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Thickening Tomato Sauce: Easy Guide to Perfect Consistency

If you have ever made homemade tomato sauce, you know that the ingredients are simple.

The cooking process is even simpler. Most people like tomato sauce, and it can be served fresh or used to cook other foods.

Some people feel that tomato sauce has too watery, especially when food is served hot.

However, every once in a while, someone comes along and has issues with the thickness of their sauce.

The runny sauce can also mess your tablecloth if food is not being eaten right away.

Thickening the sauce as it cooks will solve this problem because it will not run over.

Tomato sauce thickening is a simple process if some basic techniques are followed.

In this article, we will discuss how to thicken tomato sauce as it cooks.

How to Make Tomato Sauce at Home?

how to make tomato sauce at home

Tomato sauce is not only good to eat on its own, but it can also be used with other foods.

The most common pairing for tomato sauce is pasta.

Some people feel that the sauce should be served on top of pasta.

Other people believe that the sauce and the pasta should be mixed before being eaten by adding Parmesan cheese and mixing well.

Making homemade tomato sauce is one of the easiest cooking techniques to master.

Some people have never tried a homemade tomato sauce, but they prefer it over sauce from a can because the texture and taste are more natural.

However, making this sauce from scratch can take a while for the ingredient to simmer because none of the tomato seeds must be left in the sauce.

The best way to do this is by using a food processor or a sieve not to have any tomato juice stains on your kitchen towel.

Here are a few steps for making tomato sauce at home.

  • Start by chopping up an onion, garlic cloves, and celery sticks. If you are using fresh tomatoes, cut them in half and take out the seeds to not be in the final product. Put the ingredients on high to sauté, stirring it occasionally until it is cooked.
  • Add basil, oregano, and ground pepper to the vegetables. Then put in 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and cook for a couple more minutes until the ingredients are combined well.
  • After this, slowly pour water with one tablespoon of salt into a medium-sized pot or pan to make it come to a boil. Then pour in the mixture of vegetables and simmer for at least one hour while stirring occasionally.
  • After the sauce has cooked for about an hour, you can add tomato paste and salt to taste. Cover the pan and continue cooking until all ingredients are blended well together. If you prefer thick tomato sauce, simmer it for a little longer than usual.

The amount of time you cook the sauce will determine how thick and rich the final product is.

If you like to have cheese with your pasta, grated Parmesan is usually recommended as a topping for tomato sauce because it brings out the richness of this tasty dish.

If you plan to save the sauce for a later date, you must sterilize the unused portion by putting it in containers and then placing it in boiling water.

This will prevent bacteria from forming in the food.

Common Mistakes When Making Tomato Sauce

common mistakes when making tomato sauce

There are many things that people do wrong when making homemade tomato sauce, and it is usually caused by the user not understanding how to make tomato sauce properly.

If you follow a few tips for making this dish, it will taste even better than from any restaurant or store, and you will have the honor of saying that you made your delicious tomato sauce from scratch.

One of the most common mistakes when making tomato sauce is using powdered tomatoes rather than fresh ones.

You should use fresh tomatoes because they contain all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need to be healthy.

However, if you do not have access to fresh tomatoes regularly, you can use an easily found brand in the market.

Another mistake that people make when making tomato sauce is adding too much sugar or salt to it.

These ingredients should only be added towards the end of cooking, and you must use just a little bit instead of dumping them into your pot after they are already sticking together.

This will give you an awful-tasting dish as a result.

To get thick tomato sauce, you must make sure that it is cooked at a lower temperature for an extended amount of time.

This causes the ingredients to simmer and break down into a paste rather than mixing in a few seconds after being added to the pot or pan.

If you put your ingredients straight away, then too much liquid will be in there, and you will not have that thick consistency you are craving.

Another mistake is adding too many other types of vegetables or meat to the sauce.

They can easily ruin a delicious tomato sauce because it changes tomatoes’ mild, sweet taste into an unnaturally spicy one or something stronger than tomato flavor that may even leave a bad aftertaste.

You can add the other ingredients after the sauce has already been cooked because they need to simmer too, and you will get that perfect balance of flavors in your final product.

How to Thicken Tomato Sauce?

how to thicken tomato sauce

As mentioned above, a more effective way to make your tomato sauce thick is by cooking the ingredients until all of them have been combined into one paste.

However, if you lack time to do this or want a quicker solution, here are some other ways for how to thicken tomato sauce:

1 – Use Cornstarch

Mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and apply this mixture to your sauce in an even layer using a spoon.

Cook the sauce for a couple of minutes so that the cornstarch can thicken it.

If you are in a hurry, just put some cornstarch with water in your container and shake it.

Then, add the mixture to your tomato sauce.

2 – Slow Boil, Add sauce to taste

Simmer your tomato paste over low heat for half an hour or until desired thickness is reached.

You can combine it with other sauces or use it as is.

3 – Use a Slow Cooker

Add tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, and spices to the slow cooker. Cook for eight hours on low heat, then blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

Tomato sauce will be ready when you see that there are no chunks of anything in there except the herbs.

4 – Add Pureed Vegetables

Peel your vegetables if necessary, then add them to a stovetop pan and cover with water.

Bring the water to a boil, then cook until soft.

Drain away the excess liquid before you add the vegetables into your tomato sauce.

5 – Sauté Onions or Other Ingredients First

If you sauté onions before adding your other ingredients, they will release water and thicken the tomato sauce.

Simply cook your onions until they are translucent or golden brown before adding the rest of the ingredients.

6 – Add Less Liquid

You can make a thick sauce by reducing your initial liquid amount by half or more, especially when using fresh tomatoes.

Just make sure that you cook it for a good amount of time for the liquid to reduce truly.


In conclusion, tomato sauce is an important foundation of Italian cooking in general, and it can be made better by thickening to perfection.

While you may choose from the various options mentioned above, it is best to naturally learn how to thicken tomato sauce.

Keep the ingredients minimal, and you will have a fresh-tasting sauce in the end.

how to thicken tomato sauce

How to Thicken Tomato Sauce? Easy Guide to Thicken Tomato Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Cooking


  • Tomato sauce
  • Whisk or spoon
  • Stovetop
  • Your preferred thickening ingredient


  • Prepare all the required ingredients and equipment in the article.
  • Select and follow your desired method to thicken.
  • Depending on your desired thickness, you can add more or less.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

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