There are several ways to thicken a sauce, each with its own characteristics.  On method, which I have to admit, I under-utilize is to use cornstarch and a little water.  Using cornstarch is nice, because unlike say a roux, or other flour based thickeners, you don’t really need to cook out the raw taste of the flour for several minutes – with cornstarch you’re ready to go right away.  I'll sometimes use butter, but that method can cause you to break the sauce....which is a mess.  Corn starch gives the sauce a glossy look, and mouth feel, which is also very cool.  Finally, using cornstarch to thicken a sauce is supper quick and easy.  At the last minute, if you find you need it, you can just grab a bit of cornstarch, mix with water, and you’re good to go.  Hope you find the technique useful!!

How to Thicken a Sauce with Corn Starch

  • Bring whatever sauce or liquid you want to thicken to a simmer
  • In a little ramekin, pour some corn starch, and add about half the amount of water as cornstarch; stir to combine, which makes a “slurry”
  • How much do you need?  Well it’s tough to tell, because I don’t know how much liquid you have, and how thick you want the sauce.
  • General rule of thumb, a tablespoon of slurry is usually enough for any sauce (half a cups worth) that I’m making…but make more that you think you need, and then add it slowly bit by bit, stopping when you want
  • Once your slurry is made, and your un-thickened sauce is simmering, slowly drizzle the slurry into the sauce, stirring with a whisk as you go
  • The sauce will thicken immediately, but not reach the full thickening power unless it’s lightly boiling, so make sure it is
  • Continue until the sauce gets to the desired consistency….if you need to, you can always thin it out with a bit more water

Once you’re at the right thickness, you’re good to go. Thanks!!

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