How to Cut the Acidity in Tomato Sauce

Soilless agriculture plum tomatoes
Roma, or plum, tomatoes are naturally lower in acid. (Image: minemero/iStock/Getty Images)

Tomatoes are high source of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, but it is this acid that can contribute to stomach discomfort and a bitter taste to your sauce. While adding sweet ingredients, such as sugar, can alter the acidic taste, other ingredients can neutralize the acid, leaving your favorite sauce not only tasty, but easy on the stomach.

Step 1

Combine your sauce ingredients in a large pot, using peeled plum or Roma tomatoes, if you choose to use fresh tomatoes. These varieties are naturally lower in acid.

Step 2

Place a small amount of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat and add thinly sliced sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes before turning the heat to low and cooking for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Add these to your sauce.

Step 3

Add a small amount of white sugar and stir well. Taste your sauce and add more if necessary. As an alternative, you may add grated or whole carrots. As they cook in the sauce, the natural sugars release. You may leave them in the sauce or pour the sauce through a colander to remove.

Step 4

Simmer your sauce for no longer than 1 1/2 hours. The longer your simmer the sauce, the more moisture evaporates and the more concentrated the tomatoes become. Remove the sauce from heat and let sit for 40 minutes.

Step 5

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda. Expect to see slight bubbling as the baking soda neutralizes the acid. Stir the sauce until the bubbling stops.

Things You'll Need

  • Peeled plum tomatoes

  • Onions

  • Skillet

  • Olive oil

  • Sugar

  • Carrots

  • Colander

  • Baking soda


Use one or all of these acid-cutting ingredients, depending on which tips best suit your sauce.

Load comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.