The Simple Fix For Overly Thick Creamy Sauces

We've all been there at one time or another — you're making a delicious Alfredo sauce and just when you're about to remove it from the stove, you realize it's way too thick. It either clings to a spoon and hardly drips, or on performing the "sauce split" test (using a spoon to form a line through the sauce from one end of the saucepan to the other end), the sauce takes an eternity before it collapses to fill up the line. Well, that's a pretty thick sauce and certainly not what you'd like for your fettuccine.

Luckily, there's a simple fix that will have your creamy sauce back to its perfect, delicious self in no time. The key is to add a little bit of liquid. The most common thinner for any creamy sauce is milk, however, you can also use other liquids like water, broth, or cream. Note that the liquid has to contain moisture so it can actually work, which is why melted butter won't do.

How to add liquid to thin out your creamy sauce

First, you'll need to choose the ideal liquid to fix your thick creamy sauce among the various options. For example, even though water is a great thinner, it adds no flavor to the sauce and may even dilute it. This is why we recommend it only if your topping has an intense flavor and so will benefit from some dilution.

broth, on the other hand, will add varying tastes depending on its source. Therefore, if you're preparing garlic cream sauce for your chicken breasts, go for chicken broth. And if the end goal is a creamy addition to a steak, use beef stock. But milk and cream are the most versatile thinners since they are already common ingredients you'd use to make the sauce in the first place and they'll also add richness.

After selecting your ideal thinner, warm it separately to match the sauce's temperature, then add in a little amount at a time, stirring constantly, until it reaches the desired consistency. The point is to avoid adding too much liquid or your sauce will become runny. So there you have it, a simple fix for overly thick creamy toppings. With this tip, you'll be making perfect sauces in no time.