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7 Easy Xanthan Gum Substitutes: Jazz Up Dishes

Baking is as much a science as it is an art. It’s a delicate alchemy, especially when you’re dealing with gluten-free recipes.

Xanthan gum, the unsung hero in the world of gluten-free baking, is a miracle worker, binding ingredients and providing that much-needed structural support that traditional wheat flour inherently provides.

Yet, for a variety of reasons – from dietary choices to pantry shortages – you might want to explore alternatives to this slightly mysterious ingredient.

Intrigued? This long-form post uncovers the secrets behind five remarkable substitutes for xanthan gum.

Buckle up for an informative ride through the world of healthy baking, tailored for the gluten-free community, home bakers, and health-conscious consumers!

Key Takeaways:

  • Almond flour is a great substitute for mimicking the texture of corn flour in gluten-free recipes.
  • Rice flour can provide a tender crumb or crispy finish when paired with corn flour.
  • Coconut flour offers a sweet and savory option that also acts as a moisture-absorbing thickener.
  • Quinoa flour is packed with protein and brings a nutty flavor to dishes, making it a healthy substitute for corn flour.
  • Chickpea flour is versatile and gluten-free, perfect for an array of recipes from flatbreads to cakes.

7 Easy Substitutes for Xanthan Gum

In case you’re new to this ingredient, xanthan gum is a binder and thickener typically used in gluten-free baking. It helps give doughs and batters structure and prevents ingredients from separating. But don’t worry if you can’t find it or simply don’t want it – here are some alternatives that will do the trick.

1 – Guar Gum

First, let’s talk about guar gum. It’s like xanthan gum’s reliable cousin. Guar gum, derived from guar beans, is a popular choice for thickening and stabilizing liquids. It’s pretty cool because it works magic in various recipes, even ones that need a bit more thickening power.

Here’s what you need to know: when replacing xanthan gum, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of guar gum for every teaspoon of xanthan gum. Easy, right? Guar gum outperforms xanthan gum in thickening liquids, making it versatile for many dishes.

If you’re interested in more substitutes, check out our article on cornstarch substitutes. You’ll love the options we’ve listed there.

2 – Tapioca Starch

Then let’s talk about tapioca starch. This little ingredient can come to our rescue in many recipes where xanthan gum isn’t available.

Tapioca starch is a starchy powder often used to thicken and improve the texture of baked goods. Use about 1 1/2 to 2 times the amount of tapioca starch as you would xanthan gum.

Keep in mind, though, tapioca starch is less effective at thickening liquids compared to guar gum. It’s great for recipes needing a lighter texture.

Interested in learning more? Check out our article on tapioca starch substitutes. You’ll find plenty of helpful info there.

3 – Cornstarch

The unsung hero of our pantry: cornstarch. This simple, starchy powder is perfect for thickening sauces and soups. Looking to substitute xanthan gum? Use about 1 1/2 to 2 times the amount.

Cornstarch doesn’t quite match the thickening power of guar gum. However, it shines in recipes needing a lighter texture. Think silky smooth sauces!

Interested in even more details? Check out our article on cornstarch substitutes.

Overall, cornstarch is versatile and easy to find. Just keep the texture trade-off in mind, and you’re good to go!

4 – Arrowroot Powder

The secret? Arrowroot powder! It’s a starchy powder often used to thicken and improve the texture of baked goods.

Need a xanthan gum substitute? Try using 1 1/2 to 2 times the amount of arrowroot powder. It’s less effective at thickening liquids than guar gum.

Perfect for recipes needing a lighter texture. We love how it subtly enhances without taking over. For more options, see our article on arrowroot powder substitutes.

Who’s up for experimenting with arrowroot powder? We definitely are!

5 – Pectin

Pectin, folks, let’s talk about this underrated superstar. It’s a naturally occurring substance found in fruit, often used to thicken and improve the texture in jams and jellies. For every teaspoon of xanthan gum you need, use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of pectin.

Pectin doesn’t thicken liquids as effectively as guar gum. It’s excellent for recipes where a lighter texture is a must. Ever tried pectin in homemade jams? It’s amazing. We once botched a batch of preserves but pectin saved the day.

Want more insights? Take a look at our guide on pectin substitutes. It’s full of helpful details!

6 – Agar Agar

Agar agar is here to save the day! This vegan superstar comes from red algae and is a fantastic substitute for xanthan gum in your recipes.

Use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of agar agar for every 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum. It’s that simple! This magic ingredient isn’t as good as guar gum at thickening liquids, but it’s perfect for recipes needing that lighter touch.

We love its subtle flavor, making it excellent in vegan dishes. Want more details? Check out our article on agar agar substitutes.

Ready to experiment with agar agar? We sure are!

7 – Carrageenan

Last but certainly not least, let’s chat about carrageenan. It’s a vegan gem derived from red algae. We often use it in vegan recipes for its plant-based goodness.

Carrageenan’s big feature is its versatility. You’ll need 1/2 to 1 teaspoon for each teaspoon of xanthan gum. However, it’s not as strong as guar gum in thickening liquids.

Yet, we love its subtle touch in lighter textured recipes. We had a blast using carrageenan in our pudding. Its milder flavor and texture make desserts dreamy.

Looking for something that blends smoothly? Carrageenan might just be our new favorite trick.

chia seeds bread

Chia Seeds Bread

This delicious gluten-free bread recipe replaces xanthan gum with a mixture of chia seeds and water, providing a nutritious and flavorful alternative.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 slices
Calories 198 kcal


  • 1 Mixing bowls (small and large)
  • 1 Measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 Loaf pan
  • Oven


  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil melted


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the chia seeds and water. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it forms a gel-like consistency. This will serve as a binder for the bread.
  • In another mixing bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil over low heat until well combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Gently fold in the chia seed gel.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let it cool before slicing and serving.


  • For a fluffier texture, you can beat the wet ingredients separately before adding them to the dry ingredients.
  • This bread also freezes well – just slice it and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw slices as needed in the toaster or microwave.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.03gSodium: 197mgPotassium: 98mgFiber: 9gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 221mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chia seeds bread
Did you make this recipe?Mention @CooksCrafter or tag #CooksCrafter!
5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Tuesday 19th of March 2024

Wow, never thought of incorporating chia seeds into bread! Does it add a crunchy texture or more of a subtle nutty flavor? Definitely giving this a try for a healthier twist on my morning toast!

Andrew Gray

Tuesday 19th of March 2024

Yes, chia seeds in bread give it a delightful crunch and a boost of nutrition! It's definitely worth a try for a unique twist on your morning toast.