My Chili Tastes Like Spaghetti Sauce – HELP is Here! 

My Chili Tastes Like Spaghetti Sauce

Chili con carne, known as chili, is a deliciously spicy and healthy stew. The main ingredients for this mouth-watering dish are different spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika, and also contains beans, bell peppers, and most importantly tomatoes.

As tomatoes are the most important ingredient, some people use them without proper quantity. That’s what makes it more tomatoey than chili. It’s extremely disappointing as a cook and also tastes metallic. 

So, the question stands, why does my chili tastes like spaghetti sauce? 

Chili tastes like spaghetti sauce because of using too many tomato sauces and types of tomato. To solve chili taste like spaghetti sauce, with a tomatoey flavor, you can use some spices like cumin, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, or herbs like dried basil. You can also add onion cubes or bell pepper to soak up the tomato flavor. 

Now, if you want to fix your chili problem properly and prevent this problem in the future, you should read this article entirely. In this article, some reasons for chili-tasting spaghetti sauce and methods to fix those are given. In addition, some tips and tricks! Therefore, let’s do the cooking! 

How to Identify a Chili Is Too Tomatoey?

Just taste the tomato sauce to identify a chili that has more tomato. If chili is too tomatoey, it will taste more like spaghetti sauce and less like chili. That is the most significant telltale sign between chili vs spaghetti sauce. 

However, the taste may vary from person to person depending on the taste level.  Some may like hot and sour. Again, some like hot and sweet chili. So, stay concerned while you are purchasing the chili.

Why Does My Chili Taste Like Spaghetti Sauce? 2 Reasons 

After you taste the chili you made, if it feels more like spaghetti sauce or tomatoey than chili then you better find the reason for it. Taste varies from person to person, but if you feel your chili has extra tomatoey flavor, then you should find the culprit reasons behind it.

Here are the reasons why my chili taste like spaghetti sauce. 

Reason 1: Types of Tomato

Types of tomatoes
Types of Tomatoes

We use different types of tomatoes in different dishes. According to the types of tomatoes, the taste varies. In your chili, you may use only one type of tomato or sometimes a mixture of canned, fresh, and pureed tomatoes. Henceforth, let’s see how the types of tomatoes affect the taste of chili.

Fresh Tomatoes

Plumper fresh tomatoes look alluring, but they taste a bit sour. These tomatoes are naturally sour while cherry tomatoes are naturally sweet. For a better taste, cooking experts suggest using both types of tomatoes in balanced quantities to keep the delicious taste.

If you’ve used fresh tomatoes and got the spaghetti sauce taste, probably you have used the sourest tomatoes.

Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes tend to be sour naturally from the preserved salt water. This makes the chili more metallic and acidic. So, if you have used more than 1/2 can of tomatoes for 2 serving persons, that can bring an acidic taste to your chili. 

Tomato Puree/Paste

Of all the tomato types, tomato puree is the thickest form. The taste of it varies from company to company. It varies because of the way they preserve the tomatoes. However, most of the tomato puree tastes sour, but some are sweet and some are bland. Chefs mostly add puree when the chili doesn’t have enough tomato flavor. 

For serving 2 persons, you should use 1 tablespoon of puree and that’s enough. If you use more than that, the taste will be metallic.

Tomato Ketchup

If you don’t have tomato puree/paste, then you can use tomato ketchup as a replacement. If you use both tomato puree and ketchup, it’ll bring a more tomatoey taste than normal. As a result, the chili tastes like tomato sauce. So, use this ingredient at the required amount, so it doesn’t intensify the taste.

Reason 2: Quantity 

Quantity is one of the major factors to ensure your chili taste. Let’s share what expert cooks love to use for the best chili- 6/8 fresh sour and cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoon puree. If you are thinking about how to make chili taste less tomatoey, follow this quantity for tomatoes mentioned below. –

Tomato Type Quantities Serving
Fresh Tomatoes ½ Can2 persons
Canned Tomatoes 3-4 Tomato(Sour+Cherry)2 persons
Tomato Puree 1 Tablespoon 2 persons
Tomato Ketchup 1 Tablespoon 2 persons

It happened to me many times that accidentally, I put too much tomato sauce in my chili. And as a result, it tasted like tomato sauce. Make sure you are not making the same mistake. 

How Do You Fix Chili That Tastes Like Spaghetti Sauce?

Now, as your chili tastes too tomatoey, time to fix the mess. No matter if it’s a normal chili dish or white turkey chili. Depending on the power of ingredients and how they affect the taste, we’ve made a list of ingredients. Here’s how to fix chili too tomatoey problem. 

Fix 1: Using Low-Intensity Ingredients 

The ingredients below have a low capacity to pacify the extra tomatoey flavor. If your chili has less tomatoey flavor, then you may use these ingredients. 

Cumin/Bay Leaves/Dried Basil 

You can use all these ingredients all together to pacify the acidic taste. Remember that you can use any of these ingredients or if you use all of these, then it’ll be medium intensity. 

In a pan, tamper all the ingredients in 1 tablespoon of oil and then mix the chili into it. Now, taste it and see the difference. 

Cinnamon Powder

This is what Mom and Grandma used to do. When our chili became too tomatoey, they used to sprinkle some cinnamon powder to fix the taste. Cinnamon has both a sweet and spicy kick, which makes the flavor alright. So, if you have accidentally put too much tomato sauce in chili, cinnamon powder can be a fix for you. 

For 2 servings, you may use 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon powder.

Lower-Intensity Ingredients Quantity Serving 
Cumin/Herbs/Bay Leaves 1 Tablespoon 2 persons
Cinnamon Powder½ Tablespoon 2 persons

So, if you were thinking about how do you cut the tomato taste in chili, here’s your answer. 

Fix 2: Using Moderate Intensity Ingredients 

Now, upgrade the spices if the previous method didn’t work for you. The methods are given below-

Onion Cubes

For 2-person servings, add 1/2 cup of onion cubes to the chili. Let the onions sit in the chili and soak the tomatoey flavor. After 20 minutes take out the onions and the sourness will be balanced. 

Bell Pepper

Cut any bell pepper into 2cm size and stir fry them. Then, add the pepper to the chili and like onions, it’ll soak the acidic flavor. 


Most people do this. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to 2 people serving of chili. 

The table of quantities is given below-

Moderate-Intensity Ingredients Quantity Servings
Onion Cubes½ Cup2 persons 
Bell Pepper ½ Pepper2 persons 
Sugar1 Tablespoon 2 persons 

Fix 3: Using High-Intensity Ingredients

Now, wondering what to add to chili if it’s too tomatoey? These are the best kicks for your chili to fix the spaghetti sauce flavor. Let’s see the ingredients-

Chili Powder/Paprika

1 Tablespoon of chili powder or paprika is a good option to reduce the tomatoey flavor. The alternative can be used 2 tablespoons of chipotle.


In chili beans are a must, but if your tomato flavor is overpowering, then throw some extra beans in the chili. Add the beans to the chili and stir for 2-4 minutes, then it won’t taste more tomatoey like before.


If you’ve beef/vegetable/chicken broth, add 1 cup of it to the chili. Simmer it for 5 minutes and then taste it. Now you shouldn’t feel like, “My chili is too tomato tasting”. 

Beef Ground

Though beef is one of the essential ingredients, you can add some extra beef ground in the chili for lessening the tomatoey taste. Stir fry the ground beef in a pan and cook it at 80%,  then add this to your chili. So, if you were wondering how to reduce the tomato taste in chili and make it more delicious at the same time, this is your fix. 

To ease up the entire ingredients, here comes the chart-

Higher-Intensity Ingredients Quantity Servings 
Chili Powder/Paprika½ Tablespoon 2 persons
Beans½ Can2 Persons
Broth½ Cup2 Persons
Grounded Beef½ Cup2 Persons

That’s how to lessen tomato taste in chili.

Any Prevention for Chili Tastes Like Spaghetti Sauce? 

Prevention chili taste like spaghettis

Prevention is better than cure- this statement is applicable in all cases. For sure you don’t want to mess up while cooking chili ever again. Therefore to prevent your chili more like spaghetti sauce, here comes the prevention tips-

  • Add all the tomatoes in proper portions as shown in the chart. Put the fresh tomatoes first, then the puree or ketchup. 
  • While adding extra ingredients like salt or sugar to pacify the taste, be careful. Otherwise, the real taste will be gone and it’ll be distasteful. 
  • For canned puree or tomatoes, add extra 1.5 tablespoons of sugar. It’ll reduce the extra saltiness of canned tomatoes.

That’s how you can prevent the chili tastes like spaghetti sauce problem like a pro. 

Wait a minute, Are you a meatball lover? Then check out this meatball sauce recipe. So, there will be no mistake like this unfortunate chili cooking recipe.


How to reduce tomato taste in pasta sauce?

Add some finely chopped or shredded vegetables like carrots, eggplants, zucchini, or mushrooms to the pasta sauce. Dried herbs like oregano or basils will also work. 

How to reduce the tomato taste in the stew?

You can add a bit of sugar or honey to the stew. It can bring down the tangy flavor and bloom your tomato flavor properly. 

Why Does My Chili Taste Metallic?

The reason behind your chili tasting like metallic is using a cheaper brand for canned tomato puree. Also, using a canned tomato puree that was stored for a long time, or using excessive canned tomato puree can cause this problem as well. 


Now you know every nut and bolt about why your chili tastes too tomatoey and how to fix this. Now, get to work! Remember, while mixing other ingredients and fixing the taste, if your chili texture is messed up, then add a thickener or reheat the chili. Also, make sure to measure every ingredient. Best of luck with your cooking! 

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