Looking for that perfect consistency and smooth texture when making a cornstarch slurry? The full recipe down below shows you how easy it is to use this thickening agent to add heft to any soup, stew, or sauce. With our tips and tricks, your cornstarch slurry will add a hearty finish to any dish!

Thickening starch is made with cornstarch and water.

Cornstarch Slurry

A cornstarch slurry is a thickening agent for soups, gravies, pan sauces, and many other recipes. This method relies on a pantry staple combined with liquid—part water or broth and part cornstarch. 

When you heat up a cornstarch slurry, a process known as starch gelatinization occurs. This is when starch molecules swell and burst, which results in liquid thickening.

Some people advise a teaspoon of cornstarch to every one tablespoon of water while others might say to use equal parts.

The best way to make a slurry is to use a ratio of 2 parts liquid to 1 part starch.

3 containers of cornstarch on the countertop.

Ingredients

To make this recipe you need:

  • Cornstarch
  • Water, broth, or milk

How to Make a Cornstarch Slurry

The basic steps for making a cornstarch slurry are simple to follow:

Warm Up the Liquid

Heat up ¼-cup of liquid (water, broth or milk) in a small bowl in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until warm. You can also heat up the liquid in a pot on the stovetop—whatever your personal preference is. 

A whisk stirs a cornstarch slurry.

Whisk Slurry

Sprinkle in the two tablespoons of cornstarch to the warmed liquid, making sure there are no large clumps. (If the starch is clumpy, sift it prior to adding it into the liquid.) Whisk the slurry until smooth. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as the starch tends to settle.

It doesn’t take much cornstarch to thicken any dish, so start small and add more to reach your desired texture!

The cornstarch slurry is added to the hot soup.

Add to Recipe

Stir the slurry into your soup, stew, or stir-fry. Simmer until your dish thickens, usually a few minutes.

Cornstarch Slurry FAQs

How to store slurry?

Store slurry in the fridge for 3-5 days, but make it with cold liquid then heat it up when you’re ready to use.

Does slurry change the taste of a dish?

A slurry will not alter the flavor of a dish.

How long will slurry last in the fridge?

Slurry will last 3-5 days in the fridge.

Why is my cornstarch slurry not thickening?

If you don’t heat your cornstarch at a high enough temperature, it will never thicken. Once you’ve added the slurry to your dish, bring it all to a boil, then lower the heat to just above a simmer to give it time to thicken. 

What can I use instead of cornstarch?

You can use potato starch, corn flour, all-purpose flour, tapioca starch, or arrowroot powder in place of cornstarch.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Proper cornstarch to water ratio is key. Start with 2 parts cornstarch and 1 part liquid and add more if desired once you’ve given the dish time to thicken.
  • Add slurry gradually. If you add it too quickly, it’ll clump up and not provide an even thickening effect.
  • Temper the slurry with hot liquid. This will prevent your slurry from becoming clumpy or curdling when adding it to your dish.
  • Using a small amount goes a long way. Start small before you accidentally add too much and end up with a gluey, dense consistency.
  • Scale up as needed. You may need more slurry, depending on the size of your dish. If you’re making a big pot of soup, try doubling the amounts in this recipe. Just be sure to stick to that 2:1 ratio, and add a little bit of slurry at a time so you can dial your thickness in just right.
Lemon chicken orzo soup is full of healthy veggies, tender chicken, orzo pasta all in a creamy, lemony broth.

Recipes that Use a Cornstarch Slurry

There’s nothing like a warming, hearty stew or a sauce that coats everything perfectly. Test out your slurry-making skills with these recipes!

Use cornstarch slurry in our Easy Teriyaki Sauce that can be paired with any Asian cuisine dish like our Teriyaki Glazed Salmon. Or, thicken up our Instant Pot Beef Stew to your exact specifications.

Try our Instant Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup to make as thick or thin as you’d like! You can’t go wrong with this Best Beef Stir-Fry recipe whose sauce evenly coats all of the vegetables and beef. Lastly, if you’re craving Olive Garden but want a night in, make this Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup with our cornstarch slurry.

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5 from 2 votes

How to Make a Cornstarch Slurry

Looking for that perfect consistency and smooth texture when making a cornstarch slurry? The full recipe down below shows you how easy it is to use this thickening agent to add heft to any soup, stew, or sauce.
Thickening starch is made with cornstarch and water.
Yield 1 serving
Prep 2 minutes
Total 2 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch or other starch
  • ¼ cup water broth or milk

Instructions 

  • Warm up the Liquid: Heat up the water, broth or milk in a medium-sized bowl in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until warm.
  • Whisk Slurry: Sprinkle in the starch to the warmed liquid, making sure there are no large clumps. (If the starch is clumpy, sift it prior to adding it into the liquid.) Whisk the slurry until smooth and no clumps remain. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as the starch tends to settle.
  • Add to Recipe: Stir the slurry into your soup, stew, or stir-fry and simmer until it thickens to your desired consistency.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Notes

  • The amount of slurry you make will depend on how much sauce, soup, or stew you are trying to thicken up. You may need to double the amounts above in order for it to reach your desired consistency. Always make sure to use a ratio of 2:1 liquid to starch.

Nutrition

Calories: 113kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 0.1g, Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 1mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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