Usually, everybody wants chili to be as thin as possible to consume it as a soup. In fact, chili is supposed to be thick and sufficiently hearty to be a food of its own. However, at times, there is little more liquid than you would like in the pot. If you continue cooking the chili, some of its ingredients, such as the beans will disintegrate and turn to paste. If you are wondering how to thicken chili, this article is for you.


Methods involved in thickening chili

There are many ways you can thicken your chili when there is surplus liquid in it. Some chili thickening methods may change its taste slightly. However, there will not be much difference. If you would like to give your family members and guests the choice of thickening their own servings or consuming it as a soupy chili, there is an ultimate section of ways, as well, to thicken individual portions of chili. Some of the easiest and quickest methods of thickening chili include:

  • Using a normal thickening technique.
  • Using an emulsifier.
  • Adding chili ingredients.
  • Thickening the chili during serving.

Let us see these methods in detail.

Using a normal thickening technique

The standard method of thickening chili is adding flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, or arrowroot as a thickener. Otherwise, you can also add a tasteless protein powder, which is a Quick Easy Cook method of thickening your chili with low carbohydrates. 

  1. All you have to do is just mixing 2 tablespoons of flour with the slurry, which is prepared with one serving of your chili juice or one-fourth container of cold water.
  2. Mix the water and flour in a different basin. Beat the mixture thoroughly using a fork. Ensure that the thickener is smooth and that it will not contain any bumps.
  3. Include the flour mix to the chili dish and cook by keeping your stove at a medium heat. Stir the mixture incessantly for one or two minutes, until the fluid bubbles and thickens. This will allow the flour to mix with the chili perfectly. Make sure that there are no visible indications of the flour in the chili dish once it is cooked.

While using cornstarch as a thickener, it is enough if you mix one tablespoon of water with a tablespoon of cornstarch.

When using cornmeal as a chili thickener, you should add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cornmeal to the chili dish directly. Here, you have to stir the blend for 7 minutes, as cornstarch will take more time to mix perfectly with the chili.

You can use one tablespoon of each of arrowroot and cold water like that of using the flour thickening method, but here, you have to stew the dish from 30 to 60 minutes.

Although each method differs slightly in preparing the slurry, the cooking process almost remains the same.

If you want to prepare thick chili for more servings, increase the quantity of flour and the chili accordingly. This means that if you want four servings of thick chili, increase the quantity of the flour and the juice by four times.

Thickening Chili Using an Emulsifier

Using an emulsifier is one of the easiest and the quickest ways to thicken your chili. This Quick Easy Cook tool is simple to operate, as well. It comes equipped with powerful blades that make the thickening process fast. It will aid you greatly in dispersing the fat all through the chili, offering you a thicker, yummy dish. It will make the fat more delicious, as well. Avoid using emulsifier liberally, so just add one teaspoon for a small pot and one tablespoon for a big pot.

Thickening Chili by Adding Chili Ingredients


You can thicken your chili by adding 180 ml of tomato paste 30 minutes before the completion of the cooking process and stirring it thoroughly for a perfect mix. As the tomato paste is somewhat bitter in taste, you can add one teaspoon or one tablespoon of crushed sugar to the dish.

If you add beans to your chili, strain out about a half cup of the beans and fry again. Otherwise, you can crush them using a food blender or processor. Mix the crushed beans with the chili and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes. Stirring the blend until it is warmed well to get thicker chili.

You Can Also Use Oats to Thicken Your Chili


Adding an adequate amount of dried oats with the oatmeal will absorb the excess liquid from the chili and will make it thicker. When you add parboiled oats, cook the mixture for a couple of minutes, whereas if you add traditional oats, cook it for 60 minutes.

Thickening The Chili While Serving

While following this thickening method, you have to wait until the cooking process ends. This is the best method. If you thicken the dish before the completion of cooking process, it will reduce convection that distributes heat all through the chili mass without creating hot spots, which can char.

Start crumbling with three or four saltine crackers and beat them into your individual portion of chili. If you want more thickness, you can add more crackers.

At the time of serving the chili, you can add some crushed corn flakes to it. Stirring the chili thoroughly will make it thicker than before.

You can add potato chips to thicken your chili. Drop two tablespoons of dried potato chips into your hot chili and stir it thoroughly. This will thicken the dish according to your needs and taste.

Adding the required amount of cornbread to your chili will absorb the surplus liquid from the dish and will make it thicker.

You can add raw noodles, as well, to stewing your chili dish to absorb the excess fluid. Let it stew for 10 minutes to heat and make sure that the noodles are delicate or still they are firm.

You can also use other chili thickening methods by using diced peppers or using powdered or minced, dried onions.

Bottom line

Although thickening of chili can be done by several ways, each method has its own pros and cons. Some may offer a different taste according to the ingredients and cooking process. Therefore, choose an appropriate method to prepare thicker chili according to your needs and taste. To know more about chili thickening techniques, visit Quick Easy Cook