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How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce (10 Easy Ways)

Well hello there, fellow pasta enthusiasts!

Are you tired of lackluster spaghetti sauce that’s as thin as a runway model?

Fear not, for I have just the article for you.

Today, we’re going to dive into the art of thickening spaghetti sauce – yes, it’s a real thing.

Because let’s face it, nobody likes watery, runny sauce that slides off your pasta faster than your ex from that long-ago summer fling.

So, whether you’re an aspiring chef or just someone who wants their spaghetti sauce to have some oomph, sit tight and get ready for 10 easy ways to take your sauce from bland to grand.

Buckle up, buttercup – we’re about to get saucy!

Spaghetti Sauce

Why does spaghetti sauce need to be thickened?

Ah, the age-old question – why on earth does spaghetti sauce need to be thickened?

Well, there are a multitude of reasons, my friend.

  • Perhaps you’re going for a richer and more concentrated flavor, or maybe you’re tired of your sauce sliding all over the plate like a clumsy toddler on a slip-and-slide.
  • Thickening your sauce can also help to create a more satisfying texture that clings to your pasta like a koala to a eucalyptus tree.
  • Or, maybe you just want to show off your culinary prowess and impress your dinner guests with your sauce-thickening skills.

Thickening agents


Alright, folks, it’s time to talk thickening agents – no, not the secret service kind.

We’re talking about the magical substances that can turn your thin and runny sauce into a luscious and thick delight.

These agents come in many forms – from the trusty flour and cornstarch to the superhero tomato paste – and they all have one thing in common: they get the job done.

Think of them as the sauce’s personal trainers, whipping it into shape and giving it the body it deserves.

But beware, not all thickening agents are created equal, and some can leave you with a clumpy and unappetizing mess.

Fear not, my saucy friend, for we’ll guide you through the ins and outs of thickening agents so you can choose the one that’s right for you.

Get ready to take your spaghetti sauce from a 2 to a solid 10 – let’s go!

How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti sauce is delicious, but sometimes it can be too thin or runny.

If you’re looking for ways to thicken your spaghetti sauce without compromising its flavor, here are ten easy methods that will do the trick:

Adding a roux

Let’s talk roux, baby! No, not the type of dance you do after too much wine, but the magical combination of flour and fat that can turn your sauce from a watery mess to a creamy dream.

Roux is like the Batman of thickening agents – it works in the shadows, silently and efficiently creating a sauce that’s thicker than a bowl of oatmeal.

And don’t even get us started on the flavor – that nutty, rich taste is enough to make your taste buds do a happy dance. 

Using cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Arrowroot Flour

Ah, cornstarch and arrowroot powder – the classic thickening duo that can take your sauce from drab to fab in no time.

These powders are like the superheroes of the thickening world – they work fast and efficiently, creating a sauce that’s thick and glossy like a magazine cover. And the best part?

You only need a small amount to work your magic – it’s like a little goes a long way.

So, if you’re in a hurry and need to thicken your sauce fast, grab your trusty cornstarch or arrowroot powder and get to work.

Your pasta is waiting.

Adding bread crumbs


Who said breadcrumbs were just for meatballs and fried foods?

These tiny morsels can also do wonders for your spaghetti sauce, adding a thick and chunky texture that’s oh-so-satisfying.

Think of bread crumbs like the sidekick to your spaghetti sauce – always there to lend a helping hand and add some much-needed texture.

And the best part?

You can use any kind of bread crumbs you like – from panko to Italian – and watch as your sauce transforms into a delicious masterpiece.

Adding a slurry of flour and water

A slurry of flour and water may sound like a science experiment, but trust us, it’s one of the easiest and most efficient ways to thicken your spaghetti sauce.

Simply mix equal parts flour and water, pour it into your sauce, and watch as it thickens up like magic. It’s like the potion your spaghetti sauce has been waiting for – a quick and easy solution to a runny mess.

So go ahead, mix up that slurry, and show your sauce who’s boss.

Using tomato paste

Tomato Paste

And then we have tomato paste – the dark horse of thickening agents.

It may seem counterintuitive to add more tomato to your sauce to thicken it up, but trust us, it works like a charm.

Tomato paste is like the secret weapon you never knew you needed – it adds not only thickness but also a rich and tangy flavor that will make your sauce sing. 

Adding mashed potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Who knew that mashed potatoes could do more than just comfort you on a bad day?

These starchy spuds can also be a game-changer when it comes to thickening spaghetti sauce. Think of mashed potatoes as the silent assassin of the thickening world – you won’t even know they’re there, but boy do they get the job done.

Plus, they add a creamy and velvety texture that will make your sauce feel like a warm hug on a cold day.

Using grated Parmesan cheese


Ah, Parmesan cheese – the salty and tangy hero that can save even the most lackluster of spaghetti sauces.

Not only does it add a bold and flavorful kick, but it can also thicken your sauce like nobody’s business.

Think of grated Parmesan cheese like the overachiever of the thickening world – not content with just adding flavor, it also wants to make your sauce thicker and creamier.

And the best part?

You don’t need a lot to get the job done – a sprinkle here, a sprinkle there, and voila! Your spaghetti sauce is thick and delicious.

Adding a can of tomato sauce or puree

Tomato Sauce

When it doubt, add more tomato! That’s the motto when it comes to thickening spaghetti sauce with a can of tomato sauce or puree.

This method is like the easy button of thickening – just pour it in and let the magic happen.

The tomato sauce or puree not only thickens the sauce but also adds a robust and tangy flavor that will make your taste buds sing.

Using cooked beans

Beans, beans, the magical fruit – the more you eat, the more your sauce will thicken!

That’s right, cooked beans can also be used to thicken your spaghetti sauce and add a protein punch. Think of them like the MVPs of the thickening world – not only do they thicken your sauce, but they also add a hearty and satisfying texture.

Plus, they’re a great way to sneak in some extra nutrition and make your spaghetti sauce a little healthier.

So, next time you’re in the mood for some thick and delicious spaghetti sauce, don’t forget the beans.

Simmering the sauce for a longer time

Last but not least, we have the classic method of thickening spaghetti sauce – simmering it for a longer time. This method is like the tortoise of the thickening world – slow and steady wins the race.

By simmering your sauce for a longer time, you’re allowing the liquid to evaporate and the flavors to concentrate, resulting in a thicker and more flavorful sauce.

Plus, it’s a great excuse to put on some cozy pajamas, pour yourself a glass of wine, and let your sauce simmer away while you binge-watch your favorite show. So, grab a wooden spoon, get comfortable, and let your spaghetti sauce do its thing.

Tips for thickening spaghetti sauce successfully

These tips are like the secret sauce to your spaghetti sauce – they’ll help you avoid the pitfalls and create a sauce that’s thick and delicious.

So, grab a pen and paper – or just take mental notes, we don’t judge – and get ready for some saucy advice.

  • Use the right thickening agent: Remember how we talked about the different types of thickening agents earlier? Well, it’s important to choose the right one for your sauce. Different agents work better for different types of sauces, so make sure to do your research and choose the one that’s right for you.
  • Don’t overdo it: When it comes to thickening agents, a little goes a long way. Adding too much can result in a sauce that’s too thick or even lumpy, so make sure to add it slowly and in small increments.
  • Be patient: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is thick spaghetti sauce. Some methods, like simmering the sauce for a longer time, can take a while to work their magic. So, be patient and let your sauce work its way to thickness.
  • Avoid high heat: While it may be tempting to crank up the heat to speed up the thickening process, this can actually have the opposite effect. High heat can cause the sauce to break down and become too thin, so make sure to thicken your sauce on a low to medium heat.
  • Taste as you go: Just like any good chef, you should taste your sauce as you go to ensure it’s to your liking. Adding too much of a thickening agent can alter the taste of your sauce, so make sure to taste and adjust as needed.
  • Add some liquid: Wait, what? Yes, you read that right – adding a small amount of liquid, like broth or water, can actually help to thicken your sauce. It’s like adding some fuel to the thickening fire, helping the agents do their job more efficiently.


And there you have it, my saucy friends – 10 easy ways to thicken your spaghetti sauce and take it from a watery mess to a delicious masterpiece. We’ve covered everything from the classic roux to the not-so-classic mashed potatoes, giving you plenty of options to choose from.

So go ahead, experiment with different methods, and find the one that works best for you. Just remember to taste as you go and have patience – good things come to those who thicken. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll be known as the thickening master of your household. Your pasta will never be the same again.

So, next time you find yourself staring at a pot of runny spaghetti sauce, don’t panic – just remember these tips and tricks, and you’ll be on your way to a thick and delicious sauce in no time. Your taste buds will thank you, and your pasta will be forever grateful. Now go forth, my saucy friends, and thicken like there’s no tomorrow!

Spaghetti Sauce

How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce (10 Easy Ways)

When you know how to thicken spaghetti sauce, you can turn a thin and watery sauce into something full of flavor and texture. That's why I'm sharing my favorite 10 ways to thicken spaghetti sauce. From adding tomato paste to reducing the sauce, these easy methods will give you the perfect consistency every time.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 15 kcal


  • Spaghetti Sauce


  • Simmer Your Sauce
  • Add a Roux
  • Add Cornstarch
  • Add Mashed Potatoes
  • Cook Your Pasta in the Sauce
  • Add Vegetables
  • Add Ground Beef or Sausage
jenny happy muncher
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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.