Making delicious sauces is easier than you think. Read here to find out how to thicken your soups and sauces to the perfect consistency.
Cooking can be fun! Whipping up a tasty recipe can be a rewarding activity. However, if preparing meals isn't your favorite activity, there are certain aspects of the cooking process that you may find challenging.
For example, you might find that making sauces for your meals is particularly exhausting. The good news is that we've got a few tips to help make sauces easier for you. Keep reading, and we'll also show you a few recipes to try out your sauce-making skills.
Common Problems With Thickening
Preparing a gravy or glaze for your meals adds the finishing touch that perfects its flavor. Still, getting the ideal consistency isn't always easy for home cooks. To help you figure out how to make the best sauces, gravy, and soups, let's first look at a couple of the common problems you might run into.
Clumps Keep Forming
Ever try to make a wonderfully cheesy Alfredo sauce? If you include cheese in your recipe, you may run the risk of the mixture becoming clumpy rather than thick and creamy.
If you tend to grate cheese onto your pasta as an afterthought, you may notice that it doesn't blend well with the noodles. One way to remedy this problem is by grating your cheese into the sauce in small amounts, allowing it to melt evenly.
The Consistency Is Too Thin
Who doesn't love a tomato soup with a perfectly toasty grilled cheese sandwich? Soups such as this can be mouthwatering and add a delicious warmth to your meals.
However, one primary problem you might run into is that your sauce, soup, gravy, roux, or slurry is too thin. Keep reading, and we'll show you several ways to fix this problem.
Ways To Thicken Sauce
Getting a sauce or soup to your desired consistency doesn't have to be a struggle. Here are ten options to help you condense your soups, sauces, and thicken gravy!
If your soup or stew is watery, adding tomato paste may help! Adding tomato paste can also contribute a wonderful burst of flavor.
You might prefer to avoid gluten in your recipes. In that case, you can use cornstarch and arrowroot powder as a thickening powder. These make excellent options for thickening agents.
Start by mixing one tablespoon with an equal part of cold water to create an arrowroot or cornstarch slurry. Then, mix in the rest of your liquid slowly as you whisk your mixture on high heat. You should use one tablespoon of arrowroot per cup of liquid.
If you're not on a gluten-free diet, one of the best ways to thicken your sauce is to add all-purpose flour! Flour is a primary ingredient used when making a roux, and you can also use flour for soup and gravy thickening.
Adding two ounces for every cup of liquid is a good rule of thumb. Remember that whisking this slurry consistency and letting it simmer over medium heat will help remove the raw flour taste while maintaining that thickening power.
Reduce Your Liquid
One way to make your soup or sauce thicker is by reducing it in a saucepan. For this tip, try dividing your liquid in half, then in two saucepans, reduce your sauce to a low heat simmer.
Reducing a liquid can also cause the flavors to become more pronounced and vibrant. When your sauce is the desired consistency, add it back together and continue with your recipe!
Did you know you can use veggies to thicken up a soup or sauce? Vegetables rich in starch, such as potatoes and squash, make excellent thickening purées.
For this option, you'll want to roast your veggies first. Then, blend them in a food processor to break them down into a paste. Once blended, you can add this vegetable purée to your sauce to thicken the consistency!
Is your salad dressing or custard too runny? If you want to give your dressing more substance, egg yolk can help significantly.
Egg yolks can also help thicken other sauces! When using yolks in hot sauces, you'll want to whisk it in a separate small bowl with a cup of your sauce. Then, you can mix the yolk and sauce blend into the rest of the sauce and let it thicken.
Another creamy sauce thickener is yogurt. To use this thickener, add two teaspoons of cornstarch to every cup of yogurt. Then, mix this blend into your hot liquid to help it bulk up.
Let's say you're making a stew or stir-fry that doesn't have as much substance as you were expecting. Or perhaps you'll have a few more dinner guests than you originally planned. In that case, adding cooked rice to your stew or soup can make it more hearty and filling.
Rice is also super inexpensive, so you can make meals stretch easily with this simple ingredient.