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4 Foolproof Tricks to Make Food Less Salty

How to make food less salty salt jar spoon
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Monofocus

Accidentally added too much salt to your meal? Don’t throw it out! We’ll show you how to make food less salty and save your home-cooked meal.

We all make mistakes in the kitchen. Sometimes all it takes is a slip of the hand or an overeager approach to spicing, and the best homemade dishes can get oversalted. Minor cooking mishaps are no reason to create unnecessary food waste. We’ll show you how to make food less salty and save your hard work.

1. Fix Salty Food With Water, Milk and Other Liquids

One common way to fix oversalted food is to “stretch” the dish with a small amount of water. In some cases, you can also use milk or a plant-based milk alternative like rice milk, oat milk or soy milk instead. Fatty foods like cream, sour cream, coconut milk and butter are even better and mask the salty taste well.

2. Use the Potato Trick

How to fix salty food make food less salty the potato trick
The tried-and-tested “potato trick” will show you how to make food less salty. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Wounds_and_Cracks)

This trick is perfect for oversalted soups, sauces or stews, which you may not want to dilute with extra liquid. Here’s how to make these foods less salty using a potato:

  1. Grate a potato or cut it into small pieces.
  2. Add the pieces to your pot and let everything simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. If potato won’t go well in the dish, remove it before serving the soup or sauce.

Potatoes remove salt from liquid by absorbing it like a sponge. Alternatively, you can use carrots or bread. However, bread dissolves quickly and can be difficult to take out after. A few prunes will also do the trick. Let these simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Utopia’s Tip: Stale bread recipes

3. How to Make Food Less Salty with Something Sweet

Honey sweeten how to fix salty foods
How can you combat an overpowering salty taste? Use sweeteners such as honey, sugar or syrups. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - fancycrave1)

Sweetness also balances out oversalted food quite well. This de-salting method is best for dressings, marinades and dips. Sweeten up your mixes with honey, sugar or whole cane sugar. Other sugar substitutes and natural sweeteners include agave syrup, maple syrup and coconut blossom sugar.

If this salty food fix works but makes your dish too sweet, balance out the sweetness with a splash of lemon, lime juice or vinegar.

4. Reduce Saltiness by Doubling the Portion

How to fix salty dishes double the portion
This method on how to make food less salty requires a bit more work. Twice as much, to be exact. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Pexels)

Never toss a home-cooked meal. Even if it’s a bit oversalted, there’s always a way to fix salty foods — how exactly you do this is up to you. One way is to double the portion and make it your meal prep for the next few days.

Prepare another portion of the same dish, this time leaving the salt out completely. Then mix it with the oversalted version and freeze portions for later if necessary.

With oversalted sauces, you can freeze parts of the sauce in small ice cube containers and use it later as a base for other dishes. You can also freeze food in mason jars or check out our 7 Smart Household Hacks for Freezing Foods Without Plastic for the most eco-friendly ways to freeze leftovers.

For soups or stews, you can also cook a large portion of vegetables, potatoes or noodles and stir it into the salted food to balance out the salty taste.

Knowing how to make something less salty and save your cooking is an important life skill — read 10 Fixes to Make Food Less Spicy for some equally useful recipe-saving tricks.

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