How to Thicken With Cornstarch

By Heather Thomas

Cornstarch is made from the starchy part of the corn kernel called the endosperm. It provides a gluten-free method of thickening sauces, gravies, puddings and pies with similar results to flour. Cornstarch has some advantages over flour; it produces a shinier end product and adds very little taste, which allows the flavor of the food to remain unaffected. Using cornstarch is not difficult if you follow a few simple steps.

Cornstarch thickens much like flour in a recipe.

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Step 1

Cook and season your recipe fully before thickening. Cornstarch will not add flavor to your finished product, so adjust your flavors accordingly.

Step 2

Measure 1 tbsp. cornstarch for every cup of hot liquid to be thickened and place it in a small measuring cup or dish.

Step 3

Combine 2 tbsp. cold water per tablespoon of cornstarch and stir until well combined, forming a slurry. It is important to use cold water because hot water will cause lumps to form.

Step 4

Bring your recipe to a low boil. Add slurry slowly, stirring constantly to avoid creating lumps.

Step 5

Allow your recipe to boil for about 1 minute or until thickened. Extended boiling after thickening may actually cause your recipe to thin.