We've all experienced that dreadful moment when you realize you've added too much salt to a sauce — whether tomato sauce, cheese sauce, herb sauce, cream sauce, or something else — and it's all you can taste. Whether you reduced the sauce to a thick sludge or went a little salt happy toward the end of cooking, don't worry, not all is lost!
Next time you add too much salt to a sauce, try to fix it with these tips before you nix it completely.
How to Fix Salty Sauces
The antidote depends on the nature of the sauce: for French cream- or butter-based sauces, add more cream or a little brown sugar to neutralize the salt. With tomato-based sauces, brown sugar creates a sweet counterpoint. And for a lighter sauce, such as an herb-based one, squeeze in a little lemon; its acidity will help to balance out the saltiness.
How to Make Sauce Less Thick
The same goes for the state of the sauce, too. If a sauce has been reduced too much, then dilute it (and its sodium level) with unseasoned stock. Adding wine is another option, although it's a little tricky; if the alcohol does not cook out entirely, then the sauce will become bitter. If you choose to add wine, then be prepared to simmer the sauce for a while until the alcohol burns off.