how to thicken spaghetti sauce with tomato paste

In this brief guide, we will answer the question,’how to thicken spaghetti sauce with tomato paste’. Also we will discuss other ways to thicken the spaghetti sauce and storage of tomato paste.

how to thicken spaghetti sauce with tomato paste

  • Add tomato sauce 

One easiest way to thick watery sauce is to balance it out with adding some thick foods or solid foods. Tomato paste itself is not solid, but its thickness will be thick spaghetti sauce. 

Tomato paste is a reasonably thick tomato based flavor additive. This will help to make your sauce more thicker. Tomato sauce is a great thing on hand when making tomato based pastas. It can enhance the flavor of the pasta and add thickness to the pasta. 

To make tomato sauce, boil tomatoes and blend. Cook tomato puree and wait for the water to evaporate. The more water is evaporated, the more paste will be thick. Add lemon juice to enhance the flavor of tomato paste. Lemon juice is added to bring out the acidity of the tomatoes. 

What is tomato paste?

Tomato paste is a thick tomato concentrate made by cooking down tomatoes for hours and straining out the skin and seeds. Tomato paste can be purchased in cans and tubes.

What is the difference between canned tomatoes and tomato paste?

Canned tomato sauce is stored in a can. These tomatoes are cooked and preserved using concentrated preservatives. Tomato paste is made from fresh tomatoes cooked and is not as concentrated as canned tomato paste. 

Other Ways to thicken spaghetti sauce.

  • Reduce the sauce by simmering 

This is the easiest way to thicken the spaghetti sauce. Simmer the sauce on low flame for about 10 to 15 minutes depending upon the quantity of sauce. This way will not alter your recipe in any way. Make sure to stir continuously to avoid starch in sauce.

  • Add cornstarch slurry

Cornstarch slurry is a very simple method to thicken the sauce. Cornstarch does not change the taste in any way. Taste of the dish remains the same. To make the mixture of cornstarch, add one part of cornstarch in one part of water. Mix well until corn starch gets dissolved. Slowly add this cornstarch slurry in the sauce and bring it to a boil. Sauce will get thick. 

  • Add mashed potatoes 

This method is a bit crazy, but this method is very effective. Just like cornstarch, potatoes are rich in starch. By adding potatoes, you will get a unique taste but it will thicken your sauce. 

  • Make a Roux

A roux is a combination of fat that is cooked for a little bit and flour. This method is a little difficult to cook butter and flour until the mixture stops tasting flour-ey. This is a very effective way to thicken sauce in commercial areas. 

Does spaghetti sauce need to be thick? 

Spaghetti sauce needs to be thick as it tastes yummy if it clings to the spaghetti and stays on. But this won’t happen if it’s watery or runny. If it’s not thick enough, spaghetti sauce will slide off on the bottom of the plate which will create mess.

Should you leave the skin and peels while cooking?

Skin and peel should not be removed while cooking. The reason is there is pectin in tomatoes which will get in the sauce and help to thicken the sauce. 

Some tomatoes make sauce bitter with its peel and skin. So it depends on the variety of tomatoes used depending on your taste. 

What kind of tomato paste should you get and how to store it? 

Tomato paste is a great thing when you are making tomato based spaghetti. It can enhance the flavor of the spaghetti or pasta. In some spaghetti, it is the key ingredient. The tomato paste you get for spaghetti is caramelized tomato paste which is thick enough. Thick tomato paste can be used in curry or any type of food to enhance the flavor of food. Tomato paste is the most important ingredient in most of the dishes. From making curry gravies to making sauce, tomato paste is a very important ingredient. 

Some foods in which tomato paste is very important are:

Red sauce spaghetti


Meat loafs 

Chunky tomato soup

Chickpea stew

Stuffed peppers

Tomato paste with sweet potato 

And many more .

How to store tomato paste 

There are different types of tomato paste used in the recipes like some use homemade, some use canned tomato paste and some use tube tomato paste.

Tomato paste is stored at a very cool temperature. All types of tomato paste should be stored in an airtight box or container. If tomato paste is kept open or without being freezed, it may get oxidized and change its color to black. Tomato paste can be stored for at least 3 months if stored or maintained correctly.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question,’how to thicken spaghetti sauce with tomato paste’. Also we discussed other ways to thicken the spaghetti sauce and storage of tomato paste.


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.