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The 5 Best Substitutes for Instant Tapioca

Do you like tapioca pudding? What about bubble tea? If you’re a fan of either of these delicious treats, you’ve probably tasted instant tapioca.

Instant tapioca is a type of starch that is extracted from cassava roots.

It’s commonly used as a thickening agent in desserts and beverages.

However, it can be difficult to find in stores.

Luckily, a few substitutes can be used in its place.

Read on to learn about the five best substitutes for instant tapioca.

What is Instant Tapioca?

what is instant tapioca

Instant tapioca is a type of pre-cooked tapioca that is sold in a dry, granulated form.

It is typically made from the cassava root, peeled, ground, and then treated with water and heat to form a paste.

This paste is then dried and granulated into the desired size.

Instant tapioca can be used in various recipes, such as pies, puddings, and even soups.

While it is not as widely available as other types of tapioca, it can often be found in specialty stores or online.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


In conclusion, while instant tapioca has its benefits, there are a few potential substitutes that might better suit your needs.

Whether you’re looking for something with a similar texture or something with similar nutritional value, there are several options available.

Ultimately, the best substitute for instant tapioca will depend on your individual preferences and needs.

However, all of the substitutes listed above are worth considering if you’re looking for an alternative to instant tapioca.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Instant Tapioca

The 5 Best Substitutes for Instant Tapioca
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


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


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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