Fail-Proof Ways to Get the Burnt Taste Out of Spaghetti Sauce

How to Get the Burnt Taste Out of Spaghetti Sauce


One of the most common cooking mishaps is accidentally burning pasta or marinara sauce you’re making. This is the last thing you want to happen after learning how to thicken pasta sauce in my last blog post. So today, we’ll talk about how to get the burnt taste out of spaghetti sauce. You can be cooking for years and still have this happen to you, I for one, am guilty about this. So, no need to be shy about it. 😉

Not all pasta sauces are created equally, some can get burned easier than others. At the top of this list are any tomato-based sauces and white sauces. Thus, you have to be more cautious when making them. It can all be going well, and you get distracted for a fraction of a second then you’ll smell that dreaded tang of the burning sauce.

Don’t get disheartened if it happens to you quite often, especially if you’re still finding your way around the kitchen. As my grandma always says, “practice makes perfect” and –

Prevention is better than cure! So first, here are some tips I’ve learned along the way:

How Do I Keep Spaghetti Sauce From Burning?

  • Check that completely scrape off the fond from your sautéed onion, garlic, or ground meat before you deglaze your saucepan. The fond can stick to the bottom of the pan while you are simmering the sauce and cause it to burn.
  • When you’re simmering the pasta sauce to thicken it, make sure that your stove is set to very low heat. Putting it on medium or high heat and leaving it to simmer almost guarantees a burnt sauce.
  • Do not over simmer the sauce. I’m guilty of leaving the sauce to simmer then accidentally forgetting about its existence. Simmering for 10 to 15 minutes on low heat is enough to marry the ingredients together unless you need to thicken your sauce. Only then should you simmer longer.

spaghetti on pan

  • Do not forget to occasionally stir the sauce. This is to make sure that the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. This is particularly important if you’re like me who loves to add cheese while simmering the sauce.
  • When stirring the sauce, remember to stir all the way down to the bottom and around the sides of the pan. Most times we tend to just lightly stir the sauce or just stir in the middle. This leaves the rest of the sauce untouched and thus they stick to the pan.
  • Use a nonstick saucepan. This lessens the chances of the sauce getting stuck to the bottom of the pan and burning.

How Do I Get The Burnt Taste Out Of Spaghetti Sauce?

  • The first thing you have to do is transfer the sauce to a different saucepan. Do not put it over the heat right away while you’re transferring the sauce. If you do this, you might end up with another burnt pan.
  • Place the pan on a flat surface and carefully transfer the sauce. Move on and do not scrape the bottom of the current pan so as not to bring over the burnt chunks to the new one. Once you get all the salvageable sauce to the new pan, put it back on low heat.

There’s a high chance that a lot of the spices or herbs got burnt so you will need to readjust your seasoning. There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • If a lot of the sauce got burnt and it’s not enough for your pasta, add tomato paste or depending on how much you need, half a can of tomato sauce. Then add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a pinch of oregano or basil. Then let simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes on very low heat while occasionally stirring the sauce.
  • Use POTATOES. Yes, I tried it and yes it worked. Peel a couple of potatoes and cut them in half. Toss them in the sauce and let simmer. The potatoes will absorb the burnt taste and smell of the sauce. Take them out once they start to soften then readjust the seasoning of your sauce.

Hopefully, you won’t need these hacks. But next time this happens (knock on wood) don’t panic and remember these steps! They are lifesavers that have helped me get the burnt taste out of spaghetti sauce every time. Feel free to leave me a comment and share how they worked with you! 😉

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