Puttanesca Too Salty? Try These 10 Fixes

Is your puttanesca too salty?

Fear not, because we have 10 easy fixes that will save your dish!

Whether you prefer adjusting the salt levels or adding acidic ingredients, we’ve got you covered.

And if you’re looking for a little sweetness or creaminess to balance out the flavors, we’ve got tips for that too.

Don’t settle for a salty disappointment – try these fixes and elevate your puttanesca game to the next level!

Puttanesca Too Salty

Adjusting the Salt Levels

If your puttanesca is too salty, you can try these 10 fixes to adjust the flavor.

First, dilute the sauce by adding more unsalted tomatoes or tomato sauce. This will help to balance out the saltiness.

Alternatively, you can add a bit of sugar or honey to counteract the saltiness.

Another option is to add more vegetables, like bell peppers or onions, to absorb some of the salt.

Additionally, you can try adding a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to brighten the flavors and reduce the perception of saltiness.

If these methods don’t work, you can try adding a small amount of unsalted broth or water to dilute the saltiness further.

Adding Acidic Ingredients

Consider adding some acidic ingredients to balance the flavors in your puttanesca sauce. Acidic ingredients can help to cut through the saltiness and enhance the overall taste of your dish.

One option is to add a splash of lemon juice, which will bring a refreshing tang to the sauce. Another option is to include some capers, which not only provide acidity but also add a briny flavor that complements the other ingredients in puttanesca.

Additionally, you can try adding a few chopped tomatoes or a dash of red wine vinegar to bring a subtle acidity to your sauce. By incorporating these acidic ingredients, you can create a well-balanced and delicious puttanesca sauce that will leave your taste buds satisfied.

Balancing With Sweetness

To balance the flavors in your sauce, you can add a touch of sweetness by incorporating ingredients like caramelized onions or a hint of honey. These additions will help counteract the saltiness and bring a harmonious balance to your puttanesca sauce.

Caramelized onions add a deep, rich sweetness that complements the brininess of the olives and capers. Simply cook sliced onions in a bit of olive oil on low heat until they become golden brown and caramelized. The natural sugars in the onions will be released, adding a sweet and savory element to your sauce.

Alternatively, you can add a hint of honey to your sauce. Start with a small amount and taste as you go, adding more if needed. The honey will provide a subtle sweetness that will mellow out the saltiness of the sauce.

Experiment with these sweet additions to create a perfectly balanced puttanesca sauce that will tantalize your taste buds.

Incorporating Creaminess

Adding a dollop of cream to your sauce will create a smooth and velvety texture that enhances the overall richness of the dish.

When your puttanesca sauce turns out too salty, incorporating creaminess can help balance the flavors.

Start by simmering the sauce on low heat and then gradually stir in a small amount of heavy cream.

The cream will mellow out the saltiness and add a luxurious touch to your dish.

Make sure to taste as you go, adding more cream if needed, until the desired flavor is achieved.

Remember, a little cream can go a long way, so be cautious not to overpower the sauce.

With this simple trick, you can salvage your puttanesca and turn it into a creamy, flavorful delight.

Enhancing the Umami Flavor

When simmering your sauce on low heat, gradually stir in a small amount of soy sauce to enhance the umami flavor. This simple trick can elevate the taste of your dish and add a depth of savory richness.

Umami, often referred to as the fifth taste, is known for its meaty and savory qualities, and soy sauce is a fantastic way to bring out this flavor. As you stir in the soy sauce, you’ll notice how it enhances the overall taste of your sauce, making it more robust and satisfying.

Be careful not to add too much, as soy sauce can be quite potent. Start with a small amount and taste as you go, adjusting accordingly. Your taste buds will thank you for the burst of umami goodness!

Using Fresh Herbs and Spices

Using fresh herbs and spices in your sauce can elevate its flavor profile and add a vibrant and aromatic touch to your dish. When you incorporate herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, or rosemary, their natural oils infuse your sauce, creating a delightful fragrance and complexity.

Sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes for a subtle kick or add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a fiery twist. Don’t forget about the power of garlic and onions, which can enhance the overall taste.

Experiment with different combinations of herbs and spices to customize your sauce to suit your personal preferences. Whether you’re making a marinara, Alfredo, or puttanesca sauce, adding fresh herbs and spices will take your dish to the next level, leaving your taste buds craving more.

Diluting With More Sauce or Liquid

If your sauce is too thick, you can dilute it with more sauce or liquid to achieve your desired consistency. Don’t worry, it’s an easy fix!

Start by adding small amounts of sauce or liquid at a time and stir well. This will help you avoid making your sauce too watery.

If you’re using a tomato-based sauce, you can add more crushed tomatoes or even tomato juice to thin it out. For a cream-based sauce, try adding a little bit of milk or cream.

If you don’t have any extra sauce on hand, you can also use broth or stock to dilute your sauce. Just be mindful of the flavors and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Toning Down With Dairy Products

To tone down your sauce, you can add dairy products like milk or cream. These ingredients not only help to mellow out the saltiness but also add a creamy and rich flavor to your dish.

Start by adding small amounts of milk or cream to the sauce and taste as you go. This will allow you to control the level of dilution and ensure that you don’t overdo it. The dairy products work by balancing out the strong flavors of the sauce, making it more palatable and enjoyable.

Remember to stir continuously as you add the milk or cream to avoid any curdling.

Counteracting With Bitterness

The bitterness in your sauce can be balanced out by adding a touch of sweetness from ingredients like honey or brown sugar. When your puttanesca sauce turns out too bitter, don’t worry, there’s a simple fix.

Start by adding a teaspoon of honey or brown sugar to the sauce and give it a good stir. The sweetness will help counteract the bitterness and create a more well-rounded flavor profile. Be careful not to add too much sweetness, as you don’t want to overpower the other flavors. It’s all about finding the right balance.

Taste the sauce after adding the sweetener and adjust as needed. With just a touch of sweetness, your puttanesca sauce will be transformed into a delicious and perfectly balanced dish.

Exploring Alternative Seasonings

Adding alternative seasonings can enhance the flavor of your sauce and provide a new and exciting twist to your dish. If you find your puttanesca sauce too salty, fear not! There are plenty of alternative seasonings that can help balance out the flavors and make your sauce absolutely delicious.

Try adding a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat or a sprinkle of dried oregano for an earthy taste. You can also experiment with fresh basil or parsley to add a refreshing herbal note. For a touch of sweetness, a dash of balsamic vinegar or a spoonful of honey can do wonders.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and explore different combinations to find the perfect seasoning that suits your taste buds.


So there you have it, 10 ways to fix your salty puttanesca.

Whether you choose to adjust the salt levels, add some acidity, balance with sweetness, incorporate creaminess, enhance the umami flavor, dilute with more sauce or liquid, tone down with dairy products, counteract with bitterness, or explore alternative seasonings, the choice is yours.

With these fixes, you can transform your overly salty dish into a culinary masterpiece.

So go ahead, get creative, and take your puttanesca to the next level.

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Ben, a culinary enthusiast and owner of RelishedRecipes.com, shares his passion for food and cooking through delectable recipes and valuable tips. Ben delights in exploring international cuisines and inspiring home cooks on their culinary journeys.

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