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Tricks for Thickening Sauces

Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova
Thickening sauces
Image: Albena Asenova

Sauces are a great addition to almost any dish. However easy they are to prepare, they do not always turn out right. The most common problem - they become too thin. Don't worry, though, because that's no reason to throw away the sauce and start making it all over again. There are several ways you can easily thicken an overly thin sauce.

The first and easiest way we know from our grandmothers is with flour. However, just so it doesn't form lumps, it must be either fried or beaten well in advance with a small amount of water. Then add to the sauce, mix well and enjoy the result. Remember, however, that this method is only suitable for hot sauces - Bolognese sauce, cream sauces or Béchamel sauce.


Another way is with mashed potato powder. With it you will avoid the specific taste of the flour if you do not like it and the texture will become fluffy and airy. Again, it is only suitable for hot sauces.

Some cooks prefer to use starch. It will do the same job as the mashed potato powder and flour as they contain this product. For milk and cream-based sauces, you can also use liquid cooking cream. When it boils, it has the ability to thicken, and at the same time improves the taste.

Hot thickened sauce

If there are vegetables in the sauce, for example in the Bolognese sauce, you can add an extra amount of finely chopped carrots and mushrooms. They will also add density and improve the taste. Grated potatoes also thicken. The reason - it contains starch, but use it only for white sauces with a strong creamy taste or cheese flavor.

Another trick - just let the sauce boil longer. Since it is not a soup, even if the vegetables in it are overcooked, no one will notice it. And overcooking them can lead to additional thickening.

Cold sauces can be thickened as well

For cold sauces - use mayonnaise or sour cream. In case you want to get a thick garlic or yogurt sauce, instead of yogurt and mayonnaise, mix cream with mayonnaise. In no case, however, should you beat them with a mixer, blender or chopper, because this way the cream liquefies and you will get the opposite effect.