How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce: 10 Common Methods

What is the most popular pasta shape in the world? Spaghetti and the accompanying sauce!

When it comes to pasta, a rich sauce is essential, yet we’ve all produced watery spaghetti sauce at some point. Getting the uniformity perfect might be a problem, but happily, it’s a simple remedy.

So, how do you thicken spaghetti sauce without making it a watery mess? There are 10 different approaches, ranging from adding mashed veggies, egg yolks, or cornstarch to boiling the sauce and employing pasta water.

The following are the most frequent methods for thickening spaghetti sauce:

  • Simmer the Spaghetti Sauce
  • Add Mashed Potatoes
  • Boil the Pasta With the Sauce
  • Add Roux
  • Add Cornstarch
  • Use Pasta Water
  • Add Egg Yolks
  • Add Cheese
  • Add Arrowroot Powder
  • Add Tomato Ketchup or Paste

1. Simmer the Spaghetti Sauce

Reduce the liquid quantity of a sauce to quickly thicken it. And how do you go about doing that? By allowing the liquid to simmer before allowing it to evaporate. This method will take around 30 minutes and will have no effect on the taste of your sauce.

Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat. To avoid overcooking, whisk your sauce often. Use a small pan or a large pot, and leave it uncovered while it simmers.

2. Add Mashed Potatoes

Because they contain starch, mashed potatoes may be used as a thickening agent. Plus, they make the spaghetti sauce taste better. (Tip: they are a terrific way to balance tastes if your sauce is extremely salty).

To begin, peel and boil a potato using a julienne peeleer. Then, mash it until smooth and mix in the cream or butter. Finally, add it to the sauce and aggressively whisk it in. The sauce does not need to be reheated before being combined with the mashed potatoes.

3. Boil the Pasta With the Sauce

The pasta may alternatively be cooked in the sauce. The sauce thickens and thickens without altering tastes as it absorbs the starch from the pasta. It also improves the absorption of the sauce by the pasta.

Begin cooking the pasta as normal, but drain the water before it becomes al dente. Cook the sauce and pasta in a skillet over low heat. To release the starch, stir the pasta. It will soak up any extra moisture and thicken the sauce.

4. Add Roux

Roux is used to thicken sauces and soups. Many foods benefit from its mild creaminess and nutty flavor.

A roux is made by blending equal parts flour and grease, most frequently butter, although oil also works. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the flour and whisk for a couple of minutes. When it’s done, add it to the spaghetti sauce.

5. Add Cornstarch

If your sauce is too thin, use cornstarch to thicken it. Cornstarch does not have a particular flavor, therefore it will not interfere with the taste of the sauce.

Combine equal parts cornstarch and water to produce a creamier sauce; no oil is required. Before adding the mixture to your sauce, stir it gently to prevent clumping.

To keep the sauce from getting too thick, slowly add the mixture and whisk for a few minutes on low heat to see how it turns out. If it’s still too thin, add a bit more until the consistency is just right.

6. Use Pasta Water

When creating homemade spaghetti sauce, use pasta broth instead of water to boil. Why? Because the pasta water is high in starch, a powerful thickening agent.

Allow your sauce to simmer on medium heat with one cup of pasta water. In a minute or two, the sauce will thicken. To make this work, your pasta broth must be made from traditional wheat pasta. Gluten-free pasta lacks starch and hence cannot thicken the sauce.

Also, keep in mind that this procedure only works if the sauce is made from scratch. Adding broth to an already weak sauce dilutes it even more.

7. Add Egg Yolks

Are you a lover of carbonara? Egg yolk is a terrific ingredient for thickening and flavoring sauces.

If you just put the egg into the sauce, it will cook fast and turn into scrambled eggs. Instead, combine it with a few tablespoons of the sauce in a mixing dish and thoroughly combine. Then carefully return the mixture to the sauce. Stir gently over low heat to keep the sauce at the proper consistency.

8. Add Cheese

Cheese is a very efficient technique to thicken spaghetti sauce. You may add any melted cheese to your sauce, such as parmesan, cheddar, cream cheese, or mozzarella.

You may even combine several varieties of cheese to get a creamier texture and a deeper taste. Simply shred the cheese into the sauce and bring it to a boil.

Then, gently add the cheese to the pan over low heat, stirring constantly. Finally, add the spaghetti and toss for a few minutes before serving, after everything is fully combined.

9. Add Arrowroot Powder

Do you want a vegan approach to thicken your spaghetti sauce? Consider using arrowroot powder. Because arrowroot has no distinguishing aroma or flavor, it’s an ideal method to thicken spaghetti sauce without altering the flavor.

To begin, form a thick paste by mixing equal quantities arrowroot powder and water. Next, over low heat, bring your sauce to a simmer.

Don’t bring it to a boil since adding arrowroot paste to a boiling sauce might ruin the texture. Allow it to reheat up on the stovetop.

Once the water is heated, gradually add the arrowroot mixture, stirring constantly.

10. Add Tomato Ketchup or Paste

By adding additional solids, such as ketchup, you may lower the quantity of liquid in the sauce.

If you don’t have ketchup on hand, tomato paste will suffice. To prevent a ketchup-heavy spaghetti sauce, add ketchup or tomato paste gradually to the sauce. Allow everything to boil for a few minutes over low heat before serving.

How to Avoid Watery Spaghetti Sauce?

Allowing the water to drain or evaporate throughout the cooking process is the key to generating a rich spaghetti sauce. Here are some pointers to prevent a watery sauce.

Wait for the Spaghetti to Fully Drain

If the pasta isn’t thoroughly drained, the spaghetti sauce will be runny. When you mix the vapor from the boiling pasta with the sauce, it may form a pool of water.

So drain well and set aside for a few minutes to allow the pasta to cool. Rinse the noodles to avoid adding water to the sauce.

Wait for the Tomatoes to Fully Drain

If your tomatoes aren’t completely cooked, the sauce will be too thin. To make a nice, rich sauce, simmer the tomatoes for around 45 minutes.


Hopefully, our advice will assist you in making rich and tasty spaghetti sauces. Choose one of the thickening agents mentioned below to make your spaghetti hot beneath the strainer.

To increase the consistency of your sauce, you may add cornstarch, egg yolks, spaghetti water, cheese, arrowroot powder, mashed potatoes, and a variety of other items.

Cooking the tomatoes for 45 minutes and draining the pasta before adding it to the sauce will help you produce a superb sauce every time.


What are 3 methods for thickening sauces?

Use these techniques and strategies to quickly mend thin, sloppy soups and underwhelming gravies.
Arrowroot or cornstarch.
Tomato sauce.
Reduce the amount of liquid.
Incorporate a pat of butter.
Mix with one egg yolk.
Vegetables should be pureed.

How do you thicken watery spaghetti sauce?

In a small dish, combine 14 cup water and cornstarch. Whisk together the first two ingredients until the cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the spaghetti sauce (make sure it’s heated). Bring the spaghetti sauce to a low boil; it should thicken fast.

How do you make spaghetti thicker?

In a roux, use all-purpose flour and save cornstarch, rice flour, tapioca starch, or arrowroot starch for a 1:1 slurry. 7. Increase the amount of tomato paste or tomato sauce: Use a tablespoon or two of canned tomato paste or one fourteen-ounce can of tomato sauce to thicken a sauce cooked with fresh tomatoes.

What is the easiest way to thicken up a sauce?

For each cup of medium-thick sauce, combine one tablespoon cornstarch with one tablespoon cold water (a cornstarch slurry). Mix the cornstarch and water completely before adding it to your sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened and bubbling.

What are the 5 thickening agents for sauces?

Cornstarch. Cornstarch is the most widely used thickening agent in the business.
Starches that have been pre-gelatinized. Pre-gelatinized starches are combined with sugar before being added to water or juice.
Gelatin… Algin (Sodium Alginate)…
Acacia or Gum Arabic.
Tragacanth gum.

What is a classic way to thicken sauces?

Whisk in 4 cup cold water until smooth. Over medium heat, add the mixture to the sauce and continue to swirl and simmer until the desired consistency is obtained. Use a spoon to test.Make use of Flour and Water.

2 tablespoons flour for every 1 cup

Does spaghetti sauce thicken the longer it cooks?

Tomatoes have a lot of water by nature, therefore simmering any sauce for a long time can help reduce part of the water content. During this time, the water will slowly but steadily evaporate, leaving behind a thicker, full-bodied, flavorful sauce.

How can I thicken sauce without flour or cornstarch?

Cauliflower, potatoes, and even carrots may be utilized to thicken a sauce in a very healthy manner. It’s also a terrific way to add more vegetables into your diet. The veggies must be simmered until soft, then pureed with a little water, if necessary, until smooth and creamy.

How do you thicken pasta sauce without adding anything?

Spaghetti Sauce Thickening Without Paste
Allow it to simmer. The simplest technique to thicken sauce is to simmer it on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
The slow cooker. This is a very easy technique! …
Sauce with tomatoes.
Slurry of corn starch.
Water for Pasta.
Cream of Tartar.
Potatoes mashed.

What does adding milk to spaghetti do?

Milk not only adds a rich flavor to the bolognese, but it also helps cut through the acidity of the tomatoes and red wine, according to our Food Director Amira. It also tenderizes the minced beef, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

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