Will Tomato Paste Thicken Sauce?

Due to its paste-like consistency, this highly concentrated tomato-based product naturally thickens any pasta sauce while enhancing tomato flavor. Using tomato paste as a natural thickener for sauces using tomato as the base is one of the best uses for it, according to Arturo. This common pantry item will aid to change the sauce’s consistency as well as bring out the rich, delicious tastes of the tomato sauce. He advises using one or two tablespoons, and you’ll be well on your way to making the ideal sauce.

How may a tomato sauce be made thicker?

Sauce that is too thin is not rubbish. It is like a canvas waiting to have life painted on it. All you will probably need to do is put the red sauce in a pan or skillet and let it simmer, whether you make it from scratch or pour it out of a can.

To ensure that you have a great, thick tomato sauce on your hands, we are offering you a number of options.

Let It Simmer

The simplest way to reduce the sauce’s liquid content is to let it simmer on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Simmer for anything from 10 to 45 minutes, or until the desired consistency is reached. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

Slow Cooker

This technique is a very easy trick! Transfer the mixture to a small crockpot and cook it for a few hours if you have the patience to wait for it to thicken. While cooking for up to 4 hours, stir continuously.

Tomato Paste

Add some tomato paste if you have a can on hand to the mixture! One of the easiest ways to increase sauce thickness and flavor is to do it this way. On the stovetop, stir and simmer for 5 minutes, or until thoroughly blended and heated.

Another excellent method to provide a chunky texture without significantly changing the flavor is to add a straightforward tomato puree.

Marinara Sauce

The addition of marinara sauce will instantly thicken the mixture and give it a powerful taste character. Making a batch of homemade marinara will be well worth the effort if you have a few additional minutes.

Corn Starch Slurry

A simple method for fast thickening sauce is to add a cornstarch slurry. Simply blend 1/4 cup each of water and cornstarch in an equal ratio. Stir into the sauce after smoothing with a whisk.

The use of starches should only be considered as a last resort because they may cause lumps in a sauce composed entirely of tomatoes.


Roux is a fat-and-flour thickening agent that commonly uses butter, though other oils may be substituted. Warm up 1/4 cup of butter in a different pan or skillet over medium heat. All-purpose flour should be added in equal amounts and whisked until smooth.

Stir the addition into the sauce until everything is mixed and heated. When you also want to get a thick consistency and flavor, this is a fantastic way.

It should be noted that adding starchy elements could result in lumps in a sauce made only of tomatoes.

Will tomato paste make spaghetti sauce thicker?

If your spaghetti sauce is too thin, use any of the following techniques to thicken it to the right consistency before adding cooked pasta:

  • 3. Add ground beef: Adding solids that improve the flavor of any red sauce, such ground meat, is one of the easiest methods to thicken it. A half-pound of ground beef or premade meatballs will give your tomato sauce the substantial solidity of a meat sauce like Bolognese. When the protein is cooked through but still juicy, break up the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon, return it to the pot, and let the sauce simmer.
  • 4.Add a scoop of leftover mashed potatoes: Add a few tablespoons of leftover mashed potatoes to your sauce at a time, stirring thoroughly in between additions, if you have any in the refrigerator. After letting the potatoes absorb the extra liquid, simmer the sauce for a sufficient amount of time to cook away the sauce’s starchy flavor. Before serving, taste the food and make any necessary spice adjustments.
  • 5.Simmer and reduce: Allowing a sauce to simmer and decrease over low heat is one of the finest methods to thicken it. Reducing won’t change the original sauce recipe in any way, but it will require more cooking time than other techniques.
  • 6.Add flour: While roux or a slurry (equal parts starch and water) can be useful with a red sauce, starch is typically the primary component in white cream sauces. Save cornstarch, rice flour, tapioca starch, or arrowroot starch for a 1:1 slurry and use all-purpose flour for roux.
  • 7.Add additional tomato paste or tomato sauce: You can use a tablespoon or two of canned tomato paste or one fourteen-ounce can of tomato sauce to thicken a fresh tomato sauce. Both enhance the sauce’s rich tomato flavor and slightly thicken it. After either addition, continue the reduction.

What technique is used the most frequently to thicken tomato sauce?

Although starch is a carbohydrate, it can physically bind most foods together when used as a thickening agent. Simply adding starch items to your sauce will greatly thicken it, and there are a number of starch products that go well with tomato sauce that are readily available.

No matter the sauce or the pasta dish, you should always reserve part of the water the pasta was cooked in if your sauce is going into a pasta dish so you can later add it to the meal. The so-called “pasta water” has a high starch content and can thicken other sauces in addition to tomato sauce. You can also immediately add cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or even a little flour to your sauce for a more direct method.

Another particularly fascinating starch choice is mashed potatoes. According to Lacademie, you may make your tomato sauce thicker and more textured by blending some mashed potatoes into it.

Should I make my spaghetti sauce with tomato paste?

When making a tomato-based pasta sauce, tomato paste is an excellent ingredient to have on hand because it can enhance the already-present umami tomato flavors. This straightforward marinara sauce, which may be made entirely from canned tomatoes, contains it as a crucial component. It is also important in this bold, salty puttanesca sauce. This straightforward, delectable pasta sauce can be made even if you don’t have any other canned tomato products on hand using tomato paste, garlic, and olive oil. If fresh herbs are not available, substitute dried herbs or omit them completely.

Make basic beans extra delicious

We use dried beans frequently in my household, and I’ve discovered that tomato paste is the best way to prepare them. I cut or halves an onion and crush a few garlic cloves before browning them in a Dutch oven with a generous amount of olive oil. I’ll next add a small amount of cocoa powder, a dollop or two of tomato paste, and whatever other spices I’m feeling that day—typically a blend of smoked paprika, chili flakes, and oregano—and caramelize the paste before adding beans, stock, or water. The bean broth gains a delightful sense of richness as a result.

What are three methods for thickening a sauce?

Reducing the liquid in a sauce is the simplest way to thicken it. You can accomplish this by simmering or fully boiling your sauce while leaving the lid off so the steam can escape. Keep in mind that if your sauce is just a tiny bit too thin, this is a good remedy. This isn’t the greatest course of action for a sauce that requires a complete makeover and is quite watery. Consider it like this: By concentrating the flavor while lowering the liquid, you may affect the amount of salt. A sauce that wasn’t intended to be decreased at all could become too salty if it is cut in half. Consider using one of the thickening agents listed below if your sauce requires substantial thickening.

This information was pulled from a poll. At their website, you might be able to discover the same material in a different format or more details.


The most popular method for thickening sauces without flour is probably cornstarch. You only need roughly half as much of it as you would if you were using conventional flour, and it is simple to use and widely accessible at food stores. Simply add a spoonful or two, dissolve in a little water, and mix into the sauce while it simmers until thickened. This might not be the ideal choice for you, though, if you’re attempting to avoid grains.

Arrowroot or Tapioca Flour

You can use either of these choices in the same manner that you would use cornstarch in a recipe. The key advantage in this case is that they may both be utilized on a Paleo diet because they are free of grains.


In order to enable recipes like no-bake cheesecakes, pies, or other custard desserts set, gelatin is an animal-based thickening agent. By dissolving it in some water before adding it to the sauce, it can also be used to thicken sauces. Be patient before adding extra gelatin as it may take some time to thicken.

Vegetable Puree

Using vegetables to thicken a sauce is a very healthy option. Examples of such vegetables are cauliflower, potatoes, and even carrots. Additionally, it’s a fantastic method to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet. The veggies must be heated until they are tender, then pureed with a little water, if necessary, until they are creamy and smooth. As you incorporate the pureed veggie into your sauce, mix it thoroughly.

Cashew Cream

Cashew cream, like the vegetable puree mentioned above, may be a terrific option for thickening a sauce and offers a velvety feel similar to that of adding typical dairy cream. Half a cup of raw cashews should be boiled in water for 15 minutes to soften them before making cashew cream. After being drained, add the cashews and one or two tablespoons of water to a high-speed blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. As necessary, add extra water.

Oat Flour

When using a substitute for typical wheat flour to thicken sauces, oat flour is a fantastic choice. To produce a roux, use it similarly to flour, or combine it with a little water to create a slurry before adding it to the sauce. Keep in mind that oat flour has a little nuttier, whole-grain flavor than conventional wheat flour.

Egg Yolk

Egg yolk is an excellent alternative if you want to thicken a sauce without using grains or additional carbohydrates, even though it might not be the first thing that springs to mind. It’s especially beneficial if you’re cooking a thick, creamy sauce that will profit from the yolk’s silkiness. The yolk must first be tempered before being added to hot liquid. Whisk the egg yolk(s) after placing them in a bowl. Once you have roughly a cup of liquid, begin carefully drizzling part of the hot liquid into the scrambled yolk while continuing to stir. The heated liquid can then be whisked back into it to finish thickening the sauce.

How can watery spaghetti sauce be thickened?

Add the flour to the saucepan when the butter has melted, then whisk the mixture.

After the roux has cooked for one to two minutes, mix it into the pasta sauce.

Pasta sauce should start to thicken rapidly after being brought to a gentle heat.

Cornstarch Slurry

Pasta sauce should be blended with the cornstarch slurry.

The pasta sauce should soon thicken after being brought to a low simmer.

Starchy Pasta Water

Before straining the pasta after cooking it for your spaghetti sauce, drain 1 cup of the starchy pasta water from the saucepan.

Start by adding 1/4 cup of pasta water to your spaghetti sauce in order to thicken it.

Pasta sauce should be whisked into the starchy pasta water before being gently simmered.

If the sauce isn’t as thick as you’d like, continue adding 1 spoonful at a time of starchy pasta water to the sauce until it is.

Does simmering make sauce thicker?

In slow-simmered ragus or pan sauces, the simplest method to thicken a sauce is to decrease the liquid in a pot on the stove.

A ragu is often made by simmering browned meat in wine or stock to bring out the flavors. The liquid starts out weak and watery, but as the water evaporates, it thickens up and coats each piece of meat perfectly.

The same idea can be used for any sauce reduction:

  • Until the sauce has the consistency you prefer, simmer it in a sauce pot.
  • Keep the saucepan uncovered so that any extra liquid can evaporate.
  • To avoid curdling or sauce separation, don’t boil the liquid.
  • Remember that simmering brings out the flavors of the sauce. You may wish to use less salt (or low-sodium broth) depending on how long the sauce is reduced in order to prevent the mixture from tasting overly salty.
  • To stop sauces from splattering everywhere, you may buy a spatter guard.

This approach works well for:

  • Tomato-based sauces, such as curry, meat sauces, and marinara
  • Braising liquids and pan sauces
  • BBQ sauces and glazes (balsamic or honey soy).
  • lowering the amount of heavy cream to make a thicker base sauce for pizza or spaghetti