Is There Any Way to Make Tomato Sauce Less Acidic?

tomato sauce
Fresh tomato sauce garnished with basil leaves. (Image: vovashevchuk/iStock/Getty Images)

Tomatoes are extremely high in ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is a powerful antioxidant, but it also can make for unpleasantly acidic tomato sauce. Fixing acidic sauce is possible, but it takes a little bit of adjusting and experimenting. The best way to balance an acidic taste is with a sweet one. In the case of sour tomato sauce, a spoonful of sugar makes the acid taste go down.

Sugar Method

Step 1

Bring the tomato sauce to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

Step 2

Add 1 tbsp. of sugar. Stir the sugar into the sauce with a wooden spoon for one to two minutes or until it is completely dissolved.

Step 3

Taste the sauce. If it is still too acidic, add another tablespoon of sugar, stir it in and taste the sauce again. It rarely takes more than 2 to 3 tbsp. of sugar to correct acidic sauce.

Carrot Method

Step 1

Wash and peel two to three carrots, depending on how much sauce you have.

Step 2

Slice the carrots and add them to the sauce. Carrots contain a lot of natural sugar, which counteracts the acid in the tomato sauce as it cooks.

Step 3

Blend the sauce in a food processor or blender to puree the carrots when the sauce is done, or strain them out with a colander or sieve.

Onion Method

Step 1

Peel and slice two to three Vidalia onions.

Step 2

Coat a skillet with olive oil and scatter two to three peeled and sliced Vidalia onions into it.

Step 3

Toss the onions until they are coated completely with oil. Sprinkle in just enough sugar to barely cover the onions and toss them again.

Step 4

Turn the heat to medium-high and heat the onions just until the onions start to sizzle.

Step 5

Lower the heat to warm and cook the onions for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring them every 10 minutes or so. Continue with the rest of your sauce recipe once the onions have turned golden brown.

Things You'll Need

  • Sugar

  • Wooden spoon

  • Carrots

  • Onions

  • Olive oil

Tip

Add a spoonful of water to the onion pan if the onions start to stick.

Add cream or sour cream to the tomato sauce when you serve it to help coat the taste buds and neutralize their ability to taste the acid.

Warning

Do not add dry wine or vinegar to acidic tomato sauce because either will make it worse.

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