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Upgrade Your Recipes: Top 5 Cornmeal Substitutes

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If you keep up with the latest trends in health and lifestyle, you may have heard about Corn Meal.

It has found its way into many sweet meat recipes like pound cake, pancakes, cornbread and even savory foods.

While it is gaining popularity, there are downsides to this in-demand ingredient.

Cornmeal can cause inflammation, indigestion, cramps, and its high fructose content is not healthy.

Stay ahead of the fad, and start looking for healthier options.

We have done the work and put together the best substitutes for Corn Meal.

Be sure to check the list for our top picks.

What is Corn Meal?

But what exactly is Corn Meal? Well, Cornmeal is dried corn that is grounded to form a fine flour.

It can vary in texture from coarse, medium to finely grounded flour, and it is usually yellowish-white in color.

The use of Corn Meal is seen in many cultures worldwide and is known by different names.

Its use has existed for more than decades and is incorporated in several cuisines.

Corn Meal is easy to make and it can be done at home too.

Hence, this is one of the reasons it continues to be a staple food in some countries.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Corn Meal

Here are the top 5 substitutes that you can use instead of cornmeal:

1 – Ground Flaxseed

Grounded flaxseed is one of the best substitutes for Corn Meal.

It has a similar texture, so you can easily incorporate it into your recipes without worrying about the outcome.

Grounded flaxseed and Corn Meal have similar consistency; hence, the substitute ratio is more or less the same.

Flaxseeds are also a healthier alternative as compared to Corn Meal.

Many leading scientists and publications have reported on the health benefits of flaxseed.

According to Elaine Magee (MPH, RD), a dietician, flaxseeds can reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes, stroke and even cancer.

Corn Meal is considered to cause inflammatory reactions, while flaxseeds can help reduce inflammations.

This means flaxseeds can help reduce heart attacks and stroke.

2 – Semolina


Semolina can also be used as a substitute for Corn Meal, and it is also another great non-corn option to include in your diet.

It is best suited for sweetmeat recipes like puddings, cakes and cookies.

This ingredient is slightly sweeter than Corn Meal while having a similar texture.

The substitute ratio should vary accordingly, usually with the measurements of 1 tsp of Corn Meal = 1 ½ tsp of Semolina.

There are many health benefits of Semolina, including high fiber content, low glycemic index, and rich in iron.

Moreover, Semolina is a healthier alternative for proteins because it has the same benefits, without the unhealthy saturated fats found in typical protein sources like meat.

3 – Ground Oat

ground oat

Ground oat is yet another great replacement for Corn Meal, and it has a different taste but is similar in texture.

If you are looking for a substitute that doesn’t have that corn smell or taste, ground oats are your best option.

Although similar in texture, it gives a creamier and thicker result.

So, when cooking, you can always adjust it to a slightly lower ratio as needed in a Corn Meal recipe.

The best equivalent for every 1 tsp of Corn Flour would be ½ tsp of ground oat.

As cited in publications like Healthline, Ground oat is rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and has many nutritional benefits.

It is a recommended substitute if you are under dietary restrictions.

4 – Rice Flour

rice flour

Rice flour is a more-smoother, finely grounded flour than any Corn Meal substitute.

It has a rich texture and bland taste, so it compliments the other ingredients well.

You can put in the same amount of rice flour as Corn Meal or according to your personal choice.

It is gluten-free, so that it can be an allergen-free substitute.

It is also a better option as it is rich in fiber.

It helps you stay full and avoid binge eating.

There are many health benefits of rice flour, including better heart health, controlled diabetes, reduced cancer risk, and better digestive health.

Rice Flour also has many benefits of nutrients like Vitamins B1 and B6, Selenium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Magnesium and many more.

5 – Corn Grit

corn grit

If you are looking for a Corn Meal substitute but still want to keep that corn taste, we suggest that you stick to corn grit.

It has many similarities in taste, smell, and texture too.

However, corn grit is slightly larger, so you can always grind them manually for dishes that require exact measurements.

You can use equal proportions, but you can opt for ¾ amount for Corn Meal.

Leading health sites like WebMD suggest that Corn grits are an excellent source for eye health and help reduce anemia risk.

It is also an excellent source of multiple Vitamin B complex.


Although cornmeal is not an unhealthy food choice, many other options have benefits that Corn Meal doesn’t.

Readers should note that Corn Meal substitutes may change some flavor and appearance in most dishes.

However, we can assure you that it tastes as great as the original recipe.

There are many ingredients and products which can be readily used and substituted for Corn Meal.

You can always experiment with different foods and settle with whichever suits your palate best.

Please make sure to try with our list of suggestions too.

We hope you have great fun.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Corn Meal

Recipe by Kimberly Baxter Course: Substitutes


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  • Ground Flaxseed

  • Semolina

  • Ground Oat

  • Rice Flour

  • Corn Grit


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Follow the substitution ratio to determine how much is required in your recipe.

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