How to thicken sauce in three ways

 How to thicken sauce in three ways

Wondering how to thicken the sauce? If you're looking at your tomato or Alfredo sauce thickening, "That looks really wet," don't worry. There are various ways to thicken your sauces, soups and gravies so that they stick to your food instead of drowning it.

 You can thicken the sauces by using ingredients such as flour or cornstarch, or you can do it without adding anything but reducing the liquid.

 But first, learn this useful tip for testing the proportions of your sauce:

The spoon test

 How do you know when your sauce is thick, other than just looking at it? Test the sauce with a spoon. If the sauce covers the back of the spoon, you can be sure that the sauce will cover other things. Testing with a spoon is a good way to test the sauce because the temperature of the spoon will slightly cool the food, giving an accurate idea of ​​the thickness of the sauce once it has left the hot pan. 

How to thicken tomato sauce by reducing liquid

How to thicken tomato sauce by reducing liquid

Reducing sauce on the stove is a great way to thicken a sauce without adding thickeners, like cornstarch or flour. This method works well for tomato-based foods, because the added starch does not always play with the acid in the tomato.
In addition to boiling the sauce, the reduction adds heat after the water that will deepen the strong flavor while the reduction comes out.

Read also:How to thicken tomato sauce with flour


  • Pour your ingredient for your sauce into the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-high and stir the ingredients. 
  • As the sauce heats up, it will begin to boil. Note that the sauce thickens as it heats up. As bubbles form in the pan, check the sauce carefully. Don't let the bubbles get too big or they will rise to the sides of the pan and overflow. When bubbles start to enlarge, reduce the heat to low to allow your sauce to continue cooking (makes it sweeter and enhances the flavor), or serve the sauce immediately.
  • Your sauce is done cooking when it reaches the desired thickness and taste. Keep in mind that sauces, especially those made with sugar and gelatin, will continue to thicken as they cool. 
  • Test the sauce with a spoon.

How to thicken tomato sauce with flour
As long as you are gluten free, flour is a great option that you will always have. Not only can you use it to thicken sauces, but it also makes a great flavoring for sauces and soups. When it's mixed with liquid, the starches in the flour expand, helping to stretch whatever you add to it. There are two ways to thicken with flour: make a roux or slurry.


Make a roux with flour
A roux is a popular ingredient made from fat and flour. In most cases, people prefer to use butter. 

This is how:

  •  Heat the butter over medium heat. When one pinch of flour has puffed up, you are ready to add the rest of your flour.
  •  Add the remaining flour and stir until your mixture becomes a thick golden paste. 
  • Add the roux to your sauce and stir to combine.
  •  Test the sauce with a spoon.

 Use flour and water

 Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/4 cup of cold water and whisk until smooth. Put your mixture and sauce over medium heat and continue to stir and cook until you reach the consistency you want. Test with a spoon.

How to cook cornstarch

 Cornstarch is a great gluten-free non-flour and won't make your sauce cloudy. The general rule of thumb is for every cup of water in the recipe, use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.


  • Mix equal parts corn flour and cold water. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour in your sauce and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. 
  • Test the sauce with a spoon. 

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