Soup-like Tomato Sauce Problem: How To Make It Thicker?

By Rose | Condiments

Aug 16

Does your tomato sauce appear closer to soup than "sauce"? If it does, then it's quite frustrating to come up with a supposed-to-be saucy dish that's not rich enough to meet your expectations.

Tomato sauce is the secret ingredient that makes the dish smooth, rich, and tasty. However, it takes around 6 cups of fresh tomatoes that weight 5 pounds each to create the perfect dish for you!

Quite a lot, isn't it? So to resolve the problem and save the day, here are different ways to thicken the tomato sauce.


To save you from running in and out of the kitchen just because you forgot to prepare something, you will need to first collect the essential ingredients and tools for the thickening process. Preparing these things beforehand will help you to know the stuff that's available in your kitchen, and the things you still need to buy in the market.

Here's the trick, there are a lot of ways to thicken your tomato sauce. Therefore, it is not necessary to use all of the ingredients below. The ingredients that you will choose depend on the method that you use. So, I require you to read the instructions carefully. The good thing here is that, if one method doesn't work out, you could try the next one, until you finally get the result you want!

  • Tomato sauce
  • Pot
  • ​Stove or even
  • Cornstarch, flour, or arrowroot (You can choose any one of these)
  • Chili or beans
  • Olive oil
  • Grounded carrots
  • Caramelized onions
  • Tomato paste

The Main Processes: From Thin To Thick

1. Burn, Tomatoes, Burn!

Sometimes, a watery tomato sauce only needs a little heating up on the stove before it becomes thick.

The advantage of this method is that the longer the tomato sauce is cooked, the smoother, more flavorful, and richer it becomes. If you leave it for an hour, it will make the soupy sauce thick.


Apart from the stove, you can try a low oven. You won’t burn the bottom of the pan or wait for the tomato sauce to bubble with this method, so you’ll have more time to do other important stuff.

2. Thickeners Thick

The name itself tells you this is the solution you need. However, it is worth remembering that tomatoes and artificial thickeners don't always go well together, as starch is incompatible with the acid content of tomatoes, and flour potato starch, and cornstarch can change the taste of the tomato sauce and make it lumpy.

So it is not advisable to mix starchy products and tomato sauce. You should, instead, add some cold water and flour or cornstarch first before adding the tomato sauce.


3. Leave It Thin

Maybe this method has just made you raise your eyebrows. You may be wondering, "Why would I want to leave it thin when I want to make it thick?". Well, a thin tomato sauce is not necessarily bad. The flavorful taste is still there but the consistency does not match your expectations.

Sometimes, there are restrictions. If your tomato sauce is cooked with chili or stew, then the other thickening methods recommended would be unhelpful as the added ingredients will do the thickening. Of course, you don't want your dish to become too thick as it will become uneatable. Mashed beans with chili or mashed potatoes with stew will give your sauce the thick consistency it deserves. They will also give you a different flavor that you'll love.

4. Pour A Little Oil

If you want to add something natural, try blending a little olive oil with your sauce by using an immersion style blender. Blend it well for 15 minutes or until it becomes smooth. 

It will not affect your sauce's taste and serves only one purpose – to thicken your tomato sauce.

5. Add More Vegetables

Let's now head to the most creative part. This method allows you to choose the vegetables for your sauce, which will depend on the dish you are cooking.


Vegetables, like caramelized onions and grounded carrots, will give your entire dish the ideal thickness and add a satisfying flavor for your taste buds.

6. Add The Paste

This might sound like a cheat but believe me, it works, especially if you don't have enough time to prepare the sauce. Adding tomato paste to your sauce is the easiest way to thicken your soup-like tomato sauce. It will not alter the sauce's freshness, so don't be concerned.

Once you have thickened your tomato sauce, you can now try to make a classic spaghetti, pepperoni pizza, or black bean chili pasta.


So if you have successfully turned your soup-like tomato sauce into a whole new delicious treat, then you will be able to use these methods to make tomato sauce based recipes for breakfast, Sunday lunch, mouthwatering dinners, or handy snacks that will make all your family’s tummies very happy!

If you have found these methods useful or want more, we’d like to hear from you! Leave your comments here. You can also share your own ways to thicken tomato sauce and special recipes that you’d like to tell us about. Happy cooking!


About the Author

There’s nothing in this world that excites me more other than cooking. From appetizers to desserts, since then, I’ve always been passionate on making foods.

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