How Do You Thicken Watery Spaghetti Sauce?

There’s nothing more disappointing than pouring a watery spaghetti sauce over your perfectly cooked pasta. The thin consistency not only affects the taste but also makes it difficult for the sauce to cling to the noodles. But fret not, there are several easy ways to thicken watery spaghetti sauce and transform it into a rich and flavorful delight!

1. Simmer it Down

If your spaghetti sauce is too runny, one of the simplest methods to thicken it is by simmering it down.

Start by placing your saucepan on low heat and allowing the sauce to gently simmer. As the liquid evaporates, the sauce will naturally thicken. Be patient and stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.

2. Add Tomato Paste

An excellent way to thicken watery spaghetti sauce while intensifying its flavor is by adding tomato paste.

Tomato paste is concentrated and packed with umami goodness. Start by stirring in a tablespoon or two of tomato paste into your sauce, depending on how thick you want it to be. Allow the sauce to cook for a few minutes so that the flavors meld together.

3. Incorporate a Roux

A roux is a classic thickening agent used in various culinary applications, including sauces.

To make a roux, melt equal parts butter and flour in a separate pan over medium heat until it forms a smooth paste-like consistency. Gradually whisk this mixture into your watery spaghetti sauce, ensuring there are no lumps. Allow the sauce to cook for a few minutes until thickened.


If you prefer gluten-free options, you can use cornstarch or arrowroot powder instead of flour in your roux.

4. Use Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a popular thickening agent that works wonders in sauces.

Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water, creating a slurry. Gradually pour the slurry into your sauce while stirring continuously. Keep in mind that cornstarch thickens quickly, so add it gradually to avoid over-thickening.

5. Embrace the Power of Cheese

If you’re looking to thicken your spaghetti sauce while adding a creamy and cheesy touch, then incorporating cheese is the way to go!

Choose a cheese that melts well, such as Parmesan or mozzarella. Grate or shred the cheese and add it to your sauce while stirring constantly until it melts and blends seamlessly.


To prevent clumping, ensure your cheese is at room temperature before adding it to the sauce.

6. Add Bread Crumbs

Another unconventional yet effective way to thicken watery spaghetti sauce is by using bread crumbs.

Simply sprinkle some bread crumbs into your sauce and stir well until they dissolve completely. The bread crumbs will absorb excess moisture and lend a subtle texture to your sauce.


Opt for seasoned bread crumbs to enhance the flavor of your spaghetti sauce.

7. Blend in Cooked Vegetables

If you prefer a more natural and nutritious method, consider blending cooked vegetables into your watery spaghetti sauce.

Vegetables like carrots, zucchini, or bell peppers not only add thickness but also contribute to the overall taste and healthiness of the dish. Cook the vegetables until soft, blend them into a smooth puree, and mix it into your sauce.

  • Simmer the sauce down
  • Add tomato paste
  • Incorporate a roux
  • Use cornstarch
  • Embrace the power of cheese
  • Add bread crumbs
  • Blend in cooked vegetables

Now that you have these valuable tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can confidently thicken any watery spaghetti sauce. Whether you choose to simmer it down, add tomato paste, incorporate a roux, use cornstarch, embrace the power of cheese, add bread crumbs, or blend in cooked vegetables – each method offers its unique flavor and texture. So go ahead, experiment with these techniques and enjoy a deliciously thickened spaghetti sauce!