Masa Flour Substitutes (12 Alternatives To Try)

Masa flour is a great corn-based flour that is used frequently in Latin American cuisine. Masa flour can offer recipes a lot of fantastic flavor and texture along with being a good gluten-free flour.

If you want to make a recipe but you do not have masa flour, you may want to find masa flour substitutes that you can use. I did some digging, and here are some masa flour alternatives you can try!

Masa Flour Substitutes

1. Masa Preparada

One of the best replacements you can find for masa flour is masa preparada. Masa preparada is a dough made from masa flour, making masa preparada an excellent substitute for recipes than require plain dough made from masa flour.

Since masa preparada is already prepared, you do not have to do anything to the dough besides shape the dough. Therefore, it is best to use masa preparada to make tortillas, tamales, etc.

2. Canned Hominy

Canned hominy is hominy that has been preserved in water, and hominy is white or yellow maize (or field corn). Since the canned hominy will have a similar texture to canned beans, you will need to first prepare the canned hominy.

Your canned hominy will be wet, so you will use the canned hominy as a prepared dough like masa preparada. You can use a food processor to blend the canned hominy until you reach a dough-like consistency.

3. Dried Hominy

Dried hominy is hulled corn that has been soaked in an alkaline solution. Generally, dried hominy is what masa flour is before it gets ground.

If you want to use dried hominy as a substitute for masa flour, put the whole hominy kernels into a food processor then grind the kernels until the kernels resemble a fine powder. You can use the ground dried hominy in an equal ratio to masa flour for most recipes.

4. Cornflour

Cornflour is a good substitute for masa flour because they are both made from corn. However, cornflour is not the same as masa flour because of how they are made.

Generally, cornflour is simply made from dried whole corn kernels. On the other hand, masa flour gets a limewater treatment, which is why masa flour tastes different.

Since they go through different processes, cornflour will give your recipes a slightly different taste. However, cornflour’s texture is similar enough to be used as a thickening agent for recipes that need masa flour.

5. Cornmeal

Similar to cornflour, cornmeal is made from milled corn and does not go through a limewater treatment. Therefore, cornmeal will not taste similarly to masa flour.

However, cornmeal makes a great substitute for masa flour because cornmeal is fairly grainy, making the texture a lot like masa flour. Therefore, you can use cornmeal in an equal ratio to masa flour in dough recipes.

6. Corn Grits

Corn Grits

Corn grits can make a great substitute for masa flour, but it will depend on the type of corn grits. Corn grits can be made from milled corn or dried hominy, but you want to choose dried hominy because it will taste more like masa flour.

However, corn grits are much coarser than masa flour so you will need to make some adjustments. Use a food processor to blend the corn grits until the corn grits resemble a fine powder then the corn grits can be used in a 1:1 ratio.

7. Prepared Polenta

Polenta can be considered the Italian cornmeal because polenta is ground flint corn used to create dishes similar to grits. Prepared polenta is polenta mixed with water, and it is often sold in tubes as ready-made polenta.

Normally, you can use prepared polenta in recipes that require plain masa flour dough. Moreover, prepared polenta may be used in an equal ratio to masa flour.

8. Dry Polenta

Polenta can be bought dry, and dry polenta has a texture that is similar to masa flour or corn grits. Therefore, you can easily use the same amount of dry polenta as masa flour for most recipes.

9. Arrowroot Flour

Arrowroot flour is a starchy powder taken from several tropical plants’ roots. However, arrowroot flour is too fine to replace masa flour by itself, so it is best to use arrowroot flour as a thickening agent.

However, arrowroot flour tastes very different, so you may want to test the flavor by adding arrowroot flour to a small amount of your dish. If you do not mind the taste, you can use arrowroot flour in an equal ratio to masa flour.

10. Cornstarch

Cornstarch makes a fantastic replacement for masa flour to thicken liquids. Plus, cornstarch has a very mild flavor, so you will not notice much difference in taste.

However, you cannot add cornstarch directly to your dish. You need to mix the cornstarch with a bit of water first.

11. Corn Tortilla

Corn tortilla’s main ingredient is masa flour, which means you can deconstruct the corn tortillas to create masa flour. To do so, you can use a blender or food processor to grind the corn tortillas until they reach a flour-like consistency.

12. Tostada Shells Or Taco Shells

Since corn tortillas can be used to make masa flour, taco shells and tostada shells can work as well because they are usually made from masa flour. Similar to corn tortillas, you just need to grind the tostada shells or taco shells.

However, it would be best to use taco shells or tostada shells that have been baked. That way, they will have a texture similar to masa flour.

Have a look at our related articles to learn about brown rice flour substitutes, millet flour substitutes, and mochiko flour substitutes.


Masa flour is a popular type of corn flour that is often used in Latin American recipes. Generally, masa flour offers a unique taste compared to other types of cornflour because masa flour goes through a limewater treatment.

If you do not have any masa flour, there are many substitutes you can try. For instance, corn grits, masa preparada, and even taco shells can replace masa flour in many recipes.

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