Home Foods How To Fix Salty Soup – 7 Easy Hacks That Actually Work

How To Fix Salty Soup – 7 Easy Hacks That Actually Work

by Gina Elizabeth
Pea and ham soup too salty

If your soup is too salty, you’re not alone.

How to fix salty soup

With 5 quick & easy tricks, you can reduce the sodium levels in your soup.


What do I do if my soup is too salty?

How to Fix Salty Soup

1. Add Bulk

Add half the amount of soup you used (without adding salt). If the soup is very salty, double the original amount of unsalted soup. Then combine by mixing well. You may have extra soup but your nothing will go to waste.

2. Add a Starch

Mix in some cooked (unsalted) rice, potato flake, or pasta. These salt-thirsty ingredients will absorb quite a bit of the saltiness.

Cornstarch or Instant Corn Flour

For each pound of ground meat, Mix a tablespoon (5 grams) of cornflour or cornstarch into 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of water. Stir them together to make a paste, then add the paste to the chili. Stir the chili until the paste is fully mixed. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat to allow the cornstarch to mix into the chili.

If the chili is very salty, add more paste.

Important! Do not add dry cornstarch or cornflour directly to the pot as this will cause clumping.


  • Simply add the rice to your liquid and simmer.
  • The starch will incorporate into the broth or base. The more you cook it down, stirring regularly, the thicker your dish will get.
  • If rice makes sense in what you’re serving, you can cook it down any portion of the way, until you reach your desired thickness.


  • Simply add the small pasta (like macaroni, penne or shells) to your liquid and simmer.
  • The starch will incorporate into the broth or base. The more you cook it down, stirring regularly, the thicker your dish will get.

Potato Flakes

  • Add small amounts of instant potato flakes to your soup and simmer.
  • Add more potato flakes slowly until your soup reaches the desired consistency.


  • The red type blends into the chili
  • Add a 1/4 cup an hour before chili is done
  • Quinoa soaks up excess liquid and makes chili more hearty

Important! Quinoa is a “high risk” gluten-free grain for people with celiac disease. It is often grown and harvested with wheat, barley and rye.

Powdered Arrow Root

To make chili less salty without changing the flavor, I use powdered arrowroot instead of flour. In a bowl, put a tablespoon of arrowroot powder with a small amount of cold water. Mix well then slowly add a few tablespoons of the excess liquid from your chili. When thoroughly blended, add the mix to your chili and allow to cook through.

Kuzu Root Starch

Also known as Japanese Arrow Root, it comes in rock-like granules.

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of kuzu root starch with 1 tablespoon of water, then add to simmering chili until thickened.
  • No change in flavor or texture

Quick Oats

  • Quick oats work by absorbing the liquid in the chili, thickening the sauce (add conservatively)
  • Cook for at least a few minutes for quick oats
  • Cook 30 minutes for regular oats (they take longer to cook)

Serve With Unsalted Starches

  • Unsalted Crackers. Crumble a crackers and stir them into your individual serving of soup.
  • Cornbread. Add crumbled cornbread or corn muffin to your soup serving and mix well.
  • Unsalted Tortilla Chips. Try crushed corn chips. Add a layer of crushed corn chips into your bowl before ladling the soup in. Stir to combine.

3. Add Some Veggies

Throw in some greens like finely chopped kale or spinach. Cooked cauliflower rice or leeks work great too. Veggies will neutralize the saltiness. This is also a great hack for adding more veggies to your diet. Carrots, peas, broccoli, mushrooms, and most other veggies work great too.

Veggies will neutralize the saltiness. This is also a great hack for adding more nutritious vegetables to your meals.

4. Dilute with Liquid

The easiest way to fix salty soup is adding more liquid.

Add water or unsalted soup stock

Add some unsalted chicken or vegetable stock slowly, and then simmer.

  • When you add water, pour a little at a time, tasting as you go.
  • Re-season if needed.
  • Use this hack for broth-based or clear soups. For creamy soups use milk or cream.

Add milk, cream, or half-and-half

Adding a creamy element like milk, cream, or half-and-half gives richness and flavor to the soup.

5. Add Fats

Fat coats your taste buds, preventing your tongue from tasting salt. If the over-salted dish already contains dairy, add more of the dairy-based ingredient. For example, if you have salty broccoli cheddar soup, add more milk or cream.

Other fats like olive oil, sour cream or a low-sodium cheese (like fresh mozzarella, Swiss, goat, and ricotta) are also great fixes to neutralize salt in soup.

6. Add Tomato Paste

Adding an acidic ingredient — like tomato — will further absorb quite a bit of the salty flavor of your soup.

Mix the tomato paste a little at a time and simmer for the final half hour of your cooking. Stirring and checking to ensure that you achieve your desired taste.

Tomato paste also works wonders in thickening soups and stews.

7. Introduce Other Flavors


Sweet and salty are a classic flavor pairing. Add a very small amount of sugar, maple syrup, or honey.


Add a dash of acid to trick your taste buds. Balance out the salty flavor by adding something sour like lemon/lime, wine or vinegar. Add a little bit at a time and taste as you go.

Did you know?

The word soup comes from French soupe (“soup”, “broth”), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew. – Wikipedia

Soup Q&A

What is the best pasta to use for bulking up salty soup?

  • Elbow macaroni
  • Small shells
  • Curly spirals (fusilli and rotini)
  • Straight macaroni
  • Penne
  • Ziti
  • Bow ties

How do you make soup thicker?

  1. Add pureed vegetables like as carrots, onions and celery
  2. Mix in a flour or cornstarch slurry, then cook for another 5-10 minutes
  3. Stir in heavy cream or butter

How do I thicken soup quickly?

The best way to thicken soup is to blend it. And then simmer it without a lid to allow reduction (evaporation). You can also try thickening it by adding potato flakes. Or add a flour slurry and then cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.

How do you thin out soup that’s too thick?

  • Add about beef/chicken broth or tomato juice a little at a time
  • Stir the chili to evenly distribute the new liquid
  • Cover the pot with a lid to avoid evaporation
  • Reseason if desired

Is soup good for weight loss?

Adding fat-burning foods can help you a great deal in your weight loss efforts. Mixing fat-burning foods such as vegetables with protein is one way of doing this. Even a small portion of soup is filling as it makes you feel fuller for longer. Plus, it is nutritious (rich in protein, vitamins and minerals).

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