How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce: 11 Steps

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How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce: 11 Steps
How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce: 11 Steps

Sometimes, you need to thicken your tomato sauce, be it homemade or industrialized. There are several ways to do this, but some alter the flavor or texture of the dish a bit. To determine which method is best, take into account the ingredients you have, the time available, and the flavor you want. Follow the guide below to thicken tomato sauces.


Method 1 of 2: Thicken without changing flavor

Adjust the Flame on a Gas Stove Step 6

Step 1. Decrease the heat so that the sauce comes to a boil

This is the most natural and easiest way to thicken tomato sauce. Do like this:

  • Boil the tomato sauce and reduce the heat, letting the mixture simmer without a lid until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir the sauce frequently to prevent it from burning. This encourages the evaporation of extra water, which thickens the sauce.
  • This method does not change the taste of the sauce, but it may take longer to make, depending on the amount of water that needs to evaporate.

Step 2. Put cornstarch in the sauce

The cornstarch mixture has no taste, so it won't change the flavor, but it will change the consistency of the sauce giving it an even shine.

Make a mixture with equal parts of water and starch, mix and then put in the sauce. Put a small amount the first time. Starch is a powerful thickener, so you might only need to use a teaspoon for a large saucepan

Step 3. make a roux and put it in the sauce.

This ingredient is formed by mixing wheat flour with melted butter. Roux is used in French cuisine as a thickener. In fact, he's why the creamy alfredo sauce has the consistency it does!

  • After making the roux and gradually pouring it into the sauce, cook it for at least another 30 minutes or you will notice the texture of the granulated flour. You can also cook the roux before putting it in the sauce to remove this unpleasant texture.
  • Even if you cook longer, the roux can change the flavor of the sauce, even if in a subtle way.

Step 4. Try adding breadcrumbs

It, like the roux, is a good thickener because it is basically wheat flour. Even though breadcrumbs leave a certain trail on the palate, it's something of a vector for the sauce; you'll notice consistency rather than taste.

Step 5. Add mashed potatoes

Peel, cook and mash potatoes; cook this paste adding milk and butter (cream will do as well) and mix the puree with the sauce. The result may be a slightly sweeter sauce, but the most noticeable effect is the thicker consistency. It will be much thicker, more satisfying.

Step 6. Finish cooking the pasta in the sauce itself

Prepare the pasta until it is al dente. Drain the water completely and place the pasta in the sauce, letting it cook for a minute or two. The starch in the carbohydrate helps to thicken the sauce, and this method also ensures that the noodles are well covered in tomato.

Method 2 of 2: Thicken and enhance flavor

Thicken Spaghetti Sauce Step 7

Step 1. Add tomato paste

The best time to add this ingredient is at the beginning of the recipe, which allows the flavor of the spices to dilute the flavor of the paste. It can be placed later to thicken quickly.

Step 2. Add grated Parmesan or Roman cheese to thicken the sauce

Grated or shredded cheese helps to thicken sauce quickly. The cheese will change the flavor of the sauce slightly.

Cheeses like Parmesan and Romano have a strong salty taste, so keep this in mind when adding salt to the sauce

Thicken Spaghetti Sauce Step 9

Step 3. Add cream to make the tomato sauce creamy

This will thicken the recipe a bit and radically change the taste and type of sauce.

Step 4. Put vegetables in the sauce

Vegetables add variety and flavor to the sauce, as well as extra nutrition.

  • Traditional Italian cooks often add grated carrots to the sauce, but the mixture needs to cook until the carrots are cooked through and very soft. This also reduces the acidity content of the recipe.
  • You can make an onion and pepper puree to thicken the sauce, but this changes the flavor.
  • Chop up several mushrooms and add them to the mixture to thicken and give a touch of umami flavor.
  • Finely grated eggplant works great too! But peel first.

Step 5. Brown some ground beef or Italian sausage and place in the sauce

Meat and tomato flavors blend better when they've been cooking in the sauce for a while (the more the better).


  • Adding pasta water does not thicken the sauce.
  • Mix cornstarch with cold water to prevent lumps.

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