Substitute for arrowroot

4 Great Substitutes for Arrowroot

May 24, 2022 | Cooking Tips

Arrowroot has gained popularity as a versatile and natural thickening agent, especially among those with dietary restrictions or preferences. Its gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly, and vegan-friendly properties make it an ideal choice for various recipes.

Arrowroot is a natural thickener and good for baking and frying. It is gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly and vegan friendly. It’s a pretty amazing root crop that is often sold in powder form in the western grocery stores.

However, what happens if this beloved powder is unavailable? We’ve put together a list of the top 4 substitutes for arrowroot with options like cornstarch, all-purpose flour, and many more.

Arrowroot is a tropical root crop found in Asia, most specifically, Indonesia. In its native country, it is used as a component for some dishes with meats, vegetables, and even fruits. Arrowroot is a fibrous tubular that is high in fiber, potassium, iron, and vitamin b.

In the western world, arrowroot is gaining popularity because of its paleo, gluten-free and vegan-friendly characteristics. Arrowroot is typically presented as a powder in the west and is typically used as a thickening agent, used for baking, and is even used to make the batter.

The way the arrowroot starch is extracted from the body requires less processing, GMO, and high heat substances. It is usually sought out by our vegan friends, friends with starch or grain intolerance, and paleo friends.

However, what happens if you can’t find arrowroot? What could you possibly use to replace that?

We’ve put together a list of substitutes for arrowroot that you can use.


1. Cornstarch

The best substitute for arrowroot powder is cornstarch. If your recipes call for arrowroot, it’s most likely because it’s substituting cornstarch in the first place.

Cornstarch comes from corn and quite a number of people can be intolerant of grains and prefer a “healthier” and more organic option for cooking.

If you’re using arrowroot for the first time, it is highly suggested to first use it with some of the cornstarch required in the recipe. Arrowroot tends to have nuances in cooking and that means that it sometimes needs to be accompanied by other kinds of flour.

all purpose flour

2. All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is another option to use as a thickening agent like you would with arrowroot. However, it’s not the first choice.

All-purpose flour is used more for baking and making batters. However, in the absence of cornstarch, it is a viable substitute. We mentioned earlier that arrowroot is typically mixed with other kinds of flour.

All-purpose flour is one of the base flours that you can mix arrowroot flour with. When substituting all-purpose flour with arrowroot powder, it’ll create that nice thick sauce with double the amount of arrowroot needed. However, it won’t be as shiny as with arrowroot.

Tapioca flour

3. Tapioca Flour

Tapioca flour is another possible substitute for arrowroot. It’s a little sweeter in flavor but it can get clumps more than arrowroot does when turning it into a slurry.

Tapioca flour is easily found in healthy grocery stores and Asian stores together with arrowroot flour. For every one teaspoon of arrowroot, you could use one teaspoon of tapioca flour.

cassava flour

4. Cassava Flour

Cassava is another fibrous root crop that could sometimes serve as a thickening agent. It’s not the top choice to replace arrowroot but it’s a possibility.

Cassava flour is mostly used for baking and batter for deep frying. It is also gluten-free and vegan-friendly. This makes a perfect option for those who want a more high fiber and grain-free flour option.

When using a substitute for arrowroot in your recipes, it’s essential to adjust the amount accordingly to achieve the desired consistency and texture. Here are some tips to help you make the necessary adjustments for the best results:

Mastering Arrowroot Substitutes: Tips for Perfectly Adjusting Quantities in Your Recipes

  1. Cornstarch: As a general rule, use twice the amount of cornstarch as arrowroot. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of arrowroot, use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Keep in mind that cornstarch can sometimes create a slightly cloudy appearance in sauces.
  2. All-purpose flour: When using all-purpose flour as a substitute, you’ll need to double the amount compared to arrowroot. So, if your recipe requires 1 tablespoon of arrowroot, use 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Remember to cook the flour well to avoid a raw flour taste in your dish.
  3. Tapioca flour: Tapioca flour can be used as a 1:1 substitute for arrowroot. However, due to its slightly sweeter taste and tendency to clump, consider whisking it thoroughly into cold water before incorporating it into your recipe. This will help create a smoother consistency.
  4. Cassava flour: Like tapioca flour, cassava flour can also be used as a 1:1 substitute for arrowroot. However, it may yield a heavier texture in some recipes. To counter this, you can try using slightly less cassava flour than the amount of arrowroot called for, and gradually add more if needed.

Remember, these tips serve as a general guideline, and results may vary depending on the specific recipe. It’s always a good idea to experiment with small adjustments to find the perfect balance for your dish. Happy cooking!


Hey there! I'm Isabel. I love cooking, dogs, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good flavorful food, to share with family and friends.



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