2

votes

What should I use as a thickener other than flour for sauces and roux, especially Alfredo sauce?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 16, 2011 at 3:15 PM

My daughter wants some of my Alfredo Sauce tonight which typically starts with making a roux from melting a bunch of butter and adding flour. What can I use instead of flour? I plan to put the sauce on some steamed cauliflower for myself.

Thanks.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on May 21, 2012
at 09:28 PM

Tapioca starch is fine if you subscribe to the "safe starch" concept. It's made from cassava. I use it a lot for thickening as it requires a very small amount, and it's very stable (for example, corn starch loses its thickening over continued heat, or after chilling/re-heating).

6b72eeb3f0c98b487f712efcb5092c90

(293)

on September 09, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Ground flax seeds can also produce a gelatinous mixture, rather than just a thickened mixture. Just something to be aware of.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:28 PM

OOooohhh, arrowroot _starch flour_. I'm going to have to add that to my list.

9265668ccda89e3007dcef4409aa3381

(103)

on March 09, 2011
at 01:06 PM

Cream cheese also helps to thicken an Alfredo.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 09, 2011
at 02:53 AM

It's great stuff.

9f8111d9ecaa64ea098a0860b47300e0

on March 09, 2011
at 02:51 AM

was arrowroot powder

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 09, 2011
at 02:34 AM

arrowroot pricey? are you sure you tried the starch flour? or the powder? 2 different things. i bought a 1 lb bag for $3.99. works great for us but we don't even know what we're gonna do with the rest of it. want some? hehe.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 07, 2011
at 07:42 PM

meh. GI is not that important. besides, tapioca starch is all glucose. at least it's not the dreaded excess fructose. my answer: yes. 'paleo' friendly in moderation.

A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

(3895)

on February 21, 2011
at 03:01 AM

Nothing 'wrong' per se. Just information - some purists may have an issue with it.

5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

(2633)

on February 17, 2011
at 05:49 AM

What's wrong with a little potato starch in with your arrowroot starch?

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on February 17, 2011
at 04:24 AM

In the world of starches, it's probably as high on the glycemic index and pure sugar, although, I'm just guessing off the top of my head. I avoid it when I can.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on February 17, 2011
at 04:23 AM

I use flax seeds often s a thickener, and it works well, but it's very dark brown, which may turn off a young person who would expect a very light colored Alfredo sauce. It's also full of Omegas (but some question the 3:6 ratios) so some people (like me) will work to slip it into things where it's easy to disguise, like spaghetti sauce, over a salad, over anything mixed with black pepper so it blends in, etc.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on February 17, 2011
at 04:21 AM

My experience with rice flour (and a friend of mine's experience) has been that it thickens the sauce well at first, then it breaks up and gets watery if I refrigerate it for later. I'm still looking for that "perfect" thickener myself. A lot of people use amaranth, but I haven't been able to find it in flour form in my area (just seeds, which are too tiny and hard to grind).

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on February 16, 2011
at 08:14 PM

There is a thread on this already. Search and seek :)

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on February 16, 2011
at 07:19 PM

I've seen it in health food stores and in regular grocery stores in the "interesting flour section" which usually consists of some organic Bob's Red Mill. At least, in the big bag. I'm pretty sure that I've seen it in the spice aisle of a regular grocery store in a smaller jar, but I can't remember for certain.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on February 16, 2011
at 05:19 PM

I agree - thick cream reduced with cheese added is divine. Pepper - salt if needed. Reduced cream makes an ace sauce for so many things!

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on February 16, 2011
at 04:26 PM

Thanks, there is a Fresh Market on the way home from work, I'll swing in there and see if they have it....

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:57 PM

i see it at whole foods, henry's, sprouts, farmer's markets here in san diego. you can also order it online on many sites. it's gaining popularity because it is gluten free and it works pretty well. http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Arrowroot-20-Ounce/dp/B000EDM6KU

Fe6e37f8d4c49de1ecbc926c8900cd54

(1902)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:50 PM

You can find that and a lot more here: http://www.barryfarm.com/

A15af22bd729ec030e8f47d1189b6eaf

(774)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:31 PM

+1 on reducing /w cream. Doesn't get better than this

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:29 PM

Where can you get arrowroot powder? Health food store or can you find it in a regular market?

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14 Answers

best answer

12
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:24 PM

arrowroot starch (flour). it's not a grain. i use it as a thickener for sauces, soups and several other recipes.

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on February 16, 2011
at 04:26 PM

Thanks, there is a Fresh Market on the way home from work, I'll swing in there and see if they have it....

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:57 PM

i see it at whole foods, henry's, sprouts, farmer's markets here in san diego. you can also order it online on many sites. it's gaining popularity because it is gluten free and it works pretty well. http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Arrowroot-20-Ounce/dp/B000EDM6KU

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:29 PM

Where can you get arrowroot powder? Health food store or can you find it in a regular market?

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on February 16, 2011
at 07:19 PM

I've seen it in health food stores and in regular grocery stores in the "interesting flour section" which usually consists of some organic Bob's Red Mill. At least, in the big bag. I'm pretty sure that I've seen it in the spice aisle of a regular grocery store in a smaller jar, but I can't remember for certain.

Fe6e37f8d4c49de1ecbc926c8900cd54

(1902)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:50 PM

You can find that and a lot more here: http://www.barryfarm.com/

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 09, 2011
at 02:53 AM

It's great stuff.

6
74d0407ca99061cab2512ed83683b498

on February 16, 2011
at 03:51 PM

I've always (pre-Paleo) made Alfredo sauce with just heavy cream reduced X 2/3 or so, plus grated parmegiano-reggiano and s+p. A little grating of nutmeg is nice too. I'm not on dairy so none for me at the moment, maybe in a few months...

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on February 16, 2011
at 05:19 PM

I agree - thick cream reduced with cheese added is divine. Pepper - salt if needed. Reduced cream makes an ace sauce for so many things!

9265668ccda89e3007dcef4409aa3381

(103)

on March 09, 2011
at 01:06 PM

Cream cheese also helps to thicken an Alfredo.

3
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on February 16, 2011
at 07:43 PM

My recipe for alfredo sauce is just butter and cream, heated, melt in a goodly amount of parmesan, add a touch of fresh ground nutmeg and a similar amount of fresh ground pepper. Done. And Delicious.

3
3c8d513a2b18c8336a8afff29aab4e75

(200)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:34 PM

I make some chicken alfredo (recipe by Robb Wolfe) last night; it was GOOD! used cashews ground up in a blender with other spices and the liquid from cooking the chicken and kelp noodles. I probably would add a bit more water to it for future, but it was amazingly tasty!

2
A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

on February 16, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Arrowroot is the rhizome (tuber) root of the arrowroot plant. The tuber contains about 23% starch which is extracted and sold as a powder. when buying ensure it is not mixed with potato starch as it is often mixed and sold with it. Read the ingredients list carefully.

5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

(2633)

on February 17, 2011
at 05:49 AM

What's wrong with a little potato starch in with your arrowroot starch?

A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

(3895)

on February 21, 2011
at 03:01 AM

Nothing 'wrong' per se. Just information - some purists may have an issue with it.

1
1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on March 07, 2011
at 06:32 PM

Kuzu/kudzu root starch, works great. It also won't go watery when reheated like arrowroot. Little goes a long way.

1
8d7eb02fef2eca1a2c418d5f6ed02d8e

(240)

on February 16, 2011
at 07:03 PM

I have not tried this, but recently had someone recommend using ground flax seeds as a thickener for soups and sauces. Might be worth a shot.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on February 17, 2011
at 04:23 AM

I use flax seeds often s a thickener, and it works well, but it's very dark brown, which may turn off a young person who would expect a very light colored Alfredo sauce. It's also full of Omegas (but some question the 3:6 ratios) so some people (like me) will work to slip it into things where it's easy to disguise, like spaghetti sauce, over a salad, over anything mixed with black pepper so it blends in, etc.

6b72eeb3f0c98b487f712efcb5092c90

(293)

on September 09, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Ground flax seeds can also produce a gelatinous mixture, rather than just a thickened mixture. Just something to be aware of.

1
58cc17a77bca6e503dcf6bf6471b76a1

(478)

on February 16, 2011
at 05:06 PM

anyone knows if tapioca starch considered to be paleo friendly in moderation?

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on February 17, 2011
at 04:24 AM

In the world of starches, it's probably as high on the glycemic index and pure sugar, although, I'm just guessing off the top of my head. I avoid it when I can.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 07, 2011
at 07:42 PM

meh. GI is not that important. besides, tapioca starch is all glucose. at least it's not the dreaded excess fructose. my answer: yes. 'paleo' friendly in moderation.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on May 21, 2012
at 09:28 PM

Tapioca starch is fine if you subscribe to the "safe starch" concept. It's made from cassava. I use it a lot for thickening as it requires a very small amount, and it's very stable (for example, corn starch loses its thickening over continued heat, or after chilling/re-heating).

1
0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:39 PM

I've used mashed up potatoes. Not sure how well that would do with Alfredo, though.

1
7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1217)

on February 16, 2011
at 03:25 PM

Hi. I know some people use other kinds of flour, like rice flour etc., or something I have tried is simply letting everything reduce down and then adding sour cream or (regular) cream just before serving. Arrowroot powder is something else I have heard that people use.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on February 17, 2011
at 04:21 AM

My experience with rice flour (and a friend of mine's experience) has been that it thickens the sauce well at first, then it breaks up and gets watery if I refrigerate it for later. I'm still looking for that "perfect" thickener myself. A lot of people use amaranth, but I haven't been able to find it in flour form in my area (just seeds, which are too tiny and hard to grind).

0
0cb267035bc4b73de49a7c5403d7d5cd

on July 23, 2013
at 07:36 AM

I use cauliflour boiled till soft. Then I blend it in a blender you can add some water. It's a great base for Alfredo

0
F9cf24e2bb6128f97e2e88dacc54fa24

(0)

on May 21, 2012
at 01:53 PM

In a cold pan whisk 1 large egg yolk with 1 cup cream, turn heat on med-low and add 4 T of butter, 1 cup grated pecorino or parmesan and 1 smashed clove of garlic. Slowly bring up to heat, whisking occasionally. This will get thicker as it cooks and thicker again as it cools. It must be re-heated gently or it will separate.

0
9f8111d9ecaa64ea098a0860b47300e0

on March 09, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Good Greif Charlie Brown lol lol lol

Potato starch - eeekkkk - aka potato flour works instantly and holds it power.

You only use a tiny bit so I would not get excited about the 'potato' thing.

Red Mill sells it for about 7.oo a bag .Not cheap but it goes a very long way.

Tried arrowroot one time years ago , very pricey and things revert back to liquid state quickly.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 09, 2011
at 02:34 AM

arrowroot pricey? are you sure you tried the starch flour? or the powder? 2 different things. i bought a 1 lb bag for $3.99. works great for us but we don't even know what we're gonna do with the rest of it. want some? hehe.

9f8111d9ecaa64ea098a0860b47300e0

on March 09, 2011
at 02:51 AM

was arrowroot powder

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:28 PM

OOooohhh, arrowroot _starch flour_. I'm going to have to add that to my list.

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