Potato flakes, potato starch, and mashed potato flakes are all synonyms for the same thing. Often, you will see them used as a thickening agent in soups, gravies, or sauces. But what can you use instead if you don’t have any potato flakes on hand?
Here are a few suitable options that can be used instead of potato flakes as a thickener:
- Cornstarch, tapioca flour, and arrowroot at a 1-to-1 ratio.
- Wheat flour, rice flour, and potato flour at a 2-to-1 ratio.
- Xanthan gum at a ratio of 4 to 1.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the substitutes, so you know exactly how to use them.
What Can Be Substituted for Potato Flakes in a Recipe?
Substitutes for potato flakes include cornstarch, tapioca flour, arrowroot, wheat flour, rice flour, potato flour, and xantham gum.
Whether you intend on using potato flakes as a thickening agent in a recipe, such as a soup, gravy, or sauce, or if you need a starchy ingredient to maintain the moisture content and texture of bread, several substitutions will provide similar results. Still, they will each have a subtly different flavor and texture profile.
7 Things to Use Instead of Potato Flakes:
- Cornstarch- Makes an excellent substitute for potato flakes in a pinch but lacks the flavor that potato flakes add. Cornstarch is an excellent thickening agent and likely a common household item that you have in your pantry. You can substitute at a 1-to-1 ratio for potato flakes in any dish or baked good.
- Tapioca Flour- Also known as cassava flour or tapioca starch. Tapioca flour is less dense than potato flakes. If you are baking bread with tapioca flour as a substitute for potato starch, you will find that the bread will be fluffier and slightly sweeter. Again you can substitute this ingredient at a ratio of 1- to-1.
- Arrowroot- An extract made from the root of the plant maranta arundinacea. Arrowroot has very little taste and adds no color to your cooking. It can also be substituted at a ratio of 1:1. Arrowroot is also excellent for gluten-free cooking and baking.
- Wheat Flour- You’ll need to use twice as much wheat flour to get the same results as potato flakes. Mix in cold or hot water before slowly adding to your recipe. Alternatively, you can make a roux with flour and oil for use in gravy, stews, or soups.
- Rice Flour- Rice flour works exactly like wheat flour as a substitute. Just double the amount you would need using potato flakes.
- Potato starch- A great thickening agent for those that are cooking gluten-free dishes, but if gluten-free isn’t a requirement for your dining experience, you can substitute all-purpose flour. If you are adding to a soup, gravy, or sauce, mix the flour with water before slowly stirring it so as it won’t clump and turn into dumplings.
- Xantham Gum- You need far less xanthan gum as a thickener than potato flakes. For every 1 part potato flake, use 4 parts xanthan gum.
You Can Also Use Fresh Potatoes
Seeing as potato flakes are just dried mashed potatoes. You can always substitute the fresh real thing for the dehydrated alternative.
Mashed potatoes are harder to work into certain dishes than their powdered counterparts. When substituted for flakes in bread, the resulting dough tends to be stickier and harder to work with.
Mashed potatoes also contain water, so you need to calculate that in your recipe. For every 1/3 cup of potato flakes, you can make 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes.
Are Potato Flakes the Same as Instant Potatoes?
Potato flakes and instant mashed potatoes are the same things. As they are synonymous with each other, they can be used interchangeably for recipes. The difference is purely a matter of semantics.
Potato flakes are a great way to add thickness to sauces or stews, a great source of carbohydrates, and an effortlessly simple way to make mashed potatoes in a short duration of time. Potato flakes can be reconstituted even with cold water, which has led to their enduring popularity among bakers and mass-production food manufacturers.
What Are Potato Flakes Made Of?
Potato flakes are made from dehydrated mashed potatoes. Once potatoes have been cooked and mashed, they are applied to a large heated drum with the help of rollers. At this point, the potatoes are quickly dried. They are then scraped from the drum and sent over to packaging.
Potato Flour vs. Potato Flakes
Potato flour is when you take peeled potatoes and grind them into flour. Potato flakes are made by mashing potatoes, drying them, and then crushing them into flakes. Potato flour and potato flakes can be used interchangeably in recipes if you get the ratios right.
Substitute potato flakes for potato flour on a 2-to-1 ratio. ie. 1 tablespoon potato flour = 2 tablespoon potato flakes.
I hope this article has been helpful in giving you some additional options to use in your recipe. Making a special trip to the store for one item is always annoying.
Thanks for reading!
For more, don’t miss Are Potatoes a Good Survival Food? | 3 Things to Consider.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.