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How to Thicken Sauce Without Heavy Cream (10 Ways)

Did you know that you don’t need heavy cream to thicken your sauce?

In fact, there are 10 clever ways to achieve that perfect consistency without it.

Whether you’re looking for a gluten-free option like arrowroot powder or a pantry staple like flour, these tricks will help you create the creamy texture you desire.

How to Thicken Sauce Without Heavy Cream

So put away the heavy cream and discover a world of alternatives that will take your sauces to the next level.

Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder can be a great alternative for thickening sauce without using heavy cream. It is a natural starch that comes from the arrowroot plant, and it has a neutral flavor and smooth texture.

To use arrowroot powder as a thickener, start by mixing it with a small amount of cold water to create a slurry. Then, add the slurry to your sauce and simmer it until it thickens to your desired consistency.

The great thing about arrowroot powder is that it does not alter the taste of your sauce, unlike some other thickeners. It also works well with acidic ingredients, making it a versatile option for a variety of sauces and dishes.


To achieve a thicker consistency, you can use cornstarch instead of heavy cream. Cornstarch is a common thickening agent that is easily accessible and versatile.

To use cornstarch, start by creating a slurry by mixing equal parts cornstarch and cold water. Then, add this mixture to your sauce gradually, stirring constantly until it thickens to your desired consistency. Be cautious not to add too much cornstarch as it can make your sauce overly thick and gloopy.

Additionally, remember that cornstarch thickens sauces when heated, so it’s important to cook your sauce for a few minutes after adding the cornstarch slurry.

Cornstarch is a great alternative to heavy cream as it is gluten-free and has a neutral taste, allowing the flavors of your sauce to shine through.


Using flour as a thickening agent for your sauce is a simple and effective way to achieve the desired consistency. All you need to do is mix flour with a little bit of water or broth to form a smooth paste. Then, gradually whisk this paste into your sauce while it’s simmering.

The starch in the flour will absorb some of the liquid in the sauce, thickening it up nicely. Just remember to whisk continuously to avoid any lumps. Keep in mind that flour may alter the taste of your sauce slightly, so it’s important to taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

With this easy method, you can enjoy a thick and flavorful sauce without the need for heavy cream.

Potato Starch

Did you know that potato starch is a great alternative to flour for thickening your sauce?

Potato starch is derived from potatoes and is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes.

When added to your sauce, potato starch helps to create a thick and creamy texture without the need for heavy cream.

To use potato starch as a thickening agent, simply mix it with a small amount of cold water to create a slurry, and then add it to your sauce while it’s cooking.

The starch will absorb the liquid and thicken the sauce to your desired consistency.

Not only is potato starch gluten-free, but it also adds a subtle flavor to your dishes that complements a wide range of flavors.

Give it a try and see how potato starch can elevate your sauces to the next level!


Gelatin is a common ingredient that can add a smooth and jiggly texture to desserts. If you’re looking for a way to thicken your sauce without heavy cream, gelatin can be a great alternative.

To use gelatin, start by blooming it in cold water. Once it’s bloomed, you can heat it up until it dissolves completely. Then, simply add the gelatin mixture to your sauce and stir well. The gelatin will help to thicken the sauce and give it a nice, silky texture. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the gelatin package for the correct measurements.

Gelatin is a versatile thickening agent that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, so don’t be afraid to experiment with it in your sauces.

Vegetable Purees

Vegetable purees can be a healthy and flavorful alternative to heavy cream when thickening sauces. Instead of relying on heavy cream, try using vegetable purees to add thickness and richness to your sauces.

By pureeing vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, or butternut squash, you can create a smooth and velvety texture that will enhance the flavor of your dishes. Not only are vegetable purees lower in calories and fat than heavy cream, but they also provide added nutrients and vitamins.

Plus, they can easily be made at home by simply cooking the vegetables until tender and then blending them until smooth.

Egg Yolks

When making custards or mayonnaise, you can use egg yolks to achieve a smooth and creamy texture. Egg yolks are a versatile ingredient that can be used to thicken sauces as well.

By adding egg yolks to your sauce, you can create a luscious and velvety texture that will elevate your dishes to a whole new level. To do this, simply whisk the egg yolks together and slowly add them to your sauce while stirring constantly. The heat will cook the egg yolks, creating a thick and rich consistency.

Be sure to temper the yolks before adding them to hot liquids to prevent them from curdling. Egg yolks not only add thickness, but they also contribute to the flavor of your sauce, making it even more delicious.

Coconut Milk

Now, let’s explore another alternative to thickening your sauce without heavy cream – coconut milk. This creamy and dairy-free option can add a rich and tropical flavor to your dishes.

To use coconut milk as a thickening agent, simply add it to your sauce and simmer it gently until it reduces and thickens to your desired consistency. The natural fats in coconut milk help create a smooth and velvety texture, making it a perfect choice for curries, soups, and stews.

Coconut milk not only adds thickness but also imparts a slightly sweet and nutty taste to your sauce, enhancing the overall flavor profile. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions or preferences.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast, commonly used as a vegan cheese substitute, adds a savory and cheesy flavor to your dishes. It’s a great ingredient to have on hand when you want to thicken your sauces without using heavy cream.

Simply sprinkle in a tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast into your sauce and stir it in until it’s well incorporated. The yeast will not only add thickness but also enhance the taste of your sauce.

It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from pasta sauces to soups and stews. Plus, nutritional yeast is packed with nutrients like B vitamins and protein, making it a healthier alternative to heavy cream.

Mustard Powder

To add a little kick to your dishes, try sprinkling some mustard powder for a tangy and flavorful twist. Mustard powder is a versatile ingredient that can elevate the taste of your favorite meals. It pairs well with meats, vegetables, and even sauces.

When added to a sauce, the mustard powder not only adds a tangy flavor but also helps to thicken it. The natural enzymes in the mustard powder react with the liquid in the sauce, creating a thicker consistency. Simply sprinkle a small amount of mustard powder into the sauce and stir it well.

You’ll be amazed at how this simple addition can transform your dish into a delicious and satisfying meal. So go ahead and give it a try, and enjoy the zesty goodness of mustard powder in your cooking.

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.