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How to Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

  • Author: chefjar
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Learn how to thicken spaghetti sauce! There’s nothing more disappointing than tucking into a big bowl of pasta and finding the sauce is thin and watery! Thin sauces won’t stick to your pasta properly, lack in flavor and texture, and are all around disappointing to eat. That’s why we created this handy guide to thickening your spaghetti sauce.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb (500 g) ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 28 oz ( 800 ml) tomato passata (sauce)
  • 3/4 cup beef broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Shredded Parmesan  for serving


  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the ground beef , garlic and bay leaves and cook for a few minutes. Break down the beef, using a wooden spatula.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped onion and paprika. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato passata, beef broth, oregano, ground black pepper and salt. Mix everything together, bring to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and allow to simmer  for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, if  you find the sauce to be too thin for your liking, simmer further for 5 minutes. If you want to thicken the sauce, add one of the following: cornstarch slurry, tomato sauce, roux, egg yolk or mashed potatoes.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve with cooked spaghetti. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Category: Pasta recipes
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Calories: 248kcal
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 280mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 55mg

Keywords: how to thicken pasta sauce, spaghetti sauce, pasta sauce