Spaghetti Sauce Too Sweet: 10 Quick & Easy Fixes!

Spaghetti sauce

There is nothing like a good bowl of spaghetti as dinner after a long day of work.

The key to perfect pasta lies in the flavor of its sauce. Hence, spaghetti sauce needs to be an ideal blend of sweet, spicy, and sour for you to get the whole experience of it.

If you have chanced upon this article, we assume that your spaghetti sauce has accidentally become too sweet. However, don’t fret as we can help you solve this issue!

You can fix your sauce by adding more spice or something bitter, increasing the acidity or the amount of sauce, adding extra cheese, or adding savory herbs.

Extremely sweet spaghetti can be tormenting to the tongue because it is not supposed to taste like tomato candy.

You need not worry, as there are many ways to fix this problem and neutralize the taste of your sauce. This article will cover the best fixes, so let’s dive right in.

1. Add Spice


Adding spice is a great way to neutralize your sweet spaghetti sauce.

This can be done by adding a mixture of crushed red pepper or its flakes in general. You can even add chili powder if you do not have this vegetable or flakes around.

Another way to balance it is by chopping down fresh red or green chilis to your sauce when it is on a flame so that the spiciness mixes well.

If your dish becomes too spicy, you can always neutralize it by adding milk.

2. Add Something Bitter

Kale Chips

This is a suggestion for those who might want to add a new twist to your regular spaghetti sauce.

You can add something bitter like kale or arugula to your sauce, as bitterness can easily power over the sweet flavor.

It gives a unique flavor to the pasta, and the greens are excellent for your heart, stomach, and blood pressure. 

3. Dilute if it is Store-Bought

Spaghetti Sauce

If your sauce is store-bought, which is thicker as compared to the one made at home, you can make it less sweet by diluting the solution with water.

Be careful as this procedure requires a lot of taste-testing and patience. To do this, you can either boil it with water or make a broth out of tomatoes.

There is no need to worry if the water dilutes the sauce too much as getting back spice is an easy task, and you can follow any of the methods listed in the article for it.

4. Add Salt

Rock salt

Salt is an excellent balancer of sugar, and they complement each other well when it comes to making a dish savory.

Adding salt to your sweetened pasta sauce also has to follow the taste-testing method wherein you can start with a pinch of salt and slowly go on. Other good alternatives to salt are soy sauce or miso.

They not only decrease the sweetness of your sauce but also give it the delicious umami flavor that many seek in spaghetti. 

5. Add Something Acidic


Adding acid is the easiest way to balance out the sweet levels of your pasta sauce.

Vinegar, a common household ingredient, is used to neutralize food as well as a cleaning agent. According to how it blends with the sauce, vinegar is also supposed to be added using the taste and testing method.

The only kind of vinegar that will not work to balance out sweetness is balsamic vinegar, as it also has a very high sugar content.

Another acidic substance you can add is lemon juice.

If you do not have it around, you can simply squeeze out some fresh lemons for your sauce. If you are missing lemons in your kitchen as well, go for any sort of citrus juice.

The best thing about acid is that it is easy to find, so you can use the most common condiment to tone down the flavors of your sauce.

Mustard has vinegar present in it, so it makes for a good alternative.

Lastly, for those who are experts in cooking and want to experiment with new ways of making pasta, you can go for flavorless cream of tartar or citric acid crystals.

Start with a teaspoon or one squeeze at a time before taste testing.

Just watch out for the amount of acid you put in the sauce. Always start with a small quantity as it can easily overpower other flavors. 

6. Increase The Amount of Sauce

If your spaghetti sauce has become too sweet, you can simply add more ingredients and increase the amount, which will lead you to have a balanced, savory meal.

You can do this by chopping up some more tomatoes and then mixing them with the spices you have added before to balance out the sweetness that comes from them.

In cases when the originally made sauce is extremely sweet, it is advisable to make the newer sauce without the sugar and just use the spices.

Add the puree-type mixture to the original batch ¼ cup at a time and keep tasting it with each cup. Allow it to cook for at least twenty minutes for the flavors to blend well.

Another method some people use is hot sauce or barbeque to neutralize the flavor of sweetness with the level of spice. This can make the sauce extremely spicy, so remember to start with a small quantity.

7. Add Savory Herbs


Adding savory herbs also balances out the flavor of the sauce.

Some herbs safe for enhancing the flavor of spaghetti sauce are thyme, marjoram, black pepper, basil, and oregano.

Mix them in with onion or minced garlic and plain vinegar before adding them to the mixture slowly in tiny amounts. 

8. Serve It With Other Flavored Toppings

Seafood Spaghett

Adding things to your sauce is not the only way to balance it out. You can also add your choice of flavored toppings, which can help with the sweetened sauce.

Sprinkling some cheese or oregano over your spaghetti before serving it can neutralize the flavors of sweetened spaghetti sauce.

Mushrooms, smoked vegetables, and dried herbs also make for great spaghetti toppings that help balance the sweetness of the sauce.

People often use dried chili flakes in huge amounts with sweet pasta sauce to complement their taste buds.

Lastly, a peculiar but appetizing topping to go with your spaghetti is cream or butter. It adds a richness to your pasta and, when topped off with the sauce, gives it a great, creamy flavor. 

9. Add Cheese

Adding cheese to your sweetened sauce acts the same way salt does.

Sprinkling a good amount of parmesan cheese and letting it melt to balance out the sauce is a good method of doing it. You can add other salty cheese like pecorino Romano, which will also help to thicken up the sauce.

Moreover, do not add it directly to the sauce. Cheese makes a great topping and you can put it over your spaghetti once it is cooked before serving. 

10. Other Substances

Tamarind Paste

Some other ingredients you can add to your spaghetti sauce which are alternatives to the things mentioned here are as follows.


Often, wine is added to the sauce as it works as an acid with a savory taste that balances out the sweetness of sugar.

Avoid using red wine as it is sweeter than other wines and can have the opposite effect of what you want.

Tamarind Paste

Making a paste out of tamarinds or having a store-bought one can also help balance out the sugar in your sauce with its tart flavor.  

What To Add If The Sauce Is Too Sweet?

A sauce that has become too sweet can be fixed easily by overcoming the flavor with acid or spices. You can add lime juice or vinegar (white, red, or balsamic). Salt or wine can also do the trick of balancing out the flavors in spaghetti sauce.

The process to be followed is simply adding less of the neutralizers and then slowly increasing the amount according to the taste you are getting from the sauce.

What Makes Spaghetti Sauce Sweet?

Spaghetti sauce bought from the store is sweet due to the added sugars and preservatives in it. Moreover, if you are working with a store-bought sauce, adding your ingredients can likely raise the sauce’s level of sweetness.

The long cooking of homemade spaghetti brings out the sweetness and freshness of tomatoes.

How To Make Spaghetti Sauce More Savory?

You can make your spaghetti sauce savory by balancing out the sweet and sour ingredients that you add to your sauce.

You have to let the flavors blend well to achieve the best kind of sauce. Chefs recommend switching to lean pork meat for the meat and tons of basil to make the sauce more savory and flavorful.

Other than these methods, you can also increase the addition of components that have intense flavors and are used to spice up your dish such as the following.

Virgin Olive Oil

If you use flavorful olive oil for cooking your spaghetti sauce, it will infuse a great aroma and flavor to it.


Garlic has a strong and dominating flavor. You can add it to your sauce in slightly higher amounts to make your sauce more savory.

Red Wine

This should not be used as a neutralizer for sweetened pasta but is recommendable as an original ingredient in the sauce. Just a couple of tablespoons, according to how much sauce you are adding, can bring out an amazing flavor.

Final Words

It is incredible how just a few ingredients at home can turn a mess into a delicacy.

Whether you have a homemade spaghetti sauce or store-bought, just a bunch of spices and salt can help you achieve the perfect flavor.

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