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How To Thicken Green Chili – Great Tips!

How To Thicken Green Chili – Great Tips!

Green chili is a filling and thick Mexican dish.

Chili is often eaten for dinner or lunch.

The main ingredients in green chili are onions, chilies, stewing meat, potatoes, and tomatoes.

If you end up with a thin chili, it might look more like a soup instead of a thick stew.

Never mind the dish isn’t ruined; there are several ways that you can thicken chili in as little as 15 minutes.

The best part about this is the ingredients used to thicken chili are probably already in your pantry.

How To Thicken Green Chili

To thicken green chili add a thickening agent such as cornmeal, tomato paste, and flour. The chili can also be thickened by simmering over low heat to help evaporate the moisture in the pot. You can either thicken the whole pot or thicken only individual servings once it has been served.

Using Flour

You can use flour or a protein powder that is unflavored to thicken up your chili.

You can mix ¼ cup of water with 2 tbsps of flour. Mix the flour in with the water and beat well until you get a smooth consistency. Once the mixture is smooth and free of lumps, add it to the chili.

Cook it over medium heat and ensure you keep stirring until it thickens.

Once the chili is thick, ensure you keep stirring for another a minute or two, so the flour taste disappears.

If you are cooking a larger batch of chili and you think the liquid has gone over the excess amount of 500ml, you will need to double the flour amount.

Flour is flavorless, but some people say adding too much flavor can take out the potency of the chili.

Using Masa Harina Or Cornmeal

You can add 3 tbsps of masa harina or cornmeal to your chili, which will help to thicken it.

Add it without mixing it with water. Stir for a few minutes as it will absorb the liquid from the chili.

Let the chili simmer for 5 minutes to allow it to thicken. Cornmeal is ground from corn, so it does have a strong taste of corn.

Masa harina comes from dried hominy which is also part of the corn. Adding either one of these two is going to affect the taste of the chili.

Personally, I like the taste. I find that the taste complements the chili flavor.

Using Arrowroot

You can add 1tsp of arrowroot, mix it with 1 tsp of water mix, and add it to the chili.

Gently simmer until it is a thick consistency. Keep an eye on the chili, as it will thicken quickly.

Arrowroot is the starch that is derived from the arrowroot plant. It works the same as cornstarch.

Add small amounts first as it is very potent.

If your chili looks glossy after the arrowroot, this is normal as it can change the appearance of the chili.

Buy yourself an emulsifier

Emulsifiers can be found in healthy food stores and work to disperse the fat around the chili, which will give you a richer, thicker chili each time.

The fat will become more appetizing.

If you only have a little pot of chili, then you can use a teaspoon of emulsifiers or one tablespoon for a bigger pot.

Using Beans To Thicken

If you have beans in the chili, you can grab some out, then re-fry them, and then add them to the food processor to be pureed.

Return the beans to the chili, give them a good stir, and your chili will become thicker.

Take caution when pureeing the beans if they are hot. The puree can end up spinning in the blender.

If you are prone to making thin chili, you can always keep ½ a cup of beans out of the recipe.

These can be pureed later and add when you are ready to thicken.

You don’t need to puree the beans; whole beans will still thicken up the mixture. You can use canned or home-cooked beans, whichever you prefer.

Adding Tomato Paste

You can thicken chili with tomato paste easily, and it works to add more of a tangy flavor to the chili.

All you need to do is to add in one small can of tomato paste when it has half an hour of cooking time left.

It will thicken gradually after it has been simmering.

Adding Tomato Paste

Adding tomato paste means that you are not going to alter the flavor much, but it will add in some tangy notes. If you find it has turned a little bitter just add in some sugar, it will be back to normal.

Thicken By Simmering

You can simply thicken the chili by simmering it.

This works well as it doesn’t change the texture, taste, or appearance. To thicken this way, all you have to do is let the chili simmer on low heat with the lid off so the liquid can evaporate.

Only simmer on low heat as high heat can overcook the chili and dry it out.

Keep stirring often; otherwise, the chili will scorch and stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.


If you have too much liquid in your chili, don’t worry!

Adding something to thicken the recipe can save the day.

Some of the methods will alter the flavor, so you might need to add extra herbs or spices to create an intense flavor if some were taken away.

If some people prefer chili thin, you can use the same thickening methods but just add it to individual portions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chili

What Can I Add To My Serve Of Green Chili To Thicken It?

To thicken individual servings on green chili, you can use crumbled or sliced cornbread. The cornbread will absorb the liquid, so the chili will be thicker.

Can I Add A Few Thickening Agents

You could add more than one thickening agent if the previous one didn’t work. Keep an eye on the flavor, as using too many thickening agents can end up changing the flavor of your chili.