Learn how to thicken pasta sauce like an expert!

Pasta sauce is probably a staple in various recipes that you prepare regularly. Whether you’re blending it into spaghetti, spreading it over pizza, or serving it as a delectable dipping sauce for mozzarella sticks, it is always a hit. However, while preparing pasta sauce may be simple for you, understanding how to thicken it might be the tricky part, regardless of whether you prefer store-bought or handmade, chunky or silky.

The Best Ways to Thicken Pasta Sauce

Here are a few simple techniques to thicken your spaghetti or pasta sauce.

Let It Simmer

Boiling off part of the liquid is by far the simplest technique to thicken any sauce! Keep cooking the sauce for a few 5 to 20 more minutes on low heat (the time might vary based upon the ingredients you have added to your sauce).

Make sure to keep an eye on it and stir it constantly to prevent burning. This approach makes no changes to the taste of the sauce or the recipe, so it’s a wonderful go-to for thickening the sauce.

Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder

Cornstarch and arrowroot are gluten-free substitutes for flour to thicken the recipes and sauces. In addition, they’ll keep your sauce clean and cloud-free.

For every single cup of liquid in the recipe, you’ll need roughly 1 tbsp of cornstarch. To make a slurry, combine cornstarch and water and pour it into the saucepan. Over high heat, constantly whisk until the cornstarch is completely mixed and the sauce thickens.

In a nutshell, arrowroot is GMO-free and freezes more effectively than cornstarch. However, when coupled with dairy, it becomes slimy, therefore don’t use it as a gravy thickening.

Add Tomato Sauce

One technique to handle excess liquid in your sauce is to add additional solid liquids to the mix. For example, although tomato sauce isn’t solid, it will reflect its thickness in the sauce.

If you have extra tomato sauce on hand, it’s a simple addition that will only improve the sauce’s flavor. Of course, it’s also possible that you’ll end up with more sauce than you intended, but it freezes nicely and won’t go to waste.

Add Mashed Potatoes

The starch in potatoes thickens liquids by absorbing the extra moisture. It is a quick and easy remedy if you have leftover mashed potatoes. If not, you’ll have to peel a potato and either cook it separately or microwave it. Then mash those up and add in one spoon at a time and blend it before adding the next one; keep adding until desired thickness is achieved.

Egg Yolk

Egg yolk may twist the flavor of your sauce slightly, but it’s a terrific method to thicken your sauce. To perfectly add egg yolks to your sauce to achieve desired thickness; take a mixing bowl and blend yolks with a few teaspoons of the spicy sauce and toss to combine. Now add it gently to the sauce, while frequently stirring.

Do not add the egg yolks straight to your sauce as it will scramble due to the heat.

Tips to Make a Perfect Pasta Sauce

To acquire a thick textured sauce, make sure to keep the stove heat to medium until the first boil and then reduce the flame to low. This is a must-do technique if you are using fresh tomatoes. In the case of canned tomatoes do not forget to drain out the water before starting to cook it.

Another step that many people neglect is properly draining your pasta before adding it to the sauce!

Some recipes ask for some salty, starchy pasta water, but if you mistakenly add too much pasta water, your otherwise ideal sauce can become too watery. If your sauce has reached the desired thickness, drain your noodles completely before adding them.

Mouth-Watering Recommendations for You


Try these ideas the next time your sauce is a touch thin. There’s a good chance you’ll discover one that works for your recipe.


What can you do if your pasta sauce is too watery?

If your sauce is too watery, boil the sauce for another 5-20 minutes (depending on the ingredients you have added) until you reach the desired thickness.

Is it preferable to simmer with the lid on or off?

Because simmering takes some watching, it’s best to leave the cover off the pot until you’re certain the heat is consistent. Adding a cover will exacerbate the heat, and your recipe will be boiling again before you know it!