How to Reduce Salt in Already Salty Dishes

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve accidentally added too much salt to a dish? It’s a common cooking mishap that can make your meal taste overwhelmingly salty and unappetizing. But don’t worry, all is not lost. There are several ways to fix an overly salty dish, whether it’s a soup, stir-fry, deep fry, or BBQ. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most effective methods to reduce saltiness and save your meal.

Adding More Ingredients

One of the simplest ways to reduce saltiness is to dilute the dish by adding more of the main ingredients. This method works best for dishes like soups, stews, and stir-fries. For instance, if you’ve made a soup that’s too salty, you can add more broth or water. If it’s a stir-fry, add more vegetables or protein. Just remember to add ingredients that are unsalted to avoid increasing the saltiness.

Using a Potato

It’s a popular belief that adding a peeled, raw potato to a salty dish can help absorb some of the salt. While this method is somewhat controversial and not scientifically proven, many home cooks swear by it. The potato is supposed to soak up excess salt as it cooks, which you can then remove from the dish. This method is best suited for soups and stews.

Adding Dairy or Acid

Dairy products like milk, cream, or yogurt can help counteract saltiness. They work by coating the salt particles and reducing their impact on your taste buds. Similarly, adding a splash of vinegar or squeeze of lemon juice can also help balance out the saltiness. These methods work well for creamy soups, sauces, and curries.

Using Sugar or Sweeteners

Another way to counteract saltiness is by adding a sweet element to your dish. A pinch of sugar or a drizzle of honey can help balance out the flavors. However, be careful not to add too much as it can make your dish overly sweet. This method works well for sauces, marinades, and BBQ dishes.


While it’s always best to add salt gradually and taste as you go to avoid over-salting, accidents do happen. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix an overly salty dish and save your meal. So, the next time you find yourself in a salty situation, don’t panic. Try one of these methods and you might just be able to rescue your dish.