The Cornmeal Shortcut For Fixing Runny Chili

A cold fall or winter day (or any day) calls for a warm bowl of chili. There's white chicken chili, Texas chili, turkey chili, black bean chili, vegetarian chili, butternut squash and avocado chili, and so on. The ingredient and seasoning possibilities for chili are endless, and since many beans and veggies complement each other, it's unlikely that your ingredient choices will ruin it.

What can ruin your chili, or at least cause it to be less-than-perfect, is adding too much stock. This can leave you with watery, runny consistency that's more like a thin drinkable soup, but chili should be more on the thick side. If your chili isn't thick, an easy fix would be to add some more of the solid ingredients, but that's not your only option. It's also not always a convenient option, especially if you're pressed for time or you've run out of solid ingredients.

You can also add a little cornmeal as a shortcut to fix runny chili. With this method, you won't have to worry about adding more veggies, beans, or other solid ingredients. This will add a little bit of cooking time, but it's still one of the fastest thickening options.

One or two tablespoons of cornmeal is all you need

Just as the name implies, cornmeal is a type of meal that's ground from dried field corn. It's often used as a thickening agent in cooking, including cooking chili, since it absorbs liquid and adds a grainy texture. All you have to do is add one or two tablespoons to your pot of chili, stir it in, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir it periodically until it thickens to your liking.

Another great attribute of cornmeal is that it can add some extra flavor to your chili. It can also be used as a substitute for ground beef. Don't have cornmeal on hand? If you have masa harina or polenta, either of those will also work to thicken your chili. Tortilla bits or tortilla chips, although not a substitute for cornmeal in a texture sense, can also be used to thicken chili as they also have liquid-absorbing qualities.