The Best Substitute For Rice Flour Is A Nutty, Grain-Free Pantry Staple

Even gluten-tolerant home chefs have some rice flour stashed in their pantry, as it comes in handy for so many things that are savory or sweet, baked or fried. If you happen to have a baked recipe that calls for rice flour and either don't have it or want to use a grain-free substitute, you can hardly do better, in our opinion, than almond flour. The two have a similar texture, but almond flour also brings a nutty, slightly sweeter taste and richer mouthfeel. 

Almond flour is not just ground up almonds; that would be almond meal. For almond flour, the nuts are first skinned and soaked before being finely ground. The resulting flour is (and we're not kidding here) perfect for heavenly Madeira cakes, delectable chocolate chip cookies, and sturdy savory breads. If you want to use almond flour as a rice flour substitute, use a 1-to-1 ratio. If you're not acquainted with what almond flour can bring to baked goods, you're about to meet a new pantry staple. In these applications, it is rice flour's equal, if not superior.

Even almond flour has its limits

Rice flour is crazy versatile, so there are places it can go that almond flour cannot. We use rice flour as the secret weapon for making extra-crispy potato patties, because almond flour burns easily in high-heat applications like frying, so don't go there. Similarly, although almond flour can do very well as a thickening agent, we don't recommend it for soups and sauces because of its coarser texture and nutty flavor. Also, because of its entirely non-glutinous quality, you will never find Mochii made out of almond flour either. That's okay — everybody has a lane.

But if you've been thinking about whipping up some buttery shortbread cookies, scrumptious pancakes, or reputation-making blueberry muffins that normally use rice flour, by all means, measure out some almond flour instead. Did we mention that it's also low carb and nutritious, packed with vitamin E, healthy fats, fiber, and magnesium? (Not that you needed more convincing.)