How to thicken spaghetti sauce

how to thicken spaghetti sauce
Table of Contents

introducing the basics of thicker sauce

Introducing the Basics of Thicker Sauce

If you’ve wondered how to thicken spaghetti sauce, you’re in the right place. Thicker sauce instantly amplifies the taste of your favorite pasta dish. It clings onto the pasta and offers a rich, robust flavor. You can play with multiple ingredients to achieve this thickness. Contrary to common belief, it’s not just about reducing the water content. It also relies on intelligent use of some key ingredients.

When aiming for a thicker sauce, it’s essential to pay attention to the ingredients you’re using and the cooking procedure. One of the most common culprits of watery spaghetti sauce is excess water. To solve this, you can simply let the sauce simmer for a longer time, allowing the water to evaporate naturally. This method can also deepen the flavors of your sauce.

Approach 1: Add Mashed Potatoes to Your Sauce Recipe

Your sauce recipe can immensely benefit from the addition of mashed potatoes. Potatoes, naturally loaded with starch, can help thicken a sauce without compromising the flavor. Mashed potatoes particularly blend seamlessly, adding a touchy creamy texture without adulterating the original taste of the dish. This method is not just super easy but also ideal for vegetarians.

Add small amounts of mashed potatoes to the sauce and stir well until it is entirely incorporated. Gradually, repeat the process until you reach the desired thickness. The key here is to add the mashed potatoes while the spaghetti sauce is simmering to ensure it blends well with the sauce.

approach 2 diversify textures with ground beef or sausage

Approach 2: Diversify Textures with Ground Beef or Sausage

Another tasty way to achieving a thicker sauce is to add ground beef or sausage. Meat is known not just to thicken your spaghetti sauce, but also to add a new dimension of flavor. This method is particularly suitable for those who don’t mind a meaty sauce in their pasta dish.

For this method, brown the meat in a separate pan and then add it to your pasta sauce. Stirring constantly, let the meat spread its flavors, creating a delicious and thicker marinara sauce.

process 3 thicken your sauce with tomato paste

Process 3: Thicken Your Sauce with Tomato Paste

A common method for thickening sauce is using tomato sauce. Due to its concentrated and rich flavor, tomato sauce can effectively thicken the sauce. This process is quite simple: just add equal parts of tomato sauce into your spaghetti sauce, stirring constantly. It’s a super easy and delicious way to a thicker pasta sauce.

Tomato paste not only thickens the sauce beautifully, but it enhances the tomatoey undertones intensely, resulting in a richer pasta dish.

approach 4 pasta water a borrowed thickening agent

Approach 4: Pasta Water: A Borrowed Thickening Agent

A saving tip most professionals swear by is to use pasta water as a thickening agent. The starch in the pasta water can transform a watery spaghetti sauce into a thick, creamy texture. It’s an ingenious way to recycle cooking water and reap a twofold benefit.

To exploit this, simply scoop some pasta water from the pot you’re cooking pasta in and slowly add it to the sauce, stirring constantly. The great thing about pasta water is that it won’t alter your sauce’s flavor, but still magically thicken it.

approach 5 small amounts of flour for thickening sauce

Approach 5: Small Amounts of Flour for Thickening Sauce

A traditional and efficient way of thickening sauce is using flour. Add flour gradually in small amounts to avoid creating a chunky sauce. Remember, the sauce you’ll make with this method should be cooked a bit longer to prevent tasting raw flour in your spaghetti dish.

The trick is to create a simple roux by combining flour with butter or oil, and then adding your tomato sauce in. Stirring constantly is key to avoiding clumps and achieving a silky and thick sauce.

gather thoughts go slowly and stir

Gather Thoughts, Go Slowly, and Stir

To sum it up, understanding how to thicken spaghetti sauce is an excellent way to amplify the taste and texture of your pasta dish. The secret lies in slow cooking, stirring constantly, and playing with various ingredients in equal parts. Follow these guidelines, and you’re set to enjoy a lusciously thick pasta sauce.

Remember, thickening your sauce doesn’t have to be intricate or costly. It’s about using what’s on hand smartly. Whether it’s adding mashed potatoes, tomato paste, pasta water, or flour – what’s important is to approach it gradually and stir consistently.

faq 16


What can I use to thicken my spaghetti sauce? 

You can use mashed potatoes, ground beef or sausage, tomato sauce, pasta water, or flour to thicken spaghetti sauce.

How can I make my spaghetti sauce thicker without altering the taste? 

Using pasta water or mashed potatoes can thicken your spaghetti sauce without changing its flavor significantly.

Is adding meat a good way to thicken spaghetti sauce? 

Yes, adding ground beef or sausage not only thickens the sauce but offers a flavorful twist to your pasta dish.

Can tomato sauce be used to thicken spaghetti sauce? 

Yes, equal parts of tomato sauce can be added to your spaghetti sauce to thicken it and enhance its flavor.

Can I use flour as a thickening agent for spaghetti sauce? 

Yes, you can. However, make sure to combine it with butter or oil first, then cook it a bit longer to avoid a raw flour taste in your dish.

Why should I be stirring constantly while thickening the sauce? 

Stirring constantly prevents the formation of lumps or chunks in your sauce, ensuring a smooth and creamy texture.

Is adding mashed potatoes to spaghetti sauce a good idea? 

Yes, mashed potatoes can significantly thicken your spaghetti sauce without changing its flavor.

How does pasta water help in thickening spaghetti sauce? 

The starch present in pasta water acts as a natural thickening agent, lending a creamy texture to your spaghetti sauce.

What contributes to a watery spaghetti sauce? 

Excess water and insufficient thickening agents can lead to a watery spaghetti sauce.

Is it hard to thicken spaghetti sauce?

No, thickening spaghetti sauce is super easy once you understand the right techniques and ingredients to use.