How Can I Make Chili Thicker?

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A bowl of thick, homemade chili is the perfect way to warm up after a cold day. Chili is often relegated to the soup category at restaurants and not always considered an actual meal. However, a bowl of chili can be an entire meal if made thicker and heartier. Whether you are using a crock pot or a stove top, any recipe for chili, with a few simple tips, will become easy to make deliciously thick.


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Step 1

Use less water than your recipe requires. Typically, halving the amount of water will thicken up your chili sufficiently.

Step 2

Use more of whatever your base substance is in the chili--whether ground beef, turkey, tofu or beans--than the recipe calls for. Instead of using less water, use the same amount of water as the recipe calls for, but add more meat or beans, and your chili will also become thicker.


Step 3

Drain your tomatoes or beans if you are using canned items. Ideally, if you have the time, use dried beans and fresh tomatoes as simmering them with the rest of the ingredients will cook them sufficiently, and they will absorb some of the liquid.

Step 4

Combine a tablespoon of cornstarch, corn flour, corn meal, masa harina or even regular flour with a quarter cup of water and stir into your chili.


Step 5

Cook your chili on a lower temperature for a longer time to give it extra time to thicken.

Step 6

Add tomato paste. In some recipes this works better than flour as it keeps a tomato-based taste but is a thickener as well.

Step 7

Add cheese, sour cream, crackers or chips to the chili before serving.