9 Best Cornmeal Substitute You Must Try

Cornmeal Substitute

Cornmeal SubstituteWe eat cookies, biscuits, cakes, muffins, and all other baked foods nearly every day, don’t we? Possibly, that’s why almost all of us know about the basic ingredients used for making baked foods. Yes! The main ingredients of baked food are flour and sugar. But do you know about the crucial ingredients that make the baked food crispy and yummy? 

Perhaps, not! When it comes to preparing the baked food, cornmeal is one of the important ingredients. Even if you like the spicy and crispy items like fish, pork, the cornmeal is the compulsory cooking ingredient for you.

Although there are some other substitutes for cornmeal, cornmeal is the best among them. Well! If we are right, then you are here to know about the cornmeal substitute. We’ll make an extended discussion on the substitutes of the cornmeal.

But let’s first make a short discussion on what is cornmeal. Cornmeal is a staple food ingredient used to make the baked foods and give a crispy texture to fried food. This cooking ingredient is extracted from the corn, a versatile food item. 

Types of cornmeal

The types of cornmeal depend on the color of the corn used for making cornmeal. Mainly, there are two types of cornmeal found in the market: white cornmeal, yellow cornmeal. 

Some other colored cornmeal is also available in many countries. Verily, they aren’t familiar with the people of the globe. But likewise, the popular cornmeal, that cornmeal, also makes a significant change in the food’s taste. Let’s discuss the various types of cornmeal.

Blue cornmeal

Blue cornmealThe blue cornmeal is the kind of cooking ingredients generated from the blue corn. The cornmeal may be light or violet in color. But it gives a sweet flavor when included in the food. Different types of food like cornbread, muffins, tortillas, etc. can be made from the blue cornmeal. 

You’re supposed to never heard about blue cornmeal. That’s because the blue corn is not produced or available in all countries of the world. There are only a few countries that produce blue corn. 

Especially New Mexico and Arizona, they are the major countries that produce blue corn. Most importantly, the northern and southern part of Mexico is more famous for cultivating the blue corn.

Yellow cornmeal

yellow cornmealThough the yellow cornmeal is found worldwide, it is the most common food for the USA. It provides magnesium and thiamin, which is essential for human health. Likewise the other cornmeal, the yellow cornmeal is also derived from the dried corn.

However, yellow cornmeal includes several types of nutrition like vitamin A, B, beta carotene, etc. The recipes that need sweetening, the yellow cornmeal is preferable for them. You can preserve the cornmeal in your home for almost a year by storing it in a dry and cold place. 

White cornmeal 

White cornmeal The white cornmeal is mostly preferable for the recipes that need flours. White cornmeal is milled from the white corn kernels, which is most familiar in Africa. Likewise, the yellow cornmeal, it is not so sweet. 

But it is very smooth and soft by the texture that lacks the yellow cornmeal. However, the cornbread of the southern United States mostly uses white cornmeal.

Substitutes of cornmeal (9 substitutes you can try)

Substitutes of cornmeal (9 substitutes you can try)Almost all the basic kitchen ingredients have close substitutes. When the primary ingredient is unavailable, you can cook your food with those substitutes. 

Substitutes are the ingredients that replace another by keeping almost the same flavor and texture of cooking. 

You must know the substitutes of the basic cooking ingredients when you are a regular cook. In that case, you also know the beneficial substitutes of the cornmeal. But the new cooks hardly know about the substitutes of cooking ingredients.

Here we have identified the common substitutes of cornmeal that may be corn-filled or non-corn-filled. Let’s evaluate the items. 

Corn-filled substitutes 

Corn-filled substitutes refer to the replacement of cornmeal that comes from the corn. But not all of them come from the same types of corn. Perhaps, that’s why some of them hold a slightly different taste or texture.

That’s why it is important to know about them before applying them to your recipes. Otherwise, you mightn’t get the exact taste or flavor as you desire.

Corn grits

Corn grit has proved an ideal substitute for cornmeal food all the time. When you are baking or frying food, the corn grit becomes an essential substitute. 

Unlike the traditional cornmeal, the corn grits are a little coarser. So, you better use the corn grits at slightly low volumes than the cornmeal when cooking food. Especially, the recipes which are primarily liquid-based must have to use fewer corn grits. 


Polenta is also an excellent substitute for the cornmeal, likewise the corn grits. Both the corn grits and polenta derived from the corn kernels by grinding them up. The polenta and corn grit are different; the polenta is derived from the yellow corn and the corn grits derived from the white corn.

Moreover, unlike the corn grits, the polenta is available almost in different grades. That means you may find it both in coarse and fine grades. Indeed, different grades of polenta make it possible to cook versatile foods.

Cornflower/Polenta flower

Cornflower is another name of the polenta flower for many countries. It almost looks like the white flour. The recipes prefer the fine grades cornmeal; the cornflower is the best substitute for them.

If you are cooking sticky and tacky food, the cornflower is preferable as a replacement for cornmeal.

Unfortunately, you will not get the crunchy texture of the cornmeal in food with the cornflower. That’s why the cornflower is not too useful for the foods that tend to be crunchy and crispy.

The cornbread is one of those foods for which the cornmeal can be replaced with the cornflower.

Corn chips

When it comes to crunchy or crispy items, the corn chips can be the best substitutes of the cornmeal. The corn chips are also basically made by the corn. The corn chips itself have a very good smell and particular flavor. So, when it is used in any recipe, it adds extra flavor and aroma.

But before using the corn chips, you have to bring them in particle size. Put some of the corn chips in the grinder machine, bring them.

Non-corn-filled substitutes

Perhaps, you are searching for the substitutes of the cornmeal, that doesn’t include the corn. Why? Most probably, you are allergic to corn or too much conscious of health.

Well! It is usual to look for the non-corn-filled substitutes when you are health conscious or allergic to corn. Don’t worry! We also have a non-corn replacement for the cornmeal. Let’s disclose them.


Semolina keeps the same texture of food like the cornmeal, although the flavor gets changed a little. The original texture of semolina looks like a fine powder but a little coarser than the regular wheat flour. Although the semolina is a little darker in color, it gives more delicious taste than the typical wheat flour.

As the semolina is slightly larger in texture, we recommend to use it a little quantity in your recipes. Indeed, the thicker texture of semolina will help you to get the exact test similar to cornmeal. 

Ground flaxseed

Likewise, the semolina, the ground flaxseed, also gives similar texture but the different flavor in the cooked food. But its flavor is pretty different and enjoyable. So, you can choose the ground flaxseed as a substitute for cornmeal. 

Especially when you want non-corn substitutes, the ground flaxseed is one of the great options for you. However, ground flaxseed is a nutritious and healthier non-corn alternative to cornmeal. 

Therefore, we would recommend applying the ground flaxseed at least once in your cornmeal recipes. 

Wheat flour

Wheat flour is another non-corn substitute of cornmeal that comes with a very smooth and fine texture. It may reduce the flavor of food a little. So, you better add double sugar and salt in your content. 

Although it doesn’t give the exact flavor you need, you can use it when the other alternatives are unavailable. 

Rice flavor 

Amongst all the non-corn substitutes, the rice flour adds different colors and texture in food. Moreover, the texture might be a little stickier than your expectation. But it gives a sweet flavor, which is possibly hard to distinguish. 

Some relevant question 

Is cornmeal healthier than flour?

The cornmeal is a grain derived from the dried corn. It may be coarse, medium, or fine by texture. The cornmeal is called a healthy food because it doesn't include any harmful protein like gluten. Instead, it provides our body calories that break out from carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Also, the cornmeal is a good source of vitamin A and fiber. Conversely , the wheat flour includes the gluten that creates digest problems. Moreover, wheat flour is accused of some other diseases like heart disease, obesity, etc. Therefore, the cornmeal is healthier than flour.

Is corn flour the same as cornmeal?

Usually, the cornflower is much finer and smoother by texture than the cornmeal. But you cannot use it in all types of recipes. It is true that some recipes, such as the breading chicken, are fine with any of these two food ingredients. But the food doesn't get the same texture from the cornflower, likewise the cornmeal. Overall, the cornflower is almost different from the cornmeal in texture and applications.

Is cornmeal bad for cholesterol?

According to the American heart association, both the cornmeal and popcorn are considered as a whole grain. That means, both of the food includes high fiber which is good for controlling cholesterol anyway. Besides, the cornmeal makes you lose your calories when you take it in your diet. Consequently, cornmeal reduces obesity. Indeed, the lower weight keeps the cholesterol far away.

What cornmeal is used for?

The cornmeal has versatile use that you probably know! Whether it comes to breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can smartly use the cornmeal. Let's know about some smart use of cornmeal.

Baked food

You rarely will find a person who doesn't like baked food. Especially the pancake, polenta, and baked sweet bring water into our mouth. But you possibly know the ingredients are used in making these items. One of the basic ingredients that need to make baked food is cornmeal. It makes the baked food thicker and brings additional flavors in any type of food.

Fried food

Not only baked food, but the cornmeal is also highly used in making fried chicken, crackers, chips, etc. It has a great capacity to make the food crispy and crunchy, which is rare in any other food ingredients. Therefore, if you are a fried food lover, you cannot avoid the necessity of cornmeal.

The Bottom Up

Indeed, an experienced cook has complete knowledge of the kitchen ingredients. Conversely, you cannot get sure about the replacements of kitchen materials if you’re a newbie or just learning cooking.

Cornmeal, for example, is one of the versatile used food ingredients you’ll know when starting to cook. You’ll need it to make the pancake, chicken, crackers, bread, and so on. But it is not impossible to lack the food ingredients in a day when you need it.

So, wouldn’t it better to know about some substitutes for the cornmeal? Of course, it will. Fortunately, there are available corn-filled and non-corn-filled substitutes for the cornmeal. Some of them might give a different texture and flavor to your food. But you can use the available substitute as the replacement of cornmeal.