How to Thicken a Puree? [Methods, Ingredients & More]

Is the purée you made running too thin? Don’t worry, these mishaps commonly happen in the kitchen. Lucky for you, we have a fix! You are probably struggling to find ways that can thicken the puree you made. 

In this article, we have discussed what you can add to your puree to have it rich, creamy, and thick! 

How can you thicken a puree? 

When you have enough time to spare. A simple way you can thicken your puree is by simply reducing it. Simmer the puree in a pan at medium-high heat.

You will observe the evaporation of the liquid which concentrates the flavors of the puree as well. Keep stirring it regularly while It simmers. Continue doing this until the mixture reduces to 1/3 of its original volume. 

Trying to reduce a large quantity may take a considerable amount of time. So, try separating the quantity that you need immediately to get faster results. 

Looking for a quick solution? The methods we are going to discuss with you are especially helpful if you are short on time. Nobody wants to keep their friends and family waiting! 

6 Best Ingredients to Thicken Puree 

For those of you who are under a time constraint, there is an alternative. There are various ingredients you can add to your puree to make it thick. We have listed out some of the ingredients you can add for better consistency: 

1. Cornstarch 

If you are looking for a gluten-free option to thicken your purée with, cornstarch is the way to go! It not only thickens it but also keeps the puree clear with no turbidity.

For every 1 cup of puree, you can add about a tablespoon of cornstarch.

Add equal portions of water to the cornstarch to create a slurry or a paste. Stir this paste into the puree while simmering it.

One thing to remember about this technique is that you shouldn’t keep the mixture on the heat for too long. This could result in the starch breaking down and thinning your puree further. 

2. Flour 

And for those of you that don’t mind some gluten in your diet, flour is an excellent option. Flour is one of the best options because you can add it to a wide range of purées including dairy-based purees. 

One way you can add flour to your liquid is by first mixing it with equal parts of fat. Since you’d already have a cooked mixture of flour and fat, you wouldn’t have to worry about your purée tasting like raw flour. 

If you don’t have fat use or you simply don’t want to, you can just add water to it. Add two tablespoons of flour to each cup of purée.

Whisk the mixture and simmer the slurry in a pot. This will only take a couple of minutes. You’ll when to take the purée off the fire once it has a lot of the flour taste and has thickened considerably. 

Note: Flour is only a great option for those who don’t mind making their purée a little cloudy. If you are looking for a thickening technique that keeps the mixture’s clarity while still raising the viscosity, you should try other methods. 

3. Vegetables 

Vegetables are another excellent way you can thicken your puree. A lot of the time, vegetable purées add body and extra flavor too.

There are a variety of starchy vegetables you can use to thicken your purée like potatoes, broccoli, carrots, winter squash, mushrooms, cauliflower, etc. 

Thickening purées with vegetables is pretty simple. First, please make sure you’ve made the veggies tender and soft. This will make it easier for you to chop them up and add them to the fluid.

For those of you planning to use a blender, wait for the vegetables to cool down before puréing them with your mixture. Once you mix it into the purée, you’ll see it thickening immediately. 

Some vegetables like cooked beans or lentils, on being puréed, add some extra flavor or texture. So, take care of which vegetable you pick to thicken your purée so that you’d not have any surprises when you taste it. 

4. Egg yolk 

Adding egg yolk is one of the most common ways to thicken a mixture. You can thicken a variety of purees with egg yolk.

Whisk the egg yolk while slowly adding the puree. Continuously whisking keeps the egg yolk from scrambling.

Keep up the whisking as you add the hot yolk mixture to a pot. Adding egg yolk is also a great way to save purees from breaking. Speaking about eggs, also refer to our article on why eggs smell like wet dogs.

5. Tomato paste 

Tomato best is another option you can add to your puree to make it thicker. It is best to add the tomato paste right at the beginning.

The heat caramelizes the sugar and produces essential oils. Nevertheless, you can add tomato paste towards the ends as well especially if your puree is already tomato-based.

Since tomato adds a pretty strong flavor to a mix, it is best to keep it clear from dairy-based purees. 

6. Butter 

The last method is to add butter. Adding butter is not going to thicken your puree by a lot. However, if you don’t want to thicken your mixture by much, this is a great idea.

When you’re done with the puree, swirl it with some butter at the end. Please make sure not to expose it to too much heat as it may break because of the butter.  Also, find out which butter to use for crab legs – salted butter or unsalted butter.

Why thicken at all? 

Here are some reasons why you’d want to thicken purée: 

Improves texture: This is one of the main reasons to thicken a puree: it feels better to eat! A puree feels more creamy, rich, and flavorful after adding more body to it by thickening. Various thickeners help you thicken a mixture While keeping the fat content the same. 

Interaction with food: thickening puree results in increased viscosity of the liquid. This ultimately helps the puree cling or stick better with your food. It is easier to maintain a uniform coating Violet interacts with other food. 

Steady solutions: If there are some solid ingredients, thickening a puree helps hold these substances better in the solution. 

Stabilize emulsions: Thickening also helps stabilize a puree for longer periods. It is a great way to add more body to your mixture. 

Recommended further reading: How to thin out queso

Final Words

We hope this article helped you to understand why you can thicken purées. It can be a real bummer when you have a spread ready for your friends or family and your purée just won’t thicken!

You can try any of these methods to add some extra body to your purée to make it taste more rich, creamy, and flavourful.

Runny purées could dilute the taste so thickening techniques are quite useful. 

As we discussed, your first instinct should always be to simmer the purée to try and reduce it.

Reducing your purée is the best option only when you have the time. If you don’t have enough time, go ahead and use one of the thickeners we suggested above.

Please be mindful of what you add to your dairy-based purées as some of the thickeners may add some unpleasant flavors to them.