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Preserve Fruits: 5 BEST Substitutes for Pectin Substitutes

Kicking off a jam-making session only to find you’re out of pectin can feel like a real setback.

No worries, though—we’ve got your back with some ace alternatives.

Diving into the world of preserves can seem a bit like a mystery at first. Yet, it’s simpler than you might think, and super rewarding, too.

Our kitchens are full of natural thickeners hiding in plain sight, ready to step up and save the day.

We’re here to share five top-notch swaps that can keep your fruit spread game strong.

Grab your apron, because it’s about to get deliciously creative in here.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pectin

If you don’t have pectin or can’t find it at your local grocery store, don’t worry.

There are several substitutes that you can use in its place.

Here are the five best substitutes for pectin:

1 – Agar Agar

Agar agar is a type of algae that is often used as a food thickener or gelling agent.

It is available in powder, flakes, or sheets and can be found in most Asian grocery stores.

When dissolved in water, agar forms a gel-like substance that is similar in texture to Jell-O.

Agar agar can be used as a vegan substitute for gelatin and is also effective in making fruit jams and jellies.

In order to use agar as a pectin substitute, simply dissolve one teaspoon of powder in 1 cup of water.

Add this mixture to the fruit jam or jelly recipe as directed.

For best results, be sure to simmer the mixture for at least 10 minutes before using.

2 – Gelatin

Gelatin is a protein that comes from collagen, which is found in the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals.

It’s available in powder, sheet, and granule form, and it’s used to thicken and stabilize food.

Gelatin has a unique taste and texture-it’s often described as being “slimy” or “slippery”.

Some people enjoy the taste of gelatin, while others find it unappealing.

However, gelatin is relatively flavorless, so it can be easily incorporated into recipes.

Gelatin can be used as a pectin substitute.

It can also be used to create different textures in food.

For example, it can be used to make jelly-like desserts or to create a smooth, creamy texture.

3 – Guar Gum

Guar gum and Xanthan gum are both thickening agents that can be used as a substitute for pectin.

Both gums will add a similar texture to your preserves, but they will not add any flavor.

Guar gum is made from the seeds of the guar plant, while Xanthan gum is a synthetic food additive.

If you are looking to add some extra fiber to your preserves, then guar gum is the better choice.

However, if you are looking for a completely neutral taste, then Xanthan gum is the way to go.

Either way, both gums are effective substitutes for pectin.

4 – Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a versatile and healthy ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes.

They have a mild, nutty flavor and a slightly crunchy texture.

They are also a great source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

One of the great things about chia seeds is that they can be used as a substitute for pectin.

Pectin is an ingredient that is commonly used to thicken jams and jellies.

However, it can be difficult to find pectin that is not made from GMO ingredients.

Chia seeds can be used as a natural and healthy alternative to pectin.

To use them, simply soak the seeds in water for about 15 minutes.

Then add the soaked seeds to your jam or jelly recipe along with the other ingredients.

The chia seeds will help to thicken the mixture as it cooks.

5 – Cornstarch

You might not think of cornstarch as a pantry staple, but this versatile ingredient can be used in all sorts of recipes.

It has a neutral flavor and a light, powdery texture that makes it perfect for thickening sauces and gravies.

You can also use it to coat chicken or fish before frying or to dust your work surface when rolling out dough.

And if you’re looking for a pectin substitute, cornstarch is a great option.

Just mix it with water and add it to your preserves or jam to help them set.

So next time you’re in the supermarket, be sure to pick up some cornstarch – you’ll be surprised at how often you reach for it.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pectin

Looking to make jams or jellies but don't have pectin on hand? No worries! We've compiled a list of the 5 best substitutes for pectin to help you achieve that perfect consistency without compromising on flavor or texture.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Agar Agar
  • Gelatin
  • Guar Gum
  • Chia Seeds
  • Cornstarch


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