Are you trying to master your favorite pizza recipe?
I think many people would agree that a good, thick, tomato-based pizza sauce is a crucial component of a delicious pizza!
As such, ensuring the sauce has a perfect consistency and flavor is an art.
If you don’t know how to make this happen, don’t worry: this guide will give you some valuable tips to achieve this!
You may not have the San Marzano tomatoes grown in the fields of Naples, but some simple household ingredients will still do the trick! You don’t even have to make the sauce from scratch.
This guide provides pointers that apply to both homemade pizza sauce and premade/store-bought sauces. We will cover:
- How to thicken pizza sauce
- How to thicken other tomato-based sauces.
Let’s get into it!
How to Thicken Pizza Sauce
Say goodbye to watery disappointments. There is no need to throw out a failing pizza sauce with the many ways that it can be saved!
Outlined below are techniques that range from strategic cooking times to additional ingredients that will help thicken your favorite pizza sauce.
1. Cook Longer
Rather than simmering your tomatoes for a minimum of 8-10 minutes, try 45!
Tomatoes naturally contain a high water content. When heating tomatoes for your pizza sauce over a long period of time, the water content is slowly eliminated. This will ultimately leave behind a thicker sauce.
Why not add some vegetables for a more wholesome, nourishing pizza sauce – not to mention make it thicker?
Adding additional ingredients gives your sauce a bit more substance and flavor! While not entirely traditional, mushrooms and peppers are tasty options for this.
Like vegetables, adding meat to your pizza sauce provides more substance (and therefore, thickness).
It is especially good if you like a meaty texture and flavor! However, be aware that adding meat won’t necessarily thicken the tomatoes themselves.
Therefore, draining the excess liquid that surrounds the ingredients could be worth doing to achieve the thick pizza sauce you’re after.
Cheese is a special ingredient because it can not only help thicken your pizza sauce but make it taste even more amazing too!
In particular, Parmesan is an ideal addition due to being a natural thickener. All you need to do is stir in some grated parmesan into the sauce (best when warm) until thickened.
5. Tomato Paste
Like it says in the name, tomato paste has a paste-like consistency – nice and thick!
Adding this to your pizza sauce will naturally cause it to thicken. Additionally, you do not need too much of the substance, so just a little tube of tomato paste should do the trick.
6. Olive Oil
Oils and fats are highly useful in thickening pizza sauce!
Virgin olive oil is particularly ideal to add because of how it ties in well with the natural flavor of the pizza sauce.
All you need to do is add a bit of olive oil to the sauce over low heat or put both in the blender.
7. Cornstarch Slurry
Cornstarch slurry is a combination of equal parts cornstarch and water, and is often used as a thickening agent in sauces!
Slowly add this to your pizza sauce over low heat, and you should come out with a thicker sauce.
However, ensure that the cornstarch is mixed thoroughly with the water before adding it, as adding it with dry patches of cornstarch does not work well with tomatoes.
8. Egg Yolk
Thanks to the protein content in egg yolks, they are a good option for thickening your pizza sauce!
However, there is an art to adding this ingredient: To prevent the egg scrambling, mix a small amount of the hot pizza sauce with egg yolk, then pour this mixture back into your pot!
Like cornstarch slurry, adding roux (a combination of some sort of fat and flour) adds the starch component to your pizza sauce, ultimately thickening it!
When heated in liquid, starch granules soak up water and ‘swell’, which results in longer starch molecules and a thicker sauce.
Additionally, Roux can provide a more creamy element to the sauce. Simply mix equal parts butter and flour in a separate pot on the stove, then add to your pizza sauce!
10. Mashed Potatoes
Again, adding starch to your pizza sauce can help thicken it – and mashed potatoes are no exception!
On top of this, mashed potatoes won’t change the flavor of the sauce much at all, allowing you to preserve the original taste of your pie.
Other Pizza Sauces
How to thicken homemade pizza sauce
Often, when making a homemade pizza sauce, you may find that it comes out more watery than intended.
This could be due to over-blending (allowing additional water to seep out from the tomatoes), or not adding enough thickening agents.
So, when making your own homemade pizza sauce, it’s important to avoid over-blending (or even blending at all!).
For instance, if you use canned crushed tomatoes, you can simply dump them in your pot without any blending. Then, ensure to add thickening agents like those that have been mentioned above. Cooking it for a longer period is also extremely important!
How to thicken tomato sauce for pizza
Adding starch, egg yolks, cheese, or simmering your sauce down as explained previously will all contribute to a thicker tomato sauce! Cornstarch slurry tends to be a popular option for this.
How to thicken marinara sauce for pizza
Marinara is a simple tomato-based sauce with a thinner, lighter feel to it due to the minimal ingredients.
If you want to thicken it, it’s best to let the sauce simmer for longer until your desired consistency!
If you have extra prep time on your hands and want the ultimate thick marinara sauce, put it in the slow cooker for 4 hours, stirring every now and then.
And if you are looking for an even thicker marinara sauce still, adding thickening agents that have been talked about in this article like cornstarch slurry will do the trick!
Just be wary that Marinara is meant to be a simple, basic sauce, so don’t overload on ingredients that could change the taste too drastically.
This article has unraveled the art of thickening pizza sauces!
Whether for your traditional sauce or a lighter marinara, there’s a strategy for any type of pizza.
This guide gives you a wide array of options to work with, so play around with different combinations!
How do I properly store thickened sauces?
Thick sauces should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
If your sauce contains any dairy products, it is particularly important to store it in the refrigerator for food safety.
If you plan on freezing your sauce, be aware the texture of the sauce may change.
Is there a safe way to reheat sauces from the refrigerator?
Yes, there is. If you want to reheat your sauce from the refrigerator, it is recommended that you heat the sauce to a boil.
A good way to do this is to put the sauce in a pot on the stovetop and let it come to a boil.
Is there a way to reduce the time required for thickening pizza sauce?
Yes. If you do not want to wait around for your pizza sauce to thicken via simmering, use thickening agents.
There are additional ingredients that can help thicken the sauce. Cornstarch slurry, roux, and egg yolks are some of the many you can use!
As someone from Long Island, New York, Thomas knows what it takes to make a good pizza. He understands that it’s a combination of high-quality ingredients, well-rounded pizza ovens, and a little bit of love. From the dough of a Neapolitan-style pizza to the wood that powers a wood-fired pizza oven, he has you covered. Thomas’ love of pizza is what got him here and he hopes that you’ll enjoy pizza as much as he does soon.
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