Potato Flakes Substitutes: The 17 Best Alternatives


Potato flakes are useful in many different cooking methods. Sometimes an alternative is needed for various reasons. Therefore, let’s take a look at the best potato flakes substitutes.

The following is potato flakes substitutes:

  1. Potato starch
  2. Potatoes
  3. Potato flour
  4. Sweet potato flakes
  5. Arrowroot flour
  6. Water chestnut flour
  7. Oat flour
  8. Quinoa flour
  9. Flax meal
  10. Rice flour
  11. Wheat flour
  12. Cornstarch
  13. Cauliflower
  14. Crumbled crackers
  15. Xanthan gum
  16. Tapioca flour
  17. Coconut flour

 In this article I’ll examine the substitutes including their tastes, textures and cooking methods.

Potato Flakes Substitutes

1. Potato Starch

Potato starch is a good substitute for flakes because it is also made of potatoes. It has a neutral flavor and a white color. For these reasons, it will not change the flavor of the recipe.

It can be used as a thickening agent in the following:

  • Stews
  • Soups
  • Sauces
  • Gravies
  • As a coating

Substitute one tablespoon of potato starch for one tablespoon of potato flakes.

  • Potato starch is gluten free.
  • Potato starch has a similar number of calories and carbohydrates.
potato starch
Potato Flakes Substitute – Potato Starch

2. Potatoes

If you’re using potato flakes to make mashed potatoes, why not use the potatoes you may already have at home. Regular potatoes can also be used in baking or as a thickener.

Using potatoes won’t change the flavor of the recipe. If anything, it may even improve the taste.

Use 1/2 cup of regular mashed potatoes to substitute for 1/3 cup of potato flakes.

  • Potatoes are gluten free.
  • Potatoes have fewer calories and carbohydrates.

3. Potato Flour

Potato flour is made from pre-cooked potatoes dried and then finely ground. Potato flour can be used as a thickener for the following:

  • Sauces
  • Stews
  • Soups
  • Gravies
  • Baked goods

For baked goods, potato flour is used in combination with other flours because it absorbs more liquid if it used on its own. This would result in a dense and gummy finished product.

Typically one tablespoon of potato flour is used to substitute for two tablespoons of potato flakes.

  • Potato flour is gluten free.
  • Potato flour has a similar number of calories and carbohydrates.
potato flour
Potato Flakes Substitute – Potato Flour

4. Sweet Potato Flakes

Sweet potato flakes will change the flavor of the dish by making it sweeter. Some sweet potato flakes have regular potato flakes mixed in by the manufacturer.

Try picking unsweetened flakes. Some of the sweet potato flakes have butter or brown sugar added into the flakes.

Other than changing the flavor, sweet potato flakes are the perfect substitute because they are potato flakes themselves. They can be used for the following:

  • Mashed
  • Baking
  • Chips
  • Snacks
  • As a coating

Substitute an equal number of flakes.

  • They are gluten free.
  • They have a similar number of calories and carbohydrates.

5. Arrowroot Flour

Arrowroot flour is an excellent thickener that can be used in the following:

  • Soups
  • Stews 
  • Sauces

Unlike potato flakes, arrowroot has no real flavor of its own. This may be an advantage when it’s being used as a thickener.

It can easily be used to replace potato flakes as a thickening agent by replacing the flakes using a 1:1 ratio. 

  • Arrowroot flour is naturally gluten free.
  • It contains more calories and carbs.
arrowroot
Potato Flakes Substitute – Arrowroot Flour

6. Water Chestnut Flour

Water chestnuts are aquatic tubers boiled, then ground up to make water chestnut flour.

The flour has a sweet, nutty taste, so it can be added to heavily flavorful sauces and soups quite easily as a thickener. However, if the dish is mildly flavored, then you’ll want to be conscious of the inherent flavor of the water chestnut flour as well. 

They’ve got a high amount of fiber, antioxidants and nutrients, making them a healthy substitute for potato flakes. 

Water chestnut flour is gluten free. 

7. Oat Flour

Oat flour, made from whole oats, is a nutritious and fiber-rich flour that can be used for the following:

  • Thickener
  • Baking substitute
  • Breading
  • Pies
  • Casseroles

For two parts of potato flakes, only one part of oat flour needs to be used as a substitute for thickening sauces and baking.

Oats can hold a good amount of water and have much fiber. This means it tends to get gummy and dry out the dish if used in the same proportion as potato flakes. It’s best used in smaller quantities. 

You can also use oat flour topping on casseroles or pies by using the same amount as potato flakes in the recipe. 

Pure oat flour is naturally gluten free.

8. Quinoa Flour

Quinoa flour is a great gluten-free addition to most diets since it’s rich in dietary fiber, proteins and minerals. It’s a seed eaten like a grain and ground up into flour. 

Quinoa flour can be used as a substitute for potato flakes as a thickener and in baking. The high protein content of quinoa flour makes it filling and healthy.

It’s also a good replacement for potato flakes in baking since it can provide the necessary binding. 

However, quinoa flour retains far less moisture than potato flakes, so remember to adjust the amounts in your recipe.

Quinoa flour can be mixed with whole-wheat flour as a substitute for potato flakes in the recipe. 

  • Quinoa flour is gluten free.
  • It has a similar number of calories and a little less carbohydrates.

9. Flax Meal

Finely ground flax meal makes for a great thickener. Therefore, it can be easily used as a substitute for potato flakes in dishes where it’s being used as a thickening agent. 

To use flax meal as a thickener, simply mix a tablespoon with two or three tablespoons of water and mix into soups or sauces. Flax meal adds a nutty, sweet flavor to any dish. 

Flax meal can also be used as breading over meats or other fried dishes in about the same ratio as potato flakes.

Flaxseeds are an important addition to most diets since they contain necessary omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, lignans and protein. Flax meal comprises flax seeds ground up to a powder which makes them easier to digest. 

Pure flax is gluten free.

10. Rice Flour

Rice flour is made from finely milled brown rice. Typically rice flour is used as an alternative to wheat flour, but it can substitute for potato flakes as well.

Rice flour can be used for the following:

  • Baked goods
  • Thickening agent in stews, soups, sauces and gravy.

Brown rice flour is another alternative. It’s made from brown rice instead of white rice and will change the flavor of the recipe somewhat.

Use twice the amount of rice flour as a substitute for potato flakes.

  • Pure rice flour is gluten free.
  • It contains a similar number of calories and carbohydrates.

11. Wheat Flour

Wheat flour is a fine powder made from the grinding of wheat. This makes it usable for consumption. Different types of wheat flour include:

  • Whole-wheat flour
  • All-purpose flour
  • Bread flour
  • Cake flour
  • Pastry flour

Wheat flour can be used as a thickener in baked goods or as a coating for meat or fish. The baked goods will be less moist and lack the potato flavor from flakes.

Use two tablespoons of wheat flour as a substitute for one tablespoon of potato flakes.

  • Wheat flour is not gluten free.
  • Wheat flour has a similar number of calories and carbohydrates.
wheat flour
Potato Flakes Substitute – Wheat Flour

12. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is the starch made from corn grain. The starch is obtained from the endosperm of the corn kernel. Corn starch is versatile and is typically used for flakes to thicken sauces or soups. It’s also used for the following:

  • Glazes
  • Pies
  • Desserts
  • Marinades

Although it will lack the potato flavor, use cornstarch instead of flakes using a 1:1 ratio.

  • Pure cornstarch is gluten free.
  • It contains a similar number of calories and carbohydrates.

13. Cauliflower

Cauliflower can be mashed and used as a substitute when making mashed potatoes from flakes.

Wherever you use potato flakes as breading, you can use riced cauliflower. Cauliflower can be blended up to a crumble-like texture and used as breading without any major changes. 

Cauliflower tends to absorb any flavor added to it easily. Therefore, you won’t need to account for any major flavor changes. It’s slightly less sweet than potato flakes, but this won’t matter if your breading is heavily seasoned. 

Cauliflower can also be used as a thickener in soups and sauces. Cook the cauliflower by steaming it, then blending it into a fine puree. You won’t need to add any water to blend since cauliflower has enough water on its own.

It can be added instead of potato flakes using a 1:1 ratio. 

  • Cauliflower is much lower in calories and carbohydrates. This is important if you’re counting carbs or calories.
  • Cauliflower is gluten free.

14. Crumbled Crackers

If you’re using potato flakes as a topping, like for casseroles or pies, crumbled crackers make a good substitute. The following crackers are possible to use:

  • Whole-wheat crackers
  • Wheat thins
  • Whole-wheat wafers
  • Multi-grain crackers
  • Cauliflower crackers
  • Almond flour crackers

Try avoiding crackers high in sodium, lacking fiber or containing added sugar. Typically crumbled crackers are used for potato flakes in a 1:1 ratio.

Cauliflower and almond flour crackers are gluten free. The remaining wheat crackers are not.

15. Xanthan Gum

A versatile thickener, xanthan gum is used in several industries, not just the food industry. It mixes easily with water to create a stable, thick solution having a good flow. It doesn’t require any heat to thicken, unlike the other grain flour substitutes for potato flakes. 

More importantly, xanthan gum is a soluble fiber meaning it introduces practically no calories or glucose to a dish. It simply makes the dish thicker. 

To use xanthan gum, make sure to mix it with water before adding it to the soup, sauce or stew. Use it sparingly, mixing it in with small quantities till you reach the desired thickness.

You’ll need far less Xanthan gum than potato flakes to thicken up a sauce. Typically the ratio is 4:1.

  • Xanthan gum is naturally gluten free.
  • It contains fewer calories.

Find out if russet potato substitutes are any different than the ones listed here in my article, Russet Potato Substitutes: 13 Healthy Alternatives.

16. Tapioca Flour

Tapioca flour is made from the crushed pulp of the cassava root. Cassava is a nutty flavored, starchy root vegetable native to South America. Tapioca flour is used as a thickening agent for the following:

  • Sauces
  • Gravies
  • Puddings
  • Baked goods

Tapioca flour provides a crispy crust and a chewy texture in baked goods. When substituting for flakes the potato flavor will be absent and the texture will be lighter. Use a 1:1 ratio.

Although cassava flour and tapioca flour are both made from cassava, they are different.

Tapioca flour is gluten free.

Rutabaga is one of 13 low-carb potato substitutes. Find out the other 12 in my article, Low Carb Potato Substitutes: The 13 Best Alternatives.

17. Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is made from dried coconut flesh which is ground. It’s often used to replace wheat flour but also makes a good potato flake alternative.

When substituting coconut flour the dish will sweeten up, but the flavor will remain mild. The flour works well in baked goods and desserts.

It’s absorbent, so the amount used will be less than potato flakes. Use half the amount of coconut flour per potato flakes.

Coconut flour absorbs more water than grain flours because it is made from dried fruit.

  • Coconut flour is gluten free.
  • It contains a similar number of calories and carbohydrates.

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.

Additional Resources 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Read Next – More Food Alternatives Articles!

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8 Healthy Sweet Potato Flour Substitutes

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Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. Wikipedia: Wheat flour[]
  2. Harvard Health Publishing: Whole Grains[]
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Rice Flour: A promising Food Material For Nutrition and Global Health[]
  4. University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Cauliflower[]
  5. University Of Florida Health: Healthy food trends — flaxseeds[]
  6. Bob’s Red Mill: Organic Quinoa Flour[]
  7. University of Rochester Medical Center: Nutrition facts Arrowroot flour, 1 cup[]
  8. USDA: Water Chestnuts[]
  9. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Wheat-water chestnut flour blends: effect of baking on antioxidant properties of cookies[]
  10. USDA: Oat Flour[]
  11. Wikipedia: Xanthan gum[]
  12. Wikipedia: Corn starch[]
  13. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of Coconut and Chestnut Flour Supplementations on Texture, Nutritional and Sensory Properties of Baked Wheat Based Bread[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on nutrition and food topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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