7 Ways To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti sauce is no stranger to all of us. As already know, the base ingredient of this sauce is tomato combine with other material and seasonings, therefore, it doesn’t only taste really good and match with pasta, but also provides many health benefits. 

Some people prefer homemade Spaghetti sauce while others stick to the processed store-bought one as they believe that its consistency is way better than the texture of your homemade sauce. This actually says the truth that you can easily turn your Spaghetti sauce too runny and nobody expects that.  

In this article, we will show you many recipes to fix your watery Spaghetti sauce so that even if you fail in making a thick sauce, you can be confident to salvage it.

How to thicken Spaghetti sauce with a starch thickener

Cornstarch will be the first option to thicken your Spaghetti sauce as it doesn’t have a strong flavor so the original flavor of the sauce won’t be altered. Here is how we will do:

Material

  • 1 tsp. of cornstarch or flour 
  • 1 tsp. of water 

Tools

  • A saucepan
  • A bowl   
  • A spoon

Instruction

  • Create a slurry from the above ratio of cornstarch and water (there is no exact amount but you should use the equal parts of water and cornstarch to create a paste)
  • Stir the slurry into the Spaghetti sauce while it’s simmering
  • Remove the pan of your sauce from the heat when the thickness reaches the right consistency

Notes

  • Make sure to pour the mixture of water and cornstarch into the sauce gradually, a little bit at once to avoid turning the sauce too thick 
  • You can make a roux from melted butter or olive oil with flour to use as a thickening agent and the next steps are the same as above. The time can be a little longer as you won’t enjoy the taste of raw flour

How to thicken Spaghetti sauce by reducing the sauce

Reducing the sauce or simmering it to let the excess water evaporate is an efficient way but also doesn’t change the initial flavor. So if you don’t have any material on hand, the easiest way is to bring your pot of sauce to the stovetop and let the heat do its job.

Material

  • None

Tools

  • A saucepan or a pot
  • A spoon

Instruction

  • Pour the sauce into a saucepan and put in the stovetop 
  • Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to allow it to keep simmering
  • Stir the sauce occasionally until it is thickened as you expect

Notes

  • Time will vary in this method depending on how much water you want to remove 
  • Uncover the pan or pot so that the water can evaporate quickly
  • Keep an eye on the sauce to avoid burning

How to thicken Spaghetti sauce with pasta water

You might be impressed with this method because normally, adding water will be only used to thin the sauce when it’s too thick. However, pasta water will have the opposite effect and works as a thickening agent. 

Material

  • 2 to 3 tsp. of pasta water

Tools

  • A saucepan
  • A pasta basket/ A strainer  
  • A spoon
  • A bowl

Instruction

  • After blanching, use a pasta basket or a strainer to extract the cooked pasta to a separate bowl
  • Add a couple of tsp. of pasta water to your Spaghetti sauce while it’s simmering
  • Stir the sauce frequently until the thickness reaches the right consistency

Notes

  • The sauce might be a bit watery at first when adding pasta water, but keep giving it a good stir then you will feel it gets thicken gradually

How to thicken Spaghetti sauce with mashed potatoes

Potatoes are loading with starch so if you have potatoes available in your kitchen, boil some, peel, then mash them to get a paste. Use the mashed potatoes as a thickener to fix your runny Spaghetti sauce.

Material

  • 1 to 2 potatoes

Tools

  • A saucepan
  • A pot 
  • A spoon
  • A peeler

Instruction

  • Boil 1 to 2 potatoes until they are a bit tender then peel them
  • Use a spoon or a fork to mash the cooked potatoes in a bowl or pot
  • Add the mashed potatoes to the sauce gradually
  • Stir the sauce occasionally until it is thickened as you expect

Notes

  • Boiling potatoes first will allow peeling easier, even with your hand, no need for a peeler
  • You can add a little milk or butter to the mashed potatoes if desired
  • This method might change the flavor of the Spaghetti sauce so make sure you are a potato lover, otherwise, it will be a waste if you don’t enjoy the fixed sauce

How to thicken Spaghetti sauce with breadcrumbs

Grounded breadcrumbs can work well to thicken a sauce since they are made primarily of flour. Breadcrumbs can be sold in a can at a supermarket, or to be saver, you can use the leftover bread to make fine crumbs.

Material

  • A cup of breadcrumbs

Tools

  • A saucepan
  • A spoon

Instruction

  • Add the breadcrumbs in a spoonful at a time to the simmering sauce
  • Stir the sauce occasionally until it is thickened as you expect

Notes

  • You don’t need to use the total breadcrumbs that you prepared, just add a little by little to check the consistency first then adjust the amount later
  • The sauce might look not really attractive due to the presence of breadcrumbs, but the flavor won’t change much and after all, the important purpose which is thickening the sauce is achieved

How to thicken Spaghetti sauce with grated cheese

Grated or shredded cheese can be also used to make your sauce thicker. This way can also save your time if you use soft or semi-soft cheese because it will melt quickly on low heat. 

Material

  • A block of cheese

Tools

  • A saucepan
  • A spoon
  • A grater

Instruction

  • Use a cheese grater to add grated cheese directly to the simmering sauce
  • Stir the sauce occasionally until it is thickened as you expect

Notes

  • You can choose any kind of cheese but remember that most cheese is rich in sodium so adding too much cheese can make your sauce salty
  • The taste of the sauce can be changed too and it’s great if you like the creamy flavor

How to thicken Spaghetti sauce with tomato paste

As already mentioned, Spaghetti sauce is the same as a tomato sauce as the main ingredient is tomatoes. Therefore, adding tomato paste to your red sauce is a good option to thicken the sauce without changing the flavor.

Material

  • 1 to 2 tbsp. of tomato paste

Tools

  • A saucepan
  • A spoon

Instruction

  • Add 1 tbsp. of tomato paste at a time to the sauce while it’s over the low heat to simmer
  • Stir the sauce occasionally until it is thickened as you expect

Notes

  • The tomato paste should be added to the sauce at the beginning so that the spices in the Spaghetti sauce will mellow the bland taste of the paste
  • You can also season the sauce later on if needed as the tomato paste is quite flat

How to thicken Spaghetti sauce with meat or veggies

Spaghetti sauce is not like other sauce, it is more special as it can be cooked with meat or varieties of veggies, therefore, adding these ingredients while making the sauce thicker is an ideal choice. Now we are going to have some guidelines when using these special materials.

Material

  • A cup of ground beef, turkey or pork
  • A cup of chopped or shredded onions, carrots, mushrooms or peppers

Tools

  • A saucepan
  • A spoon

Instruction

  • Add 1 tbsp. of the above material at a time to the sauce while it’s simmering
  • Stir the sauce occasionally 
  • Let it cook for a certain amount of time until these ingredients are soft 
  • Remove the pan from the heat and serve

Notes

  • The time will depend on the material you add to your sauce. Normally, mushrooms and carrots will take a longer time than others
  • This method can bring more savory flavors and nutrition values to your sauce thanks to the presence of meat and veggies. The longer the sauce simmer with the meat or vegetables, the more flavorful it is