Semolina Flour Substitute – What Can You Use?

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Made from hard durum wheat, semolina flour is widely used to make pasta. The high–gluten content in semolina flour creates a less sticky and more elastic dough ideal for shaping pasta.

Semolina flour isn’t a common ingredient in most kitchens and you may find yourself looking for a substitute for semolina flour. If that’s the case, you’re in luck – there are several ingredients you can use instead of semolina flour in recipes.

So, what is the best semolina flour substitute? The best substitute for semolina flour is fine cornmeal. Fine cornmeal can substitute semolina flour in bread, cakes, and pizza dough and has a similar taste and texture as semolina. Instead of semolina use all-purpose flour, rice flour, amaranth flour, and almond flour in your favorite recipes.

This article lists the best semolina flour substitutes and explains how you can use them to make your favorite baked goods. 

What is Semolina Flour?

Semolina is a pale yellow, coarse flour made from hard durum wheat. Semolina flour has a high protein and gluten content. 

The abundance of gluten makes semolina well-suited for making pasta, bread, baked goods, and couscous. 

The semolina’s high gluten content helps create a less sticky and elastic dough than when using other flours. This trait helps pasta hold its shape while cooking, whether that shape is of long spaghetti noodles or small macaroni. 

Semolina flour gives bread and pastry a slightly nutty and sweet flavor and a pleasantly chewy texture. 

Homemade pasta and baked goods recipes wouldn’t be the same without semolina flour. Use semolina flour to improve the texture and thicken your favorite soups, stews, and gravies. It can also be used to prevent sticking when baking a dough. 

Semolina creates a crumbly and chewy texture when used as a replacement for flour in cookie recipes. Pancakes made with semolina flour have a light and fluffy texture and will melt inside your mouth. 

Best Semolina Flour Substitutes

Several substitutes for semolina flour can be used in recipes and will help you achieve a similar chewy texture and delicious flavor. 

1. Fine Cornmeal

Fine cornmeal is the best substitute for semolina flour. Cornmeal is completely gluten-free and is a great replacement for semolina if you have celiac disease or are expecting guests with gluten sensitivity.

Fine cornmeal has a rich, and sweet aroma that mimics the flavor of semolina flour in pizza doughs, bread, and cakes. Dougs made with fine cornmeal have a light, crumbly texture when baked.

Since fine cornmeal is made from corn, it will impart a corn-like flavor to baked goods, which can be an issue if you don’t like the taste of corn.

2. All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is a great replacement for semolina flour in everything from cakes, cookies, breads, and pizza doughs. Made from a mix of hard and soft wheat, the all-purpose flour has a lighter texture than semolina flour.

All-purpose flour is the most commonly used type of flour and it’s the most readily available substitute for semolina flour.

3. Garbono Bean Flour

Garbanzo bean flour is also known as chickpeas flour. It is a wonderful gluten-free substitute for semolina flour. Garbanzo bean flour is often used in Indian and Italian cooking and is great for making pasta, baked goods, and flatbread. 

Doughs made with garbanzo bean flour have a strong earthy and nutty flavor and smooth texture.

4. Spelt Flour

Whole spelt flour is an excellent substitute for semolina flour when making yeasted bread, baked goods, and pancakes. Spelt flour is made from spelt, an ancient grain and one of the first types of wheat used to make bread.

Baked goods made with spelt flour have a pleasantly mild flavor that is slightly nutty and sweet. Bread, cookies, and pancaked made with spelt flour have a surprisingly light and airy texture that’s easy to chew, 

5. Durum Flour

Durum flour is a by-product of the milling process used to make semolina flour. Being made of the same type of wheat as semolina makes durum flour one of the best substitutes for semolina flour in pasta and yeasted bread. 

Durum flour’s high gluten content makes it unsuitable for pastries as it will make them firm and tough to chew. When used as a replacement for semolina flour in recipes, durum flour creates nutty, almost sweet-tasting baked goods with a golden and crumbly crust. 

6. Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is another excellent substitute for semolina flour. Made by grinding whole grains of wheat, whole wheat flour is perfect to replace semolina in pizza crusts, bread, and baked goods. 

Whole wheat flour has a high nutritional content and gives baked goods a hearty and rustic flavor.

Can You Use All-Purpose Flour instead of Semolina?

Yes. All-purpose flour is a great substitute for semolina flour if you’re in a pinch. A readily available ingredient in most kitchens, all-purpose flour can be used instead of semolina flour in pasta, bread, and baked goods recipes. It will give the dough a lighter texture than semolina. 

When using all-purpose flour instead of semolina to make pasta, ensure that the pasta is served hot and cooked in lots of water. 

What is another Name for Semolina Flour?

Semolina flour is sometimes also called rava or sooji. In Italian, coarse semolina flour is referred to as semola di grano duro, while fine semolina flour is called rimacinata. 


Semolina flour is often used to make homemade pasta. However, semolina flour isn’t a staple ingredient in most kitchens. 

There are several, widely available flours you can use instead of semolina if you’re trying to make pasta at home. 

Fine cornmeal is readily available in most stores. It is the best substitute for semolina flour in baked goods, bread, and other recipes. But, if you aren’t a fan of fine cornmeal’s flavor, use all-purpose flour, spelt flour, or whole wheat flour as replacement semolina in recipes.

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