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Cooking Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Instant Tapioca

Getting ready to whip up your favorite pudding but realized you’re fresh out of instant tapioca?

No sweat. We’ve got you covered with some game-changing substitutes that’ll keep your dessert on track.

Cornstarch, for starters, is a wizard in thickening without the fuss.

Ever thought about using rice flour or sago pearls?

They’re like the secret agents of the thickening world, slipping in unnoticed but doing the heavy lifting.

And don’t overlook potato starch or chia seeds – they’re not just for health nuts.

These swaps not only save your dessert but might even bump up its wow factor.

Stick with us, and you’ll be dishing out that perfect pudding in no time.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Instant Tapioca

For many people, tapioca is an acquired taste.

It’s often used as a thickener in pies and pudding, but its chewy texture can be off-putting to some.

If you’re looking for a similar thickening agent that’s less gelatinous, try one of these substitutes.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsSubstitute Ratio
CornstarchFine powder with thickening propertiesUse as a 1:1 substitution for instant tapioca
Cassava FlourGluten-free flour made from cassava rootUse as a 1:1 substitution for instant tapioca
Potato StarchFine powder with thickening propertiesUse as a 1:1 substitution for instant tapioca
All-purpose FlourVersatile flour suitable for various recipesUse as a 1:1 substitution for instant tapioca
ArrowrootFine powder with thickening propertiesUse as a 1:1 substitution for instant tapioca

When it comes to cooking, sometimes you may need to substitute instant tapioca. Here are five alternatives to consider:

1 – Cornstarch


So, if you’re out of tapioca and need to make a pie, what do you do? Well, one option is to substitute cornstarch for instant tapioca.

This can work well in many cases, as long as you keep a few things in mind.

First, cornstarch is not quite as thickening as tapioca, so you may need to use a bit more of it.

Second, cornstarch will break down more quickly than tapioca when heated, so it’s best to add it near the end of cooking.

And finally, cornstarch will give the filling a slight corn flavor, so if that’s not what you’re going for, you may want to try another substitution.

But if you’re in a pinch, cornstarch can be a decent stand-in for instant tapioca.

2 – Cassava Flour

cassava flour

If you’re looking for gluten-free flour that can be used as a substitute for instant tapioca, then cassava flour is a good option to consider.

Cassava flour is made from the root of the cassava plant, which is native to South America.

It’s a starchy flour with a slightly sweet flavor, and it’s perfect for use in recipes where you want a light and fluffy texture.

When substituting cassava flour for instant tapioca, you’ll need to use about twice as much cassava flour as you would tapioca.

For example, if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of instant tapioca, you would use 1 cup of cassava flour.

In many recipes, cassava flour can also be used in place of all-purpose flour, so it’s a good option to keep on hand if you’re trying to eat gluten-free.

3 – Potato Starch

potato starch

Potato starch is a great gluten-free substitute for tapioca flour.

It’s perfect for thickening soups, sauces, and pie fillings, and it gives baked goods light, fluffy texture.

Potato starch can be found in the natural section of most grocery stores, or it can be ordered online.

When substituting potato starch for tapioca flour, use a 1:1 ratio.

For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of tapioca flour, use 1 cup of potato starch.

Additionally, potato starch can be used to replace cornstarch in many recipes.

With these swaps, you can enjoy all your favorite dishes without worrying about gluten.

Simply use the same 1:1 ratio.

4 – All-purpose Flour

allpurpose flour

There are many reasons why you might want to substitute all-purpose flour for instant tapioca.

Perhaps you’re out of tapioca and don’t want to make a special trip to the store.

Or maybe you’re trying to cut down on your sugar intake and are looking for a healthy alternative.

Whatever the reason, it’s easy to swap out all-purpose flour for instant tapioca.

Simply use an equal amount of all-purpose flour in place of the tapioca.

You may need to add extra water to the mixture, but otherwise, the substitution will be undetectable.

5 – Arrowroot


Anyone who loves to bake knows that tapioca is a key ingredient in many recipes, from pies and cobblers to puddings and biscuits.

Tapioca is a type of starch that comes from the cassava root, and it’s what gives these dishes their light, fluffy texture.

However, tapioca can be difficult to find in stores, and it can be expensive.

Arrowroot is a great substitute for tapioca.

It’s made from the arrowroot plant, native to Jamaica and Mexico.

Arrowroot has a similar consistency to tapioca, and it works well in all of the same recipes.

Plus, it’s easy to find and relatively affordable.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Instant Tapioca

Searching for the ideal substitutes for instant tapioca? Your quest ends here! Explore our curated list of the 5 best alternatives that seamlessly replace instant tapioca in your recipes, ensuring the same delightful texture and taste without compromising on quality.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Cornstarch
  • Cassava Flour
  • Potato Starch
  • All-purpose Flour
  • Arrowroot


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for instant tapioca
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