4 Easy Ways on How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

I may have already traveled far and wide. I may have already tried and tasted plenty of pasta dishes. But if there’s one thing I am sure of, it is the fact that spaghetti will always be my first love (and I am also sure that many of you also feel the same way!).

But if there’s one thing I hate the most, it is watered down, runny and bland spaghetti sauce. During my first few times of cooking spaghetti on my own, I always end up making this type of spaghetti sauce. Lucky for me, I have already devised a few ways on how to thicken spaghetti sauce and make it creamier and tastier.

Do you want to make tasty spaghetti dish every single time? I will share my secrets with you below!

What You Will Need

  • Technique #1: Cornstarch
  • Technique #2: Water used in cooking pasta
  • Technique #3: Mashed Potato
  • Technique #4:  Stove 

How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce: A Step-by-step Guide

As I have mentioned above, I employ 4 different methods of thickening my spaghetti sauce. These are as follows:

1st Technique: Using Cornstarch

This is one of the widely used techniques in thickening spaghetti sauce in the culinary industry. However, it is important that you be careful with the amount of ingredients that will be added you will add to the sauce as you may end up with a gooey and gelatinous sauce when you add too much.

Step 1: Place your saucepan over low heat.

Make sure that the heat is low to avoid burning the sauce.

Step 2: Mix water and cornstarch.

As you wait for the saucepan to heat up, add half teaspoon of cornstarch to half cup of water and mix well.

Pro Tip: This ratio is applicable for one serving of spaghetti sauce.

Step 3: Thicken the sauce.

Pour the spaghetti sauce into the saucepan that is already hot. Stir it a bit.

Gradually add the cornstarch mixture while continuously stirring the sauce. Be sure to check the consistency of the sauce from time to time. Stop adding the cornstarch mixture once ones you have already achieved your desired consistency.

Step 4. Remove from heat.

You need to remove the saucepan from the heat once you have achieved the perfect consistency. If you fail to do so, the sauce will continue cooking and will become thicker and thicker. 

2nd Technique: Using Reserved Pasta Water

The water where you cooked your pasta in contains high amounts of starch which makes it an incredibly powerful thickening agent. This technique is a bit different from other methods in this list because you will not add pasta water to a thin sauce. Instead, you will already use the pasta water in cooking the sauce. 

This method is applicable not just to spaghetti sauce but other types of sauce as well.

Step 1: Reserve pasta water.

Make sure to set aside at least a cup of pasta water after cooking your noodles. This can be done even if you cooked the pasta via a microwave.

Step 2. Cook your sauce using pasta water.

Cook your pasta sauce the usual way. But instead of using water, substitute the water needed in the recipe with pasta water.

Pro Tip: If the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a bit of water to decrease its thickness.

Step 3. Serve. 

Serve your thick spaghetti sauce over the pasta. You can also prepare it with a few spaghetti side dishes.

3rd Technique: Using Mashed Potato

This technique may be a bit complicated especially since you have to prepare a mashed potato just to thicken the sauce. But if you already have a mashed potato in your menu, this one is indeed worth a try.

Step 1: Boil the potatoes.

Place a small pot over medium-high heat and wait for the water to the boil. As you wait, peel the potatoes and add the peeled potatoes to the boiling water until they become soft and tender.

Step 2. Mash the potatoes.

Mash the boiled potatoes until there are no noticeable hard lumps.

Pro Tip: Use a fork in mashing the potatoes to achieve best results.

Step 3. Add mashed potatoes to your spaghetti sauce.

Add the mashed potatoes little by little while continuously stirring the sauce. Once again, make sure to stop and check the consistency of the sauce from time to time. Stop adding the mashed potatoes once you have achieved the desired consistency. 

4th Technique: Using Heat

This is most probably the most straightforward way on how to thicken spaghetti sauce. By cooking the tomato sauce for a few more minutes, it will be exposed to heat, which will cause the excess water from the sauce to evaporate. 

Aside from thickening the sauce, this simple method will also allow the herbs, spices, and seasonings in the sauce to blend correctly.

Step 1: Bring your sauce to a simmer.

Continue cooking the sauce but don’t let it boil. Allow it to simmer by cooking it over low heat.

Step 2. Stir the spaghetti sauce occasionally.

While waiting for the excess water to evaporate, stir the sauce occasionally.  Doing so will prevent the sauce from burning.

Step 3. Continue cooking until you have achieved the desired consistency.

Stir and cook until you have achieved your preferred consistency. 

Pro Tip: To know if the sauce is already thick enough, perform the spoon test. Dip the back of the spoon in the sauce. If the sauce coats the back of the spoon without running off, it means it is already thick enough.

For more ideas on how to thicken spaghetti sauce, please check this video:

Final Words

How your spaghetti sauce will turn out can make or break your dinner party or gathering. A thin sauce can make your dish bland and boring while a thick spaghetti sauce can make your dish tastier, and creamier.

Lucky for us, there are plenty of ways on how to thicken spaghetti sauce. I have shared with you the 4 methods that I commonly use. I hope you find them useful and effective.

If you did, please share this simple tutorial with your friends and family so they would never have to deal with runny spaghetti sauce ever again.

My name is Sabrina. I’m a total foodie and a wanderlust-driven traveler. Throughout my travels, I’ve been able to taste many cultures and curate a ton of recipes! I truly hope you enjoy the recipes I’ve been able to enlighten you with through the power of blogging.

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