Learn how to boost flavors in all your favorite dishes with my 10 best tips! Love the dish you just came up with but wish it was a little richer? If you’ve followed a recipe to a T but still had to sharpen the flavor with more salt and pepper because it tasted bland, my tips will help!

  1. Drain pasta a minute before it is done and add it to your simmering sauce. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce and soak up more of the yummy flavors.
  2. Want to take your mac ‘n’ cheese up a notch? Replace some of the cheese called for in the recipe with Gruyere, a beautifully-melting Swiss cheese that will add a wonderful nutty and earthy flavor.
  3. If you’re trying to bump up beef or chicken flavor in any dish, replace the salt with an equal amount of bouillon.
  4. Bruise fresh herbs such as rosemary, sage and basil. This will help release their aroma and flavor. Just crush them a little by tapping them firmly with the back side of your knife.
  5. When cooking a cream-based sauce, reserve a teaspoon or so of the wine, vinegar or citrus called for in the recipe and whisk it in right before you serve to brighten the flavor and add another layer of complexity.
  6. To intensify the flavor of chocolate in your brownie, cake or cookie recipe, add a tablespoon of ground instant coffee or replace the water in the recipe with brewed coffee that has been cooled.
  7. If you want a more flavorful pot of mashed potatoes, drain cooked potatoes and place them back into the pot. Return them to the stove and stir constantly until the steam subsides, about 1 minute. This will evaporate some of the excess moisture, allowing it to be replaced by much more flavorful butter or milk.
  8. To blossom the flavor of your vanilla extract in a recipe, add it directly to the fat in the recipe, such as butter or cream.
  9. Adding a dollop of tomato paste to a recipe that calls for crushed or whole canned tomatoes will intensify the flavors and add a layer of complexity and body to the dish.
  10. Utilize all of your options when seasoning food. For example, if your dish lacks salt, consider adding additional flavor by using soy sauce, Parmesan cheese or Worcestershire sauce. If it could use a little sweetness, honey, maple syrup or even brown sugar will add more flavor than using white granulated sugar.