Are you all out of xanthan gum and you are making a recipe that calls for it? No need to worry, there are a number of excellent substitutes you can use no matter what you need xanthan gum for.
Xanthan gum is used as a sauce thickener, in dressing, and even ice cream. Xanthan gum is both gluten free and vegan friendly and has grown in popularity in recent years.
In this article you will the most effective xanthan gum alternatives as well as how to use them. You will find both vegan friendly, gluten free, and non vegan substitutes so no matter what type of replacement you are looking for you will find right here.
So what are the best xanthan gum substitutes?
The top substitutes for xanthan gum are chia seeds, psyllium husk, cornstarch, gelatin, flaxseed, agar agar powder, egg whites, guar gum, and glucomannan.
Xanthan Gum Alternatives
Produced by fermentation, corn sugar is added to bacterium to create this popular gluten free thickener. It is used in all types of baked goods, sauces, and even ice cream.
Xanthan gum is particularly popular in vegan and gluten free baked goods. Gluten binding agents are replaced with xanthan gum so if you need a gluten free alternative read on.
You can achieve an exceptional substitute for xanthan gum by soaking and grinding chia seeds. This will produce a smooth gel like consistency that offers a subtle nutty flavor that works well in any recipe that calls for xanthan gum.
I prefer to grind my chia seeds first, but you can just soak them if you do not mind a grittier texture.
Add two parts chia seeds to 1 part water and soak them for about fifteen minutes. Strain any excess water and stir before adding to your recipe.
While chia seeds will work in any type of recipe, it is particularly well suited for baking.
Equivalent1 cup of soaked chia seeds equal 1 cup xanthan gum
Psyllium husk is my favorite all around xanthan gum substitute. It is popular for baking but will work well in all types of recipes. It is the most similar to xanthan gum and can be found at most grocery stores.
Psyllium husk offers the additional benefit of being an all natural ingredient that is both gluten free and vegan friendly.
Psyllium husk is also a soluble fiber, just like xanthan gum making it a great choice for those looking to boost their fiber intake.
Equivalent1 cup of psyllium husk equals 1 cup xanthan gum
Cornstarch is a very popular thickening agent that is found in most kitchens making it a solid option for replacing xanthan gum.
Cornstarch is naturally gluten free, but some brands may contain gluten so check the label if you require a gluten free xanthan gum substitute.
Cornstarch is best suited in recipes that use xanthan gum as a thickener. It works similar to xanthan gum in these types of dishes.
Equivalent1 cup of cornstarch equals 1 cup xanthan gum
Related: Cornstarch vs Corn Flour
Unflavored gelatin is a great xanthan gum alternative in baked goods. It is not vegan friendly but if that is not an issue it will work wonderfully in everything from muffins, to cakes and breads.
Be certain to only use unflavored gelatin or you will add unwanted flavor and sweetness to your recipe.
Equivalent2 cups of gelatin equal 1 cup xanthan gum
Flaxseed, much like chia seeds, makes a great substitute for xanthan gum. Grind your flax seed and then add hot water to create a paste.
Use two parts ground flax seed to one part hot water and let it soak for about fifteen minutes before straining and adding to your recipe.
This xanthan gum replacement works well in all types of recipes.
Equivalent1 cup of flax seed equals 1 cup xanthan gum
Agar Agar Powder
Agar agar powder is an excellent gluten free and vegan friendly xanthan gum substitute.
You can use agar agar powder, flakes, or sheets. You will want to add four tablespoons of water for each tablespoon of agar agar in a saucepan. Bring it to medium low heat and simmer for around five minutes while stirring.
Once it thickens you can process the mixture in the blender to remove any clumps and then add it to your recipe.
Equivalent1 cup of agar agar powder equals 1 cup xanthan gum
Related: Agar Agar Powder Substitute
If you do not need a vegan friendly replacement for xanthan gum, egg whites are an excellent option.
Egg whites are both a leavening and thickening agent, making it a great replacement for all types of recipes that call for xanthan gum.
I find egg whites particularly good in baked dishes such as breads and cakes.
Equivalent1 egg white equals 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
While not as popular as other replacements on the list, gaur gum is quite similar to xanthan gum and can be used in almost any recipe that calls for it.
Guar gum is also known as guaran and can be found online if not available at your local grocery store.
Add a small amount of oil to your guar gum before adding it to your recipe.
Equivalent3 cups of guar gum equal 2 cups xanthan gum
This high fiber ingredient is traditionally used in Asian cooking and is quite similar to xanthan gum.
Also known as Konjac powder, it is a great thickening agent and can be used in any dish that uses xanthan gum as a thickener.
Note: When making flatbread use a 3:2 ratio of glucomannan to xanthan gum.
Equivalent1 cup glucomannan equals 1 cup xanthan gum
Xanthan Gum Replacement FAQ
Can I substitute baking powder for xanthan gum?
No, baking powder is not a good replacement for xanthan gum. Baking powder is a leavening agent and not a thickening agent. Whereas xanthan gum’s primary purpose in a recipe is as a thickening agent. Use one of the substitutes above when you need to replace xanthan gum.
What is a good xanthan gum alternative for keto?
The best keto friendly substitutes for xanthan gum are psyllium husk, chia seeds, and flaxseed. Follow the replacement instructions found above for the best results.
Is cornstarch a good substitute for xanthan gum?
Yes, cornstarch is a good substitute for xanthan gum in most recipes. Pure cornstarch is naturally gluten free but read your label because some brands may contain gluten.