Best Cornmeal Substitutes for Every Dish
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5 Best Cornmeal Substitutes for Every Dish

Cornmeal can be replaced with many ingredients. However, before returning it, you need to know how it is used to find the right replacement. It has two purposes: to enhance flavor or add texture to food. Knowing the two cornmeal uses, you can use cornmeal substitutes for an excellent meal to add flavor or texture.

A well-experienced cook is defined by the ability to improvise in the kitchen. Anyone can follow recipe guidelines to make a perfect meal, but preparing a palatable meal with improvised ingredients is impressive. A skill that comes with a lot of experience through years of cooking.

Did you know? Some recipes come about through trial and error methods in the kitchen. Cornmeal is a common ingredient in many dishes because of its flavor, texture, and stability. If the meal you are making needs cornmeal, here are worthy cornmeal substitutes for your meals. 

Best Cornmeal Substitutes for Any Meal 

When replacing an ingredient, begin with those that come from the same plant. The flavor and texture variation will be due to different finishing qualities, but the meal’s overall result will be the same.

1. Polenta

Polenta is coarsely ground cornmeal available in several grades, from subtle to coarse. Cornmeal and polenta are the same, and you can use the latter as a replacement. Grits are also made from cornmeal, but they are tiny finely ground corn bits. Cornmeal and grits are confusing because they look alike. But, the latter is more significant.

Since grits and cornmeal are alike when following a recipe, you can substitute cornmeal with grits. The only you need to observe is the fact that grits are coarser than cornmeal, so you need a smaller amount to make a liquid batter in a recipe.

polenta - cornmeal substitute

2. Corn Flour

Corn flour and cornmeal are different in texture: Corn flour is more refined than cornmeal. Its texture is more refined than the cornmeal texture. It is a suitable replacement if you are only after the corn flavor, and the end product will be light. Since cornmeal is a finer version of grits and polenta, cornflour is a finer version of cornmeal.

corn flour

3. Masa Harina

Masa harina is best known for making tortillas, and it is a kind of cornflour. It can be a cornmeal substitute because of a type of cornflour, and it can be used in specific recipes like cornbread, and the result will be exemplary. But, masa harina has some lime, and the flavor might be different.

4. Semolina (similar texture, different flavor)

Semolina is a unique flour you get from grinding durum wheat kernels into a fine powder. The flour turns out as a bit coarser than regular wheat flour. In reality, it resembles cornmeal in texture; it is darker, providing a more earthy taste than traditional wheat flour. 

If you choose semolina as your cornmeal substitute, it is recommended that you increase the quantities in the original recipe to create a thicker texture like cornmeal. 

5. Ground Flaxseed

Ground Flaxseed has a similar texture to cornmeal but different flavors. Flax is a bitter seed due to its protective nature. Ground flaxseed is healthier because of its nutrient-dense innards and is a suitable replacement for cornmeal. Using flaxseed to make cornbread gives good results that are worth a second try. 

Facts to Consider when choosing substitutes

When using cornmeal or any of the substitutes above, the tips below will come in handy. 

  • All substitutes will vary in consistency and taste, which will affect the final result. You may want to experiment and find a suitable measurement for your recipe.
  • If your meal is in liquid, you may need to use the finer replacement of cornmeal because it will blend fast.
  • All cornmeal replacements should be stored in airtight containers in a cool dark place. 
  • The alternatives are useful for coating and sweet making.
corn meal substitutes

Cornmeal Benefits

Cornmeal best serves those who have celiac disease. Unlike typical flour, cornmeal is made from corn kernel, is full of nutrients, and has no gluten.

Source of starch: Cornmeal is a primary source of starch. One cup of cornmeal has 94grams of carbs, making 75% of calories. 

Excellent fiber source: Every 3.5 ounces of cornmeal contains 9.4 grams of fiber. A woman needs 38% of the fiber 25 grams, while a man needs 25% of the 38 grams of. The fiber present in cornmeal is a dietary fiber meaning it keeps you full, which aids digestion. Foods high in fiber prevent diabetes, heart-related diseases, and obesity.

Home of minerals: Every 3.5 ounces of cornmeal contains 3 mg of irons, 3.1 mg of zinc, and 2.5 mg of niacin. Iron boosts your immune system and nourishes your red blood cells, and zinc helps to heal injuries quickly. Potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium are also in minimal quantities. 


The above five ingredients can replace cornmeal, with some being solid choices because they come from cornmeal. Flour might not give you significant results, but you can improve the products by mixing it with other ingredients like oats or breadcrumbs to get a coarser texture. 

So, the next time you are following a recipe, and you find out that you have run out of cornmeal, the above ingredients will be worth substitutes for cornmeal. Also, the lists of cornmeal substitutes are quite long, and it will be more comfortable when you know the function of cornmeal in your recipe. 

ALSO READ: 7 Best Cream Cheese Substitutes in 2020


Andrew is a professional writer with 7+ Years of experience. His style and uniqueness inspire and educate readers throughout the world.


Andrew is a professional writer with 7+ Years of experience. His style and uniqueness inspire and educate readers throughout the world.

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