How To Fix Bitter Taste In Spaghetti Sauce

Making spaghetti sauce is full of fun. You have the chance to run some expeditions, especially if you are a cooking geek and are not afraid of adventures.

However, a lot of things can go wrong. Perhaps you used your most trusted recipe to achieve significant results. Despite that, the sauce turned out pale and at worst “bitter”.

Oh! This could beat some courage even out of the best cook. And as well, make you question your culinary skills.

And do you know the worst? The worst is when you are 60 seconds away from serving the meal. Well, good news! You can still fix the spaghetti sauce. In today’s guide, you shall learn how to fix bitter taste in spaghetti sauce.

Let’s get started!


Why spaghetti sauce tastes bitter

homemade spaghetti sauce

Let’s know why your spaghetti sauce tastes bitter before learning how to fix it.

There are several things that could contribute to the bitter taste in spaghetti sauce.

1. Sugar is not in appropriate amount

Some tomatoes would taste bitter if the content is mainly acidic. This will birth a sour-tasty tomato

2. Not enough sunlight

If you are growing the tomato yourself this could be another reason for a bitter-tasting spaghetti sauce.  Tomatoes are susceptible to bitter-tasting if they are not in their best condition. You know enough watering, enough sunlight, and some shade too.

3. Under-ripped tomatoes

Buying tomatoes from the store is not safe sometimes. Some tomatoes get to the store unripe and then will get to ripe in the store. You can only imagine the condition at which they get to ripe.

4. Overcooked spices 

Some ingredients like oregano, as well as basil, can turn bitter if you overcook them. If you do not follow the recipe intently, you might end up getting your spaghetti sauce to taste bitter.

5. Cooking with an aluminum pan

Cooking with an aluminum pan could be another reason for the spaghetti sauce to turn bitter. Why is this? Aluminum reacts with the acid in the tomatoes and could add an uncanny taste to the sauce.

Do tomato seeds taste bitter?

Tomatoes that are not exposed to good conditions would taste bitter in the end. Some seeds could provide some bitter flavor as well.

More so, even the skins could taste bitter.

Read: Do You Need To Refrigerate Tomato Sauce After Opening?

Do canned tomatoes taste bitter?

Virtually all canned tomatoes have some amount of bitterness in them. Remember, we said earlier that aluminum reacts with acid. And since tomatoes are acidic too, it could affect the taste of the spaghetti sauce.

So now you know what could cause bitter-tasting spaghetti sauce. Let’s fix your spaghetti sauce.

Read: Can I Use Regular Tomatoes For Feta Pasta?

How to fix bitter taste in spaghetti sauce

1. Use baking soda: acidity makes the food bitter and if the tomatoes lack the right amount of acids, then the sauce would taste bitter.

To neutralize the acidity, add some baking soda to the sauce. ¼ teaspoon of baking soda would do the heat up the sauce for some minutes.

2.  Add some sugar: adding sugar to your spaghetti sauce might seem unheard of. However, many people are testifying to the goodness of sugar like this.

Add some sugar, but not too much. Adding some sugar to your sauce would sweeten the sauce, thus reducing the rate of bitterness in your spaghetti sauce.

3. If adding baking soda is not enough, then you should add a teaspoon of butter. This would balance the sweet and sour taste in the spaghetti sauce. Allow the butter to melt until it becomes creamy.

4. Adding some spices at the beginning of cooking and simmering it for a long can cause your spaghetti sauce to taste bitter.

So, consider adding some spices at the end of the cooking. Spices like; basil or oregano should come last to ensure you do not still overcook it.

5.  Spice up your spaghetti sauce: if your spaghetti sauce tastes bitter and you have not added some seasonings to it then this is the time to add some seasonings to enhance the taste.

Further tips

So let’s say you would love to quickly make another batch of spaghetti sauce. Here are some tips.

  • Do not make your next batch with unripe tomatoes. If you must get from the stores, then ensure you ask for good recommendations.
  • If you grow your tomatoes yourself, then make sure your tomato gets enough sunlight watering and some shades as well.

‘Treat the tomato right and it would treat your sauce right’ after all “one good turn deserves another.”

  • Though you have the chance to try out some canned tomatoes, you should be careful with them. Settle for what is safe.
  • Be mindful of your aluminum wares.

Read: How To Get The Bitterness Out Of Tomato Sauce


If you have made some mistakes in the past when cooking up some spaghetti sauce, then hold fast on this guide. If you do, history would not repeat itself.

And since you know that fixing bitter-tasting spaghetti sauce is not tasky, you can do well to avoid some of these mistakes.

One thing about making meals is to be intentional from start till finish. Make the right choice of tomatoes, spices and even kitchen wares. Then be rest assured you would get it done the right way.

Hopefully, you have learned how to fix bitter taste in spaghetti sauce. Have a delightful time fixing it!