I made a mistake with my lastest batch of chicken soup, and it's too salty to eat. Is there any way to save it?

  • 4
    The old rule with salt is: Always err on the low side.. you can put in more later, but you cannot take it out :)
    – txwikinger
    Commented Jul 10, 2010 at 4:14
  • 1
    possible duplicate of How to fix food that got extra salty?
    – Mien
    Commented Feb 4, 2014 at 15:26

11 Answers 11


Peter Martin at Chef Talk suggests adding sugar or cider vinegar. He also mentions the old potato trick but says it's not effective for him unless it's only slightly too salty.

  • Interesting! What is the cider vinegar supposed to do? Commented Jul 10, 2010 at 2:35
  • cider vinegar is acidic, salt is a base. Maybe the chemical reaction is supposed to bind some of the salt and therefore neutralize its taste?
    – txwikinger
    Commented Jul 10, 2010 at 4:13
  • 4
    @Elizabeth -- it's a matter of balance; something that's both salty and sour (or salty and sweet) doesn't seem as overly salty. I've had reasonable luck with the potato trick, though. I used slices of a waxy potato to lots of surface area, but that I could still fish out.
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 10, 2010 at 11:59
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    @txwikinger: actually salt is not a base, salt is a salt. Salts are what are formed when an acid reacts with a base. Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 8:45
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    The reason this works is that acid tricks the tongue into perceiving less salt (or, indeed, sugar; this is why a lemon pie mixture would be unbearably sweet before you add the lemon).
    – daniel
    Commented Aug 1, 2010 at 22:50

Make a second batch of Soup and under salt it, then mix them.


A trick that works sometimes is to put a potato in it and cook it a bit. It'll tend to absorb some salt and not give flavor out.

  • 4
    Honestly I have tried this trick and it has never ever worked for me. I believe it is a kitchen myth.
    – daniel
    Commented Aug 1, 2010 at 19:17
  • Do you mean boiled or raw potatoes for this?
    – Mugen
    Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 6:52

Add water and/or unsalted chicken or vegetable stock...though depending upon how over-salted your soup is, you may not be able to rescue it without a significant amount of added liquid.

  • Yes, or just build on it. For a chicken soup you could add almost anything: slices of (unsalted) chicken, canned tomatoes, cream, some vegetables you like, etc.
    – citizen
    Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 0:17

Strain soup and set solids aside. Put salty stock in a lg, by at least half, pot. Add handful of parsley, couple quartered onions, celery butt (end) and heart with leaves, 2 or 3 chopped carrots, 2 med. Peeled potatoes, quartered and small chicken that you cleaned. Bring to a boil, reduce and summer a couple hours. DON'T SEASON. when meat is falling off bones, strain. Pick meat off and mix in. Freeze half th is in qt containers. Add your solid from the early salty soup. Now taste for seasoning. Should be fine now.


Perhaps just more water, more chicken stock?

  • 3
    chicken stock is usually salty, so probably just water.
    – Bryant
    Commented Jul 10, 2010 at 1:55
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    Canned chicken stock is usually salty. Commented Jul 10, 2010 at 4:27

Adding a bunch of parsley to the soup and cooking it for another hour or so will usually work. Parsley tends to soak up the salt somehow, at least flavour wise. I'm not sure how it works, but it works for me. Especially if I've been using fake chicken stock powder (it's we use instead of chicken stock in my vegetarian household).

Anyway, a proper Jewish chicken soup should have parsley in it, so why not add more? That's what my granny taught me.


I find it is easiest to: remove about 1/2 of the solids with a slotted spoon (meat, vegetables, noodles, beans etc.) place them in a strainer or colander and give them a quick rinse under warm or hot water, next remove 1/4 of the broth and replace it with water (You can save this broth if you want to use in future soups but please label it to not use alone nor with additional salt), add an additional 1/4 of the original amount of other seasonings (except no more salt, this includes no garlic salt or onion salt) add the rinsed meat and vegetables back into the pot and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes to give the flavors a chance to blend.


Make another batch with no salt added to it, then mix the two batches together. It's the only way to save soup that's too salted. Nothing else works.

If you need to thicken it up after mixing, use smash powder packet, and add accordingly.

  • 3
    Smash powder? I'm not familiar with that. Can you give some information on what that is or provide a link?
    – Jay
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 22:28
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    Do you mean Smash potato powder? That's the only thing I can find a reference to online, and it would definitely help thicken soup.
    – Laura
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 19:51

I made the mistake of using all the drippings from baked ham in making soup and it was much too salty. I followed the advice from DebraMN and spooned out all the meat and vegetables from the pot, rinsed them well with warm water and drained them in a colander. I poured out half the broth and added back plain water. In tasting the vegetables before adding them to the pot I found that the rutabagas I'd used were very salty so I fished out as much rutabaga as I could and then added the meat and veggies back to the pot. I added around 2 tsp. sugar and 2 Tbsp. Cider vinegar to what was approx. 2 qts. soup. I did add two quartered raw potatoes and simmered for about an hour and that helped some but the rutabagas really seemed to have absorbed the salt and the soup did turn out tasting pretty darn good.

  • Since so many people using the potato technique can't get the potatoes to absorb much salt, sounds like maybe they ought to use rutabagas instead.
    – Lorel C.
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 22:36

Slice up a potato, nice thick rounds, and boil in broth. It will soak up the salt. Taste broth till it's the right saltiness for you. Fish out the potato (which is great mashed for a treat...nice broth flavor). Potato boiling will add starch to broth, so it will not be clear anymore. Adding more new, less salty broth works, but "WORK". Easier to just add small amounts of water to taste or a low salt bullion cube if it gets too weak. Potato has always worked for me, sometimes have to let it boil for a while if really salty.

  • 1
    Please do not repeat answers
    – user34961
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 16:41

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