How To Thicken A Pasta Sauce

7 Easy Ways to Thicken up a Sauce

It happens to the best of us: you followed the recipe to the letter, but the result was not what you had hoped. Isn’t it true that gravy is meant to be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon before being served? Isn’t it true that an Alfredo sauce should cling to the edges of the pasta noodles? Professional recipe creators (such as those working in our Test Kitchen) make every effort to foresee every scenario, but occasionally extraneous circumstances get in the way of their efforts. Perhaps you like your gravy a little thicker than they do, or perhaps the quantity of humidity in your kitchen has an impact on the thickening capacity of your flour.

1. Flour

If you aren’t concerned about being gluten-free, adding flour to sauces, thick soups, and gravies is a terrific method to thicken dairy-based sauces, thick soups, and gravies. My favourite way is to prepare a roux (a mixture of equal parts fat and all-purpose flour) and whisk in 2 ounces of flour for every cup of liquid in the recipe. Because the flour has already been cooked during the roux-making process, you won’t have to worry about your food tasting like raw flour or getting your family sick as a result of it.

Keep in mind that flour can cloud your sauce, so if you need to keep the clarity of your sauce while increasing the viscosity, the following thickening is a preferable choice.

2. Cornstarch or arrowroot

Thickening with cornstarch or arrowroot is a gluten-free alternative to using flour to thicken sauces. They’ll also help to keep your sauce clean and free of cloudiness. For every cup of liquid in the recipe, you’ll need around 1 tablespoon of sugar. Pour the slurry into the saucepan after mixing the cornstarch with equal parts water to produce a slurry. Continue to whisk constantly over high heat until the cornstarch has been completely absorbed and the sauce has begun to thicken. What exactly is the distinction between the two?

It does get slimy when coupled with dairy, so avoid using it as a gravy thickening if you are using dairy.

3. Tomato paste

If possible, add tomato paste at the beginning of the dish since heating it releases the essential oils and also caramelizes the sugars; nevertheless, you may whisk it in at the end to assist soups and sauces with tomatoes bond. You could also use it to flavor brown sauces or beef stews, but because it offers a flash of color and tomato taste, we wouldn’t advocate using it in dairy-based sauces because it would overpower the flavor.

4. Reduce the liquid

Making a reduction in the amount of liquid used is a wonderful technique to thicken things up if you have a lot of additional time. As the liquid evaporates, the other flavors will get more concentrated as well, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your preference.

Because boiling a large stockpot of sauce might take a long time, you can consider transferring a portion of the sauce to a large saute pan to speed things up a bit. Simply whisk it back into the main pot after it has thickened to your liking, and you are done.

5. Swirl in a pat of butter

This approach will not significantly increase your thickness, but it will provide you with an extra push if you are near to reaching your goal but not quite there. Just be sure to include the butter into your sauce at the very end of the cooking process to ensure a smooth finish. If the butter-infused sauce is heated to a high temperature, it will shatter, undermining the purpose of the sauce’s thickening capability.

6. Add an egg yolk

In addition to thickening dressings and custards, egg yolks are also excellent for thickening rich cream sauces, which may be used in a variety of dishes. To prevent the egg yolk from scrambling, place it in a bowl and slowly whisk in roughly a cup of spicy sauce at a time. Then, slowly pour in the tempered yolk mixture to the saucepan, stirring constantly. The egg yolk approach is also a great way to salvage a shattered sauce if the sauce has separated.

7. Puree some vegetables

A thickening agent that works well with starchy vegetables include potatoes, winter squash, and celeriac. This is especially true if the veggies have been pureed first. Simply roast or boil the veggies before putting them in a food processor and processing until smooth. Then, just whisk it into the sauce and watch as it thickens instantaneously! Additionally, you may use steamed and mashed cauliflower, as well as any type of cooked beans or lentils, with the caveat that the latter would contribute extra tastes to the meal.

It would thin out the dish’s chunky texture, but it would thicken it without introducing any more components to the mix.

You’ll almost certainly discover one that works for your particular recipe.

Chicken with Tarragon Sauce

This is the epitome of comfort cuisine done right. I prepare it at least once a week, and I serve it with handmade mashed potatoes and sautéed fresh green beans, which are both seasonal. — Cher Schwartz of Ellisville, Missouri, is a writer.

Turkey with Curried Cream Sauce

With the help of traditional Indian spices, you may give plain old turkey a whole new look. Even though my version is on the light side, if you’re in the mood for heat, up the curry and cayenne pepper a notch. No matter how many people are at the table, this meal goes in a flash. Liri Lockrey from Scarborough, Ontario sent this in:

Chicken with Cherry Wine Sauce

Because my father is a chef, I began learning to cook at a young age. This spicy chicken meal was the very first thing I ever cooked for myself. —Ben Diaz, Azusa, California, United States

Pork with Mustard Sauce

When I was a little kid, I couldn’t wait until I was an adult and could begin cooking for my own family. Now that I’m in this position, I truly like cooking with pork. With this recipe’s delicate beef and creamy mustard sauce, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious meal. In Enfield, Connecticut, there is an individual named Irma Pomeroy.

Pork Chops with Nectarine Sauce

As a nutritionist, I’m constantly searching for new and exciting ways to cook meals that are both nutritious and tasty.

These tender chops are very quick to prepare. — Suellen Pineda is a Victor, New York-based actress.

Beef Filets with Portobello Sauce

These delectable steaks appear to be something exceptional, yet they are simple enough to prepare for a weeknight supper. The filets with mushrooms on top are served with crusty French bread, a mixed salad, and a light lemon dessert, which we particularly appreciate. Tampa, Florida resident Christel Stein wrote in to say

Thai Pasta with Spicy Peanut Sauce

What we really like about this dish is how the whole wheat pasta and crisp, raw veggies combine with the thick and creamy peanut sauce. The addition of freshly squeezed lime juice enhances the overall flavor of the meal. However, my husband and I prefer to wait until the soup has reached a more comfortable room temperature before eating. • Donna McCallie, from Lake Park, Florida

Pork Medallions in Mustard Sauce

Pork medallions with apricot preserves are a favorite of mine, and I’ve been wondering how I might spice them up a bit more. I experimented with numerous flavors until I came up with this combination. Every time, it takes my breath away. —Tahnia Fox, a resident of Trenton, Michigan

Contest-Winning Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Although it appears to take a long time to prepare, this delectable chicken and mushroom sauce is actually rather simple. I believe it has a taste that is comparable to many high-fat dishes seen at upscale restaurants. — Jennifer Pemberton of Muncie, Indiana, was the subject of this article.

Grilled Shrimp with Spicy-Sweet Sauce

When I have get-togethers, these finger-lickin’ shrimp nearly disappear from the dish. Play around with the quantity of sriracha you use to get the spice level exactly where you want it. — Susan Harrison lives in the Maryland town of Laurel.

Cod with Hearty Tomato Sauce

When my father took over the kitchen, he came up with this deliciously sweet and tasty dish for my mother. Served with whole wheat pasta or brown rice, it is a delicious dish! Eberhart is from Gig Harbor in Washington state.

Turkey Scallopini with Marsala Sauce

This is an entrée that my family demands at least once a month. With the turkey pieces and hot cooked noodles, the slightly sweet Marsala sauce is a delicious accompaniment. • Briana Knight from Ferndale, Washington.

Curried Beef Pitas with Cucumber Sauce

When I first got married, a dear friend gave me this recipe, which I have been using ever since. I was a little hesitant to try it at first because the ingredients weren’t all that recognizable to me, but it has since become one of our family’s favorite dishes over time. Shannon Koene, a resident of Blacksburg, Virginia

Jamaican Salmon with Coconut Cream Sauce

We consume salmon on a regular basis since it is so nutritious, and I enjoy coming up with creative ways to make it taste distinct and great. This dazzler is simple to prepare and is my go-to dinner for entertaining. • Joni Hilton, of Rocklin, Calif. •

Shrimp in Mango Chili Sauce

Quick and easy shrimp dinner made using items you already have on hand in just a few minutes! Another delicious alternative is to serve the shrimp over waffles or rice. Arlene Erlbach of Morton Grove, Illinois, sent in this message.

Turkey Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce

I enjoy a quick and simple evening supper! This dish comes together fast and makes good use of that half-block of cream cheese that always seems to wind up in the refrigerator. Amelia Lents, from Grand Forks, North Dakota

Pork Chops with Blue Cheese Sauce

Sometimes a sauce is simply a sauce, but when paired with these delicate chops, it elevates the dish to a whole new level.

Add a pinch of nutmeg to the black pepper just before you sprinkle it over the meat if you want your meat with a little more zing. —Kathleen Specht, of Clinton, Mont.

Tenderloin with Herb Sauce

Tender pork is braised in a rich and creamy sauce with a hint of heat from red pepper flakes, then served. This hearty dish is really simple to prepare and is usually a hit at my house when it comes to dinnertime. —Monica Shipley from Tulare, California.

Chicken with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce

My sister Amy came up with this dish, which makes plain chicken breasts a whole lot more interesting. It’s delicious! My hubby and I are both huge fans of the delicious sauce. —Molly Cappone from Lewis Center, Ohio

Seared Salmon with Balsamic Sauce

This quick and simple salmon preparation method was recommended to me by a friend. It has a moderately sweet sauce and is a huge favorite with my family and friends, therefore I’ve passed it on to them. Shannon Horton of Colorado Springs, Colorado sent us this message:

Grilled Pork Chops with Sticky Sweet Sauce

Juicy pork chops that are so tasty and simple to prepare that you would not believe the recipe has only four basic ingredients. •Angela Spengler from Tampa, Florida

Turkey with Lime Butter Sauce

Whenever I’m in Florida, I pick up some Key limes to use in the butter sauce, but any fresh lime would suffice. If I’m using leftover turkey, I brown it a little before adding it to the sauce to bring out the flavor. —Patricia Kile from Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.

Gnocchi with Pesto Sauce

A tasty pesto sauce may be used to dress up gnocchi and veggies. If you don’t have any pine nuts on hand, you can omit them or replace any other nut of your choice. — Test Kitchen for Taste of Home

Pork Tenderloin with Wine Sauce

Here’s a quick and easy supper that’s full of taste and low in fat and calories, but is also quick and easy to prepare. It’s served with fresh green beans and mashed potatoes, which I make myself. Nancy LaVoice of Wexford, Pennsylvania, contributed to this article.

Beef Tenderloin in Mushroom Sauce

Here’s a quick and easy lunch that’s full of taste and low in fat and calories, but it’s also quick and easy. In addition to mashed potatoes, I serve it with fresh green beans. Wexford, Pennsylvania resident Nancy LaVoice wrote:

Pork Chops with Honey-Garlic Sauce

Because the sauce on these honey garlic pork chops is so delicious, I often double the recipe to ensure that there is enough for dipping any vegetables we have on the side. • Michelle Smith, of Eldersburg, Maryland •

Pork Chops with Cranberry Pan Sauce

This weeknight-friendly dish has moist and delicate pork chops that have been cooked to a sweet and light cranberry sauce. The dish is a personal favorite of my husband’s, and it’s also a good choice for entertaining guests. The writer, Stephanie Homme, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Turkey Cutlets in Lemon Wine Sauce

After having something similar to this at a local Italian restaurant, I set out to figure out how to replicate it for my own family at home. Because it’s so easy to prepare, I’ve started serving it more frequently, and my customers are delighted. Katherine Wilson of Warrenton, Virginia, sent in this message:

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Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce

Here’s a main dish that has a rich flavor while not being heavy in saturated fat or cholesterol. It’s simple enough for weeknights, but the creamy sauce elevates it to a special occasion for the weekend. — Bonnie Brown-Watson, of Houston, Texas, submitted this article.

Chicken with Red Wine Cream Sauce

My creamy chicken recipe tastes like a dish from a five-star restaurant, yet it just takes minutes and only a few ingredients to prepare.

Fresh rosemary should be used. Trust me on this. —Sarah Campbell, a resident of Terre Haute, Indiana

Pork Medallions with Garlic-Strawberry Sauce

A refreshing strawberry sauce is served alongside these crispy pork medallions, making them an excellent choice for a spring or summer supper. —Taste of Home Cooking Demonstration Kitchen

Sirloin with Mushroom Sauce

A light strawberry sauce is served alongside these crispy pork medallions, making them an excellent spring or summer supper. The Taste of Home Test Kitchen is a place where people may try new foods.

Blackberry-Sauced Pork Chops

My family has been raving about these chops since the first time I served them. They’re just as good grilled as they are in a pan, so you can have them all year long if you like. —Priscilla Gilbert of Indian Harbour Beach, Florida says the sauce is also excellent with chicken.

Applesauce-Glazed Pork Chops

These sweet and smoky pork chops with applesauce are bursting with sweet and smoky flavor thanks to the addition of maple syrup. They can be on the table in little time at all, making them ideal for hectic evening schedules. —Brenda Campbell from Olympia, Washington.

Pork with Strawberry-Port Sauce

Pork chops and applesauce combine to create a dish that is delicious and full of sweet and smokey taste. They can be on the table in little time at all, making them ideal for busy weeknights. —Brenda Campbell from Olympia, Washington

Our Best Tips for Thickening Your Favorite Tomato-Based Pasta Sauces

A little amount of perseverance can make all the difference in the world. Tomato sauce is likely a mainstay in so many different dishes that you turn to on a daily basis, whether you enjoy it spread over pizza, blended into pasta, or served as a delightful dipping sauce accompanying mozzarella sticks. Regardless of whether you like store-bought or homemade sauce, chunky or smooth, learning how to thicken sauce will provide its own set of problems. This is true whether you prefer store-bought or homemade sauce, chunky or smooth.

We’ll share our go-to strategies with you in the section below.

How to Thicken Tomato Sauce

While gradual reduction over a period of many hours is the most straightforward—and time-consuming—method of thickening a tomato-based sauce, it is also the most time-consuming. Heat the tomato sauce in a pot on the stovetop over low heat for roughly six hours to get this result. According to Christopher Arturo, chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, “six hours not only gives the proper consistency, but it also enables time for the natural sugars to be released and caramelized.” Tomatoes naturally contain a lot of water, thus boiling any sauce for a lengthy period of time can assist to reduce the amount of water in the sauce significantly.

In the event that you are pressed for time one day, you can always start the process of creating marinara sauce the next day and then finish the procedure by reducing it for many hours the following day.

If you’re making or reheating a sauce, Arturo stresses the necessity of choosing non-reactive cookware and staying away from copper or aluminum saucepans, which can impart a metallic flavor to the sauce.

Why You Should Reach for Tomato Paste

This is a highly concentrated tomato-based product that enhances the depth of tomato taste while also naturally thickening any pasta sauce due to the paste-like consistency of the product. The use of tomato paste as a natural thickening agent for sauces based on tomatoes, according to Arturo, is one of the most effective methods of utilizing it. Tomato sauce is a pantry staple that may be used to not only change the consistency of a sauce, but it can also be used to enhance the rich, savory flavors of the sauce itself.

How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce, or Meat-Based Sauces

If you’re trying to thicken a meat-based sauce, Arturo recommends following the same reduction procedure as you would for any other tomato sauce, such as tomato paste. Start with the base of a traditional Italian meat sauce, such as Bolognese, which includes mirepoix (celery, carrots, onions, and garlic), a blend of ground pork and beef, wine, olive oil, and canned tomatoes. To make ragu sauce, thicken it with additional ground pork and beef and add more wine, olive oil, and canned tomatoes. Continue to simmer it for another couple of hours, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and all that’s left is a strong beef sauce with a hint of tomato, according to Arturo.

How To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce or Pasta Sauce – The Kitchen Community

Creating a delicious homemade spaghetti sauce might be a challenging task. It is possible that your sauce may turn out considerably more watery than you anticipated, despite the fact that it is normally specified in the majority of cookbooks and online resources. Take a look at this. Tomatoes are blended with a few other essential ingredients to improve the flavor of spaghetti sauce, which is then served over pasta. Despite the fact that some people prefer store-bought variations on the grounds that they have a superior consistency, there are methods to save a homemade spaghetti sauce by adding a thickening component.

Tothickenpastasauceorthickentomatosauce Simply follow the steps outlined below.

Try it out and see how it works for you.

If you find that your spaghetti sauce needs thickening, you will be delighted to hear that there are numerous simple solutions that you are likely to have on hand in your kitchen pantry.

Use the boiled water from the pasta

Typically, water is added to a sauce that is excessively thin; however, pasta water can be used as a thickening agent instead of water. This is due to the fact that it will release starch when it boils. Whenever the pasta is finished cooking or nearly finished cooking, you can take a few teaspoons of it and add it to the pan with the sauce. It’s possible that, at first, after adding the water, the sauce will appear a bit runny; but, as you continue to stir it, you will notice that it thickens.

The fact that this solution does not necessitate the employment of any additional resources is a significant advantage. An electric saucepan for the sauce, as well as pasta strainer and spoon will be needed. Pros

  • All of the tools that will be necessary will already be in use
  • Nothing will be left to chance. The taste of the sauce will be enhanced by the salinity of the starch that has been released into the water.
  • If you’re using gluten-free pasta, this method will not work properly.

Add Cornstarch to the sauce

Cornstarch is a popular component found in a wide variety of dishes. It is derived from maize grain and is frequently used as a thickening ingredient in food preparation. They do this through a process known as gelatinization. As a result of being subjected to heat, the starch molecules expand and absorb any surplus water present in a liquid solution or combination. Thus, the liquid will gradually begin to thicken as a result of this process. In addition, it does not have an overbearing flavor and can be quickly included into the sauce without the need to completely mix it first.

Once it has reached a smooth consistency, you may incorporate it into the sauce while it is still simmering.

Despite the fact that it works very rapidly, do not add too much more to the sauce at once.

Again, other from the cornstarch, water, a bowl, and a fork to mix it with, this approach does not necessitate the use of many more instruments.

  • Neither the look nor the flavor of the sauce will be altered as a result of this. It is well known that starch thickens as it warms.
  • There is a danger that some individuals will put in too much before allowing it to operate properly.

Make a roux

In order to make roux, a combination of flour and fat (usually butter) must be blended in equal quantities before being heated together. You will have to put in a little more work if you choose this option because it is a little more complex. You will also need to simmer it for a long period of time till the floury flavor is gone. Creating this approach will become more efficient the more time you put into it. To begin, heat a pan over a low heat until it is almost boiling. After that, you’ll need to combine equal parts butter and flour in a mixing bowl.

Cooking time for the sauce is expected to be approximately 30 minutes.

In order to make the roux, you’ll need to combine butter and flour.


  • The starch in the butter and flour will absorb the water in the spaghetti sauce, resulting in a sauce with a wonderful texture when it is through cooking it.
  • Despite the fact that it is a popular choice among skilled chefs, people with less culinary knowledge may find it challenging to prepare. When compared to other techniques of thickening sauce, making a roux requires a greater number of stages.

Add some mashed potatoes

Despite the fact that it may seem strange, mashed potatoes are actually a very effective thickening agent. This is due to the fact that potatoes contain a significant amount of starch, and hence will function in a manner similar to the cornstarchmethod. Because the potatoes will change the flavor of the sauce, resulting in a pretty unusual flavor, it is not suggested for individuals who are allergic to potatoes. If you have any leftover potatoes, you may mash them along with the rest of the ingredients.

Adding the potato to the sauce in little increments will help to thicken the texture of the sauce.

For some, it may be necessary to add a little amount of milk or butter to the mashed potatoes before mixing them into the sauce. This strategy necessitates the use of only a few resources. A potato and a fork will be all you’ll need to mash everything together. Pros

  • This is arguably one of the simplest choices that can be done using leftover potatoes
  • It is also one of the quickest.
  • The addition of potatoes will raise the carbohydrate and calorie content of the dish.

Change the ratio of solids and liquids

Due to the fact that spaghetti sauce is so adaptable, you may incorporate a number of veggies into it, such as bell peppers, carrots, and onions, among others. Adding veggies will, in essence, raise the volume of the sauce to the point where it outweighs the liquid. The first step is to boil the sauce for a few minutes while adding your selected vegetable, which should have been either pureed or chopped into tiny bits. You will need to toss it frequently and allow it to simmer until the veggies are cooked through.

The vegetable that you have chosen for your sauce as well as a blender (if you have opted to purée it) are required for this choice.

  • Because veggies have a significant amount of starch, they are excellent at thickening sauces. You may customize the sauce by using your favorite veggies.
  • A strong flavor in some veggies might dominate the sauce, causing it to taste sour and unpleasant.

Reduce the liquid content

You can lessen the amount of liquid in the pot if you find that your sauce is becoming too watery. This may be accomplished by cooking the sauce for an additional 20 minutes. After this period of time has elapsed, the sauce is likely to have less liquid and, as a result, will have a thicker consistency. While the water is still boiling, you can remove the cover from the pan to expedite the procedure. It is essential that you maintain a careful check on it to ensure that it does not cause a snarl or other damage.


  • Due to the fact that you do not require any other pieces of equipment, this is an excellent solution for individuals who do not have additional resources at their disposal.
  • The method of draining the liquid might be time-consuming
  • Nonetheless, it is not impossible.

When it comes to eliminating the fluids, it might be a lengthy task.

  • The use of a blender is a simple solution for people who already have one in their possession. Aside from the blender, you won’t need any other pieces of equipment.
  • Because blending materials may be a dirty operation, you will be faced with the duty of cleaning once you have finished using it.

Using Proteins

Because blending materials may be a dirty operation, you will be faced with the responsibility of cleaning up after yourself once you have finished using it.

  • The addition of one egg will have no effect on the flavor or texture of the spaghetti sauce.
  • This sauce needs to be properly combined, because otherwise there is a chance of it overcooking and destroying your dish.
See also:  How To Make Simple Pasta

Add some cheese

To thicken your sauce, you may also add grated cheese to the pan. When cooking on a low heat, using soft cheese will save time because it will take less time to melt than hard cheese. This will be determined by your own liking, but it is crucial to remember that adding too much cheese might result in a salty flavour to the finished sauce. It’s necessary to shred your cheese first, if it hasn’t already been done, so you can incorporate it into the sauce. Continually stir your sauce until it achieves the consistency you desire.

  • The addition of cheese to the spaghetti sauce will give it a creamy taste.
  • It’s possible that the cheese will burn if the temperature isn’t checked carefully. Because of this, the calorie content of your pasta meal will increase

How to prevent spaghetti sauce from going watery

First and first, you must determine the cause of the problem in order to determine what has to be changed. It’s common for individuals to overlook the need to drain their canned tomatoes before using them in a recipe. If you opt to use fresh tomatoes, make sure to choose them carefully before cooking. Ideally, you should choose ones that will not emit a significant amount of water. It is possible that the watery texture is not produced by the sauce but rather by pasta that has not been adequately drained.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are several strategies for thickening spaghetti sauce that are efficient.

It is possible that you will need to experiment with your selected process in order to guarantee that it produces a nice sauce that has achieved the consistency you wish for your dish.

How To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

Most of us like a substantial bowl of thick, rich, tasty spaghetti sauce on a cold winter night. When you know how to thicken spaghetti sauce, you’ll never have to deal with watery, thin sauces again!

How To Make Thick Tomato Sauce

Despite our best attempts to create a rich and delicious sauce, sauces can occasionally come out thin and unsatisfactory. It’s happened to me before. You’ve got to do it, too. However, we are not obliged to put out a mediocre, underdeveloped sauce! Here are numerous methods for thickening tomato sauce that you may use to prepare a delicious meal tonight! Despite our greatest attempts to create a rich and delicious sauce, sauces can occasionally turn out thin and disappointing; but, don’t worry, we will correct it TODAY!

Here’s What You’ll Need For The Preferred Method…

  • Adding tomato paste gives the dish more thickness, taste, and color. Depending on the flavors you choose in your sauce, you may need to adjust the amount of salt and sugar you use. Sugar– sometimes the tomato paste is a bit too overpowering, and a little sugar might help to soften it up
  • Seasonings such as Garlic Powder and Italian Seasonings are used in cooking. When you add the tomato paste, you’ll be disrupting the delicate spice balance in the dish. You may easily rectify this situation by just adding additional of the spice of your choice
  • Combine all of the ingredients
  • Stir in the tomato paste
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Stir until thickened.

Its Easier Than You Think…

The addition of tomato paste will automatically thicken the sauce, but you’ll notice that the flavor is a little off, and you’ll need to make a few modifications. Consider trying one of the other ways suggested below if you are still concerned about your situation.

  1. Tomato paste thickens the sauce automatically, but the flavor may be a little wrong, so you’ll need to make a few tweaks once you’ve added the tomato paste. Consider one of the other options indicated below if you are still worried.

Other Methods to Thicken Tomato Sauce

Adding tomato paste will automatically thicken the sauce, but you’ll notice that the seasoning is a little off, and you’ll need to make a few tweaks to the recipe. If you are still worried, you should consider one of the alternative options indicated below.

1. Thicken Spaghetti Sauce Without Tomato Paste by Simmering.

However, while adding tomato paste can thicken the sauce as well as give it a rich deep red color, there are instances when we simply do not have any tomato paste on hand. Simmering the sauce will thin out a thin spaghetti sauce that contains too much water; consequently, simmering the sauce is a simple (though sometimes time-consuming) solution. To simmer a sauce, just cook the sauce on the stovetop over medium low to medium heat until it is somewhat thickened. It will take some time for the sauce to release enough of its excess water that it will become thicker.

Time required may vary depending on how hot you simmer the sauce, how thin the sauce is to begin with, and how thick you want the finished sauce to be.

2. Thicken Your Spaghetti Sauce With Corn Starch.

It is possible to thicken nearly any thin sauce by adding corn starch to it. It’s nothing short of a miracle. Corn starch does not impart any undesirable tastes to the sauce, although it may slightly change the color of the sauce. When using corn starch as a thickening, there is a distinct mouth feel that people with more sensitive palates may perceive. To thicken using cornstarch, just combine 2 heaping teaspoons of cornstarch in a small dish with 2 scant tablespoons of COOL water and whisk thoroughly.

Make sure there are no lumps in the mixture.

The thickening will take place within this interval as well.

3. Thicken With Cheese

After all, you are aware of who you are inquiring about, right? Of course, I’m going to claim that cheese can be used to thicken just about everything!

It’s a piece of cake! Make use of grated parmesan cheese (and actually, I prefer the kind in the green can for thickening). Try 1/2 cup at a time, stirring it in to see where it goes. It is possible that you may need to add a bit extra.

4. Thicken Spaghetti Sauce by Adding a Little Noodle Cooking Water

This one can be a bit difficult to figure out. Add a half cup or so of your noodle cooking water to thin out your sauce if it’s too thick to your liking. As a thickening, the starch in the noodles serves as a binder. Pour in the water and mix well, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce has thickened. This approach should only be used if your sauce is just a smidgeon too thin. This procedure has the potential to cause your sauce to become far too thin, therefore I do not advocate it, but it is one option.

5. Thicken Your Spaghetti Sauce Using Mashed Potatoes

Is this a strange suggestion? Well, that’s possible, but sometimes we have to make do with what we’ve got. Using unflavored mashed potatoes to thicken tomato sauce is a viable option. The flavor of the sauce will be somewhat altered, and you will need to season it with extra spices and salt. Start with 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes and increase the amount as needed depending on how much thickening you require. That being said, this is one of the methods through which a sly parent may sneak extra vegetables into her children’s diet.

6. Use Flour To Thicken Your Spaghetti Sauce

You’ve probably heard that flour can be used to thicken sauces, right? So, do you just put some flour in there and call it a day? No, I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Please don’t do it. It is possible to make a thicker sauce, but you will not end up with a thicker sauce; rather, you will end up with clumps of uncooked flour floating around in your sauce. Ewww. You’ll need to do the following in order to utilize flour to thicken your sauce:

  1. Preheat the burner to medium heat and melt 2-4 tablespoons of butter in a separate pan. Whisk in the equal quantity of all-purpose flour until everything is well-combined. Pour in the milk and mix until it becomes a creamy, thick liquid. Make your spaghetti sauce by adding this thickened liquid and mixing thoroughly. Allow for a 5-minute simmering period. If necessary, repeat the process.

7. Use Bread to Thicken Your Sauce

That seems odd, I know, but it actually does the trick.

  1. 2 slices of white bread with the crusts removed
  2. 1 inch pieces of bread with the crusts removed
  3. Place the bread in a small mixing bowl and pour 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce liquid to the bread
  4. Set aside. Allow for a 5-minute resting period. The bread will turn goopy as a result. Add additional of the liquid sauce to the bread and toss together with a fork or a whisk until the bread is fully dissolved
  5. Add this to your sauce and cook for 5 minutes on low heat.

8. Add Arrowroot as a Thickener

To use arrowroot, combine 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder with 1 tablespoon cold water in a mixing bowl. Stir thoroughly and cook in a sauce pan over low heat until just warm enough to consume with a spoon. Combine this with your spaghetti sauce and continue until the sauce is the consistency you like.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is the best way to make spaghetti sauce that isn’t too watery? It is virtually impossible to produce watery spaghetti sauce if you follow my homemade tomato sauce recipe. If you’re preparing it with fresh tomatoes, be sure to rinse them thoroughly before you start cooking it. This will be of assistance. What is the best way to thicken my sauce with flour? That is really simple to accomplish! Look at the top of the list; it’s at number 6. Is it necessary to have a thick sauce for spaghetti?

  • Yes, it has to be thick in our house, no doubt about it.
  • It is entirely up to you and your personal preferences.
  • You can, in fact, do it.
  • No need to be concerned; you may thin it up by adding little water and stirring thoroughly.
  • What can I do if I follow the Ball Canning Book Recipe for Meat Sauce and the sauce comes out WAY TOO THIN?
  • instead of using clear jel, use clear jel (just like you would for some other canned recipes).

How Can I Thicken Spaghetti Sauce in a Short Period of Time? Cornstarch is the quickest method of thickening your sauce, as seen in number 1 in the list above. This is not my favourite approach, but if you need something done quickly, this is the most expedient option.

How To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce in a Crockpot

Cornstarch is the most effective method of thickening tomato sauce in a slow cooker. You might wonder why. This is because, with a crockpot, you do not have the capacity to alter the heat fast, which is necessary for many of the other ways to be successful. The flavor of your sauce will not be altered by the addition of cornstarch. Simply follow the directions for combining a little amount of cornstarch and cool water together, which are listed in 2 in the preceding list. Replace the lid for about 5 minutes after adding the cornstarch/water mixture and stirring well.

Most of us like a substantial bowl of thick, rich, tasty spaghetti sauce on a cold winter night.

If You Enjoyed This Recipe, You Might Enjoy These Other Tomato Sauces…

Cooking tomato sauce in a slow cooker with cornstarch is the most effective method of thickening it. You may wonder why. This is because, with a crockpot, you do not have the capacity to alter the heat fast, which is required for many of the other approaches to be successful. Adding cornstarch to your sauce will have no effect on the flavor. Simply follow the directions in number 2 in the list above for mixing a little amount of cornstarch and chilly water together. Cover and set aside for approximately 5 minutes after adding the cornstarch/water combination.

Most of us like a big bowl of thick, rich, tasty spaghetti sauce on a cold night.

Watch How To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

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  • 4oz tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Cook your thin spaghetti sauce on the stovetop until it is just just boiling. 4 ounces of tomato paste should be added. Stir in the salt, pepper, sugar, and Italian seasoning until everything is well distributed. Allow for 5 minutes of simmering after thoroughly stirring. Taste the dish and adjust the spices as required.
  • There are a variety of additional ways for thickening spaghetti sauce that you may try out. This is only an illustration. Investigate the alternative approaches described in this article. It is possible that you may need to double this recipe depending on the amount of sauce you have. Because the sauce is simmered for a longer period of time, it will thicken. The tomato paste imparts a beautiful deep, rich color to the dish.
See also:  How Much Sauce Per Pound Of Pasta

Nutritional Values How to Make Spaghetti Sauce Thicker Amount Per Serving (in grams) Calories31 Calories from fat account for 9 percent of the Daily Value*. Sodium515mg Fat1g2 percent Saturated Fat1g5 percent Cholesterol1g2 percent Potassium 307 milligrams (21 percent) carbohydrate (9%), protein (7%), and fat (2%). 2g8 percent fiber 5g8 percent sugar 6% of the population Protein1g2 percent of the diet Vitamin A455IU9 percent Vitamin C6mg Vitamin A455IU9 percent 7% of the population The following percent daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet: calcium 31 mg 3 percent iron 1 mg 6 percent This was something that came across my desk today and I thought I’d share it with you.

Your creations are magnificent, and my soul is well acquainted with them.

How To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce: The Italian Secret To Getting Your Sauce Just Right

Dietary Guidelines Spaghetti Sauce Thickening Method serving size (in grams) Calories31 10% of the Daily Value* in Calories from Fat FAT1g2 percent SATIVAMIN515mg SATIVAMIN1g5 percent SUGAR1g2 percent Potassium 307 milligrams (21 percent). Carbohydrates: 9 percent7g2 percent Two grams of fiber (8 percent sugar) Five grams of sugar 6% of the total population the amount of protein in 1g2 percent A455IU9 percent Vitamin C6mg Vitamin A455IU9 percent 7% of the total population. The following percent daily values are based on a 2000-calorie diet: calcium 31 mg 3 percent iron 1 mg 6 percent What I’m about to share with you is something that simply hit me in the heart today.

the fourteenth verse of Psalm 140:14 I thank you for creating me in such a horribly and brilliantly designed way! It is clear to my spirit that your works are magnificent.

How To Get Sauce To Thicken — General Tips

Dietary Guidelines for Americans Instructions for Thickening Spaghetti Sauce Amount of Food in Each Serving Calories31 Calories from fat account for 9 percent of the daily recommended intake* Sodium515mg Fat1g2 percent Saturated Fat1g5 percent Sodium1g2 percent Potassium 307mg (21%) 9 percent Carbohydrates7g2 percent 2 g8 % fiber 5 g sugar 6 percent of the population 1 g2 of protein Vitamin A455IU9 percent Vitamin C6mg Vitamin D3 percent Vitamin E percent 7 percent of the population The following percent daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet: calcium 31mg3 percent iron 1mg6 percent This was something that came across my desk today and I thought you would enjoy it.

Psalm 139:14 (KJV) I give you thanks because I am fearfully and wonderfully formed.

How To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce Without Tomato Paste

When it comes to basic thickening principles, spaghetti sauce isn’t all that unlike from any other sauce on the market. If you want to thicken it without using tomato paste, here are some particular strategies you may use.

1. Reserve pasta water and use it for sauce

There are a lot of carbohydrates floating around in the water that you’ve used to boil the pasta. As a result, it is an incredibly effective thickening agent. Add it to a sauce that is already too thin, and you will not necessarily get a better result. Instead, use a small amount of pasta water for the water in your recipe.

2. Add cornstarch

Cornstarch is a flavorless ingredient that is simple to include into a sauce that has already been prepared. There is no need to prepare a roux or combine it with anything else. Instead, whisk in a little bit of cornstarch and allow it to boil for a minute or two until it thickens. A surprising amount of cornstarch is typically required to get the desired effects.

3. Make A Roux

Aroux is a mixture of flour and fat that has been simmered for a short period of time to thicken the sauce. While it takes some time and effort to combine butter and flour and heat them until they no longer taste floury, producing a roux is one of the most popular methods used by expert chefs to thicken pizza sauce. With a little experience, you’ll be able to complete this task quite rapidly.

4. Add Mashed Potatoes

This one appears to be a little out there, yet it perfectly works. Potatoes contain a significant amount of starch, just as pasta, cornstarch, and flour. You could also try mashing up and incorporating a cooked potato into your sauce if you happen to have any on hand. With this method, you will obtain a distinct flavor as well as a significant thickening of your sauce.

5. Reduce Your Sauce Through Cooking

Regardless of what other procedures you use to thicken marinara sauce, you’ll want to include this one as well in your repertoire. Allowing your sauce to simmer on a low heat for many minutes can result in a significant amount of water being evaporated through the typical boiling process.

As a bonus, you’ll be contributing to the smooth combination of herbs and spices in the sauce, as well as activating any starches you’ve added and cooking off any starchy tastes. You don’t have to be very strict with your cooking times. Usually, 20 minutes is plenty.

Reducing Sauce Like A Pro

Simple tricks can help the reduction process go much more rapidly if you follow them. Instead of increasing the heat or waiting for a long period of time for your sauce to decrease, experiment with a larger pot or even a skillet. The surface area of your sauce has a significant impact on how quickly it will diminish and thicken up when left to simmer for an extended period of time. A saucier pan or another fancy pan with sloping sides would be ideal, but it’s also OK to use a bigger stockpot, saute pan, or even an old-fashioned frying pan for this recipe.

Does Spaghetti Sauce Even Need To Be Thick?

It’s true that traditional marinara sauce is somewhat thin. A modern American innovation, the rich, meaty spaghetti sauce you’re undoubtedly familiar with is actually a modern American invention. When it comes to spaghetti sauce, there’s nothing wrong with thickening it and using a variety of robust ingredients if that’s how you enjoy your sauce. For those who like a thinner and more flavored tomato sauce, there is nothing wrong with that as well. Please feel free to experiment with both styles in order to determine which one best suits your own personal preferences.

The Best Way To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

A simple mix of all of the procedures listed above can do wonders for thickening your spaghetti sauce and saving your supper from disaster. First, add a very tiny amount of starch, such as cornstarch or a roux, to thicken the sauce. After that, add a small amount of tomato paste to thicken the sauce even more while also improving the flavor. Finally, give your sauce a good swirl and let it boil for at least 10 minutes. In the majority of circumstances, this will result in a really rich spaghetti sauce that will amaze your dinner party attendees.

To ensure that your sauce is flavorful, taste it as you proceed.

If you feel yourself going overboard, you may try to increase the amount of spices, garlic, or even tomatoes you use to help restore the balance to the dish.

How to Thicken Sauce 3 Ways

Sauces that are too soupy should be eliminated. If you’re staring at your tomato or Alfredo sauce and thinking to yourself, “this seems incredibly runny,” don’t be concerned. It’s hardly a complete failure. You may use a variety of techniques to thicken your sauces, soups, and gravies so that they stick to your meals rather than completely submerge them. You may thicken sauces by adding pantry staples such as flour or cornstarch, or you can thicken sauces without adding any ingredients at all by lowering the amount of liquid in the sauce.

The Spoon Test

Aside from just eyeballing it, how do you know when your sauce is thick enough to serve? With a spoon, check the consistency of the sauce. If the sauce coats the back of a spoon, you can be confident that it will coat the rest of the components as well.

A spoon is an excellent tool for testing the sauce since the warmth of the spoon will chill it somewhat, offering an accurate representation of how thick the sauce will be once it has been removed from the hot pan and has cooled to the temperature at which it will be served.

How to Thicken Sauce by Reducing Liquid

The process of reducing sauce on the stove is an effective approach to thicken sauce naturally without the use of thickening agents such as cornstarch or flour. This procedure is particularly effective for tomato-based sauces, because the acidity of tomatoes does not often play well with the starches that have been added. When reducing a sauce, in addition to thickening it, it concentrates the tastes by allowing water that would otherwise dilute the rich flavors to deepen while the reduction is taking place.


  1. Sauce that has been reduced on the stove is a great method to thicken it naturally without the use of thickening agents such as cornstarch or flour. It is particularly effective for tomato-based sauces since the acid in tomatoes does not usually play well with the starches that have been added to the sauce. Reducing, in addition to thickening sauces, concentrates the tastes by allowing water that would otherwise dilute the rich notes to deepen while the reduction is taking place. Sauce is being reduced in a skillet. Scott Litte/Meredith is the photographer.

How to Thicken Sauce With Flour

As long as you aren’t allergic to gluten, flour is a great substitute that you will almost certainly always have on hand. Not only may it be used to thicken sauces, but it also works well as a thickening for gravies and soups, among other things. When flour is mixed with liquid, the starches in the flour expand, aiding in the thickening of whatever it is mixed with. There are two methods for thickening a sauce using flour: Either a roux or a slurry should be prepared. incorporating flour into the sauce Image courtesy of Sue Hoss/Meredith

Use Flour to Make a Roux

Aroux is a traditional thickening agent that is made out of an equal amount of oil and flour by weight. The majority of individuals like to use butter in their cooking. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. As soon as a sprinkle of flour forms a bubble, you’re ready to proceed with adding the remainder of the flour. Add the rest of the flour and whisk until the mixture forms a thick paste and is golden brown in color
  2. Repeat with the remaining flour. Whisk the roux into the sauce until it is well incorporated. With a spoon, check the consistency of the sauce

Use Flour and Water

Whisk 2 teaspoons flour into every 1/4 cup cold water until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the mixture to your sauce and continue to swirl and simmer until the sauce reaches the consistency that you wish over medium heat. Use a spoon to conduct the test.

How to Thicken Sauce With Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a fantastic gluten-free substitute for flour, and it will not result in a hazy appearance in your sauce. A basic rule of thumb is to use 1 tablespoon cornstarch for every cup of liquid in a recipe, with the exception of baking soda.


  1. Combine equal parts cornstarch and cold water in a small mixing bowl. Mix everything together until it’s smooth. Using a whisk, incorporate the ingredients into your sauce and simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce has reached your desired consistency. With a spoon, check the consistency of the sauce

How Do You Thicken Homemade Tomato Sauce?

Here are a few suggestions for dealing with thin sauce: Put it on the back burner for now. The majority of tomato purists recommend cooking a watery sauce for a few minutes longer on the burner (sans pot lid, of course). There are some additional benefits to allowing tomato sauce to thicken by evaporating the surplus liquid. In general, the longer tomato sauce is allowed to simmer, the more nuanced, silky, and tasty it will become. Even if your sauces have tasted brassy or even metallic in the past, a further hour on the stove might thicken this year’s batch enough to coat the back of your ladle and impart rich flavor notes that you’ll like.

The bottom of the pot will not be burned, and you will be able to spend the next hour doing something more enjoyable than watching molten tomatoes bubble up in the pot.

Add a thickener to the mix.

To be honest, starches don’t stand up well to the acidity of tomatoes.

If you do decide to use flour, arrowroot, or cornstarch, make sure to first mix it into a little amount of cold water before adding it to the tomato sauce.

It is not always a terrible thing to have a thin sauce, and if you want to use your homemade sauce in a stew, soup, or chili, the additional components will help to thicken the sauce for you.

Simply mashing potatoes in your stew or mashing beans in your chili will give your sauce body and combine seamlessly with the other tastes in your dish.

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