It's easy to accidentally put too much salt in a stew. If you've only added a little too much there are a few tricks you can try to avoid having to throw the whole concoction away and start from scratch. However, if after trying these things the stew is still too salty, you may have to give up. But you can still salvage some of the stew's ingredients -- meat, for instance -- and try using them in other dishes.
Things You'll Need
Add more of the other ingredients to the stew. Add more water first, then adjust the herbs, spices and other seasonings by tasting until you have the flavor you want.
Add a little lemon juice if the stew is just a bit too salty; lemon juice can counteract the flavor of the salt.
Spoon in a little yogurt, sweet sherry or tomato puree, depending on the other ingredients in the stew. If you're cooking a French beef stew that has red wine or cognac, add a little more of those ingredients or some sweet sherry. If your stew contains tomatoes, add some puree. Add yogurt to a thick, spicy stew. All these ingredients have the ability to neutralize salt. Add only a little at a time before tasting to ensure you get the desired flavor.
Adding potato to absorb the salt doesn't work. While the potatoes will absorb some of the salty flavor, they won't extract it from the stew. Don't try to neutralize the saltiness by adding sugar -- you'll end up with a very unappetizing taste.