11 Cornmeal Substitutes. Here are the Alternatives

Cornmeal has the sweet taste, aroma, and unique texture of corn.

It’s an essential ingredient in muffins and cornbread, but if you’re out of it when you’re ready to cook, you’re in trouble.

But if you’re out of cornmeal when you’re ready to cook, you’ll be glad you know what to do with it!

In this article, we will introduce you to the substitutes for cornmeal, so please refer to them if you have any problems.

What is Cornmeal? Characteristics and Tips for Choosing a Substitute

Cornmeal is made by drying and grinding the endosperm (the yellow, sweet part) of corn without the seed coat (the most superficial skin) and germ (the whitish part of the grain).

It is used in combination with wheat to make cornbread, in tortillas and American dog batter, and as a topping for English muffins.

Cornmeal is also used as a batter for most commercial fried chicken and nuggets, and as a binder in soups and chili con carne, adding richness and thickness.

Just as rice is an essential food in Japan, cornmeal is an everyday household food in the USA and Mexico.

Its savory smell, sweetness, and slightly yellowish taste make it a delight to the taste buds.

If you choose an alternative to cornmeal…

  • “Flour made from the same corn”.
  • “processed corn”.

If you are looking for a substitute for cornmeal, choose a flour that is made from the same corn or processed corn.

These are the 11 Best Cornmeal Alternatives

Corn grits

corn grits

Corn grits are a coarsely ground version of cornmeal. They can be used in almost the same way as cornmeal.

You can enjoy the crunchy texture of muffins.

You can also enjoy the crispy texture of fried foods.

Corn flour

corn flour

This is a finely ground version of cornmeal. It can be used in almost the same way as cornmeal.

The result is more moist and pleasant to use.

Polenta flour

polenta flour

Polenta flour is a type of Italian corn flour.

In Italy, polenta is used to make sticky, home-cooked dishes like a stew.

It is made from corn flour and is equivalent to cornmeal, although it has a different name and origin.

You can also find polenta retort, which is pre-cooked polenta flour.

It is a ready-to-cook porridge that can be opened and prepared. It can be used in the same way as cornmeal heated in hot water.

It can be used in the same way as cornmeal cooked in hot water and is a good accompaniment to corn soup or chili con carne.

Of course, it can be eaten as polenta, seasoned to taste.



This is simple milled corn flour used mainly in Mexican cuisine.

As corn does not have gluten, it is treated with limewater to make it sticky when made into dough.

It is used in tortillas and tacos and is a good alternative to cornmeal.

Dried Corn

dried corn

Dried corn for popcorn is available in supermarkets, department stores, and online.

It can be substituted by grinding it directly into the desired size in a food processor such as a miller.

It’s a bit more work, but you’ll get the full aroma and texture of corn.

Corn puree

corn puree

Corn puree is made by heating and grinding corn, and is very smooth.

It is easy to use and blends well with pancakes and another batter.

It can be used in soups, cornbread, and muffins.

Canned Cream of Corn

canned cream of corn

Like corn puree, canned cream of corn is a good substitute for corn soup and stew.

Muffins and cornbread can also be made with cream of corn.

Powdered corn soup stock

powdered corn soup stock

Cup soup stock mixed with wheat or other ingredients is sufficient to make cornbread-like bread or muffins.

Choose one that is simple and seems to have a strong corn flavor.

You can also use corn potage.

Plain cornflakes

plain cornflakes

Most cornflakes are made from cornmeal or corn grits, to which flavors are added.

Plain, unflavoured cornflakes can be ground into a powder in a food processor or mortar and used as a substitute when making English muffins or tortillas.



Granola is a mixture of corn, old oats, wheat, brown rice, nuts, and coconut, seasoned with sugar or maple syrup and baked.

Granola can be crushed to your liking and added to muffins and bread for a different taste.

Freeze-dried corn

freeze-dried corn

Fresh corn kernels are freeze-dried.

This is a product from Hokkaido, which has no special flavoring but is designed to be eaten as a snack or used in cooking after being boiled in hot water.

It can be used as a snack, or as a substitute for hot water in cooking. It is best to pound the dried product on a chopping board to make it finer.

The freshness of the freeze-dried product allows the corn to retain its aromatic flavor.

Can Cornmeal be Made by Hand?

can cornmeal be made by hand

No, not cornmeal…

If you have fresh corn in your kitchen, you can boil the corn, scrape off the kernels with a knife (be careful not to burn yourself), and put it in a blender.

Then puree it.

Cornstarch is Not a Substitute

cornstarch is not a substitute

Cornstarch, which has a similar name to cornmeal, is a ‘starch‘ made from corn and cannot be used as a substitute.

In the UK, cornstarch is also called cornflour, so be careful not to confuse the two.


  • Cornmeal is made from corn that has been dried and ground.
  • Cornmeal is mainly used in muffins, cornbread, tortilla crusts, corn soups, and stews, and as a batter for fried foods, and is popular for its sweetness, aroma, and unique texture, which is not found in wheat.
  • The key to choosing a substitute is to choose flour made from corn, a processed corn product, or one with a corn flavor. There are two types of cornmeal substitutes, powdered and liquid, so choose the one that is most suitable for the dish you want to prepare.
  • The following 11 substitutes for cornmeal are recommended. [Corn grits, cornflour, polenta flour, masa, dried corn, corn puree, canned cream of corn, powdered corn soup base, plain corn flakes, granola, freeze-dried corn].