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How To Fix Salty Food

by Gina Elizabeth
How to fix salty food
How to fix salty food

Dish too salty?

You’ve come to the right place. There are lots of ways to fix salty food. Here are your options.


  • 10 Ways To Neutralize Salt In Food
  • How To Prevent Salty Food
  • Salty Food FAQs

How do you fix over salted food?

How To Neutralize Salt In Food

Here’s 10 ways to fix salty food. These are seriously smart:

1. Double The Recipe

If the dish is very salty, make another batch (without adding salt) to double the original amount. Then combine the salty and unsalted batches. Mix thoroughly.

You’ll have extra food, but you won’t be wasting money by throwing any of your dish away.

2. Add a Starch

Another way to easily add bulk to neutralize salt in food is to add pureed white rice or instant potato flakes to your dish. Starchy foods absorb the salt while thickening your soup, stew, sauce, chili, casserole, or dish.

You can also mix in some cooked (unsalted) pasta or quinoa. These salt-thirsty ingredients will absorb quite a bit of salt.

3. Add Some Greens

Throw in some greens like finely chopped kale, spinach. Cooked cauliflower, carrots, peas, corn, avocado, and other veggies work great too.

These salt-thirsty ingredients will absorb quite a bit of salt.

An acidic ingredient — like chopped tomato — will further absorb quite a bit of the salty flavor. Of course, adding more avocado, or ingredients like corn, low-sodium cheese, and veggies will also reduce the salty taste of your guacamole.

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

4. Add Dairy

Dairy can counteract over salted food. Sour cream or a low-sodium cheese like fresh mozzarella, Swiss, goat, and ricotta are great fixes. There are also brands that offer low-sodium cheese options like Helluva Good Cheddar Cheese.

Yogurt and sour cream have a slightly-tangy flavor that counteracts too much salt in food. These ingredients works best in dishes that already contain dairy. You can also rescue salty tomato-based dishes sauces into cream sauces.

5. Add A Protein

Egg whites can counteract over salted food. This is also a great hack for adding more nutritious protein to your meals too. Add raw egg whites into your dish as it cooks, mixing thoroughly. Stir continually until the egg whites are thoroughly cooked.

Instead of eggs you may also use a good amount of tofu, beans, or lentils. Low-sodium peanut butter also works great. This will also increase the protein quotient of your meal.

Simply cook these protein ingredients separately. Then add to the salty dish. Stir until well combined.

6. Add Fat

Fats neutralize salty flavors.

Try adding a fatty cut of pork, beef, chicken, or fish (like salmon) to the salty dish. Be sure not to use high-sodium or cured bacon, ham, canned meat, fish, poultry, cold cuts, frankfurters, sausage, sardines, caviar, anchovies, or other processed meats that may already contain salt.

Butter, ghee (clarified butter), cream, milk, and plant-based oils like olive oil can help reduce the perception of saltiness by coating the tongue with fat. You can also try something new called chhaunk, an Indian tempering technique with aromatics/spices that are cooked in a fat like oil or ghee. The aromatics further mask the salty taste.

7. Rinse With Hot Water

Boil a pot of hot water. Place the salty food in a strainer. and move it around in the strainer. Pour the hot water the over the food thoroughly. Shake the excess water out of the strainer. Heat the food in a skillet to allow some evaporation of water.

Foods like rice, meat and vegetables, may also be rinsed off.

8. Add Sugar

Sweet ingredients like white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, molasses or agave can fix over salted food. Add a little at a time and taste as you go to avoid adding too much sweetness. Even the addition of a sweet ingredient can sometimes balance out salty food.

9. Add An Acid

Acid balances out salt. Vinegar, lime/lemon, mustard, wine, or tomato juices are great options. This works best in dishes that already have a bit of acidity in them. But if you enjoy tangy flavors, you can experiment with other (non-dairy based) dishes like soups and beans.

10. Dilute With Liquid

Add either water, milk or stock to your over salted dish to mitigate the salty flavor. Water and stock work for most recipes. Milk works well with cream based dishes to reduce salinity.

How To Prevent Salty Food

Keep an eye on ingredients that may be adding salt to your food. Heavily salted ingredients, such as the following add extra saltiness to your dish:

  • olives
  • pickles
  • capers
  • preserved fish like canned anchovies
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Soy or fish sauce

Don’t Substitute Salt in Recipes

Because kosher salt has larger granules, it’s twice as salty as table salt. There’s also less of it per unit of measure. Regular table salt crystals are more compact so there is more salt in each teaspoon of salt when preparing food.

Taste As You Go

Except for raw meat, eggs or other foods that should not be consumed raw, remember to taste as you go. Under seasoning is easier to fix than over seasoning.

Make Another Dish Out Of Oversalted Food

Here are some ideas for how to turn a salty dish into a masterpiece:

  • Add ground beef and veggies and turn it into a casserole
  • Blend with cooked potatoes and milk to make a delicious potato soup
  • Make it Mex by adding canned black beans, tomato, onions, and cilantro
  • Drizzle with lemon and olive oil, then serve over greens for a hearty salad

Myth Buster: Potatoes Absorb Excess Salt

Potatoes absorb liquid and don’t soak up excess sodium. The potato hack doesn’t work. But thankfully, potatoes go well in basically everything and do add extra bulk that can dilute salt levels in your dish.

Did you know?

Salt is essential for life in general, and saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings – Wikipedia

Salt Q&A

What is kosher flake salt?

Unlike table salt and kosher salt, which have even shapes to their crystals, flake salt has rough, flat, or spiky crystals. The flakes are can be sprinkling over dishes to provide a salty crunch.

Which salt is the healthiest?

Sea salt is the least refined with no added preservatives. Pink Himalayan salt is considered the purest in the sea salt family.

Which cheeses have the most salt?

  • Halloumi (approx 330 mg sodium/serving)
  • Imported blue cheese (approx 325 mg sodium/serving)
  • Feta (approx 323 mg sodium/serving)
  • Processed cheeses (like string cheese) (approx 200-300 mg/serving)
  • Edam (approx 276 mg sodium/serving)

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