How To Thicken Tomato Sauce 9 Ways To Do It Right

Tomato Sauce is a thick, rich, savory sauce made from tomatoes. It is used as a base ingredient in many dishes such as pasta sauces, soups, stews, casseroles, and chili.

There are many different types of tomato sauces. Some are thicker while others are thinner. The thickness of the sauce depends on the type of ingredients used. For example, if you use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones, your sauce will be much thicker than one that uses canned tomatoes.

Tomato sauce is a staple in every home cook’s kitchen. Whether you’re making pasta, pizza, lasagna, or even spaghetti, tomato sauce is an essential ingredient.

But if you’ve ever tried to thicken tomato sauce, you know that it’s not always easy. The problem is that tomatoes contain water, which makes it hard to get a thick consistency.

Luckily, there are ways to thicken tomato sauce without adding too much extra liquid. In this article, I’ll teach you how to thicken tomato sauce using nine different methods.

How To Thicken Tomato Sauce?

Tomato sauce is an essential ingredient in Italian cuisine. It adds flavor and color to pasta dishes, pizza, lasagna, and other Italian favorites. However, homemade tomato sauce can be tricky to make. The key to making a thick, flavorful tomato sauce is to use ripe tomatoes.

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It’s vital to know that thickening tomato sauce by simmering takes time. A couple of other sauce thickening techniques can be extremely successful when used in conjunction with the simmering approach. While tomato paste can thicken and flavor your homemade sauce, adding more starchy components and fillers can help reduce the amount of water in it.

If you want to thicken your tomato sauce, there are several ways to do it. One way is to add cornstarch. Another way is to use a food processor. In this article, I will show you how to thicken tomato sauce with several methods.

Thicken tomato sauce by reducing liquid

The first method for thickening tomato sauce involves reducing its volume. This means taking away some of the liquid so that the remaining mixture becomes more concentrated. You can also reduce the amount of salt added to the recipe.

To achieve this effect, simply simmer the sauce over low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Then turn off the stove and let the sauce cool down before proceeding further. You may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the size of your pan. If you have a large pot, then you might only need about 10 minutes. But if you have a small skillet, it could take up to 30 minutes.

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You should stir the sauce occasionally during the process. When stirring, try to avoid splashing any hot liquids onto yourself because they burn easily. Also, don’t forget to taste the sauce periodically to see whether it needs additional seasoning. Furthermore, once the sauce starts boiling again after being reduced, stop heating it immediately. Otherwise, the sauce will continue to boil vigorously and eventually become scorched.

Cooking tomato sauce in the oven is a good option.

Another option for thickening tomato sauce is to bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes. During baking, the moisture content inside the sauce decreases as well as the overall thickness increases. So, while the sauce cooks, it gets thicker.

This technique works best for sauces containing lots of vegetables like carrot, celery, onion, etc. Since these ingredients release their juices into the sauce, they dilute the final product. Therefore, you must cook them separately from the main course or else they won’t get cooked properly.

Cooked vegetables such as carrots, onions, potatoes, and mushrooms work great for thickening tomato sauce. They absorb all the excess liquid present in the sauce. Once baked, the resulting dish tastes delicious.

Simmer in a large, shallow pan.

The third method for thickening tomato sauces is to simmer them in a wide, shallow container. For example, a cast-iron skillet would work perfectly fine. As long as the bottom surface area of the pan is larger than the height of the sauce, the entire contents will remain submerged under the liquid.

In order to prevent burning, keep the temperature below 200 degrees Fahrenheit. And remember not to cover the pan completely since steam will escape through the lid. Instead, leave an opening near the top where you can pour out extra water when necessary.

When using this method, be careful not to overcook the tomatoes. The goal here is to make sure that the sauce doesn’t lose too much flavor. However, if you’re looking for a richer tasting result, then go ahead and increase the cooking time. Just bear in mind that the longer you cook the sauce, the less flavorful it’ll end up becoming.

Thicken tomato sauce with fillers

If you want to thicken tomato sauce without adding flour or other additives, there are several options available. One way is by blending some fresh herbs into the mixture. This helps add more texture and color to the finished product.

Another option is to use canned beans instead of fresh ones. Beans contain natural starch which makes them perfect for thickening soups and stews. However, one thing to note is that canned beans tend to produce a slightly bitter taste. If you prefer your food to have no bitterness whatsoever, then opt for dried beans instead.

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Tomato Paste

One of the most popular ways to thicken tomato sauce is to use tomato paste. In fact, many people consider tomato paste to be the ultimate ingredient for making homemade pasta sauce.

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To begin with, tomato paste contains high levels of salt. That’s why we recommend reducing its amount before mixing it with any other ingredients. You should also reduce the quantity of sugar added to the mix. Too much sugar tends to cause the sauce to become overly sweet. Next, choose a brand of tomato paste that has been made specifically for culinary purposes. Some brands include spices and seasonings along with tomato paste itself.


You may already know about cornstarch but just in case you don’t, let us tell you how it works. Cornstarch is basically a type of starch derived from maize. When mixed with hot liquids, it absorbs moisture and creates a smooth consistency.

For instance, take a cup of boiling water and stir in two tablespoons of cornstarch. After five minutes, the solution will turn clear and glossy. At this point, you can either strain the mixture or simply discard the excess cornstarch.

Once again, cornstarch isn’t suitable for all types of recipes. So, if you plan on using it to thicken tomato sauce, then try to avoid foods like meatloaf and lasagna. These dishes usually require lots of eggs and cheese so they won’t absorb enough moisture to create a nice creamy consistency.


You can also use breadcrumbs for thickening tomato sauce and other sauces as well. Bread crumbs come in different sizes depending on their purpose. For example, whole wheat bread crumbs are ideal for creating savory pasta while regular white bread crumbs work best for baking cakes and pies.

The key to getting good results is to ensure that the breadcrumb size matches the thickness of the sauce being used. Also, make sure that the breadcrumbs aren’t stale at all. Otherwise, they might fall apart during the process.


A roux is essentially an emulsion created when butter is cooked over low heat until browned. The resulting mixture is often referred to as a "butter-flavored oil." Once formed, the roux can be combined with various liquid mixtures such as milk, stock, cream, etc., to form a variety of delicious sauces.

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It helps in thickening tomato sauce by adding flavor and richness without affecting the overall texture. Roux comes in three forms: flour/water, fat/oil, and egg yolk/milk. Each kind offers unique benefits. Flour/water roux offers more control than those containing fats since they’re less likely to burn. Egg yolks provide additional protein content whereas milk adds body and viscosity.


Thickening sauces is a great way to give flavor to dishes. It is important to note that thickening sauces are not always done with flour. In fact, many people prefer to use other ingredients such as cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, milk, eggs, or even butter.If you are thinking of thickening your tomato sauce using butter then here are some tips:

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1) Make sure that the butter is soft. If it is too hard, then it will break down into smaller pieces which could affect the texture of the final product.

2) Add only half the amount of butter required by the recipe. This ensures that there is no chance of burning the dish.

3) Use unsalted butter instead of salted butter. Salting butter makes it harder to melt. As a result, it takes a longer time to cook.

You’ll need a lot of butter to thicken the sauce with this addition. Add a cup of thoroughly whipped, silky smooth melted butter to every cup of tomato sauce. When you combine the two in a tomato sauce, you get a delicious pizza and pasta sauce.


Another popular ingredient for making sauces thicker is cheese. Cheese has been around since ancient times. However, its popularity increased after World War II because it was one of the few food items available throughout Europe.

There are several ways to add cheese to a sauce. You can mix grated cheese directly into the sauce before cooking. Or, you can sprinkle shredded cheese onto the top of the finished dish. Another option is to incorporate cheese powder into the sauce itself.

Lemon Juice

This method works especially well for lemon-based sauces. Simply squeeze fresh lemons into hot water and let them sit overnight. Then strain out the juice from the pulp and discard the rest. Combine the strained lemon juice with sugar and salt. Stir together until dissolved. Finally, stir in vinegar and pepper flakes.

Mashed Vegetables

You can also use mashed vegetables if you want to thicken your tomato sauce Just mash up whatever vegetable you have handy. Mix the mashed veggies with enough olive oil to create a paste consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the paste slowly over medium heat until it becomes slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside.

Now simply pour the tomato sauce over the cooked vegetable paste and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.


The best thing about these methods is that they do not require any special equipment. All you need is a pot and stovetop. So, go ahead and try all nine different ways to make your tomato sauce thicker!

I hope this post helps you out with all your food curiosities.

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