How To Thicken Tomato Sauce – Ways To Achieve Your Desired Consistency

Written by Patricia Jones

Often we try to make delicious red tomato sauce at home. But it turns out to be watery and runny juice in the bowl.

Last weekend, my sister faced similar kind of problem and called me. She was puzzled how to thicken tomato sauce and made it ideal for meals.

Actually, she wanted to surprise me by sending a bottle of homemade sauce. Unfortunately, her desire ended in this way.

Well, my methods of preparing sauces and soups with my fresh backyard vegetables helped me in thickening her homemade sauce.

How To Thicken Tomato Sauce At Home?

You too have troubles with watery tomato sauce, right?  I have the secret of making the savory sauce in the kitchen. Reading this article will definitely enhance your tomato-based recipe.

First, let me explain the possible reason for runny tomato juice instead of sauce-

When you prepare sauce at home, you must simmer it well. Choose quality tomatoes and provide low heat to get the ideal thicken homemade tomato sauce.

If you don’t heat it up for a sufficient amount of time, it often results in watery consistency.

But it is also not recommended to simmer tomatoes for too long. Or else, it’ll change the taste and make your preparation unrealistic.

Ideal Ways Of Thickening Tomato Sauce

No doubt, these methods will save your day. Just take it as an opportunity!

  1. Simmer At Low Heat

When you find your homemade sauce is almost done, give a little more time. By letting it on the stovetop, it evaporates excess liquid.

If you worry about its smoothness and flavor, you can make use of the crock pot. It slowly cooks your molten tomatoes and enables you to get the desired consistency.

  1. Add A Thickener Such As Cornstarch

When you put thickeners (like cornstarch, flours and potato starch), it holds the tomatoes. The end result is thickening of the sauce.

But this alters the taste and flavor of the preparation. This is also a possibility of a breakdown of sauce over time. So, it is recommended to add these substances in extreme conditions only.

Also, finish your preparation within the quick time period.


For adding a thickener, mix it in cold water and pour the solution into the precooked sauce. Stir and heat it up!

  1. Pour Tomato Paste

No one wants to pour store-bought products when they prepare the homemade sauce. This may make you feel disheartened.

Don’t worry! A small amount of paste won’t alter the taste of homemade tomato sauce.

  1. Add Other Vegetables

To get rid of watery tomato sauce, you can add ground carrots and/or caramelized onion. These items not only add flavor but also make tomato sauce thicker.

  1. Mix Olive Oil

The addition of a little amount of olive oil will emulsify the tomato sauce.

At first, add it to the content and mix it thoroughly. Allow it to simmer on low heat and turn off the burner. Once it becomes cool, you can find the smooth and rich texture of the sauce.


To avoid watery consistency of sauce, you can make your garden fresh tomatoes sauce using food mill. It not only helps in preparing ideal sauces but also prepares soups, purees in no-time.

When you find your preparation meets to perfection, it is the time to serve and enjoy with family & friends. Plus, there are many dishes that look appealing with homemade sauce.

Before ending up this post, let me explain you the ideal method of preparing sauce. It will help you in preparing perfect tomato sauce at home.

How To Make Thicken Tomato Sauce At One Go?

Either use your garden fresh tomatoes or buy good quality tomatoes. Though growing your own is always preferable than picking your own from the market.

Chop the tomatoes finely. Add seasonings such as onions, garlic, herbs and more. Put it in the bowl and bring it on the stovetop. You can also use the food mill and cook for at most 40 hours.

Lower the heat and simmer it for the next 20 – 30 minutes. Now, check your prepared item. If it seems thicker, then turn it off. Or else, allow it to simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes.

(Depending on the quantity of tomatoes, the time of cooking may vary.)

Once it reaches the ideal consistency, allow it to cool down. This is how you could prepare delicious tomato sauce on demand.


If you find chopped tomatoes reserve too much liquid, drain it into another container. Now, prepare it as usual.

In case, you find there is a need for the stored liquid. Put a little amount of this drained liquid on the preparation and allow it to simmer.

Well, it won’t change the taste at all.

Bottom Line

I know you get to understand how to thicken tomato sauce at home. And, my sister’s told me there was no good advice than what you have just read.

So, never feel discouraged your cooking at any point of time. Follow these methods and enjoy your creations! For more suggestions related to any food item, you can comment below.

About the author

Patricia Jones

Patricia is a fine dining chef at Wake Forest, North Carolina. She is also a caring mom and a lovely sister. Her heart and passion lies in the art of cooking great dishes for her family and customers.

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