Easy Semolina Flour Substitute

Semolina Flour
Semolina Flour. Joy Skipper/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Semolina flour is a high-gluten flour that's traditionally used to make pasta. Noodles made from semolina hold their shape well, and have a firm texture. If you don't have any on hand, use the following substitute in its place. It'll still give you good results.


  • All-purpose flour, bread flour or wheat flour


Replace the semolina flour called for in your recipe with an equal amount of all-purpose flour. Your pasta won't come out quite as firm, but will still taste delicious. For the best results, serve your pasta while it's hot.

If you have it, bread flour or whole wheat flour will work even better. They have a higher gluten content than all-purpose flour. Bread flour contains 12-14 percent gluten protein per cup; wheat flour contains 14 percent; and all-purpose contains 8-11 percent. Semolina comes in at 13 percent or more.

Buy semolina, if you plan to dry your pasta. You'll be happier with the results.

Note: This substitute is not gluten-free. If you're trying to make your own gluten-free pasta, it would be best to start with an actual gluten-free recipe, rather than trying to substitute gluten-free flours into a gluten-heavy recipe.

What Is Semolina Flour Anyway?

Semolina is a type of flour that is typically made from hard durum wheat. It has a rather coarse texture, and is high in gluten protein. This makes it especially well suited to pasta, since it makes less sticky dough than other flours, and is much more elastic. If you've ever wondered why pasta is traditionally yellow, you can thank semolina for that, too. The yellow color of the flour reveals itself in the finished product.

Semolina has a sweet, nutty flavor that works well in pasta, but also in breads and pizzas. It can be purchased in coarse and fine textures, depending on your preference or the recipe you're working on. Because of the high protein content in semolina, it has a relatively short storage life. Store it in the refrigerator to keep it from going rancid. If you think it's going to take you a while to work your way through a bag, keep it in the freezer.

It will last indefinitely in there, and there's no need to thaw it before you use it. Just take it out, scoop out what you need, and return the rest to the freezer for later.

Measure Your Flour Properly

Always scoop your flour into your measuring cups, rather than dipping them into the flour bag. Dipping puts extra flour in your recipe, and that will make your pasta dough drier and harder to work with.

More Flour Substitutes

Trying new recipes doesn't have to mean buying a bunch of specialty flours. When a recipe calls for a type of flour that you don't have, turn to these flour substitutes. You can always buy the real deal later, if you decide the recipe is a keeper: