Chili was originally a peasant dish. It was almost always vegetarian because meat is expensive. Beans are a wonderful cheap source of protein. That said wonderful chili can be made, sans beans.
Whatever way you make it, for those times when your chili comes out a bit runny—more like soup than a hearty stew…
The Potato Masher
Unlike some quirky cooking utensils, every kitchen is bound to have a potato masher. And this does not add any ingredients! Just mash a little so that the ingredients break down, releasing their natural starches will help thicken the excess liquid.
Masa, Cornmeal, or even Polenta
Add a little water to a couple of tablespoons of masa flour, stir it in at the end of cooking. As mentioned, cornmeal or polenta would be good substitutes.
Tortilla or Tortilla Chips
It’s common to use these to thicken soups. Tear or break into small pieces before stirring in.