Medically reviewed by Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition — written by Lisa Wartenberg, MFA, RD, LD on may 13, 2020

Found in everything from cosmetics to ice cream cream, xanthan gum — which is made by fermenting corn sugar v a bacterium — is a common additive the acts together a thickening agent, binder, and emulsifier (1).

Whereas a thickener does just that, a binder holds ingredient together and an emulsifier blends those that would certainly otherwise continue to be separate, such together oil and vinegar. This makes xanthan gum a popular ingredient in salad dressings (2).

You are watching: How to substitute xanthan gum for cornstarch

It’s likewise popular in baking — specifically gluten-free goods, which absence gluten’s binding capacities.

However, many human being may not have it on hand.

Whether she in a pinch or would simply rather leaving it out of her baked goods, right here are 9 substitutes because that xanthan gum.

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1. Psyllium husk
Psyllium husk is do from the husks of Plantago ovata seeds and also is marketed ground because that baking purposes. The may help lower blood sugar, together it acts lot like xanthan gum in her gut — making that a an excellent substitute.

While huge amounts that xanthan gum might be linked to digestive and also respiratory issues, several little studies show that sizable doses may help lower blood street (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

Although more research is needed, this impact may be due to the truth that xanthan gum and psyllium husk are soluble fibers, which her digestive tract can’t break down. Instead, they form a gel-like problem and assist slow absorb (8, 9, 10).

When baking, substitute every 1 component of xanthan gum with 2 components of psyllium husk.


Like xanthan gum, psyllium rice peel is a dissolve fiber — a non-digestible strength that develops a gel-like problem in your gut. In recipes that contact for xanthan gum, you’ll have to use double as much psyllium husk.

2. Chia seeds and water

When soaked, chia seeds form a gel much like xanthan gum. What’s more, this seeds load lots of fiber and also important nutrients.

While you have the right to use chia seed whole, they include a little of crunch and also mild, nutty flavor to her recipe — so you have to grind castle if you choose a smoother texture.

Chia seeds replace xanthan gum in a 1:1 ratio.

Add 2 components of hot water because that every 1 component of chia seeds, then stir till the mixture i do not care viscous.

You may need to include 10–15 minutes to her baking time to accommodate for making use of chia gel.


Chia seeds form a gel when mixed with liquid and can assist thicken and bind small goods. Use the exact same amount of ground or totality seeds together you would certainly xanthan gum, and be sure to row in water.

3. Soil flax seeds and water

Like chia seeds, flax seeds produce a thick dough when merged with water. They’re additionally easy to discover and fairly cheap.

However, entirety seeds aren’t good at binding, therefore you have to either grind the seed on your own or buy floor flax seed, i beg your pardon is sometimes called flax meal. Mix it v water activates the binding capacity.

Bear in mind that ground flax seeds might lend your recipe a nuttier, contempt gritty quality.

Use floor flax seeds in location of xanthan gum in a 1:1 ratio, combined with 2 parts hot water for every 1 component flax.


Ground flax seeds replace xanthan gum in a 1:1 ratio but need come be mixed with warm water.

4. Cornstarch

Cornstarch has a texture comparable to that of xanthan gum. It’s highly absorbent, making that a great thickener in stews and also gravies.

Though it’s naturally gluten-free, some commodities may be contaminated with this protein. If you avoid gluten, be sure to examine the brand for a certification.

Unlike several of the other substitutes, you don’t need to mix it with water before use.

Its ratio is additionally easy. Simply replace xanthan gum with the exact same amount of cornstarch.


Cornstarch makes great thickener and is popular for stews and also gravies. Swap it v xanthan gum in a 1:1 ratio.

5. Unflavored gelatin

Gelatin help firm up many dishes because it’s acquired from animal collagen, a jelly-like protein that gives structure to connective organization (11).

You’ll require 2 parts of gelatin for every 1 part of xanthan gum.

It’s terrific choice for baked products like breads and muffins.

However, gelatin no vegan or vegetarian. Given that many gelatin originates from pig skin, it’s likewise inappropriate because that anyone observing kosher or halal dietary practices.


Gelatin can aid thicken nearly any dish, however it’s essential to keep in mind that it’s unsuitable for vegans, vegetarians, or anyone following kosher or halal guidelines.

6. Egg whites

Eggs white skin - man act together both leavening and binding agents to help dishes rise and firm up. This makes them a an excellent substitute for xanthan gum.

They’re especially suitable for quick breads, batter breads, and also cakes. Since they produce a light and also fluffy texture, lock not right for kneaded breads.

Because lock an pet product, egg whites aren’t vegan-friendly.

Use 1 egg white to replace every tablespoon (4.5 grams) of xanthan gum.


Egg whites create a light, airy texture in baked goods and also act together both a leavening and binding agent. Usage 1 egg white to change every tablespoon (4.5 grams) of xanthan gum.

7. Agar agar

Agar agar is derived from red algae and acts much like unflavored gelatin, thickening a dish and also forming a jelly-like structure (12).

Because the plant-based, agar agar is a good vegan replacement because that gelatin. It’s frequently sold together flakes, sheets, or powder.

You can replace xanthan gum with agar agar in a 1:1 ratio.

You’ll very first need to dissolve it in room-temperature water. Use 4 tablespoons (60 mL) that water for every 1 tablespoon (5 grams) the flakes or 1 teaspoon (2 grams) that powder.

Next, heat it end low heat for 3–5 minutes or till dissolved, climate let the cool slightly before use. If it’s as well thick, use an immersion blender to liquify it.

Note the agar agar may generally produce a contempt stiffer or denser texture.


Agar agar is an algae-based thickener the acts lot like a vegan type of gelatin. It needs a little an ext prep than many replacements, but you deserve to swap it with xanthan gum in a 1:1 ratio.

8. Guar gum

Guar gum, additionally called guaran, is obtained from guar beans. Like xanthan gum, the a white powder that functions as a binder and also thickener (13).

Use 3 components of guar gum for every 2 components of xanthan gum in her recipe.

A good rule of ignorance is to blend guar gum through the oil in your dish first, then include this mixture to the rest of her liquids.


Guar gum is a binding agent that replaces xanthan gum in a 3:2 ratio.

9. Konjac powder

Konjac powder, also called glucomannan, is do from konjac root, which is typical in oriental cooking (14).

Its high fiber content helps thicken a dish much like xanthan gum.

Swap konjac root because that xanthan gum in a 1:1 ratio. As soon as making chewier foods, such together tortillas or flatbreads, you’ll normally want to usage 1.5 time the lot of guar gum.


For most baked goods, you deserve to use the exact same amount of konjac powder together you would certainly xanthan gum. For chewier foods, you’ll desire to use about 1.5 time the amount.

The bottom line

Xanthan gum is a famous ingredient in everything from cosmetics come food products, together it’s great thickening agent and also emulsifier.

However, if the not obtainable or you favor not to eat it, you can pick from a variety of alternatives.

See more: All Countries That Begin With Letter D ', List Of All Countries That Start With 'D'

You may want to take into consideration a few factors, together as any type of dietary restrictions and the wanted texture of her baked goods, before settling on a substitute.

last medically the review on may 13, 2020


Medically the review by Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition — written by Lisa Wartenberg, MFA, RD, LD on might 13, 2020

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