How To Make A Sauce Thicker

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Sauces are a great way to complement all kinds of dishes ranging from savory to sweet. While sauces can make a dish, they also have the potential to ruin it as well.

This is because a sauce should complement a dish and have a decent consistency. A lot of the time, bad sauces are bad due to the thinness. 

Whether you are making a creamy sauce for a pasta dish or a fruit sauce for a dessert, knowing how to make a sauce thicker is a great way to ensure that your sauce will have excellent consistency.

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through the various methods that you can use to thicken your sauce, regardless of what kind of sauce you are making.

By the end of this article, you’ll feel confident when it comes to making the perfect sauce with the best consistency. 

Can You Make A Sauce Thicker?

Before we delve into the various methods, it’s essential to know whether you can make your sauce thicker. The great news is that you absolutely can. If you are making a sauce from scratch, it’s best to attempt thickening the sauce during the sauce-making process.

This is because waiting for the sauce to be complete before adding your thickener can cause flavor issues and create lumps in the texture.

The great news is that there is not just one way that you can thicken a sauce, meaning that you can choose a method that complements the flavor profile of your sauce and the type of sauce that you are making. For example, you wouldn’t use instant potato flakes on a sweet sauce as this wouldn’t mix properly. 

The Best Ways To Thicken A Sauce

There are many methods you can use to thicken a sauce, depending on what kind of sauce you are making. In this section, we’ll be delving into the best ways that you can thicken a sauce with ease. 

Sauces can be added to savory or sweet dishes, meaning that there are an endless amount of sauces that you can try to make.

Regardless of this, there are also countless thickening agents that you can use to improve the consistency of your sauce. 

Here are the many ways that you can thicken a sauce:


The first option is butter which simply requires you to swirl some butter into a pan sauce which then helps to thicken the sauce while also giving the sauce a glossy sheen that makes it look pleasant and professional.

Bear in mind that you should add a bit of butter at a time as you don’t want to add too much and then find that the sauce has become too thick. 

Egg Yolks

The second method that you can use is egg yolks which can be whisked into a thin sauce in a separate bowl before adding it back into the pan on low heat.

When the sauce begins to heat up, you should notice it thickening. This particular method is known as tempering and stops the yolk from curdling when it has been stirred in the sauce over low heat.

Flour-Based Thickeners

One of the most popular sauce thickeners is flour. This technique may be common, but it can take a while to master.

This is because you don’t simply add flour as you will need to whisk an equal amount of flour and water in a separate bowl.

Once you have done this, make sure that you add this mixture into the sauce, but only once the water and flour have been thoroughly mixed. 

The best way to start off your water and flour mix is by using 2 tablespoons of flour and a cup of liquid.

Always start with a small amount before increasing as you want to ensure that you are thickening the sauce a bit at a time. 

This method should only be used during the sauce-making process as it doesn’t work effectively if the sauce has already been made. 

Gluten-Free Thickeners

For those who lead a gluten-free diet, using gluten-free thickeners is a great way to thicken your sauce.

Some examples of gluten-free thickeners include cornstarch or a cornstarch substitute combined with arrowroot powder which makes a great thickening agent.

Make sure that if you are combining cornstarch with arrowroot powder do it in a separate bowl before adding it to the sauce. 

The best way to make your gluten-free thickener is by adding a tablespoon of the powder into a cup of liquid such as water and mixing until it has been thoroughly combined. 

Instant Potato Flakes

A great way to thicken sauces is by using instant potato flakes which are great for a variety of sauces.

Before you add the instant potato flakes, make sure that the potatoes complement the sauce that you are making. Creamy, savory sauces are the best type of sauce to use instant potato flakes with.

Puréed Vegetables

The last option you can try is puréed vegetables which are great for those making vegetable-based sauces.

You can blend some spare vegetables that you have used for the sauce and use them as a natural thickener. Some examples include beans, cauliflower, potatoes, and winter squash. 


In conclusion, there are many methods that you can use to thicken your sauce.

With so many thickeners to choose from, thinking about what kind of sauce you are making and what ingredients are included is a great starting point for understanding what method is right for you. 

Sauces are a great way to spice up any kind of dish and if you have felt intimidated by the idea of making your own sauces from scratch, you don’t have to worry about that anymore as you can become more confident with your sauce-making skills.

It can seem daunting when it comes to deciding on a thickener, especially if you are not an avid cook, but the more you practice, the more you will become accustomed to how much thickener you should add, and you’ll master the technique in no time. 

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