Will Chili Thicken as it Cooks?
If your chili seems too watery, don’t panic: Just leave it on the heat. If you let it simmer without a lid on it, some of the water in the chili will cook off, making the chili thicker. This is even more true if you’re making chili that has beans in it, because beans release starch as they cook, which can thicken the chili, too.
If it’s almost time to eat and your chili isn’t thick enough, mix a bit of cornstarch with water and then pour it into the pot and let it cook for about 10 minutes. You can also throw a tablespoon of cornmeal into the pot, which will absorb some of the extra water, making the chili thicker. But cornmeal might make the chili a little grainy, so keep that in mind. You can even throw quick oats in the pot if that’s all you have.