How to Thicken Sauce: Make a Tasty Sauce with These Recipes

May 05, 2020 12:02 PM

Pixabay - Photo by Bernadette Wurzinger
SHARE - As a basic lesson in any cooking class, thickening sauces is something that you have to master. In thickening sauces, there are many methods that you can apply, depending on what you’re working with and the result you’re hoping to achieve. 

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You probably won’t use the same method to thicken a sweet dessert as you would for savory gravy, so it’s good to learn a few of the methods and thickening agents that can be used. In general, there are two ways to thicken every sauce: reduce liquid or add starch. 

These two actions cover every thickening technique you can think of. You can reduce the liquid by adding less, to begin with, boiling off liquid overtime or adding thicker liquid (e.g: milk). Starches that you can incorporate include flour, cornstarch, pasta water, breadcrumbs, or even mashed potatoes.

In this article, we’re going to explain about how to thicken sauce, including the tips and tricks you can do to fix thin, runny soups and lackluster gravies.

1. How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

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For some people, spaghetti won’t be complete without the accompaniment of fine condiment, that is, thick, creamy spaghetti sauce. Actually, the traditional marinara sauce is thin, so the meaty and thick spaghetti sauce you’ve been familiar with is probably a modern American invention.

But, some people prefer the sauce to be thicker for it tastes more delicious that way, so adding lots of hearty ingredients to your spaghetti sauce and thickening things up is not a crime. Here’s what to follow if you’ve been wondering how to thicken sauce for your spaghetti.

Step 1. First, add a tiny amount of starch like a roux or cornstarch.

Step 2. Then, add a little bit of tomato paste to improve the flavor and thicken things up more.

Step 3. Finally, stir and simmer your sauce for at least ten minutes.

If that doesn’t work correctly, you can just repeat the steps! Don’t forget to always taste your sauce as you go, though.

2. How to Thicken Tomato Sauce

Pixabay - Photo by DanaTentis

Let’s say you’ve made tasty sauce but it lacks in consistency and you start to think of how to thicken sauce. No worries, you can always find a way! You’d like to reduce a sauce by cooking the sauce more to evaporate off some of the liquid.

A moderate simmer would be the appropriate temperature. You want to see occasional bubbles but definitely not a rolling boil. Stir it occasionally and make sure to get the bottom of the pot to avoid any scorching. It is possible to have it be quite liquid on top and rather dense in pockets on the bottom, which can then get well above 212 F and reaching the point of burning.

3. How to Thicken Alfredo Sauce

Pixabay - Photo by forstefany

Alfredo sauce is a rich pasta sauce made with butter, Parmesan cheese, and often cream. Looking at the ingredients, thickening your white sauced pasta won’t be that hard. Now, are you curious about how to thicken sauce of this kind? Our favorite pick is adding egg yolks to your sauce!

Step 1. Blend one or two egg yolks into the sauce very evenly. Make sure to blend them when the sauce is warm and not too hot.

Step 2. Once you have blended the egg yolks, turn the heat back on and let the Alfredo sauce simmer.

Step 3. Keep stirring until smooth and creamy. 

Using egg yolks to thicken Alfredo sauce or any recipe with milk and cream milk works very well and serves to enhance the taste of the sauce. You can also try other methods, like adding flour, cornstarch, and white cedar cheese.

4. How to Thicken Teriyaki Sauce

Unsplash - Photo by Mgg Vitchakorn

Learning how to thicken sauce seems like a never-ending lesson for you. Each sauce should be treated in a special way depending on the ingredients used to make that very sauce, and this is also the same case with teriyaki sauce.

You can use either cornstarch, wheat flour, rice flour, or brown sugar to thicken your sauce. If you prefer an especially sweet teriyaki sauce, simply add a few tablespoons to your teriyaki sauce as you’re heating it. Unlike white sugar which simply dissolves in liquid, brown sugar also contains molasses, which is naturally thick.

That wraps up our tutorial on how to thicken sauce. There’s still more to go since there are just a lot of types of sauce out there. Explore more sauce and don’t be afraid to experiment more on the types of it, you’ll definitely find more ways on how to thicken sauce in the future!


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