How to Thicken White Chili

White chili gets its name from the white beans used.
White chili gets its name from the white beans used. (Image: White beans on the wooen spoon image by Elzbieta Sekowska from

White chili, made with cannellini beans and chicken, is a delicious alternative to beefy chilies, and is a hearty winter meal. Cooking the beans and chicken alone, however, can result in a thin, watery chili. There are three main ways to thicken the chili, depending on how much time and effort you want to spend. You can thicken it through simmering, thicken it through adding masa or cornmeal, or thicken it by pureeing some of the beans.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken chili
  • Masa
  • Food processor or blender

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Add the beans to the chili.

Raise the heat to bring the chili to a simmer.

Allow the chili to simmer until the beans break down and thicken it.

Adding Cornmeal or Masa

When the chili is cooked, stir 2 tbsp. of masa -- or corn flour -- or cornmeal into a cup of whole milk.

Add the milk/masa mixture to the chili.

Simmer the chili over medium heat until it thickens.

Pureeing the Beans

Before adding canned beans to the chili, puree half of the canned beans with 1 cup of chicken broth in a food processor or blender.

Add the pureed beans and remaining whole beans to the chili.

Simmer the chili until it thickens.


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