4 Easy Ways to Thicken a Casserole - wikiHow (2024)

  • Categories
  • Food and Entertaining
  • Recipes
  • Pasta and Noodles

Download Article

Explore this Article

methods

1Adding Starch

2Using Thickening Nuts and Seeds

3Removing Excess Liquid

Sample Thickeners

+Show 1 more...

-Show less...

Other Sections

Tips and Warnings

Related Articles

Expert Interview

References

Co-authored byMarkeicha Dulaney

Last Updated: April 25, 2024References

Download Article

A casserole is an easy and delicious dish that's perfect for when you are craving something warm and hearty. Although it's simple to put together and bake in the oven, it can sometimes turn out too liquidy. Thankfully, it's easy to thicken a casserole by adding typical starches, cooking with thickening nuts and seeds, or even just removing the excess liquid.

Method 1

Method 1 of 3:

Adding Starch

Download Article

  1. 1

    Thicken a meat casserole the most popular way with flour. Add some flour to your pan after you've browned the meat and before adding any liquid. This way, the flour will soak up the juices and fat in the pan. Add about one teaspoon of flour at a time until you get the right thickness.[1]

    • Use oatmeal four if you have a gluten allergy.
    • You can also add your seasonings to the flour and toss the meat in it before cooking it.
  2. 2

    Make a roux. A roux is made with equal parts butter and wheat flour. First, cook the butter over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Slowly add in the flour while whisking. Continue whisking about 2-3 minutes after all the flour has been added. Combine this paste with the base liquid of your casserole before adding it to the casserole dish.

    • 1 ounce (28g) of butter and 1 ounce (28g) of flour should be enough to thicken 1 US pint (2.0c) of liquid.[2]
    • For a vegan version, substitute oil instead of butter.[3]

    Advertisem*nt

  3. 3

    Mix up a beurre manié if you don't want to cook your thickener. A beurre manié is similar to a roux except it does not require any cooking. Simply whisk equal parts butter and flour together.[4] Then, roll the thick paste into little teaspoon-sized balls. Add one ball to your casserole at a time, waiting about a minute before adding another one, until you get the right thickness.[5]

    • If you make too much beurre manié, you can also freeze the remaining balls and use them later.
  4. 4

    Make a cornstarch slurry for a fast and easy thickener. Whisk together equal parts cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl. Use one tablespoon of cornstarch per cup of liquid you would like to thicken.[6] Stir out all the lumps. A few minutes before your casserole is done, add it a little at a time until you are happy with the thickness.[7] Then, let the casserole finish baking.

    • You can also substitute chickpea flour for cornstarch. Chickpea flour is an excellent thickener for savory dishes.[8]
  5. 5

    Thicken a dairy-free casserole with arrowroot powder. You can also use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch. Arrowroot starch does not combine well with dairy, but is an extremely effective thickener for dairy-free dishes.[9]

  6. Advertisem*nt

Method 2

Method 2 of 3:

Using Thickening Nuts and Seeds

Download Article

  1. 1

    Use chia seeds for extra nutritional benefits. Chia seeds expand and thicken when added to water. They are also packed with protein, omega-3s, and fiber. Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 13 cup (79ml) water. Wait 15 minutes for the mixture to thicken, then slowly add to the casserole just before it's finished baking in the oven.[10]

    • Chia seeds are also rich in vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
  2. 2

    Add ground flax seeds if you need an extra strong thickener. Flax seed absorbs water quickly and you only need a small amount to make a big difference. Grind the flax seeds in a food processor or coffee grinder and add them little by little directly to the casserole just before it's finished baking. Try adding 1 tablespoon of flaxseed per cup of casserole liquid.[11]

    • If you don't want to grind the flax seeds yourself, you can also buy them already ground.
  3. 3

    Try raw cashews for a smooth consistency. Cashews are great for thickening vegan recipes because of their creamy consistency. Use ¼ cup of cashews for every cup of casserole liquid.[12] Soak the cashews in water overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the water off and blend in a blender. Then, add them directly to your casserole broth before baking.[13]

    • If you are pressed for time and can't soak the cashews overnight, bring a pot of water to boil. Remove it from the heat and soak your cashews in the water for half an hour.[14]
  4. Advertisem*nt

Method 3

Method 3 of 3:

Removing Excess Liquid

Download Article

  1. 1

    Strain the liquid from the casserole after cooking. If you have a lot of liquidy broth in your casserole, you can gently pour it out of the casserole dish after cooking. To do this, put a lid over the casserole dish. Leave a small slit on one side and pick up the dish with oven mitts. Gently pour the liquid through the slit, trying not to disturb the other elements in the casserole.

    • You don't necessarily have to get rid of the extra liquid. Try pouring it into a pot and simmer on medium heat until it reduces and thickens. You can then add it back to the casserole.[15]
  2. 2

    Leave it in the oven longer if there's only a little extra liquid. Sometimes the best way to thicken a casserole is to simply let the heat of the oven do the work. If you think it only needs to a little extra thickening, leave it in the oven for an extra 5-10 minutes.[16]

    • Check with the other ingredients in your casserole to make sure you can cook it a little longer. You don't want the top of the casserole to burn or the vegetables to get too soft if you leave it in the oven longer.
  3. 3

    Let your dish thicken as it cools if you don't plan to eat it right away. Your casserole will naturally thicken as it cools. If you plan to have leftovers, or you are making a casserole that you will refrigerate and eat later, letting it cool may be all you need to get the right thickness.[17]

    • If you already have an extra thick casserole that you want save for leftovers, remember to add a little broth or water to it before you store it since it will get even thicker as it cools.
  4. Advertisem*nt

Sample Thickeners

List of Thickening Agents for Casseroles

Expert Q&A

Search

Add New Question

  • Question

    How can I thicken a casserole without using flour?

    Markeicha Dulaney
    Personal Chef

    Chef Markeicha Dulaney is a Personal Chef and Founder of Sweet Monáe Personal Chef Services in 2015 in South Florida. She has over 22 years of experience in the kitchen and provides customizable menus to meet the dietary needs, taste preferences, style, and budget of each client. She also specializes in weekly in-home chef services, all-inclusive pro-chef services, boutique catering, and pantry organizing services. She was featured in The Knot's "Table for Two" YouTube episodes and has also been featured in Real Simple Magazine article on "What routines save you the most time.” Chef Markeicha Dulaney graduated with an Associate's Degree from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute of Culinary Arts and is a longtime member of the USPCA (United States Personal Chef Association).

    Markeicha Dulaney

    Personal Chef

    Expert Answer

    Consider the type of casserole you're preparing, such as a potato casserole. In this case, flour may not be necessary, as the potatoes themselves serve as a natural thickening agent. Layering the casserole with a touch of heavy cream and cheese further enhances its thickness without requiring any flour. For a sweet potato casserole where the potatoes are whipped or pureed, you can substitute flour with alternatives like coconut flour or oatmeal flour if there are allergy considerations in the recipe.

    Thanks! We're glad this was helpful.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    If wikiHow has helped you, please consider a small contribution to support us in helping more readers like you. We’re committed to providing the world with free how-to resources, and even $1 helps us in our mission.Support wikiHow

    YesNo

    Not Helpful 0Helpful 0

Ask a Question

200 characters left

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Submit

      Advertisem*nt

      Tips

      • Try reducing your casserole before adding extra thickeners. If you already used a thickener in the cooking process, sometimes it just needs a little extra time to work. Give it an extra 10-15 minutes before you try to add anything else.[18]

        Thanks

        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      • If you've found you've accidentally added too much of a thickening agent, do add more liquid to balance it out. Beware, however, that every time you add something to your casserole you're altering the flavor.[19]

        Thanks

        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      Submit a Tip

      All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published

      Submit

      Thanks for submitting a tip for review!

      4 Easy Ways to Thicken a Casserole - wikiHow (20)

      Advertisem*nt

      Warnings

      • Don't just add flour or cornstarch or other dry goods to a hot casserole. It will not be able to dissolve fully and can make the sauce lumpy.[20]

        Thanks

        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      • Don't estimate the amounts when making a slurry, roux, or beurre manié. Using equal parts butter and flour will give the best consistency to your casserole.[21]

        Thanks

        Helpful0Not Helpful0

      Advertisem*nt

      You Might Also Like

      How toMeasure Dry PastaHow toMake Maggi
      How toCook PastaHow toMake Yippee NoodlesHow toEat Noodles with ChopsticksHow toBoil Lasagna NoodlesHow toCook NoodlesHow toKeep Pasta WarmHow toCook TortelliniHow toUse a Pasta MachineHow toMeasure Cooked PastaHow toCook Ravioli

      Advertisem*nt

      Expert Interview

      Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about cooking, check out our in-depth interview with Markeicha Dulaney.

      More References (12)

      1. https://www.saveur.com/ch-ch-ch-chia#page-2
      2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/substitutes-for-cornstarch#section6
      3. https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/creamy-vegan-not-clam-chowder/
      4. https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/creamy-vegan-not-clam-chowder/
      5. https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/creamy-vegan-not-clam-chowder/
      6. https://www.deliaonline.com/how-to-cook/meat/the-principles-of-casserole-cookery
      7. https://www.onehappyhousewife.com/sweet-potato-casserole-instant-pot/
      8. https://blog.chefworks.com/uniforms/thicken-that-soup-or-sauce-the-right-way/
      9. https://blog.chefworks.com/uniforms/thicken-that-soup-or-sauce-the-right-way/
      10. https://blog.chefworks.com/uniforms/thicken-that-soup-or-sauce-the-right-way/
      11. https://blog.chefworks.com/uniforms/thicken-that-soup-or-sauce-the-right-way/
      12. https://blog.chefworks.com/uniforms/thicken-that-soup-or-sauce-the-right-way/

      About This Article

      4 Easy Ways to Thicken a Casserole - wikiHow (24)

      Co-authored by:

      Markeicha Dulaney

      Personal Chef

      This article was co-authored by Markeicha Dulaney. Chef Markeicha Dulaney is a Personal Chef and Founder of Sweet Monáe Personal Chef Services in 2015 in South Florida. She has over 22 years of experience in the kitchen and provides customizable menus to meet the dietary needs, taste preferences, style, and budget of each client. She also specializes in weekly in-home chef services, all-inclusive pro-chef services, boutique catering, and pantry organizing services. She was featured in The Knot's "Table for Two" YouTube episodes and has also been featured in Real Simple Magazine article on "What routines save you the most time.” Chef Markeicha Dulaney graduated with an Associate's Degree from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute of Culinary Arts and is a longtime member of the USPCA (United States Personal Chef Association). This article has been viewed 68,662 times.

      2 votes - 100%

      Co-authors: 10

      Updated: April 25, 2024

      Views:68,662

      Categories: Pasta and Noodles

      In other languages

      Spanish

      • Print
      • Send fan mail to authors

      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 68,662 times.

      Did this article help you?

      Advertisem*nt

      4 Easy Ways to Thicken a Casserole - wikiHow (2024)
      Top Articles
      Latest Posts
      Article information

      Author: Edmund Hettinger DC

      Last Updated:

      Views: 6149

      Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

      Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

      Author information

      Name: Edmund Hettinger DC

      Birthday: 1994-08-17

      Address: 2033 Gerhold Pine, Port Jocelyn, VA 12101-5654

      Phone: +8524399971620

      Job: Central Manufacturing Supervisor

      Hobby: Jogging, Metalworking, Tai chi, Shopping, Puzzles, Rock climbing, Crocheting

      Introduction: My name is Edmund Hettinger DC, I am a adventurous, colorful, gifted, determined, precious, open, colorful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.