How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce?

Everyone loves to eat spaghetti, but no one will show interest in a meal that is swimming in water.

Not you, surely!

Since spaghetti sauce is mostly made from fresh tomato which has a high-water content leading to its wateriness, you need to know the different ways to thicken your spaghetti sauce to make it appealing and attractive to all.

Knowing these tricks will ensure that you don’t have to throw away a watery sauce again, even if your original source isn’t thick enough.

Although some of the methods may change the texture or taste of the sauce, what is vital to understand is the ingredients you will be using, and the time required to complete the thickening process.

So, sit back and let me show you how to create a spaghetti sauce that is as thick as you may desire

Read on!

Why Do You Want Your Spaghetti Sauce to Be Thick?

Whereas the modern American invention of spaghetti sauce is thick and meaty, the traditional marinara sauce is thin.

In effect, you may not find the thin sauce on your meal appealing as such, and that explains why it is essential to learn how to make the sauce more mouth watery.

To start with, all you need do is add lots of healthy ingredients into the spaghetti sauce, and it will thicken it up gradually.

How Do You Thicken Your Spaghetti Sauce Without Losing Its Taste/flavor?

How Do You Thicken Your Spaghetti Sauce

Reduction of Heat or Slow Boil

  • Reduction of heat or slow boil
  • The natural and easiest way to make your spaghetti sauce thick is cooking it on low heat
  • Allow it to simmer uncovered until you get your desired thickness
  • You need to keep stirring it to prevent it from burning
  • As the sauce boils, the extra water evaporates, thereby thickening it

Cooking tomato sauce for a longer time makes it smoother and brings out its flavor, especially if it previously had a metallic or brassy taste.

This method may take time but will not change the taste of your sauce. You can, however, reduce the time for evaporation by using a wider pan, pot, or stockpot.

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Use of Cornstarch


Cornstarch is neutral in flavor; there is no need to worry about a change in taste.

  • Mix a teaspoon of cornstarch in equal parts water
  • Pour small amounts gradually into the sauce until you achieve your desired thickness
  • Allow it to cook for a minute or two

Using cornstarch will change the consistency of the sauce and also give it a silky or glossy sheen.

Being a powerful thickener, it is advisable to use a little quantity per time, always.

Making a Roux

A roux is a thickening agent used mostly in Cajun and French cuisine to make them thick.

  • Melt some little quantity of butter in a pan and add flour
  • Cook the mixture until it becomes smooth and thick (no grainy flour texture)
  • Add to the spaghetti sauce and cook for at least 30 minutes

But, remember that roux may change the taste of your sauce slightly despite spending quite some time cooking it.

If you are battling with weight or cholesterol level issues, it is advisable not to use this option.

Use Breadcrumbs

Since breadcrumbs are from flour, they act as a great thickening agent for spaghetti sauce.

  • You can use DIY breadcrumb by toasting slices of bread and crumbling it to fine crumbs or buy from stores
  • Pour and stir into the watery sauce to thicken it as you desire

Using breadcrumb does not change the taste, but you will feel/see the breadcrumbs slightly in the spaghetti sauce.

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Use of Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes

Potatoes are starchy food similar to cornstarch, flour, and pasta, but they also serve as a sauce thickener.

  • Peel, boil and mash your potatoes
  • You can add cream, milk, or butter
  • Pour and stir into the spaghetti sauce

Apart from acting as a thickener, your mashed potatoes are very filling and add a unique flavor to your sauce.

Use of Arrowroot (Vegetarians)

A great way of thickening your spaghetti sauce, especially if you are a vegan/vegetarian is to use SENA Premium Arrow Root Powder.

  • Mix one tablespoon of arrowroot powder with a tablespoon of water
  • Warm your sauce on low heat for a bit
  • Pour the arrowroot mixture into the sauce and whisk continuously
  • The sauce should simmer for a minute before serving

Arrowroot does not change the taste or color of your sauce except if added to the hot sauce, which will invariably ruin the texture.

Use of Pasta Water

You can use pasta water as a thickening agent since it contains a lot of starch: it works similarly like the corn mixture.

  • Use a spaghetti spoon or pasta basket to remove the cooked spaghetti from the pot.
  • Use the pasta water to make your sauce
  • The starch content will thicken the sauce as it boils

Other Ways of Thickening Spaghetti Sauce Like a Pro

Use Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste

This is a slightly thick tomato-based supplement that you add to your spaghetti sauce to thicken it.

Using tomato paste increases the tomato solids in the sauce without the liquid in it increasing, thereby increasing the thickness level.

Ensure you add the tomato paste from the beginning, so the mild flavor of the paste can be toned down by the spices in the spaghetti sauce.

Use Shredded Cheese

Shredded Cheese

  • Shred or grate your cheese
  • Mix with the sauce
  • Stir over low heat to thicken it

Note that cheese will change the taste of the sauce slightly.

Although it is an easy and quick way to thicken your sauce, do not forget that Cheddar, Romano, and Parmesan brand of cheese block has a high amount of sodium, which might cause the sauce to be salty.

So, be mindful of your salt measurement.

Use Heavy Cream

Pouring heavy cream into your spaghetti sauce will automatically make it thick and creamy, but the taste will change.

This is because the cream will soften the acidic nature of the tomatoes used for the sauce, thereby changing the type of spaghetti sauce from the regular one.

Adding Vegetables

Vegetables are a great way of adding bulk and increasing the nutritional value of your spaghetti sauce at the same time.

In other words, putting vegetables in your sauce promotes variety!

Simply shred carrot into the sauce but allow to cook until it is mushy and soft – thus, reducing the acidity of the sauce.

Also, you can add puree, sauté pepper and onion to thicken your sauce. Note that using these vegetables will change the taste.

Likewise, you can shred eggplants, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, or celery into small pieces for extra thickness.

Using this method, the type of vegetable you add to the sauce will determine the final taste and flavor.

Adding Meat

Meat is a great way to thicken your spaghetti sauce, and also enhance its flavor.

  • Boil your turkey, ground beef, Italian sausage, or pork
  • Put into the sauce and leave to simmer
  • The more time it simmers, the better the taste

Adding Egg Yolk

Even though egg yolks are always traditionally used to thicken salad dressings or cream sauces, many people have started putting them in their spaghetti sauces – and the results are lovely.

  • Whisk one egg yolk into ½ cup of hot sauce in a mixing bowl until it is smooth
  • Pour into your spaghetti sauce and continue whisking while cooking
  • Let the sauce simmer for a minute

Adding Oil

You can use Redmond Immersion Hand Blender to mix olive oil into the spaghetti sauce, thereby thickening it naturally.

Adding oil to the sauce will also give it a smoother texture.

What is the Best Way to Thicken Your Spaghetti?

Having tried out all the techniques, and you seem not satisfied with the level of thickness, using a combination of some of them will give you the desired result.

  • First, pour in a little quantity of cornstarch or roux
  • Pour in some tomato paste; it will serve as flavor enhancer while increasing the thickness
  • Keep stirring and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes


You have your thick spaghetti sauce ready to serve with your spaghetti dish.

However, if you are not satisfied with it, you can use other combinations until you get a perfect recipe that will satisfy your palate.

Do not forget to taste the sauce as you cook, especially if you are adding the flavorless starch content.

You can always use spices, garlic, and even fresh tomatoes to improve the overall taste.


Since you live in a vastly versatile culinary world, you have the prerogative to try out different ingredients from all the methods in your kitchen to thicken up your spaghetti sauce.

The availability of most of the food items used for thickening makes it easy to quickly take charge when you discover that your sauce is looking watery and may not be palatable to your taste buds or presentable to family and friends.

Although using some of these tips tricky, all you need do is watch the quantity you put in per time and follow the mixing, simmering, boiling, and cooking instruction to the letter.

So, go ahead and eat your spaghetti with the sauce that makes your mealtime enjoyable, delicious, and appealing!

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