Chili should be thick and rich enough to serve as a meal on its own, yet it happens to the best of us from time to time.
Did you remove it from the heat too quickly? Perhaps you used too much stock or too many tomatoes? All of these elements might make your food soggy.
In any case, you may be able to thicken your dish by cooking it or adding additional components such as beans, veggies, cornstarch, flour, and a few others.
The most common ways to make chili thicker:
- Cornstarch or Arrowroot
- Tomato paste
- Quick Oats
- Masa Harina
- Cornmeal or Polenta
- Xanthan Gum
- 1. Simmer the Chili
- 2. Add Cornstarch & Arrowroot
- 3. Add Flour
- 4. Add Beans
- 5. Add Tomato Paste
- 6. Add Quick Oats
- 7. Add Masa Harina
- 8. Add Cornmeal or Polenta
- 9. Add Cheese
- 10. Add Veggies
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How do you make chili thicker?
- What is the best thickener for chili?
- How do you make chili less soupy?
- Should I use cornstarch or flour to thicken chili?
- Does sour cream make chili thicker?
- Does baking soda thicken chili?
- Should chili be thick or soupy?
- What can I add to sauce to thicken it?
- What liquid is best for chili?
- Should you simmer chili covered or uncovered?
1. Simmer the Chili
Begin by simmering the chili, which requires the least amount of effort.
Simply remove the pot’s cover and place it on a low heat setting for 20 to 30 minutes. The excess liquid will evaporate, causing your meal to thicken.
The low temperature is critical in this case. You’ll have a burned dinner if it’s too hot. For a tasty, properly cooked dish, keep the temperature below 212 degrees Fahrenheit (94 degrees Celsius).
2. Add Cornstarch & Arrowroot
When you’re in a hurry, cornstarch and arrowroot are the greatest thickening agents to utilize. They operate instantly.
To employ this method, mix two teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot with equal parts cold water before adding it to the stew. Stir it in completely to prevent lumps and continue to cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
Are you worried about the taste? The taste of your food will not be affected by cornstarch or arrowroot. Enjoy!
3. Add Flour
Flour is a common thickening that everyone has on hand.
However, using uncooked flour into the recipe will result in lumps. A better method would be to make a slurry using two tablespoons of cold water and one tablespoon of flour. Stir in the flour slurry to spread it evenly around the dish. Continue to whisk while allowing the mixture to boil for 10 minutes.
4. Add Beans
Refried beans, whether mashed or pureed, are another simple technique to thicken your meal. You may choose red, black, or pinto beans since they are all high in starch.
Stir in one cup of mashed, pureed, or refined beans and let to simmer without a cover. You may keep adding beans until you reach the desired consistency. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes before serving. To preserve flavor balance, taste your food and make any required spice modifications.
5. Add Tomato Paste
Adding tomato paste or sauce to a runny chili enhances the texture, is simple to produce, and adds flavor to the meal.
To attempt this approach, you will need 6 oz of ketchup or tomato paste. Cook for an hour, adding roughly 2 oz to the dish every 20 minutes. This allows it to readily integrate with the food.
6. Add Quick Oats
Oatmeal is a frequent addition in most of our kitchens since it is healthful, inexpensive, and quickly thickens chili.
Begin with a serving of quick oats. In a pan over medium heat, combine the chili and oats. Stir the oats often to encourage the release of additional starch.
In an uncovered pan, cook quick oats for at least 3 minutes. The results should be obvious right away. If your dish is still liquid, whisk in a bit more until it thickens completely.
7. Add Masa Harina
Masa harina is a pre-cooked maize flour that contains more water than conventional corn flour and is used as a thickening agent.
People often believe that masa harina and cornmeal are interchangeable, although they are not. Masa harina has a whiter hue and a texture similar to flour.
Masa harina has a corn-like taste, so use it sparingly if you don’t like it. Begin by adding 2 tablespoons masa harina to your meal. After 5-10 minutes, check the consistency. Add more if required.
8. Add Cornmeal or Polenta
By absorbing extra moisture, a tablespoon of cornmeal or polenta (see where to get polenta) will thicken the final chili.
This paste may be made using either white or yellow cornmeal powder.
Start with 1 tablespoon of cornmeal or polenta and 1 tablespoon of water. Allow the food to boil for approximately 10 minutes after adding one of the two thickeners.
The chili has a gritty texture because to the cornmeal and polenta. Furthermore, if you apply it all at once, it may clump. It’s best to go slowly at first until the dish achieves the correct thickness.
9. Add Cheese
Another easy approach to repair a watery chili is to add shredded cheese. You may use parmesan, a substitute for parmesan, or other melting cheeses.
Because cheese adds taste, richness, and creaminess to a dish, it is one of our favorite ways to thicken it.
This approach is used after the food has been cooked. All it needs is a heaping spoonful of shredded cheese as a garnish. When the cheese comes into contact with the heated dish, it starts to melt, producing delectable consequences.
10. Add Veggies
Finally, to thicken your chili, add vegetables with a high starch content, such as onions, celery, potatoes, and carrots. These veggies release starch and increase the consistency of the meal when added. Broccoli and mushrooms are also excellent thickeners due to their ability to absorb liquids.
This technique takes longer than others since you must simmer the dish for an hour over medium heat to complete it. However, the end product is undeniably wonderful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Simply top with crackers. This approach works well with potato flakes, cornmeal, and shredded cheese as well. Allow it to rest for a minute or two before serving.
Many chili recipes, particularly ones that call for beans, will thicken on their own in the pot while the cooking liquid simmers. To give it additional substance, add a second ingredient such as cornstarch or flour.
The best method to thicken white chicken chili is using a slurry of cornstarch, flour, or arrowroot. Allowing it to simmer until all of the surplus liquid has evaporated is the easier approach. You may also add shredded cheese to thicken the meal. Avoid using tomato paste since it will change the color of your dinner.
If you made your chili in a crockpot, just remove the lid and keep it on high heat. Other possibilities include heating the meal on medium heat with shredded cheese, cornstarch, or tomato paste.
To thicken green chili, also known as chili verde, purée three green chilies in a spice grinder or blender, then add the puree to the pan and boil until thickened.
If you are concerned that your green chili will be too spicy, use a roux to thicken it. In a mixing basin, combine equal parts flour and butter. Stir the ingredients until it forms a paste, then add it to your meal. Bring everything to a boil while continually stirring. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat to thicken the dish completely.
Here are 13 thickening tricks that will transform your chili.
Some ingredients, such as cornstarch, arrowroot, flour, and masa harina, may thicken the dish without altering the flavor. Others, like as cheese, beans, tomato sauce, and vegetables, may thicken and flavor it. Quick oats are another healthy and quick answer. Do you lack the necessary ingredients? Allow it to simmer in an uncovered pan for a few minutes, and you’ll have a thick chili in no time. Checkout How to Thicken Teriyaki Sauce with Ease