Instantly Fix Thin Homemade Chili With This Crunchy Addition

Chili feels like an all-American dish with its many variations across the country and fiercely loyal adherents to one kind or another. For example, Texas is widely regarded as the reigning king of chili, and according to House of Yumm, it simply cannot have beans. But this bean blasphemy is just one dividing line among chili aficionados. Springfield, Illinois, another place famous for its great chili, wasn't content with an unofficial title, and according to Serious Eats, the state's legislative bodies proclaimed the city as "The Chilli Capital of the World" in 1993. And no, that's not a typo; Illinois residents spell "chilli" with two l's. The two l's designation is up for debate — whether it's from mirroring "Illinois" or a signmaker's one-time mistake is unclear. However you spell it, what counts most is how you like your bowl of chili, and there are as many different types as there are people who eat it.

Chili's versatility means the dish is ripe for experimentation, and when you wind up with a pot that doesn't meet your standards, it's time to adjust or augment the ingredients in your recipe. Nowhere is this more true than in a thin bowl of chili that eats too much like a soup. According to MasterClass, some of the causes of thin chili are too much broth or stock, too many fresh tomatoes, or shortened cooking times.

Add corn or tortilla chips

One common way to thicken up chili is to add masa harina, also known as corn flour, to your chili recipe. Greengos Cantina explains that adding pasta to chili doesn't just thicken the mixture by adding starch, but also adds contrasting texture and provides bulk, for a more filling meal. Don't forget, you can always just simmer the pot a bit longer to reduce moisture, too.

But if you want a thicker chili, quickly and without any fuss, then reach for a bag of corn or tortilla chips, crush them up, and stir them into your pot. The thin chili vanishes after about 10 minutes of simmering, according to Simply Healthy Family, and a thicker, flavorful pot takes its place. Of course, you can also just crush the chips into the chili and leave them in for an added crunch, as well as a thickener. Chili goes with chips like mustard goes with hot dogs, so whether extra thickness or extra crunch, you're sure to have the bowl you want. Southern Living warns that while adding corn chips works well, it does add more salt to your chili, but you can adjust that by buying low-sodium varieties or simply not adding other salts to your recipe.

Chili is so versatile that even if you make a mistake, it's easily remedied — and if your pot winds up a bit too thin, fear not. Grab a bag of chips and let the crunch sink in.