How to thicken up tomato sauce? (13 ways how)
In this article, we will answer the question “How to thicken up tomato sauce?”.
How to thicken up tomato sauce?
If you have ever made tomato sauce at home but the consistency is not rich and creamy enough, read this article to find out what you can do to save this sauce. Tomato sauce is the base of many recipes including lasagna, spaghetti, pizza, chili, stews, and soups. Discarding the sauce because of its not-good-enough consistency seems like a waste of resources. Read on if you want to know the saving hacks.
Add a thickening agent
Add cornflour/cornstarch, arrowroot powder, potato starch to thicken the sauce. Start with adding only a teaspoon. Because the starch will alter the flavor of the sauce. Cornstarch adds a certain gloss to the sauce. Dissolve the starch or flour first in cold water before adding it to the sauce.
Add tomato paste
Tomato paste is a very good thickener for your homemade tomato sauce. Add one or two tablespoons and adjust the spices if the sauce changes its flavor after adding the paste. Add it at the beginning to extract essential oils from it.
Add ground or shredded carrots, celery, peppers, caramelized onions, mushrooms, or diced tomatoes in your sauce. These vegetables add a whole lot of flavor and nutrition to tour plain tomato sauce. The starch in these vegetables helps thicken the sauce.
Instead of whole vegetables, mashed vegetables can also be added to your sauce for thickening. Mashed celery roots, kabocha, cauliflower, or mashed butternut squash can thicken your sauce whilst adding a lot of flavors.
Add some flavored oil preferably olive oil to the homemade sauce. Olive oil adds a lot of herbaceous and warm flavor to the sauce meanwhile imparting richness to its consistency. Blend the sauce with the oil in an immersion-style blender for a smoother consistency.
Alternatively, add one cup of melted butter for every cup of sauce. Blend or whisk to emulsify the fats. Both of these additions add a lot of calories to the basic sauce.
Throw in mashed potatoes
Mash some peeled and boiled potatoes. Add some milk or butter to the mashed potatoes if you like. Now incorporate this mixture into the sauce. The end-product might taste a bit sweet. To adjust that, you can add some more chili. Potatoes are packed with starch which helps thicken the sauce.
Use leftover pasta water
Add some leftover pasta water into your sauce. The starch in the potato water will thicken the sauce while simmering.
Toss in some breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are made up of flour. Add some store-bought breadcrumbs or make your own at home by toasting bread and blending it into a food processor. The flour in the breadcrumbs will thicken the sauce whilst altering the texture a bit. Breadcrumbs will act like a sponger and absorb all the excess water.
Low boil or simmer
If you do not want to take any chances on the flavor of the sauce, you can just stick to simmering the sauce on low flame. Do not put the lid on and stir frequently to prevent the sauce from burning.
Add some roux
To make a roux, melt about a cup of butter in a skillet and add 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Add some milk or stoke and cook on low flame until smooth. Add the roux in the sauce slowly while stirring continuously. The end-product will have a slightly different flavor. Substitute the plain flour with gluten-free flour if you have a gluten allergy.
Add egg yolk
Egg yolks are used to thicken cream sauces, custards, and salad dressings. You can use it to thicken your tomato use. Do not add the egg yolk directly to the hot sauce as it will curdle up. Instead, whisk the egg yolk in half a cup of hot sauce and slowly add to your sauce while continuously whisking the sauce. Simmer your sauce until desired consistency is achieved.
Grate some cheddar, parmesan, or romano cheese to thicken your tomato sauce. The sodium in the processed cheese will make the sauce taste a bit saltier.
The addition of cream to your tomato sauce adds a lot of richness to the consistency. This will also reduce the heat of the spices and the acidity of the tomatoes. It makes for a perfect spaghetti sauce.
Cook ground beef, turkey, pork, or Italian sausage and add it to your sauce. The addition of meat adds a lot of exciting flavors to your homemade tomato sauce while thickening it.
Other FAQs about Sauces which you may be interested in.
How long is alfredo sauce good for in the fridge?
How long can pasta sauce last in the fridge?
In this article, we answered the question “How to thicken up tomato sauce?”.