You’re in the kitchen, making something delicious that needs a little thickening. The recipe says throw in some potato starch. You check the pantry only to find you’re out of potato starch. Sound familiar? Of course, it does. So, wouldn’t it help to know about some potato starch substitutes?
We have found 10 potato starch substitutes, so you’ll know where to turn when you find yourself in a situation like the one above. Some alternatives work best for specific situations. One substitute works well for gluten-free baking, while another works best for frying. We also found a few that are good alternatives overall.
This article teaches you about the options for replacing potato starch with something else. We’ll look at the typical uses of potato starch first, then cover each substitute briefly before wrapping things up. Read on for more about the alternatives to potato starch.
How Is Potato Starch Used?
Potato starch has been used for a long time to thicken up soups, stews, and other foods. It’s virtually flavorless so it’s good for changing the texture of food without changing the taste.
It also doesn’t have color, so your food looks the same with potato starch in it, too.
Many people use it in baking. It helps give cakes and breads that little bit of shine you often see. Bakers often use potato starch in pie or pastry fillings to help them gel.
Potato starch is mixed with different flours sometimes to replace potato flour in recipes. It’s used to coat foods for frying and used as a gravy thickener.
Sometimes, people put potato starch into waffle batter and other types of batter because it improves the stability of the foods. It also works as an anti-staling agent in foods like this and breads.
Substitutes for Potato Starch
1. Sweet Rice Flour
Sweet rice flour comes from sweet rice. This rice has a higher starch content than other types of rice. Sweet rice flour makes a wonderful alternative for potato starch in gluten-free baking. It’s naturally gluten-free and is good at increasing the stability of foods by binding the ingredients together.
Cornstarch is ok to use wherever you would also use potato starch. It’s good at thickening and binding. It gives you the glossiness you may want in your baked goods but without any change in taste or color.
Cornstarch is usually gluten-free, as well, as long as it’s made from corn only. You can make sure by looking at the label.
3. Arrowroot Starch
Arrowroot starch is another gluten-free alternative to potato starch. It’s derived from more than one type of tropical plant. It works well as a thickening agent and is excellent for use in various types of breads.
Ratios are close to the same. You can swap in 2 teaspoons of arrowroot in place of 1 tablespoon of potato starch.
Arrowroot starch is good to keep in any pantry. Its shelf life is up to three or four years.
4. Tapioca Starch
Tapioca starch comes from the same region of the world as arrowroot. It’s also gluten-free, like arrowroot. You must be careful not to use too much tapioca starch, though, as it can make foods too dense.
If you’re using tapioca starch to thicken up gravy, soup, or a sauce, it’s ok to use the same amount as you would of potato starch. If you’re using it to bake desserts or in bread, you’ll likely need to add more tapioca starch. Add up to 50% more tapioca starch than you would potato starch.
5. Instant Mashed Potatoes
Many kitchens have a box of instant mashed potatoes stored somewhere. If you’re really in a pinch, simply use a food processor to grind the flakes into a fine powder. Then, use the powder in place of potato starch at a 1:1 ratio.
6. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is a good alternative in baking and making sweeter foods, like waffles. It has a mildly sweet flavor to it. You shouldn’t use as much coconut flour as you would potato starch. Cut the amount down by about 15%.
7. Wheat Flour
Wheat flour is ok to use in place of potato starch if that’s all you have. You can use it to thicken gravy and other recipes. Use double the amount of potato starch you would use.
Wheat flour isn’t the best option but it’s something many of us have on hand. You can use it when you need to. Remember, it’s not a gluten-free alternative, though.
8. Almond or Oat Flour
Both almond and oat flour are ok to use in place of potato starch. They’re not the best alternatives, however. These two are both gluten-free. They also both have detectable flavors, making them unsuitable for some uses.
Almond flour and oat flour both have a sweetness to them. You may notice a nutty flavor, as well. Use either of these at a 1:1 ratio in place of potato starch.
9. Ground Matzo
Matzo starts as a cracker-like hard bread. It’s made from water and flour. You can grind it up and use it in place of potato starch. It works as a thickener. It’s basically like using breadcrumbs to thicken food. It’s heavy and soaks up moisture. Ground matzo is our least recommended substitution, but it works in situations where there are no other alternatives.
10. Quinoa Flour
Quinoa flour is derived from ground quinoa seeds. You can use it for frying, thickening, or baking. Like ground matzo, it’s not the best alternative, but it works if there’s nothing else available.
You’ll need to be careful about how much quinoa flour you use because it has a bitter flavor. It’s detectable in larger amounts.
Potato starch has several uses, but we don’t always have it on hand. These 10 substitutions can get you by in a pinch. Some of them are easy to throw in the same way you would potato starch. Some are gluten-free. Your recipes will turn out great if you use your chosen alternative accordingly. Now you know how to get creative with items already in your pantry.