How to Reduce Acidity in Tomato Sauce

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We’ve all been there, there’s a tasty Italian-style sauce on the stove, and we just can’t wait to dig in. It goes something like this. Take a spoon, submerge the spoon, taste the sauce. Acid. Yuck! Acidic tomato sauce isn’t going to win you any ‘chef of the year’ competitions. To deal with it, you are going to want to know how to reduce acidity in tomato sauce.

Well, the good news, our friends, is that we’ve got all the answers. Today we are going to give you 9 top tips that will help to reduce your tomato sauce’s acidity level. They are all super quick, and you should see pretty much instant results. Read on to find out more. 

tomato sauce

How do You Tone Down the Acidity in Tomato Sauce

To reduce acidity in your tomato sauce you can add a pinch of baking soda which will balance out the acidity. Taste the sauce and add more if needed. Adding a teaspoon of sugar will further help tone down the acidity.

Want to know how to reduce acidity in tomato sauce? There are loads of easy ways to do it. Here are 9 techniques we normally use if we find that tomato sauce just a bit too tangy.

1. Cook it

This is perhaps the simplest way to reduce acidity in tomato sauce. By cooking your tomato sauce further, you take that sharp edge off them. Want proof? Try a tomato (like right now, do it, they are delicious)… Now turn the oven on and roast the tomato and give it a try. Which was tangier, which was sweeter? We are willing to bet that your second tomato was much sweeter. 

The same principle applies to what you have got in the pan. By cooking it, your release those sugars and break down some of those acidic proteins.

tomato sauce acidity

2. Reduce it Down

Sometimes your tomato sauce might taste acidic because that is the dominant element.

At the moment.

Once you begin to cook your sauce down, the other elements in the dish will release their flavors which might go some way to neutralizing the acidity. You’ll find that some of our other suggestions below will already be present in your tomato sauce as part of the natural cooking process. All you’ve got to do is release them. By reducing your sauce down, you allow different flavor elements to come to the fore and the acidity to take a back seat.

3. Add Tomato Puree

Let’s be honest, while canned tomatoes are great, they don’t taste quite as nice as fresh tomatoes. Sometimes you can end up with a really watery sauce that tastes just a little too acidic. 

The answer?

Tomato puree. This can add a richness and depth that will rid you of that acidic tang. Start small with your puree. Stir it in and give it a taste. Has it made it better or worse? We are willing to bet that it will be better. If it is headed in the right direction, but your tomato sauce is still just a little too acidic, add a little more puree until you find the sweet spot.

4. Dilute your Tomato Paste

While tomato puree is a great ingredient, it too can sometimes taste a little sharp when first added to a dish. That little red worm of paste sure packs a lot of flavors. But remember, one thing we did say was to cook tomatoes down to reduce acidity.

You might need to do the same with tomato paste, especially if it is one of the first ingredients you add. To give it time to cook down and stop burning, you will need to dilute it. We suggest mixing it with enough water to get it to the same consistency as heavy cream. Then incorporate it into your recipe as per the instructions. 

5. A Pinch of Salt?

Sometimes people mistake the lack of taste as a result of acidity when it is, in fact, that their dish is under seasoned. 

If you have tasted your tomato sauce and all you can taste is a sharp acid, then it could be time to add a pinch of salt. Here’s a top tip. Don’t overdo it. You can easily add more salt, but once added, it is impossible to take out! Work your way up in pinches, have a taste, and if necessary, repeat the process.

6. Sweeten the Deal

This has to be one of our favorite tips when discussing how to reduce acidity in tomato sauce. It is so simple. Tomatoes should be naturally sweet. And your tomato sauce should be too. If it isn’t, why not give it a helping hand?

How?

A spoonful of sugar. You won’t need much. A teaspoon at most!

7. Alkaline

This is all about the science. Acid and alkaline are at opposite ends of the scale. And they tend to balance each other out. Suppose you’ve got a tomato sauce that is too acidic. In that case, you can use alkaline’s neutralizing effects to give it a little more balance.

But what is ‘an alkaline.’

Easy!

Add a pinch of baking soda to your sauce. It’ll fizz up and then taste better. We promise.

8. Umami 

For those who don’t know, umami is the name given to the meaty taste you get from stock, steak, and browned meat. It is a little salty and savory and could be just what your tomato sauce needs. An easy way to add umami? We don’t go for fancy additives. Instead, we just crumble a beef stock cube straight into the sauce.

9. Add Butter

Fats bind to acids. Want a tasty fat? Give butter a try! Not only will this make your tomato sauce less acidic, but it will add a real creamy richness and depth to your sauce. 

FAQs

  1. Does sugar reduce acidity in tomato sauce?

    Yes sugar can definitely help mask the taste and reduce acidity in tomato sauce, however our recommendation is baking soda combined with sugar for best results.

  2. How do you fix a sauce that is too acidic?

    To fix a sauce that is too acidic add baking soda and a pinch of sugar to neutralise the acidity. Prior to blending your tomatoes, make sure to remove the seeds.

Conclusion

How to reduce acidity in tomato sauce? Easily! All of the tips above will work and help make your dish super tasty! Our favorite is adding baking soda and/or sugar. There isn’t a tomato sauce we’ve made yet that hasn’t been improved by those tips! What are you cooking? Let us know in the comments below! 

How to Reduce Acidity in Tomato Sauce

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Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: Food FAQsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy

Learn how to reduce the acidity in tomato sauce by following our step by step process. Just get some baking soda ready and you’re on your way.

Ingredients

  • Baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

Directions

  • Cut up your tomatoes and remove the seeds.
  • Place the chopped tomatoes into a blender.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and stir rigorously.
  • Allow sauce to simmer on a lower heat setting for 60 minutes.
  • Regularly check the taste and add more baking soda until you achieve the required taste.
  • Sprinkle in sugar to help mask the taste.

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