I've made a stew and it's too salty! Help!

Crockpot Meatball and Potato Stew
Annabelle Breakey/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Question: I've made a stew and it's too salty! Help!

Answer: This is a common problem, made more common by the very high sodium contents of some canned and commercial foods. Please remember to salt sparingly, and taste before you add more salt or any other seasonings. And never, ever measure salt or pepper or any spice or sauce directly over the soup or stew pot. It's just too easy for your hand to slip and then you add too much of the seasoning ingredient.

It's not easy to get rid of a strong salty taste. We used to think that adding a few potato slices to the food and simmering would help remove the sodium, but recent tests have disproved that. Adding sugar also will not completely help. Sugar does help to reduce the heat in a recipe that's too spicy, though.

The best thing to do is just add more of the other, non-salty ingredients. You will have much more food, of course, but soups, stews, and casseroles freeze very well so it doesn't have to go to waste.

For a soup or stew, add more water or unsalted broth. You may need to add more of the solid ingredients as well so the finished dish won't be too thin. Casseroles are much more difficult to change, but it is possible by adding more ingredients. Just be sure that the ingredients you do add to reduce the salty taste are completely unsalted.