How to Thicken Stew With Flour

Stews are a heartier and more substantial meal than a soup, and often require the use of a thickening agent to attain their traditional, savory base. When preparing stew, you can control the texture and viscosity of the liquid by using a mixture of flour and water or stock. Use equal parts of both ingredients to form a slurry that you can add slowly during the cooking process until the desired thickness is achieved.

A bowl of beef stew on rustic wood. (Image: OksanaKiian/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Measure ¼ cup of flour and ¼ cup of water or stock and pour into a container with a lid. Place the lid onto the container and shake for 30 seconds to mix.

Step 2

Measure 1 tbsp. of the flour and liquid mixture and add it to the stew.

Step 3

Stir the stew with a wooden spoon until the slurry is well incorporated. Ensure the stew is simmering, but it does not have to be at a rolling boil.

Step 4

Wait two to three minutes to observe the thickness of the stew. If the stew still needs a thicker consistency, repeat the process until the stew is as thick as you would like.

Things You'll Need

  • Stew

  • ¼ cup of flour

  • ¼ cup of water or stock

  • Container with lid, such as a mixing bottle or shaker

  • Tablespoon

  • Stirring spoon, such as a wooden spoon


The larger the pot of stew you have, the more of the flour mixture you will have to incorporate. If you’ve made a very small pot of stew to serve one or two people, you can decrease the amount of flour and liquid used to make the slurry by half to avoid waste. For such small amounts, you aren’t likely to need the full amount to thicken the stew.

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