8 Healthy Sweet Potato Flour Substitutes

For whatever reason, sweet potato flour may be unavailable, or you may want to use another flour instead. Wondering what healthy alternative can be used, you may ask, what can I use instead of sweet potato flour?

The following are sweet potato flour substitutes:

  1. Sweet potato flakes.
  2. Water chestnut flour.
  3. Rice flour.
  4. Tapioca flour.
  5. Potato flour.
  6. Sweet potato starch.
  7. Quinoa flour.
  8. Arrowroot starch.

This article will list and explain each substitute, including how they’re similar and different than sweet potato flour. In addition, I’ve prepared a comparison of their nutrients and discuss how each one is prepared.

Sweet potato flour.
Sweet potato flour

Sweet Potato Flour Substitutes

As a Certified Health Coach many clients ask me about food substitutes including sweet potato flour. Therefore, I have researched this topic in the past and present. I consume and use the flours myself. Let’s examine the alternatives closely.

1. Sweet Potato Flakes

Sweet potato flakes are a great alternative to sweet potato flour. They’re most commonly used to make sweet potato hash browns or added to any sweet or savoury dish. They can be used for baking, pasta, snacks and chips1.

In addition, they are easier to prepare than sweet potato flour and have the same sweet potato taste we all love.

Similarities between sweet potato flakes and sweet potato flour:

  • Same flavor.
  • Keep for a long time.

Sweet potato flakes are made by first boiling the sweet potatoes and then grating them. Then dehydrate them using a dehydrator for 12 to 18 hours. Once they’re dehydrated, crunch them up in your hands and put them into jars.

Major differences:

  • They don’t have a fine powder like consistency.
  • They are prepared slightly differently and take less time.

Because they’re coarser than sweet potato flour2 you can choose to grind them up in a pestle and mortar. The flakes can be blended to give them a fine consistency and used like flour.

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

2. Water Chestnut Flour

Water chestnuts grow in marshes where the roots and the base of the plant are completely underwater. The water chestnuts themselves are harvested from the roots of the plant3.

Water chestnut flour is typically used as a thickener. It’s popular in Asian recipes to make batter for deep frying. 

Similarities between water chestnut flour and sweet potato flour:

  • Similar color and texture.
  • Similar flavor.

Water chestnut flour is white like the sweet potato flour made from sweet potatoes with the purple skin. It also has a mild sweet and nutty flavor.

How water chestnut flour is made:

Water chestnuts are hard even after being cooked. They have a purple/black skin generally removed. To make water chestnut flour:

  • First peel the skin using a sharp knife.
  • Next boil them in water for about 10 minutes to cook them completely.
  • Lastly, blend it in a blender until it turns into a fine powder. 

Major differences:

  • It has a slight tart flavor.
  • The flour is harder and grainy because the water chestnuts don’t become soft after cooking.

You may have some trouble locating water chestnut flour in your local supermarket. Amazon has a wide variety of them at affordable prices. Check them out here, Water Chestnut Flour.

3. Rice Flour

Rice is one of those foods many people keep in their cabinet. It can be bought or made very easy.

Rice flour is used as a thickener in sauce recipes refrigerated or frozen. It’s used for baking and as a breading for fried dishes.

Similarities between rice flour and sweet potato flour:

  • Starchy.
  • White in color and has sweet potato flavor similar to purple sweet potatoes.

Rice is starchy and filling which is very similar to the mouthfeel of sweet potato flour. In addition, it’s white in color but generally far whiter than sweet potato flour4.

How rice flour is made:

  • Wash the rice until the water is clear.
  • Then soak in warm water for about 10 minutes.
  • After, drain the water and leave to sit somewhere warm for 2 hours.
  • It will dry out and then it can be blended in a blender until it turns into a fine powder.

Major differences:

  • It doesn’t have a sweet or nutty flavor to it.
  • Generally has a bland rice flavor to it.

4. Tapioca Flour

A few of my clients have asked me, is sweet potato flour the same as tapioca flour?

Sweet potato flour is different than tapioca flour. Sweet potato flour is made from sweet potatoes while tapioca flour is made from the roots of the cassava plant. 

Tapioca flour5 can be used in many recipes and is a great substitute. Tapioca is a root vegetable that grows in a similar way to sweet potato. It’s also called cassava or yuca. 


  • It has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor.
  • It has a similar color.

The flavor of tapioca flour is probably the closest thing to sweet potato flour. Likely because it grows in a similar way to sweet potatoes, the root of the plant.

However, the plant grows much larger, to the size of a medium sized tree before it’s harvested.

How tapioca flour is made:

First peel the tapioca using a knife and then wash it. Next, cut it into thin slices about a half-inch thick and put it into the blender until it has the consistency of flour. It can also be grated to make tapioca flour.

Major differences:

  • It is far whiter in color.
  • It’s not as sweet and has a slightly slimy consistency. Although not in an unpleasant way.

You may have some trouble locating tapioca flour in your local supermarket. Amazon has a wide variety of them at affordable prices. Check them out here, Tapioca Flour.

5. Potato Flour

potato flour
Potato Flour

Many people ask, what is a sweet potato flour substitute for frying?

A sweet potato substitute for frying is potato flour. It has a similar texture to sweet potato flour and can be used the same way for dishes requiring a flour for frying.

Potato flour is a likely candidate for an alternative as both vegetables are very similar6. It’s generally not sold in stores but is very easy to make yourself.


  • Similar flavor.
  • Similar texture – depending on the variety of potatoes used.

The texture of potato flour when used in cooking is very similar to sweet potato. Potatoes with a waxy skin tend to have a slightly different texture.

Although those having a dry texture and fluffiness when cooked have a flour virtually identical to sweet potatoes. 

How potato flour is made:

Potato flour is made by first peeling the potatoes and then washing them. Next, cut the potatoes into thin slices about half an inch thick. Then blend them in a high-speed blender. Lastly, let it dry in a warm place.

Once all the water has evaporated, scoop it out using a spoon and mix it to remove any clumps.

Major differences:

  • The flavor – the flour retains the same flavor as potato which isn’t as sweet.
  • The color is generally a lot whiter.

Some substitutes are different for Yukon Gold potatoes. Find out how in my article, Yukon Gold Potatoes Substitute: The 13 Best Alternatives.

6. Sweet Potato Starch

Sweet potato starch is very similar except it’s made in a different way7. Rather than using the potato, water is used to suspend micro particles of the sweet potato. Then the water is removed to leave the starch behind.

Sweet potato starch can be used as a replacement for sweet potato flour and cornstarch. It’s used to make sweet potato noodles, Asian noodles, sweeteners and beverages.


  • Has a very similar flavor, but is less flavorful.
  • It has a similar texture.

How sweet potato starch is made:

  1. Start by peeling the sweet potato, and then chop it into small pieces about half an inch thick.
  2. Then add it to a blender and add water until it covers the pieces of sweet potato.
  3. Next, remove as much water as possible by putting the blended mixture through cheesecloth or a sieve, keeping the remaining liquid.
  4. The water extracted is used to make the sweet potato starch.
  5. Next, add the water to the mixture and sieve it again.
  6. Let the water sit for about two hours, then pour the water out.
  7. The residue at the bottom is the sweet potato starch.
  8. Scrape it out and let it dry in the sun or bake it on low heat for about an hour. 
  9. Lastly, you’ll be left with a fine powder which is the sweet potato starch.

Major differences:

  • It’s much whiter.
  • It doesn’t have as much fiber because the flesh is removed.

Check out 13 low carb potato substitutes in my article here, Low Carb Potato Substitutes: The 13 Best Alternatives.

7. Quinoa Flour

Quinoa flour is a great substitute, and like sweet potato flour, it is very versatile8. In addition, it’s incredibly easy to make and is packed full of nutrients.

Quinoa flour can be used for baking bread, muffins, pizza and pancakes. Quinoa flour can be used as a thickener for soups and sauces.


  • It has a light orange color.
  • Has a similar texture.
  • Has a nutty, earthy taste.

The quinoa is lightly toasted before being made into flour. Therefore, it develops a light brown color. It also has a similar texture and taste.

How quinoa flour is made:

Add quinoa to a dry frying pan and toss it until it’s lightly toasted. Then blend it in a blender until it turns into a fine powder,and sieve the flour. Wait for it to cool completely at which time it’s ready to be stored.

Major differences:

  • It doesn’t have the earthy potato-like taste and tastes more similar to rice.
  • Doesn’t have any sweetness to it.

Find out 15 healthy mashed potato substitutes in my article, Mashed Potato Substitutes: 15 Healthy Alternatives.

8. Arrowroot Starch

Arrowroot starch works like other starches and is used for thickening stews, soups and sauces. It’s very stable for freezing and helps prevent ice crystals from forming. Arrowroot starch adds texture and structure in cooking and baking9.

The arrowroot plant is a tropical tuber similar to cassava, yucca and kudzu. Arrowroot starch is white and flavorless.

How arrowroot starch is made:

  • Clean loose pieces off the outer skin.
  • Rinse well under running water.
  • Trim off the edges and cut the arrowroot into slices.
  • Add water and grind up the slices until it’s mushy.
  • Pour the arrowroot into a strainer and keep mixing it allowing the water the drain out.
  • Squeeze it with your hands to drain more water out.
  • Let the extracted liquid sit for 15 minutes.
  • Pour the top layer of the liquid into another large bowl and stir with a spoon.
  • Add one cup of water and mix it again.
  • Let the liquid sit for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the top layer out into another bowl.
  • Add one cup of water and mix it again.
  • Keep repeating this process until the liquid is clear.
  • It may take 10-12 times until the liquid clears.
  • After repeated filtering the substance will become thick.
  • Scrape it and let it dry in the sunlight for at least one day.
  • Once dried, the arrowroot starch will be powder.

Making arrowroot starch is a lot of work and it may be hard to find in your local supermarket. Take a look at the ones listed on Amazon here, Arrowroot Starch.

Major differences between arrowroot starch and sweet potato flour:

  • It doesn’t taste sweet.
  • The color is white instead of orange.
  • It odorless so it doesn’t have the same smell.

Are you using potato flakes? Find out the best alternatives in my article, Potato Flakes Substitutes: The 17 Best Alternatives.

Many low carb substitutes for sweet potatoes are different due to flavor. Check those out in my article, Keto Substitute for Sweet Potatoes: 8 Healthy Substitutes.

If you have any questions to ask me about this article don’t hesitate to comment below or email us. You can find an email on our contact page.

Read Next – More Food Alternatives Articles!

Is It Permissible To Substitute Fruit For Vegetables?

Alternatives To Sweet Potatoes: 16 Unbeatable Substitutes

Russet Potatoes Substitute: 13 Healthy Alternatives

Can I Replace Olive Oil With Coconut Oil

  1. Idaho-Frank Associates: Sweet Potato Flakes []
  2. Carrington Farms: Sweet Potato Flour []
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Wheat-water chestnut flour blends: effect of baking on antioxidant properties of cookies []
  4. Wikipedia: Rice Flour []
  5. Bob’s Red Mill: What Is Tapioca Flour & Where Does It Come From? []
  6. USDA: Recipes for potato starch and potato flour []
  7. ScienceDirect: Sweet Potato Starch []
  8. Bob’s Red Mill: Organic Quinoa Flour []
  9. The Old Farmer’s Almanac: Cornstarch, Arrowroot, & Starches: What’s The Difference? []

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *