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5 Quick Gelatin Substitutes: Amp Up Recipes

Gelatin is pretty awesome, right? We use it in all kinds of recipes, from wobbly desserts to savory dishes.

But what happens if you’re out of gelatin or want to try something different?

We’ve got some simple and fantastic alternatives to shake up your cooking game. These substitutes will keep your recipes just as delicious and fun.

Join us as we share our top picks—each tried and true.

5 Easy Substitutes for Gelatin

While not all gelatin substitutes are necessarily vegan, there are plenty of options available.

1 – Agar-Agar

First, let’s talk agar-agar! It’s a fantastic gelatin substitute made from red algae seaweed.

Use 1 tablespoon of agar agar powder for every 2 cups of liquid in your recipe. It’s that simple.

A highlight of agar-agar is its neutral flavor. You can flavor it however you like.

Texture-wise, agar-agar provides a firmer and more gel-like texture compared to gelatin. It’s a vegan-friendly option, perfect for those with dietary restrictions.

And guess what? Agar-agar boasts a longer shelf life. It doesn’t degrade, so you can keep it around longer.

Want more info? Check out our agar-agar substitutes guide.

2 – Pectin

Next up, let’s chat about pectin! It’s a natural thickening agent from fruit, and it’s perfect for jams and jellies. For every 2 cups of liquid in your recipe, just use 1 tablespoon of pectin powder.

The cool thing about pectin is its flavor – it’s got a slight sweetness to it. Plus, you can achieve all sorts of textures, from firm to soft. Texture-wise, pectin gives a firm, jelly-like consistency that’s quite similar to gelatin.

Derived from fruit, it’s an awesome natural option. Just keep in mind, pectin has a shorter shelf life than gelatin. For more details, check out our pectin substitutes guide.

3 – Carrageenan

Next up is carrageenan. It’s a common thickening agent used in many industries, including cooking. Similar to agar-agar, you’ll want 1 tablespoon of powder for every 2 cups of liquid in your recipe.

Carrageenan comes from red seaweed and has a neutral flavor. It provides a smooth and creamy texture, perfect for desserts like custard or pudding.

Fun fact: carrageenan has been used since the 15th century as a gelling agent!

4 – Cornstarch

Alright, cornstarch squad, assemble! This kitchen superhero isn’t just for thickening soups and sauces. Oh no, it can step in for gelatin too. For every 1 cup of liquid, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water to make a slurry. Add it to your liquid while it’s heating up and voila, thick and ready to rock!

Cornstarch might not give you that jiggly-wiggly texture like gelatin, but it’s fantastic for puddings, pie fillings, and it’s a total pro at making gravies and sauces that stick to your ribs. The texture is smooth and silky, but remember, it firms up as it cools down.

Super versatile and cheap—cornstarch is the underdog you didn’t know you needed. Dive more into this thickening alternatives with our cornstarch substitutes.

5 – Arrowroot Powder

The last of our gelatin substitute crew is arrowroot powder. For every cup of liquid in your recipe, use 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder — you’ll also need to mix it with cold water like cornstarch (think 2-3 teaspoons).

Arrowroot does a great job at thickening sauces and gravies, but we wouldn’t recommend using it for desserts as it doesn’t have that same jiggly texture as gelatin. Plus, its flavor profile is quite mild, so it won’t overpower the other flavors in your dish.

If you’re interested in learning more about arrowroot powder, check out our guide to arrowroot substitutes. You might just find your new secret ingredient!