How to counteract too much salt in food? (+5 ways)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much salt in food?” and discuss different ways that will help you counteract too much salt in food. 

How to counteract too much salt in food?

If you have added too much salt to your food and are desperately searching for ways to counteract it, do not fret, here we have prepared a long list of ways to help you counteract too much salt in food, and to make it suitable to serve.

  • Increase the recipe
  • Dilute the recipe
  • Add acid to your dish
  • Neutralize the flavour with fat
  • Sprinkle in some sugar
  • Soak the salt up with starch

Increase the recipe

A great way to counteract too much salt in your food is to increase the portion size of the recipe by adding more of what you are cooking. You can add extra vegetables or gravy or whatever the recipe calls for and double the serving size. To properly increase the serving size, try the following:

  • Make a fresh batch of your recipe, then gradually add the oversalted batch until you have reached the desired flavour.
  • Add some leafy vegetables to the dish. Vegetables tend to take on existing flavours, helping you neutralize the excess salt.
  • Add mild vegetables, for instance, broccoli or cauliflower. Vegetables will add their own flavour and will also absorb some of the flavours from the dish.
  • Usually adding one extra ingredient is all you need to even out the flavours and make your dish servable.

Dilute the recipe

You can quickly fix over-salted broths or liquid dishes by adding water. The water will neutralize the excess salt, helping you save your dish. Try the following methods to neutralise salt with dilution:

  • Add in some cold water to your dish and allow it to boil to lessen the overall liquid back to the desired quantity.
  • Add unsalted diced tomato to increase the liquid quantity of your dish. Tomatoes chiefly contain water so they can help reduce the excess salt levels in your dish.
  • You may need to re-season your dish with some herbs and fresh spices after diluting to have a well-balanced flavour.

Add acid to your dish

Add acids, like lemon juice or vinegar to your recipe to balance the excess salt in your meal. Try some of the following tips:

  • Add some lemon juice or orange juice to your dish to help neutralize some of the excess salt with a new flavour.
  • Add some mild vinegar, for instance, all-purpose vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar to help balance the salt with acidity.
  • You can also add some citric acid to your dish. Just do not add too much, you definitely don’t want your meal to be too salty and too sour.

Neutralize the flavour with fat

Fat may not make your dish less salty but change your perception of taste, making flavours taste milder. 

Here are a few fat additions you can try:

  • Add heavy cream, cream cheese, or milk in recipes that already include dairy (like a cheesy soup) or can be complemented by dairy (for example, a tomato sauce).
  • Shred a mild soft cheese such as mozzarella over your dish to counterbalance the salt. Avoid adding cheddar or feta cheeses that are naturally salty.
  • Blend in some avocados for a non-dairy fat alternative. The creamy texture of the avocado will balance some of the salt while adding richness to your dish.

Sprinkle in some sugar

Sugar can also help balance out the salty flavours. Follow the tips below:

  • Add sugar gradually, tasting after every addition to make sure that your meal does not get extra sweet. Sugar gives a well-balanced flavour profile, thus regarded as a good choice for saving your dish.

Soak the salt up with starch

You can also add a starchy ingredient to your dish that can help absorb some salt. Follow the tips below:

  • Throw in a few raw potato slices into your salty dish for 15 to 20 minutes over low flame. The potato will absorb the excess salt and distribute starch into the dish, diluting it further. Discard the potatoes once tender and serve your meal as if nothing happened. 
  • You can also add small dough balls to the gravy. They will absorb the extra salt right away and also do not soak up any liquid, so be careful about how long you keep it in the gravy.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “How to counteract too much salt in food?” and discussed different ways to help you counteract too much salt in food. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.