How To Get The Bitterness Out Of Tomato Sauce

You have imagined an array of savory dishes sitting fine on the table. Some tomato sauce with bay leaves sparingly placed on it is not a bad idea.

However, a slight bitterness in your food could give you a comedown from the high horse feeling.

It’s quite disappointing. So you ask why your tomato sauce tastes bitter. More than that, you want to know how to get the bitterness out of tomato sauce. Is it even possible?

Well, yes, you can get the bitterness out of tomato sauce. You would only need to learn how to. And this we shall treat in this guide today! But first, let’s know why tomato sauce tastes bitter.


Why does tomato sauce taste bitter?

fresh tomato sauce

Tomato sauce tasting bitter could result from a lot of things. These may include;

  • Inappropriate acidic content
  • Long-simmering spices
  • Under-ripe tomatoes
  • Burnt garlic
  • Not steering the tomato when due
  • Not enough seasoning

1.Inappropriate acidic content  

Any fruit or vegetable that contains acid is bound to have a sour taste. So if the tomato sauce [as in this case] has too much acidic content, then the tomato sauce would turn out bitter.

2. Overcooking spices: 

It is not always right to add some spices at the beginning of cooking. It is ideal to cook the tomato sauce with slow heat until it loses the raw taste and then before adding spices.

3. Under-ripe tomatoes 

Often some stores pluck tomatoes green and then the tomatoes get too ripe in the store. Since the tomatoes did not ripe in good condition, they would taste bitter when cooked. Why? This is because it lacks some or most of the nutrients that are supposed to balance the acidity.

4. Canned tomatoes: 

Cooking with canned tomatoes is not a bad idea. However, it is aluminum, and it is not quite welcoming. Aluminum reacts to acidity and this would affect how the tomato would taste in the long run.

5. Not steering the tomato when due

It is advisable to always turn the tomato whilst it is still on fire. This would prevent the tomato from burning from the time you put it on the fire.

6. Not enough seasoning

Leaving the tomato sauce bare could contribute to the bitterness.

7. Freezing: 

Sometimes, you have no choice but to freeze the remaining tomato sauce until you need them. However, freezing could dull the flavors in food.

Now, let’s learn how to get the bitterness out of tomato sauce.

Read: How To Fix Bitter Taste In Spaghetti Sauce

How to get the bitterness out of tomato sauce

Getting the bitterness out of tomato sauce is not such a difficult feat.

  1. Most people caramelized onions before putting the tomatoes in them. The truth is that a good number of people might not be aware that onions can neutralize overly acidic tomatoes. So to get the bitterness out of tomato sauce, caramelized onions would be helpful.
  2. Adding baking soda. Some tiny amount of baking soda would reduce the rate of bitterness in the tomato sauce. You can start by adding just a pinch. Ensure you taste before adding another.
  3. Add some sugar too! Whether brown sugar or white sugar, whatever works for you. This would add some taste to the tomato sauce. Do not add too much of it though.
  4. Add some seasonings. It is really important to add some seasoning to your tomato sauce whenever you are cooking.
  5. Some spices would require you to add them at the end of the cooking. Overcooking the spice could cause the tomato to taste bitter.
  6. Get the right tomato. Unripe tomato would cause tomato sauce to be bitter, so get the right tomato if you intend to make the best out of your tomato sauce.
  7. Constantly turn the tomato when cooking. If you are cooking the tomato sauce with oil, it is ideal that you turn the tomato every 10-15 minutes. You can prolong the minutes you get to turn the tomato once it’s now on fire. However, as the time stretches, shorten the minutes.

Most people would prefer fresh tomatoes to canned tomatoes. Whatever the case might be, ensure you are comfortable with your choice and, above all, make sure your tomato sauce tastes well.

Further tips

  • Add salt where you need to and some leaves too.
  • Mind your kitchen wares. Use the pan that would not react to the tomato.
  • You can add some butter too.

Read: What Can I Use To Thicken Chili?


Sometimes tomato sauce tasting bitter is unavoidable. However, with the handful and simple guide, you can go through it, with your heads high.

We have successfully explained how to get the bitterness out of tomato sauce.

So, try to follow the guide intently, so now you can confidently serve an array of savory dishes with no bitter-tasting tomato sauce.

Have a pleasant experience getting the bitterness out of tomato sauce.