how much arrowroot to thicken sauce | Family Cuisine

Arrowroot is a starch that is high in fiber and low in calories. It has been used for centuries as a thickening agent, and can be found in many traditional dishes such as polenta, risotto, and the classic Italian

Arrowroot powder, also called flour or starch is an effective thickening agent used to add texture and structure in cooking and baking applications. Learn how this grain-free starch is used to thicken sauces, fillings and lighten up the texture of alternative flour baked goods.

Arrowroot powder in a wooden jar and on a wooden spoon

Arrowroot powder is made by extracting the starches from the tubers of the arrowroot plant, Maranata arundinacea and is cultivated from tropical climates. However, it is often commercially manufactured from the cassava root, which is popular in Brazilian cuisine, though it likely includes other ground tropical tubers.

Occasionally, it will contain potato starch, so take care when reading labels. It’s also sold as arrowroot flour and arrowroot starch, depending on the brand. This easily digestible starch is an excellent nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and corn-free thickener and binder. A huge plus is that it is flavorless, so it can be seamlessly added to savory dishes and baked goods.

Wooden spoon holding a scoop of arrowroot powder

What is Arrowroot Powder?

Cornstarch is a near-ubiquitous thickener and binder used in a wide variety of recipes, but it’s something that is not allowed for those who are on the Whole30 or Paleo diet. That’s where arrowroot steps in.

The arrowroot starch is a very fine white powder that has excellent thickening abilities similar to cornstarch. It also has no pronounced flavor and does not add opacity to sauces. If you’re avoiding corn, potatoes, and gluten, arrowroot starch is a good substitute for a thickening agent.

Cooking with Arrowroot Powder

Make a Slurry: When incorporating into a hot sauce a 2-to-1 room temperature water, to arrowroot slurry should be made.

Thickening: It’s best to add the arrowroot slurry to a simmering liquid at 185-206°F (85-96°C) at the very end of cooking. It only takes about one minute to thicken a hot liquid. Wait until you get the texture you want, and then remove it from the heat. You’ll know if the liquid is too hot-it’ll start to clump and will become unusable. To make a medium consistency sauce, start with 4 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder, combined with 3 tablespoons water to make a slurry, then add to 1 cup of hot liquid. You can use 3 tablespoons less hot liquid for a thicker sauce.

Watch the Temperature: The sauce or mixture will start to thin out if overheated or reheated because arrowroot does not keep its thickening power as long as cornstarch or wheat flour.

Adding Acid: What’s even better, arrowroot powder doesn’t break down in acidic ingredients, like cornstarch does with fruit juices, it creates a clear gel, freezes well and thaws properly. Anything with acid, like cranberry sauce or sweet and sour sauce, will do well with the thickener.

Uses: Soups, stews, gravies, sauces, pancakes, pie fillings and custards are all great uses for arrowroot powder. It’s great as a coating for meat and fish, especially for fried foods.


When substituting arrowroot powder for cornstarch, the ratio to follow is 4 1/2 teaspoons of arrowroot powder for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Use 2 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder for every 1 tablespoon of wheat flour.

What is arrowroot NOT good for?

It’s not compatible with cream-based sauces as it undesirably changes the texture. It’s also not recommended for any non-frozen dairy products, seeing as it will create a slimy and undesirable consistency.

Closeup photo showing clumps of white arrowroot powder on a wooden spoon

Baking with Arrowroot Powder

Baking with a gluten sensitivity or while on a special diet can be a pain for many reasons. While the restriction of grains is an obvious one, there are other ingredients hidden in baked goods and other cooked foods that can prove a sneaky culprit for those with any kinds of sensitive eating needs. That’s why many baking recipes that do not contain gluten use a blend of different alternative flours and starches.

One of the hallmarks of arrowroot is that it’s a useful ingredient to help lighten the textures in cakes, quick bread, and cookies in gluten-free and grain-free baking. It has become a favorite ingredient to use in conjunction with almond flour to make those products less dense. If you’re baking and need to use eggs as the primary binder, adding arrowroot powder will significantly help the process.

Arrowroot recipes

  • Paleo Pancakes
  • Paleo Blueberry Muffins
  • Chicken Stir-fry

Purchasing Arrowroot Powder

Now, the downside. Finding arrowroot powder is easy online, more difficult in stores. Every day grocery stores won’t carry it, though many Whole Foods or specialty health food stores will almost definitely have it in stock. Wherever you shop, look for it in the grains or baking supplies aisle or if there is a gluten-free section. Arrowroot powder is also called arrowroot starch and arrowroot flour on labels and recipes.

Here are a few of the most popular Arrowroot powder products listed on

Three bags of Arrowroot flour found on Amazon

  • Starwest Botanicals Organic Arrowroot Powder
  • Feel Good Organic Arrowroot Powder
  • Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch/Flour

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you!

0 ( 0 votes )

Family Cuisine
Family Cuisine - Instructions, how to, recipes for delicious dishes every day for your loved ones in your family

Readers' opinions (0)

Leave a Reply

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

Related Posts


Home Canned Marinara Sauce | Family Cuisine

11/08/2021 22:13 1619

Marinara sauce is a staple in many Italian households and it's easy to make. This recipe for home canned marinara sauce is simple and delicious.

How to make homemade marinara sauce using fresh tomatoes

20/08/2021 11:49 1371

This is a quick and easy recipe for homemade marinara sauce. It's made with fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil leaves, oregano, salt and pepper.

How to make spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes for canning

20/08/2021 17:51 1334

Making your own spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes is easy and delicious. This recipe is a great way to use up those tomatoes that are too ripe for eating, but not quite ready to be canned. In the process of making this sauce, you

How to make orange chicken sauce from panda express

22/08/2021 06:07 1235

The Panda Express Orange Chicken Sauce is a must-try dish. The orange sauce is made from sweet and sour chicken, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, orange juice and corn starch.

Best Damn Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

12/08/2021 00:27 944

A review of the best air fryer pork tenderloin you can find.

desserts to make with dessert shells

07/10/2021 23:33 876

Desserts to make with dessert shells can range in complexity, but they are all delicious and fun to make. Whether you want a quick snack or an elaborate dinner party dessert, these desserts have something for everyone!

How to build a santa maria grill

16/08/2021 22:01 847

Santa Maria Grill is a restaurant in the heart of downtown. We serve up delicious, healthy food in a comfortable setting.

Best Ever Enchilada Sauce Recipe (Tex Mex Chili Gravy) | Family Cuisine

12/08/2021 06:37 725

If you love Tex Mex and Mexican food, then this is the recipe for you. This best ever enchilada sauce recipe has just the right amount of spice with a hint of sweetness to make it perfect for any meal. It's

Load more