Watery Tomato Pasta Sauce Here’s How To Thicken It

Tomato Pasta Sauce is a thick, rich, red sauce made from crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, herbs, and other ingredients. It is used as a base for soups, stews, casseroles, sauces, and other dishes.

Tomato Pasta Sauces are usually served warm or hot, but cold versions are also available. They are often used as an ingredient in Italian dishes such as lasagna, spaghetti bolognese, and meatballs.

If you love pasta sauce, then you probably also love tomato sauce. But if you’ve been making your own tomato sauce, you may have noticed that it’s often watery.

You may think that this is just how tomato sauces are supposed to taste. But there’s a way to thicken up your homemade tomato sauce without adding extra ingredients.

In this article, I’ll show you how to make tomato sauce thicker using only two simple ingredients.

Why is My Pasta Sauce Watery?

The main reason why most people end up with watery tomato pasta sauce is that they don’t add enough salt when cooking the sauce.

Salt helps draw out moisture from foods like vegetables and meats so that they can be cooked properly. If you’re not salting your food while cooking, you could end up with a very bland dish.

How to Fix Watery Tomato Sauce

How To Thicken Watery Pasta Sauce?

Pasta sauce is an essential part of Italian cuisine. It’s used to add flavor to pasta dishes and also to thicken soups and stews. If you’re looking to make a delicious homemade pasta sauce, then you’ll want to use quality ingredients.

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You should always try to buy the freshest ingredients possible because they taste better and are healthier for you. However, if you find yourself running out of fresh ingredients, there are ways to thicken watery sauces.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to thicken watery pasta sauce using a few simple methods.

Longer Reducing Time

The best way is to increase the reducing time on your stovetop. This will help reduce the amount of liquid left over after boiling your sauce. You can do this by increasing the heat under your pan and allowing the sauce to simmer longer than usual.

This method works well for any type of sauce including tomato sauce. The key here is to keep stirring frequently so that all parts of the sauce get heated evenly. Giving it more time helps ensure that no areas remain uncooked. Do not keep the lid off during this process.

Adding More Vegetables

Another option is to add some additional vegetables to your sauce. For example, you can stir in chopped carrots, celery, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, corn kernels, beans, etc.

These veggies contain natural sugars which act as sweeteners. Adding them to your sauce will give it a sweeter taste. However, remember that these vegetables need to cook long enough before being added to your sauce. Otherwise, their raw flavors might overpower your finished product. So plan ahead!

Finish Cooking The Pasta In The Sauce

Finally, another way to thicken your sauce is to finish cooking the pasta in the sauce itself. When you boil pasta, its starch cooks into a thick paste called "starch." By finishing cooking the pasta in the same pot where you made the sauce, you allow both components to become one cohesive mixture.

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The Right Way to Sauce Pasta

When you combine the pasta and sauce together, you create a creamy texture that makes your sauce much richer. Plus, since the pasta has already been boiled, you won’t have to worry about overcooking it.

So now that you know how to thicken water-based sauces, let’s take a look at our first recipe: Homemade Marinara Sauce.

Add Starchy Pasta Water To The Sauce

You can also try adding starchy past water This technique involves draining excess water from leftover pasta or rice. Then place the drained pasta back into the saucepan along with the rest of the ingredients. Cook everything until the desired consistency is reached.

If you’d prefer to skip making extra pasta water, just drain the pasta right away when done cooking. That way, you don’t waste anything. Using part of the pasta water as a follow-up to the preceding procedure can yield even greater results. Because the pasta has been cooked in it, a lot of starch has been released into the water, which makes it ideal for thickening watery sauces.

To make sure you’re getting the maximum benefit out of this step, be sure to use only fresh pasta water. If you are unsure whether or not the pasta was previously frozen, check the package label. Frozen pasta should never be used because it contains additives like stabilizers and preservatives. These chemicals prevent the pasta from absorbing moisture properly. As such, they cause the noodles to dry out quickly.

Cornstarch Slurry

The next thing we’ll do is prepare a slurry using cornstarch. Cornstarch is an ingredient commonly found in Asian cuisines. You may recognize it by its yellow color.

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In order to achieve the best possible result, you want to mix equal amounts of flour and cornstarch. Since there isn’t really a standard ratio between each, feel free to experiment on your own. Just keep in mind that if you go too far overboard, you could end up with something resembling glue instead of a smooth sauce.

Once you’ve mixed the two types of starches together, slowly pour in cold water while whisking constantly. Once all the liquid has been incorporated, continue stirring until the mixture becomes very thick. At this point, you can either strain the resulting slurry through a cheesecloth or simply discard any remaining solids.


Now that you understand how to thicken water-based sauces, you might wonder what other ways exist to accomplish the task. In fact, there are many different methods available. For example, you can add breadcrumbs, crushed tomatoes, cream, milk, yogurt, eggs, etc., but these options aren’t always practical.

For instance, some people find it difficult to get their hands on dairy products. Others dislike the idea of having to cook eggs before combining them with the sauce.

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