions and nutritional goals. Assess factors such as calories, nutrition, protein, fiber, gluten-free, keto diet, allergies, digestion, carbs, non-GMO, and low in calories to determine the best option for your recipe and health.

Specialty Substitutes for Dietary Restrictions

Arrowroot flour is a versatile thickening agent that suits many types of dietary restrictions, but sometimes you might need a different option. In those cases, don’t worry; there are plenty of substitutes that cater to various diets.

For those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, you might look for alternatives in vegan recipes that don’t use animal-derived ingredients. A great option is agar agar, a plant-based gelatin derived from seaweed. Agar agar works well in savory dishes and can help bind ingredients in the absence of arrowroot flour.

For individuals adhering to a paleo-friendly diet, tapioca flour is an excellent choice. Tapioca flour is derived from the cassava root and is gluten-free, making it a suitable substitute for arrowroot flour. It’s particularly useful in thickening sauces, soups, and stews.

If you don’t have dietary restrictions, wheat flour is a common thickening agent used in many recipes. However, keep in mind it’s not suitable for gluten-free diets and could alter the taste and texture of some dishes, especially those requiring a transparent appearance.

Unique Arrowroot Powder Alternatives

Arrowroot powder is a popular choice for thickening sauces and gravies, as well as for gluten-free baking. However, you might find yourself in need of a substitute if it’s not available. Luckily, there are several unique alternatives that you can consider to achieve similar results.

Psyllium husk is a lesser-known but effective arrowroot powder substitute. Rich in fiber, it can act as a binding agent in gluten-free recipes. To use psyllium husk as a substitute, start with a small amount (1/4 teaspoon for every 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder) and adjust depending on the desired thickness.

Coconut flour is another option to consider if you’re looking for an arrowroot powder alternative. It’s a popular choice for gluten-free and low-carb baking due to its high fiber content. Since coconut flour is highly absorbent, start with a 1-to-1 substitution ratio, then adjust as needed for the desired consistency.

Kuzu root starch, also known as kudzu or Japanese arrowroot, is a natural thickener that can be used as a replacement for arrowroot powder. Kuzu has a neutral flavor and imparts a smooth, silky texture in recipes. To use kuzu, dissolve 1 tablespoon of kuzu in 2 tablespoons of cold water for every 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder, then cook the mixture until it becomes clear and thick.

Almond flour can also serve as an arrowroot powder substitute, especially for those following a grain-free or paleo diet. It works well as a binding agent in gluten-free baking, but it may yield a denser texture than arrowroot powder. Substitute almond flour in a 1-to-1 ratio but keep in mind that the final product may be slightly heavier.

When it comes to binding agents and egg substitutes, some of these arrowroot powder alternatives can be used to replace eggs in recipes. For example, a mixture of psyllium husk and water can take the place of eggs in vegan or egg-free baking.

In conclusion, while arrowroot powder has its benefits, these unique alternatives offer versatility for different diets and preferences. Whether you are looking for a gluten-free baking option or a thickening agent, psyllium husk, coconut flour, kuzu root starch, and almond flour are all feasible options to consider.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Substitute

When choosing a substitute for arrowroot powder, it’s important to consider the type of dish you’re making and the desired result. Bear in mind the following factors to make an informed decision.

First, think about the temperature of your dish. Arrowroot powder is ideal for thickening sauces, gravies, and custards, as it maintains its consistency across a wide range of temperatures. If the substitute you’re considering doesn’t perform well at low temperatures, such as when freezing, you might want to try another option. Freezing can affect the texture of some substitutes, making them less appealing or even inedible.

Next, consider the specific function of arrowroot powder in your recipe. If you’re making a custard or pie, you’ll want a substitute that also works well as a thickening agent. Remember that some substitutes may require adjustments to the amount used, as they may have different levels of thickening power than arrowroot powder.

When making thickening sauces and gravies, you may want to consider how the substitute will affect the final taste and texture of your dish. Some substitutes, like cornstarch, can handle the heat better than arrowroot and are less likely to break down in acidic dishes. However, they might result in a slightly different consistency than you would achieve with arrowroot powder.

Keep in mind the source of your chosen substitute. Arrowroot powder comes from the Maranta arundinacea plant, traditionally sourced in the Amazon rainforest. If you’re looking for a substitute with a similar origin or plant-based, be sure to research the alternatives and choose one that meets your preference.

Lastly, an all-purpose substitute might be an option if you don’t have a specific thickening agent on hand. All-purpose flour can sometimes work, but be aware that it might impart a slightly different flavor or texture to your dish compared to arrowroot powder.

In conclusion, taking these factors into consideration will help you choose the most suitable substitute for arrowroot powder in your recipe.

Using Substitutes in Specific Recipes

When it’s time to use a substitute for arrowroot powder in your recipes, it’s essential to consider the type of dish you’re preparing. Different alternatives work best for specific recipes, so let’s explore some of the common ones.

For puddings and stews, cornstarch is the best substitute. It has similar thickening properties and achieves a similar consistency. Add the cornstarch at a 1:1 ratio in place of arrowroot powder. To yield the best results, remember to mix the cornstarch with a cold liquid before adding it to your dish.

If you’re working on stederrecipes, tapioca flour or cassava flour can be a great replacement for arrowroot powder. These substitutes have a neutral taste and blend well with other flavors. Use a 2:1 ratio of tapioca or cassava flour to arrowroot powder in your recipe and adjust according to your desired thickness.

When making cookies, potato starch can come to your rescue. It maintains the light, delicate texture of your baked goods while acting as a binding agent in place of arrowroot powder. Use potato starch in a 1:1 ratio to substitute arrowroot powder, and be sure to sift it with other dry ingredients to avoid clumps.

For recipes where binding is crucial, like in veggie burgers and meatballs, flaxseed meal or chia seeds can be a fantastic alternative. To use these substitutes, mix 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit until it becomes gelatinous. This mixture can replace 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder.

In conclusion, selecting the best substitute for arrowroot powder depends on the specific recipe you are working on. Always remember to adjust the ratios accordingly and consider the dish’s requirements to achieve optimal results. Ultimately, your knowledge and confidence will help you make the right choice when it comes to thickening or binding ingredients in your culinary creations.

Additional Uses of Arrowroot Powder

In addition to being a versatile substitute in cooking, arrowroot powder has some other practical applications which you might find beneficial.

When it comes to hair care, arrowroot powder is often used as a dry shampoo ingredient. It has the ability to absorb excess oil from your hair and scalp, leaving it refreshed and looking clean. To use arrowroot powder as a dry shampoo, simply sprinkle a small amount onto your hair, concentrating on the roots and oily areas, and brush or comb it through to distribute the powder evenly.

Conversion of arrowroot powder to other thickening agents is relatively simple. In general, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, you can use 1.5 tablespoons of arrowroot powder as a substitute. Similarly, if a recipe requires 1 tablespoon of wheat flour, you can replace it with 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder. Keep in mind that different recipes may require slight adjustments to achieve the desired consistency.

In sauces and gravies, one of the benefits of using arrowroot powder is its ability to provide a glossy sheen to the finished product. This is especially desirable in recipes where appearance matters, such as dessert sauces or glazes. To achieve this effect, follow the conversion mentioned above when substituting arrowroot powder for cornstarch or other thickeners.

Finally, arrowroot powder can help prevent a cloudy appearance in dishes. Unlike cornstarch, which can sometimes result in a slightly opaque or hazy look, arrowroot powder maintains the clarity of sauces and broths. This can be particularly beneficial when making clear fruit sauces or soups that rely on their transparency for visual appeal.

In summary, arrowroot powder can serve as a valuable ingredient in a wide range of applications, from hair care to enhancing the aesthetics and texture of various dishes. By understanding these additional uses, you can make the most out of your arrowroot powder and utilize it in various aspects of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use instead of arrowroot powder?

You can use cornstarch, tapioca flour, potato starch, or rice flour as alternatives to arrowroot powder. Each substitute has its properties, so consider your recipe before making a choice.

Is cornstarch a good substitute for arrowroot?

Yes, cornstarch is a popular substitute for arrowroot powder. Use it at a 1:1 ratio, but be aware that cornstarch may provide a slightly different texture and create a cloudy appearance in sauces.

Can I use tapioca flour in place of arrowroot powder?

Tapioca flour is another suitable substitute for arrowroot powder. Use it at a 1:1 ratio, and keep in mind that tapioca flour has a slightly stronger thickening ability, so you might need to adjust the liquid content in your recipe.

Is there a gluten-free alternative to arrowroot powder?

Yes, there are gluten-free alternatives to arrowroot powder. Cornstarch, tapioca flour, and potato starch are all gluten-free options that you can use in place of arrowroot powder.

Can almond flour replace arrowroot powder?

Almond flour is not an ideal substitute for arrowroot powder, as it has a different consistency and nutritional profile. It may not provide the same thickening effect as arrowroot powder. It’s best to use cornstarch, tapioca flour, or potato starch for thickening instead.

What is a suitable substitute for arrowroot powder in deodorant?

You can try using baking soda or cornstarch as a substitute for arrowroot powder in deodorant. Both of these ingredients can help absorb moisture and have a similar consistency to arrowroot powder. Remember to test on a small area of the skin before applying it to your entire underarm area.

Best Arrowroot Powder Substitutes: The Ultimate Guide

These options are sure to be a hit. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!
4.86 from 7 votes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitute
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 177 kcal


  • Arrowhead Mills Organic Tapioca Flour
  • Naturevibe Botanicals White Rice Flour - 2lbs
  • USA Fava Xanthan Gum 8oz
  • Kate Naturals Xanthan Gum
  • Anthony's Organic Cornstarch 2 lb
  • Unpretentious Baker Corn Starch 1 Gallon Bucket
  • Anthony's Organic Tapioca Flour Starch 2.5 lb
  • Baking Powder
  • Cassava Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Potato Starch
  • Almond Flour


  • Try an amazing arrowroot powder substitute


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Use in or with your favorite recipe.


Calories: 177kcal
Keyword arrowroot powder substitute
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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