Do you add water to tomato sauce?

In this brief guide, we will find out whether or not you can add water to tomato sauce, and how that depends on what type of tomato sauce you are looking to achieve.

Do you add water to tomato sauce?

Absolutely, water can be added to tomato sauce for a variety of reasons. If you want to:

  • Thin out the sauce
  • Simmer it over the heat for more than half an hour
  • Extract more flavor from the tomatoes and make the sauce extra savory

Then adding water will do just that. But what exactly is tomato sauce? 

Tomato sauce is a further liquified version of tomato paste and is commonly used as a base to make soups, sauces, and stews. Whatever dish it is added to, it gives off its vibrant red hue, helps thicken the overall consistency and of course, adds its own distinct flavor. 

In some cultures, such as the Middle East, tomato sauce and tomato ketchup are considered the same thing. Hence it is important to know if water should be added when making a batch of homemade ketchup.

Now that we know what tomato sauce is and what it is meant to do, let’s dive deeper into the world of tomatoes. 

To read more about how to make tomato sauce, click here.

How to use tomato sauce for pasta?

Tomato sauce is the key ingredient for making red sauce pasta. While the pasta boils separately, a red sauce is prepared and later combined with the pasta to complete the dish. In this sauce, it is acceptable to add water to the tomato sauce, but there’s a well-known chef’s secret.

Instead of regular water, add some remaining pasta water to your red sauce after you have completely boiled your pasta.

The leftover water contains starch that will help thicken your sauce and coat the pasta. Adding about ¼ to ½ cup of pasta water to your tomato sauce will make it look, taste, and feel like authentic restaurant-level cuisine.

How to use tomato sauce as a condiment?

If you’re trying out a recipe for homemade ketchup and are unsure of whether or not you need to add water during the cooking process, then no, water does not need to be added here. Tomatoes are around 95% water, so no additional liquid is required when making homemade tomato ketchup.

Minced tomatoes contain enough water to be set to simmer for around 40 minutes without running the risk of burning the contents of the pot. In fact, the tomatoes need to be cooked for this long to evaporate the water and thicken the consistency of the ketchup to resemble its store-bought counterparts. 

How to use tomato sauce for lasagna?

The red sauce typically made for lasagna needs to be solid enough for the lasagna to hold and maintain its shape. To achieve this, water is not added to the tomato sauce used to make the red sauce. Other liquid ingredients are also not recommended, and the sauce is covered and cooked to further solidify.

How to use tomato sauce for tomato soup?

Tomato soup is a more purified and refined version of tomato sauce, which is chunkier by comparison. The two most common ingredients in tomato soup are tomato sauce and broth. These are added in equal parts and simmered, and lastly, blended in a blender to make it smooth and less lumpy.

A common vegan alternative is to add plain water instead of the broth or add vegetable broth instead. 

How to use tomato sauce for tomato juice?

Tomato juice can be used as an ingredient in other recipes or poured over some ice to drink. Many people enjoy a glass of tomato juice for its nutrient-packed benefits.

To make this drink, tomato sauce can be added to a blender with equal portions of water and then blended till smooth. This method successfully liquifies the tomato sauce while still retaining the flavor and health benefits of the tomatoes.

How to use tomato sauce for pizza? 

Pizza requires a thick, solidified sauce that won’t drip off the crust. Instead, the sauce plays a part in holding the pizza toppings in place, so a thick and chunky sauce is needed.

This is why water is not added to tomato sauce in this case, and other ingredients like basil and chopped onions are combined with it and spread on top of the pizza dough.

Other FAQs about Water that you may be interested in.

Can dogs eat too much ice?

Can you boil alkaline water

Can you eat ice when your iron is low? 

How long does it take to freeze water?


In this article, we learned about different types of tomato sauce used for different purposes, and if water should be added to them or not. 

I hope this article answered some questions, if you have any more please let us know!