Wondering how to complete your soup or gravy dish without tapioca flour? If yes, read on to learn a few tapioca flour substitutes.

Tapioca Flour Substitute

Tapioca flour is one the most commonly used thickening agents for soups, gravies, stews, etc. It is made out of the roots of the tapioca plant and is also known by common names like ‘cassava’, ‘yucca’, ‘aipim’, ‘mandioca’, etc. The tapioca plant is the native to the Amazon region, but these days it is cultivated in many countries due to its benefit as a cooking agent. The roots of this plant are ground to produce starch which further undergoes processing to take the form of powder, flakes, sticks and pearls. It is during the processing stage that the toxins are removed from the starch thus making it fit to be eaten. The edible product is then soaked in water whichrehydrates it and renders it as good and safe to be used as a thickener. However, there might be occasions when you are unable to get tapioca flour to complete your dish. The sections that follow will throw light on some of the most popular tapioca substitutes that can be used instead of tapioca flour. Read on to learn more about them.

Substitute For Tapioca Flour

Instant Tapioca
Instant tapioca is one of the best substitutes for tapioca flour. You can grind instant tapioca into a powder which can be then used instead of tapioca flour. This substitute is the closest match since it is made out of the same source, the tapioca root.

Cornstarch can also be used as a substitute for tapioca flour. Cornstarch helps thicken soups and gravies just like tapioca flour, but the result will not be the same when combined with acidic ingredients. Make sure not to mistake your cornmeal with cornstarch, you will end up with the most undesirable result.


  • Arrowroot when compared to cornstarch is a more neutral in its flavor and does not break down when it is combined with acidic ingredients. However, arrowroot is not good for dairy based concoctions. You can freeze and defrost arrowroot unlike cornstarch. Nevertheless, arrowroot is expensive than the other substitutes of tapioca.
  • It is important to know the quantity of any alternative that can substitute tapioca flour. One of the most common tapioca flour substitutes is arrowroot powder. Some of the other substitutes for tapioca flour are cornstarch, potato starch, kuzu powder, sago starch, sahalab, soy starch, sweet potato starch, sweet rice flour and water chestnut flour. These alternatives, however, have particular measurements that need to be borne in mind when being used instead of tapioca flour.
  • For example; 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or cornflour is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of instant tapioca flour, 1 tbsp of all purpose flour is equal to 2 tbsp instant tapioca flour and 1 tbsp of arrowroot is equal to 2 tbsp of instant tapioca flour.
  • Tapioca flour has a number of uses that makes it very popular. It is widely used in milk based dessert puddings and fruit juices and also in gravies and pie fillings.
  • Tapioca flour is also used to add texture to tea and tapioca pearls are soaked in sugar and used to make bubble tea.
  • It is also used as a thickener in stews, sauces and bouillabaisses.
  • It can also be used in combination with white rice flour in order to prepare pancakes, waffles, crackers, pizzas and cookies.
Tapioca flour is mostly used in a variety of western recipes. However, with the abovementioned tapioca flour substitutes, you can still thicken your soups and stews.

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