how to thicken chili for perfect consistency

chili is simple to make and liked by many but when it gets like soupy water, it might lose its audience of eater because some people don’t like liquidly mess that unfulfilling chili recipe make that’s why here we have shared some methods to thicken your chili so that everyone could enjoy it without any issue.

chili can be served any time in dinner, after noon or as snacks. you can add variety of ingredients and herbs from across the world to make it taste delicious easily. some times it may happen that you  accidently while cooking the chili add extra water in it making the whole texture soupy, that’s when the need to thicken the chili comes into play.

some people may like to have soup like consistency to enjoy it like curry with rice dishes etc. but some don’t. so make sure your chili recipe has perfect consistency which will be liked by all your family members and friends.

how to thicken chili

The ideal chili would have texture in between soup and thick gravy, rest you can adjust as per you liking by adjusting the quantity of water using methods shared below.


people across the world use cornmeal as the recipe thickener due to its distinct taste. it gives your recipe a good taste and flavor. all you need to do is add couple of spoons of the corn meal in the dish and let it boil for 4-5 minutes until it blends completely in the dish then taste to check if you like the consistency and flavor and later you can adjust as per your liking.

its another alternative without flavor is arrowroot which gives the desired result without adding any extra flavor to your dish. start adding 1 spoon at a time and then let the dish simmer for 20-30 minutes to see the results, if you want more thick paste of the dish then add more for desired consistency of the dish.

corn starch

corn starch is very popular thicker know to people across the cooking industry. it is used in all kinds of dishes from soups to curries and much more. to use it for chili thickening all you need to do is add a spoon of water to spoon of cornstarch and mix well with chili, when fully done add mixture to the dish and let it boil for couple of minutes.

to get the desired consistency and thickness you can add more as per the requirement to make the dish great in taste and thick in appearance.

Tomato paste

generally we find that recipes that have chili in them contain some amount of tomato in them so adding more tomato paste will give your recipe the desired thickness you want without changing the flavor of the recipe.

all you need to do is add little bit sugar with the paste to balance of the flavor of the tomato in the recipe and make sure that you keep the salt quantity in check. start adding paste with one spoon at a time and keep going till you get the right consistency on the dish.


you can also add beans puree to you chili dish to make it thick as per your requirement. either you can get bean puree from supermarket in canned form of just take some boiled beans and mash them with a masher then add to your dish in small quantities and then put on heat using the cooktop so that the starch content from the beans thickens then chili recipe.

avoid heating too much as the mashed beans would start sticking to the pans corner and may even make your dish bad.


flour can also be used to thicken the chili as it is readily available in every household. to make a thick consistent paste of flour all you need to do is take couple of spoons of flour and mix in 1/4 cup of clean water then add the chili in the mixture and then put it in the dish to mix fully in few minutes.

if you need high chili intensity in the dish then make sure to add less flour in beginning and later you can adjust as per your required taste.

you can make use of wheat flour, rice flour or other flours also as per liking and availability in region to make the chili thicken and enjoy the recipe to fullest.

you may like to see: sumac alternatives to make your recipes spicy

Tips to make perfect chili recipe in your kitchen

  • you can also make use of unsweetened proteins powder to thickening the chili as it will do the required job and provide proteins also to our body.
  • add water in the dish in batches to prevent making your dish a unwanted soupy mess, little water can be corrected but to make right with big water quantity in the chili dish can be tricky with flavors and other things in mind.
  • you can serve the chili dish with breads, tortillas, roti’s, chips, rice etc. to enjoy it to the fullest
  • to store the chili make sure that’s its done in right way in air tight container in your fridge to make it last for about 2-5 days.
  • you can also add coconut milk or some of its alternatives to thicken your chili as it makes the flavor little mild and gives new life to the chili recipe if added in right quantity.

Checkout: best dishes to eat with quiche


perfect chili recipe demands to have consistency which suits to the taste of consumer which is you so make it as per your liking i.e. not to soupy and not to thick like a gravy. chili recipe can be used in making of curries and dishes for meals in afternoon and dinner time.

not to forget that you can make most of the chili recipes using your slow cooker to get best taste from the dish after slow cooking it for few hours.

let us know if you would like to add any other method which you use to thicken the chili recipe in comments below. do share with friends who love to cook different curries and chili recipes and they may find it very useful to make perfect chili for family and friends.

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