How to Cut Acidity in Tomato Sauce?

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is usually made of chopped tomatoes cooked with olive oil and seasoned with salt spices and herbs. The sauce is simmered until the tomatoes are softened and get the right flavor and texture.

Every country has its variation of tomato sauce with different spices and herbs. But they all have one thing in common which is the tomatoes. Tomato sauce is usually used as a base for many different dishes like stews, braises, and pasta sauces.

Tomatoes have high water content, rich flavor, and soft flesh, but they are considered acidic ingredients. So, the tomato sauce made with them is also acidic.

If you want to cut the acidity in tomato sauce there are few ingredients you can use like sugar, salt, baking soda, herbs, vegetables, and dairy products like butter and milk.

How to Cut Acidity in Tomato Sauce?

Tomato passata

Tomato sauces, purees, and paste you purchase at the store are very acidic and can cause heartburns and ulcers. They have many acids like malic acid, citric acid, and ascorbic acid that are prolonging their shelf-life.

Therefore, if you want to use less acidic tomato sauce you can make it at home with fresh tomatoes that are usually sweet and contain less acid. The first step is to choose fresh, ripen tomatoes and remove the seeds to reduce the acidity in your tomato sauce. Cook the sauce for about 2-3 hours on low heat and stir it occasionally.

Then you can use some of the next ingredients to cut the acidity in your tomato sauce of course if it is acidic. Let’s learn more about how to cut the acidity in tomato sauce.

1. Sugar and salt

Table salt

When the sauce starts to simmer you can add 1 teaspoon of sugar to cut the acidity. Taste the sauce and add more sugar if you think that the sauce is still acidic. The sugar will mellow the acidity and make your sauce taste less acidic.

According to your taste, you can also add salt to your tomato sauce. It will boost the flavor and cut the acidity of your tomato sauce.

2. Baking soda

Baking Powder

You can also use baking soda in your tomato sauce to cut the acidity. Add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to the sauce and mix it well. Leave the sauce to simmer at low heat for 10-15 minutes, and taste it.

If the sauce is still acidic you can add more baking soda. The baking soda will react with the acid in the tomato sauce and it will create foam, so don’t be afraid it is natural.

If you opt for baking soda, you will get less acidic but also less flavorful sauce. That is why I use sugar in my tomato sauce. However, maybe baking soda will work in your tomato sauce.

3. Herbs and vegetables


Various herbs and vegetables can be also added to tomato sauce to cut the acidity. Some of the most used vegetables to cut acidity in tomato sauce are carrots, celery, and onions.

Caramelized onions are pretty sweet, so they will add a beautiful taste to your tomato sauce and cut some of the acidity. The same goes for celery and carrots.

When they are cooked, they become sweeter and can also add sweet notes to your tomato sauce. If you want to add more flavor to your sauce, you can add herbs like basil, sage, oregano, or parsley.

Always use fresh herbs because they release their flavor faster than the dried ones. Also, add them at the end of the cooking time. If you add them at the start, they will become bitter.

Additionally, make sure that your veggies are fresh. Avoid canned or pickled because they are already acidic.

4. Dairy products

Dairy products

You can use dairy products like butter and milk to cut the acidity in tomato sauce. Add one teaspoon of butter or milk, and mix well. The butter and milk will not reduce the acidity but they will mask it so you don’t feel it too much.

If you don’t like or consume dairy products or they don’t work for your sauce you can use some of the other ingredients mentioned in this article.

Why is My Tomato Sauce so Acidic?

Your tomato sauce can be acidic if you have used not fully ripen tomatoes, or canned tomatoes because they are more acidic than fresh tomatoes.

How Much Sugar Will Cut the Acidity in Tomato Sauce?

One teaspoon of sugar will cut the acidity in tomato sauce. However, you can try the sauce and if it is still acidic you can add some more sugar until you get sweeter tomato sauce.

Does Sugar Reduce Acidity in Tomato Sauce?

Sugar is a neutral substance and doesn’t reduce acidity in tomato sauce. However, it cuts the acid taste, adds some sweetness to tomato sauce, and balance the flavors.

Does Butter Reduce Acidity in Tomato Sauce?

Butter doesn’t reduce acidity in tomato sauce. It only masks it so you don’t feel it too much.

Does Vinegar Cut Acidity in Tomato Sauce?

Vinegar doesn’t cut the acidity in tomato sauce because it is also acidic. It only enhances the flavor of the tomato sauce.

Final Thoughts

Crushed Tomatoes

If you are making tomato sauce at home and it turns acidic you can use these ingredients to improve its flavor. You can add some salt, sugar, baking soda or spices, or vegetables.

Use them in small amounts and add some more until you get the results you want. You can also add some butter or milk to your tomato sauce but don’t be surprised if you get a slightly lighter color and buttery flavor.

As a bonus ingredient, you can simply add one whole peeled potato to your tomato sauce. The potato will absorb the acidity from the sauce and you will get less acidic tomato sauce.

Try these ingredients in your tomato sauce and let us know which one helped to cut the acidity. We will be happy to read your experiences and thoughts in the comments section.

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