How to Thicken Tomato Sauce (Spaghetti & Pizza Sauce)

Spaghetti sauce

The Italian cuisine is full of nice, mouthwatering, juicy sauces which when combined with pasta or pizza you will get the perfect dish.

There are many types of sauces from red, white or clear ones which add special and amazing tones to your meal. You have the option to buy some of them at the store, they are prepared beforehand. However, it’s always better to make one at home.

Adding different types of spices, water tomatoes or other types of vegetables can make your sauce even tastier. Furthermore, the sauces differ in texture, meaning they can be a bit runny or thick. Moreover, what if your sauce is runny and you need it to be thickened is there something to add?

What can I use to thicken my tomato sauce? Actually, there are many different ways and tips which can help you thicken your tomato sauce. Just follow our tips so you can make the sauce for your pasta or pizza even better.

On our list, you will find the best thickeners for pasta and spaghetti sauce. It includes heating it up, adding more species, bread crumbs, cheese, vegetables, heavy cream, or meat. Or you can use the method of strain and drain.

Further, you can use cornstarch, flour or arrowroot, pureed potatoes, butter, or roux. This way you will get the ideal texture for your tomato sauce. Just follow the tips and use proper amounts. 

How to Thicken Tomato Sauce?

Spaghetti Sauce

Tomato sauce is commonly used in Italian cuisine, especially with pasta or pizza. Also, tomato sauce is part of many meals and when added it provides a nice touch and notes to the dish.

People tend to cook differently, meaning some of them want their sauce to be a bit runnier and some like the sauce to be thick. But everything depends on the recipe itself.

Further, to get the perfect texture for your tomato sauce if you are making pizza or spaghetti sauce or practically any other type of pasta in which you want to add tomato sauce you need to adjust the thickness.

Since it may happen that your tomato sauce is not thick enough for use, we have provided useful tips on what are the best ways to adjust the sauce. Read on to learn more about the tomato sauce for pasta and pizza. 

How to thicken spaghetti sauce?

When it comes to spaghetti, sauces are inevitable. The sauce which is used for spaghetti is very delicate to make, which means that you need to properly make it. It is very tasty and the spaghetti dish will make your mouth water.

However, as we mentioned before the texture of the sauce needs to be properly cooked and made because you won’t have the proper thickness. Follow the tips below and use the best option to make the perfect thick tomato sauce for pasta.

Tomato Sauce

Heat the sauce up

If you have been cooking the sauce for quite some time and the texture is still not thick enough, you should turn the heat up a bit. Also, occasional stirring is super important when it comes to sauces. 

Add spices

Spices are very important for pasta and tomato sauce. Actually, by adding various spices like powdered garlic, oregano, and basil to your boiling mixture you will be able to make the sauce thicker. This way the sauce will cook longer. And as another benefit from the spices, you will add some aroma and flavors. 

Bread crumbs

Something that can absorb the extra liquid like a sponge is bread crumbs. They can be considered as another option that will serve you well and it will be great for the texture of the tomato sauce.

As we mentioned, bread is considered to be like a natural sponge which is one of the benefits that can take the extra juices out and provide the texture that you need. 


Another way to thicken the sauce is by adding cheese. It is typically added to sauces for taste, however, cheese has other advantages. Usually, Parmesan cheese is considered an option to be used for spaghetti. However, you can add another type of cheese by your choosing.


By adding some carrots or other types of veggies, even mushrooms you will not just thicken the sauce but add additional flavors to the mixture. This way the sauce will be even better. 

Heavy cream

If you add heavy cream you may transform the tomato sauce completely. But the heavy cream will add an immediately thick texture and will make the sauce different than usual. 

Add meat

This way you will get a savory, tasty tomato sauce with meat. You can add ground beef, pork, turkey or another option is the Italian sausage. You will have to let the sauce simmer and the more you leave it, the better the sauce will get. 

The method of strain and drain

When making the tomato sauce, it’s a good way to strain the tomatoes before turning them into a sauce. If you do this before cooking the sauce for hours, you will get rid of the extra water that the tomatoes will release once you start cooking them. 

How to thicken tomato sauce for pizza?


The pizza is not complete without the tomato sauce. When mixed with the other toppings and herbs you get the most delicious pizza.

People experiment and add different ingredients but the one thing that is a staple is the tomato sauce. However, if you think that the tomato sauce for your pizza is not thick enough, we have the solutions for you.

Add cornstarch, flour, or arrowroot

By adding a teaspoon of cornstarch, flour, or arrowroot you will be able to get the perfect thickness. However, keep in mind that you may add some other flavor to your sauce so you can always add baking soda for the flavors. Be careful how much you add so you won’t affect the other ingredients. 

Pureed tomatoes

Another option that is perfect for a runny pizza tomato sauce is the pureed tomatoes. This way you will get the perfect texture and improve the taste of your pizza. 

Add butter

Melt a cup of butter for every cup of sauce that you are making. When adding the butter whisk so the texture will become smooth. This way you will get a nice thick texture. 


Another way to thicken your pizza tomato sauce is by adding roux. All you have to do is to mix a ratio of 1:1 of fat and flour, add oil, and stir constantly until you get the perfect roux.

Afterward, when the roux is complete you can add two tablespoons to thicken a cup of tomato sauce. When you see that the sauce is bubbling whisk and cook it on low heat. Stir until you get the ideal texture you need. 

Related Questions

What do I do if my tomato sauce is too runny?

If your tomato sauce is runny all you have to do is simmer it on low heat. This way you won’t affect the flavors, instead, you will improve your sauce. Also, you can add cornstarch, one or two tablespoons.

How do you make the sauce thicker?

You can always add cornstarch or arrowroot to make the tomato sauce thicker. Add equal parts of water and whisk on high heat until the texture thickens and the cornstarch or arrowroot mixes.

How can I thicken tomato sauce without tomato paste?

Use the water that the pasta was boiling into and add it to your sauce. This is a useful tip since the water has scratches that are floating. Also, you can use mashed potatoes or cornstarch.

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