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Best Agar Agar Powder Substitute

Best Agar Agar Powder Substitute

Agar agar is a popular vegan gelatin replacement, but if you are all out of agar agar and need it for a recipe don’t give up! There are some great agar agar substitutes you can use no matter what you are making.

Agar agar powder and flakes are used in all types of recipes, from making gravy, to gluten jello based desserts. But agar agar isn’t just for vegan diets, it’s grown in popularity and is now found in all types of recipes.

So what are the best agar agar substitutes?

The top substitutes for agar agar powder or agar agar flakes are arrowroot, cornstarch, cassava flour, xanthan gum, and tapioca flour.

But which one do you use and how much is needed to replace agar agar?

Don’t worry, we have you covered below.

Agar Agar Alternatives

Agar agar is produced from red algae, and is the most popular vegan gelatin replacement for all types of dishes.

Agar provides a base for traditional gelatin recipes without needing to use regular gelatin. Below you will find vegan alternatives for agar agar and how to use them.


arrowroot and cornstarch in bowl

Produced from the Arrowroot tuber, the starch of this agar agar substitute makes it a great option for all types of recipes.

It is gluten free as well as paleo friendly. The subtle flavor pairs well will everything from gravy to desserts.

Related: Arrowroot Powder Substitutes


2 cups of arrowroot equal 1 cup of agar agar


wooden bowl of cornstarch and ear of corn

This popular kitchen staple is an excellent substitute for agar agar. It is gluten free and versatile enough to work in any recipe that calls for agar agar.

Cornstarch is produced from corn and it is readily available in almost all grocery stores.

Related: Cornstarch Substitutes


1 cup of cornstarch equals 1 cup of agar agar

Cassava Flour

container of cassava flour

Cassava flour has grown in popularity in recent years, and is now more widely available. It is produced from the cassava plant, and is used in many gluten free recipes.

Cassava flour is much like arrowroot, and in turn also works well as an all-around agar agar flake or powder substitute. I have found that it works best in gravies and baked recipes though.


1.5 cups of cassava flour equals 1 cup of agar agar

Xanthan Gum

glass container of xanthan gum

Xanthan gum is a well used gluten free substitute for agar agar. Unlike the other substitutes on this list, xanthan gum is produced from fermented sugar.

This alternative is best suited for thickening and stabilizing recipes. It will not provide the same firmness as the other options, but if you need a gluten thickening agent to replace agar agar this is a great option.

Related: Xanthan Gum Substitutes


1 cup of xanthan gum equals 1 cup of agar agar

Tapioca Flour

measuring bowl of tapioca flour

This is another solid all around substitute for agar agar powder and flakes. Tapioca flour, sometimes found as tapioca starch, works in all types of recipes.

You will find tapioca flour performs similar to cassava and arrowroot. And you will use it much the same as well.


1.5 cups of tapioca flour equals 1 cup of agar agar

Agar Agar Powder Replacement FAQ

xanthan gum

Can you replace agar agar with gelatin?

Yes, you can use gelatin in place of agar agar in most recipes. But keep in mind that gelatin is not vegan, so if that is a requirement then use one of the other substitutions found above.

Can you substitute guar gum for agar agar?

Yes, guar gum can be used instead of agar agar in many recipes. Guar gum is gluten free and vegan friendly. It is most popularly used as a flour substitute but when using agar agar as a thickening agent, guar gum works well in it’s place.

Best agar agar substitute in vegan cheese

The best substitute for agar agar when making vegan cheese is Kapa carrageenan. Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing agar agar.

You can also use cornstarch or arrowroot powder if you do not have Kapa carrageenan.