How To Thicken Sauces With Cornstarch Or Flour For Best Results

Cornflour and starch are the easily the most accessible — and affordable — ingredients to use when trying to thicken any sauce. However, this requires special methods as too much or too little can mar the ultimate results of your recipe. In this short brief, you'll learn how to thicken a sauce with flour or cornstarch. These are items you most likely have on hand already so you won't need to go out to the store.

By Cookist

Thickening sauces is a very important part of cooking, especially when you have had food that seemed dry without the thick sauce.

You want to ensure sauces are served with the correct viscosity that will let it cling to the intended food, without creating a mess.

Keep reading to find some tips on how to thicken sauce with cornstarch and flour.

To use flour as a thickening agent:

  • Use two tablespoons flour mixed with ¼ cup cold water for each cup of medium-thick sauce.
  • Thoroughly mix in the water to prevent lump formation.
  • After stirring the mixed flour and water into the sauce, cook and stir over medium heat until it gets thickened and bubbly.
  • Heat for one minute more to thoroughly cook the flour.

How to Thicken Sauce with Cornstarch:

Thickening a sauce with cornstarch follows a very similar to using flour, but you need different quantities:

  • Use one tablespoon cornstarch mixed with one tablespoon cold water for each cup of medium-thick sauce.
  • Thoroughly mix the cornstarch and water together, then pour into your sauce.
  • Cook and stir over medium heat until it is thickened and bubbly.
  • Heat for about two minutes more to completely cook the cornstarch.

Other Thickening Agents


Aside from cornstarch and flour, you can make a roux, which is a mixture of flour and fat, to thicken your sauces. This is common for creamy soups such as baked potato soup and sauces such as macaroni and cheese.

You can also use eggs, or a puree of ingredients for a liquid thickener. The soup thickener depends on the recipe because some thickening agents can affect the soup's flavor.

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