This article contains affiliate links to products. We might receive a commission for purchases made through these links. But it never influences our product selection process.

You are watching: What to use to thicken chili


Chili is a stew-like dish the is traditionally make by cooking tomatoes, a variety of chili peppers and also meat end a lengthy time. Some recipes add beans and mushrooms. Certain recipes even include a tiny dark cacao to their chili.However, one thing is because that certain. Nobody likes thin and also watery chili. If you’ve accidentally included too much liquid, it will certainly look more like soup rather of a stew. As a result, you have to thicken it.If you wondering how to do chili thicker, there space 3 main ways to execute it-

Adding a Thickening agent While Cooking:

The simplest way to thicken chili is to add a thickening agent together the chili cooks. This an approach involves dissolve a thickening agent prefer cornstarch or flour into a small amount the water and adding it come the chili.These thickening agents save on computer starch. The starch functions by soaking up the excess fluid in the chili and causes it come congeal.Mashing the beans or tomatoes in the chili release the starch in them. This will certainly thicken the chili as well!

Thickening after ~ Serving:

If her chili is just a little on the soupy side, you deserve to thicken it after serving. This is beneficial when you have actually guests or are feeding a big crowd. Each person have the right to decide how thick they want their chili.If you desire to thicken chili ~ it has been served, simply add crushed tortilla chips or crumbled cornbread as a topping.If you want to store things low-carb, add a fistful the shredded cheese instead. Your chili will be cheesy, thick and delicious!

Letting the Thicken Naturally:

This is probably the simplest method to thicken chili. All you have to do is cook the chili down till the extra liquid evaporates. However, this method takes a much longer time than the others.You may additionally like: how to Thicken Alfredo Sauce

6 straightforward and reliable Steps come Thicken Chili

 It’s showtime!

01. Thickening v Flour, Cornstarch or Arrowroot

SENA -Premium - arrow root powder- (250g)
Buy top top Amazon
This method is one of the easiest ways to thicken chili because we constantly have some flour or cornstarch at home.To thicken chili v flour or cornstarch, you first have to do a slurry with water. To perform this, mix all-purpose flour and water in a 1:2 ratio. If you’re making use of cornstarch, mix it through an equal amount of water. Including flour or cornstarch straight to the warm chili will result in large lumps.After including the slurry to the chili, line it very well and also make sure it is completely combined with the chili. Carry it approximately a boil and let that simmer for 10 minutes. Let the flour cook completely, otherwise, friend will have the ability to taste the life flour.If her chili isn’t thick enough, repeat the process. The is essential to remember the this technique will provide those veggies a glossy appearance.Arrowroot acts similar to cornstarch and is flavorless. Include equal amounts of arrowroot powder and also water to do a slurry. Then, include it to the chili till it thickens.If you’re trying to find arrowroot, us recommend Sena’s Premium Arrowroot Powder. The is fresh, high quality and also comes with terrific packaging.

02. Utilizing Cornmeal as a Thickener

ALMA SEMILLERA White Corn Masa Harina (1lb) - Organic...
Buy top top Amazon
Cornmeal acts similarly to flour. It makes chili more thickness by absorbing the extra liquid. However, you don’t have to mix it through water beforehand.Adding a tablespoon of cornmeal is maybe the best method to thicken chili. Girlfriend can even use polenta or masa harina if you feeling specifically fancy.All you need to do is add a tablespoon of any kind of of these cornmeal flour to her chili while that cooking and also stir that in. Next, permit the chili simmer and also thicken for an additional 10 minutes.The downside?Using cornmeal come thicken chili will provide it a grainy mouthfeel. While that may not be a problem for most people, some could not enjoy the texture.Looking for an excellent quality masa harina? Alma Semillera Masa Harina is carefully milled and also gluten-free and is also good for making tortillas, tamales, and also cornbread.

03. Mashing Beans right into the Chili

If you don’t usually include beans in her chili, now is a great time to start. Add a cup that kidney or pinto beans and use a potato masher to mash the beans into the chili. If girlfriend don’t have a potato masher, you can use a huge wooden spoon or the earlier of your ladle to perform the mashing.If you currently use beans in your chili and it’s still as well watery, here is how to make the chili thicker.Strain the end a cup that the beans and also blend them into a special paste. After ~ that, add the paste earlier into her chili and also bring it come a boil. Let that simmer until it reaches your desired thickness.Mashing or mix the bean releases the strength naturally present in the beans. The starch will absorb the extra fluid in the chili and also make that dense. This is the best means to thicken chili without transforming the smell of the dish.

04. Including Tomato Paste

Tomato paste (Pouch Packaged)
Buy top top Amazon
Using tomato paste to thicken chili is an excellent because it adds terrific tangy flavor come the chili.Mix in one small 60 oz have the right to of tomato paste into her chili throughout the critical 30 minute of cooking. Let that simmer till thickened.Since many chili dishes room tomato-based this won’t change the flavor much. The will, however, add some zest and also tangy notes to the chili.On the various other hand, tomato paste additionally has some bitter notes so adding a little spoon of sugar to those chilis will balance points out.

05. Simmer the Chili

Carroll Shelby"s White Chicken Chili (Pack that 8)
Buy top top Amazon
Do you want to know just how to make chili more thickness without including anything to it in ~ all? This is the best method to thicken chili without changing its flavor, texture or appearance.All you have to do is let her chili simmer on short heat. Make sure your pot is uncovered as this will certainly let the excess fluid evaporate.It is essential to simmer your chili on short heat. Simmering at a high temperature will boil and might dried it out instead.Also, make certain to save an eye top top the chili and give the a stir once in a while come make certain it no burn or scorch.This method takes a an extremely long time. You will have to simmer your chili for at the very least an hour to get your chili come thicken up properly.

06. Adding Shredded Cheese

If you want to thicken those little, red vegetable after food preparation or while offer it, adding shredded cheese is the simplest method to obtain the task done.Add a large fistful of shredded cheese on top of her bowl the chili as a topping. Alternatively, you have the right to scoop a big dollop that cheese sauce over them as well.This works because shredded cheese and cheese sauce contain citric acid which acts as an emulsifier. It functions by binding the liquid to the cheese which hence thickens the chili.Once the cheese is put in call with the hot chili, the starts to melt and bind through the liquid. It also absorbs few of the liquid together it melts.Cheese likewise adds flavor, richness, and also creaminess to any dish; which is why it is one of our favorite ways to thicken chili!

FAQ (Frequently request Questions)

We promised come answer several of the burning questions around thickening chilli. Here they are!
The easiest method to thicken chili if you’re utilizing a sluggish cooker is to add cornmeal.All you need to do is mix in one tablespoon of cornmeal or polenta come the chili and let it continue to cook for one more 10 minutes. If the chili there is no thickened sufficient to your liking, add another spoon the cornmeal and let it cook for second 10 minutes.If friend don’t favor the texture of cornmeal in the chili, girlfriend can add a small can that tomato dough instead. Row in the tomato paste and make certain it is well combined with the rest of the chili. Permit it chef for 10-15 minutes prior to tasting because that salt and also adjusting the seasonings.
White chicken chili is a an ext delicate variation of classic chili. That is light in texture and has a creamy taste.The easiest way to thicken this sort of chili is v a cornstarch, flour or arrowroot slurry. Girlfriend can also use potato strength instead.Mix the flour or cornstarch with cold water and also whisk the carefully, making sure there are no lumps. Line it into the chili.Next, carry the chili as much as a boil and also let it simmer because that a couple of more minutes. Her white chicken chili will certainly be nice and thick v a glossy sheen.If you don’t like your chili glossy, you have the right to use a potato masher come mash or crush few of the white beans in the chili.
Green chili is likewise known together chili Verde in many places. The easiest method to make this type of chili more thick is come puree 3 environment-friendly chilis in a summer sprouts grinder or blender. Include the mixture come the chili and let it thicken.If you’re worried around your chili Verde being also spicy, you can thicken it with a roux instead. Melt part butter in a pan and include an same amount of flour. Cook the flour in the butter, stirring constantly till you have the right to smell the flour. That should have a warm, nutty smell.Add the mixture to your chili and also stir really well, pass it come a boil. Let it simmer because that a few more minutes and also your green chili will certainly be thicker.
To thicken chili through flour, take 2 tablespoons the flour. Mix it right into a quarter cup (four tablespoons) that cold or room temperature water. Whisk the flour very well come make sure there space no lumps. This mixture is referred to as a slurry.Next, add the slurry to her chili. Row it very well and bring the chili up to a boil. Enable it to simmer for 12-15 minutes. This provides sure the flour in the slurry is completely cooked and you won’t taste that in your finished chili. ~ the chili has actually simmered, it should be significantly thicker.
Masa harina is a specialty cornmeal. It is basically cornmeal that is finer and looks a lot like wheat. Both Masa and plain cornmeal can be used to thicken chili.Just include a tablespoon or 2 of Masa Harina or cornmeal to your chili and mix them. The cornmeal requirements to be mixed an extremely well so the it absorbs the excess liquid.Then, allow it proceed to cook for 5 an ext minutes. The chili have to thicken up nicely.If you think the chili is still also thin, add another tablespoon that cornmeal or Masa and repeat the above steps.
Since a crockpot cooks food at a constant lower temperature, girlfriend can’t usage flour or cornstarch. This is since you won’t have the ability to bring the chili to a boil in a crockpot.Instead, you have to use cornmeal, Masa Harina or polenta. Every you should do is add two tablespoons that the cornmeal that your selection to the chili.Let the chili chef in your crockpot for a couple of minutes. If it doesn’t thicken enough, add an extra spoon the cornmeal and wait a small longer. The chili should thicken significantly after including the cornmeal.
Thickening chili with cornstarch is similar to thickening it v flour. First, do a slurry with equal quantities of cornstarch and water. Make certain you whisk the cornstarch and water completely so the there space no lumps.Then, lug your chili approximately a boil. Progressively drizzle in the slurry and also mix it right into the chili. Next, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as the chili starts to thicken.It is vital to row the slurry in very well so that it is totally incorporated right into the chili.
The best means to thicken watery chili is to just keep cooking on low heat until every the excess liquid has evaporated. This technique is ideal since it won’t readjust the taste or structure of the chili.However, it have the right to take everywhere from one hour come three hrs to simmer off the extra water. Also, you need to keep an eye ~ above the chili for the entirety time come make certain nothing is burnt or scorched.If you desire to know how to thicken chili faster, then using a flour or cornstarch slurry is your best option. Just add the slurry and also simmer for 10 much more minutes and also your chili will certainly be nice and thick!
If you’re do white chili, or space allergic come tomatoes, you might want to protect against using tomato paste to thicken chili.In the case, there are several other choices open for you. For starters, you can use a slurry make from cornstarch, flour or arrowroot. If you don’t prefer the glossy look that flour or cornstarch, you can use cornmeal, polenta or Masa Harina instead.Furthermore, if friend dislike grainy textures in your food, you deserve to mash or mix the beans right into the chili. ~ above the various other hand, you deserve to just simmer and also reduce the chili till all the extra fluid evaporates.You can likewise thicken chili by including shredded cheese or cheese sauce after serving. All you need to do is top off your bowl that chili with the cheese of her choice. The cheese will certainly melt and also thicken the chili.

See more: How Can A Sound Argument Have A False Conclusion ? Philosophy 1C Flashcards

The best means to thicken any sauce is to include starch. Chili Verde sauce is no different.Make a slurry out of flour or cornstarch and water. Then, add it to her chili Verde sauce, stirring constantly.Bring the sauce to a boil and then alleviate the heat, letting the simmer for a few more minutes.If you worried around the slurry diluting the taste of your sauce, like or blend any type of kind of green chili (jalapenos are preferred) and add it to her sauce as it simmers.


By now, you know there is no right means to thicken chili. That all counts on your personal preferences.You likewise need to aspect in the ingredients you have actually on hand, and how much time friend have before serving.Knowing how come thicken chili is vital because friend can plan ahead. If the chili does end up too watery, girlfriend won’t feeling alarmed since you currently know how to resolve it.So, go ahead and make that pot that chili. You’ve got nothing to problem about!Learn more about:How to make a Cortado