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Oct 27, 2008 11:36 AM

How to make thicker chili?

I have a turkey chili recipe that taste-wise, is great, but it's not thick enough! It doesn't have that typical "chili" thickness, it's more soup-like. I don't want to add less liquid that I'm already adding because I don't want to make it dry. Any tips for achieving a heartier turkey chili?

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  1. Add a couple tablespoons of cornmeal and simmer for a few minutes at the end.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Romanmk

      I prefer to add a bit of masa (corn flour for tortillas, available everywhere for real cheap) mixed with water.

      Don't use too much at once, and be sure to give it time to cook up.

      1. re: Romanmk

        used the corn meal and we liked it better than the masa...gave it a hint of sweetness...thanks

      2. Are you cooking it long enough? My chili starts out soupish, but after a couple hours of simmering it thickens. If it doesn't thicken to my liking I make a slurry with cornstarch and add a little at a time until I get the consistency I want. I also add some masa close to the end.

        1 Reply
        1. re: danhole

          This would be my suggestion. Bring it to a boil, reduce the temp. A bit and let it simmer until it reduces to your desired consistency.

        2. I don't know how this recipe compares to yours but I've made it a few times and it's pretty thick, or as the name suggests "chunky turkey chili" (scroll pretty far down on page).

          1. crumble up some tortilla chips (or just throw in a tortilla or two) and let it simmer. The tortillas will dissolve and thicken at the same time.

            1. If you have white kidney beans in it, cook them longer then smash them against the side of the pot. It's a red beans and rice trick. It works great.

              If not, make a paste of white beans. If you're not interested in having them in the chili in the first place.


              6 Replies
              1. re: Davwud

                Smashed beans work great. A tablespoon or so of tomato paste is good, too.

                1. re: Hungry Celeste

                  I was thinking tomato paste too but I'm guessing the OP's turkey chili isn't red. So I ruled it out.


                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    I would agree with the smashed beans, but not with the tomato paste. I find that the paste adds an unpleasant, aggressive raw tomato flavor unless you do some high temperature sauteing.

                  2. re: Davwud

                    I second the mashed beans, though I usually thicken bean recipes by ladling a cup or two into a blender, puree-ing, and adding it back to the pot. With red beans and rice, I used to add one of the links of andouille to the blender and puree that too, for flavor rather than thickening. I always use dry beans though - I don't know if it works as well with canned beans, which is what I assume are used in turkey chili.

                    1. re: Davwud

                      I know this is old, but I had to add my +1 on the beans, so long as they're the right ones (more in a moment). I actually put them in my blender and puree them. It's SO freaking good!

                      Note that it works best with white kidney/cannelini beans and not so much with any of the other white beans. The kidneys are very creamy, whereas the others are just... not. lol!

                      I make thick white chicken chili all the time and it's my favorite recipe. I could eat it every single day of my life, until I die. The irony is that I refused to eat it until last year. Being raised in Texas, chicken was for silly Californian types. I steadfastly refused to try it. When I did, I was floored.

                      1. re: magnoliasouth

                        I'm also using masa a lot now. It gives a nice corny taste. Don't use much though. A little goes a long way.