Thickening with Cornstarch or Flour

Learn how to thicken a sauce two simple ways—with flour or with cornstarch. We have guidelines for using these two ingredients as thickening agents for sauces, plus information on how to make a roux and how to thicken soup.

Learn our correctly thicken custard with cornstarch.

Thickening with Flour

With flour as a thickening agent, use 2 tablespoons flour mixed with 1/4 cup cold water for each cup of medium-thick sauce. Be sure to thoroughly mix the water with the flour to prevent lumps. After stirring the combined flour and water into the sauce, cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir one minute more to completely cook the flour.

Watch flour work its magic in:

How to Thicken with Cornstarch

Using cornstarch as a thickening agent is very similar to using flour. Use 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water for each cup of medium-thick sauce. Be sure to thoroughly mix the cornstarch and water together, then pour into your sauce. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Heat two minutes more in order to completely cook the cornstarch.

Witness cornstarch's amazing sauce-abilities in:

How to Make a Roux

Flour and cornstarch aren't your only options as a food thickener. You can make a roux, a mixture of flour and fat, as a soup thickener, gravy thickener, or sauce thickener. Check out our best tips for making this thickening agent.

Thickening Soups

When it comes to thickening soups, you have a few more options than just a flour or cornstarch thickener. Depending on the recipe you're making, you can use eggs, a roux, or a puree of some of your ingredients for a liquid thickener. What kind of soup thickener you use mainly depends on the recipe, because some thickening agents can affect the flavor of the soup.

Love your soups and stews ultra creamy? Learn more about how to thicken soups.

Recipes to Test Your Skills

Put your newfound skills to the test! Whether you decide to use cornstarch, flour, or a different thickening agent, you can try out all of these methods by stirring together one of our best soup, sauce, or gravy recipes.

1 Comment

  1. My favorite thicker is making a roux with bouillon . It makes the gravy more tastier, driping from the pan . Whether it's chicken , pot roast or pork .


Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.