Ditch the canned spaghetti sauce for this flavorful & beefy homemade Spaghetti Meat Sauce. Easy to make with dried seasonings and canned tomatoes. Make it in one pot and let it simmer on the stove top for the best flavor. Serve over pasta noodles or use in any recipe that calls for spaghetti sauce.
Spaghetti Meat Sauce Recipe
Homemade spaghetti meat sauce is a regular around my house. It's one of those recipes that my kids ask for all the time, "mom make your spaghetti sauce." My kids are young right now but I am hoping it's one of those recipes that they come back home and ask for as they get older ♥️.
This spaghetti meat sauce simmers on the stove top and every time I make it, I am reminded that there is not a better scent than spaghetti sauce simmering away on the stove. It's like the smell of comfort and home.
I love the convenience of a canned marinara sauce but sometimes you want a homemade, total comfort food dinner. And for me it's usually this spaghetti meat sauce. It's the perfect recipe to make for dinner when you have some time on your hands and just want some delicious classic, comfort food.
What You'll Need
You will need some easy ingredients like canned tomatoes, dried seasonings, ground beef, and garlic to make this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe.
Ground Beef - Use any ground beef you like. You will drain the excess grease from it so it really does not matter what percentage of fat you use. I always use 93/7 ground beef.
Sweet Onion - I find that this recipe is best with a sweet onion. But feel free to use a white onion or a yellow onion.
Garlic - So many options here! Mince or press fresh garlic cloves. Use chopped garlic from a jar. Or use garlic paste from the tube (I use this!).
Crushed Tomatoes - If you can't find the 15 ounce size can then buy the larger 29 ounce can and use half of it. I usually just eyeball it but if you want an exact measurement it is about 1.5 cups of crushed tomatoes.
Diced Tomatoes w/ Basil, Garlic, Oregano - This is the 'Italian version' of diced tomatoes. If you prefer a not so chunky spaghetti sauce then throw these in the blender and blend until it's where you want it. I do this for my kids. And for me actually, as I am not a huge fan of tomato chunks.
Granulated Sugar - This helps offset all the acid from the tomatoes.
Dried Basil & Oregano - I love recipes that call for dried spices because I never have fresh spices on hand and don't want to spend a fortune for them at the store.
Sugar - Helps to balance out the acidity from the tomatoes. Don't skip this!
Salt & Pepper - You will add the salt in two different places while making this. As always, add more salt (or less) depending on preference.
How to Make Homemade Spaghetti Meat Sauce
This recipe has a few steps needed to make it.
Brown Ground Beef : In a skillet pan, over medium-high heat, brown and crumble the ground beef with the onion, garlic, and salt. Once beef is no longer pink be sure and drain the excess grease.
Spaghetti Sauce : Add the remaining ingredients including tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano, and salt & pepper. Stir to combine.
Simmer : This is the most important step! Bring the spaghetti sauce to a low boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for at least 25 minutes. Longer if you can! The flavor gets better and better the longer it simmers.
Serve : Serve the meat sauce over pasta noodles of choice.
Tips For Success
Read below for my helpful tips so that you can have success making this in your own home.
- Simmer - This is the most important #1 tip for this recipe. If you don't let the sauce simmer for at least 25 minutes, the flavor will not be as good. Make sure that you have the time set aside to let it simmer.
- Thin or Thick Pasta Sauce - When you first mix all the stuff together it will seem thin. Don't worry, as it simmers the sauce thickens up to a perfect consistency. But if it's too thick for you then just add some beef broth, chicken broth, or water. I have never added this so I can't say for sure how it affects the final taste.
- Don't Skip The Sugar - The sugar helps to balance out the acidity from all the tomato. It really is necessary in this recipe.
There are a few ways you can change this recipe up and customize to your liking.
- Use Ground Turkey : Use ground turkey for a "healthier" and lower fat option.
- Use Ground Sausage : For maximum flavor use some ground Italian sausage. They make a mild ground sausage, sweet ground sausage, and even a hot ground sausage. This does have quite a flavor punch to it so the end result will be much more flavor and spice if using ground sausage.
- Seasonings : Feel free to add some additional seasonings like Italian Seasoning if wanted. Or add more or less of the dried seasonings depending on preference.
- Tomato Sauce : Instead of using plain tomato sauce, swap it out for a Italian style tomato sauce that has basil, garlic, oregano in it. Like the diced tomatoes the recipe calls for.
Serving Suggestions For Spaghetti Meat Sauce
We love this spaghetti meat sauce over some cooked spaghetti noodles. You can use any noodle you want! Top each serving with parmesan cheese.
Serve some garlic bread on the side and a side salad. I like to buy the bagged organic Caesar salad mix from Costco, but any grocery store sells it.
You can also serve it over some zucchini noodles for a low carb option.
Feel free to use this pasta sauce in any recipe that calls for it, like this easy ziti pasta bake. This is a great thing to do with leftovers!
How To Store Leftovers
Leftovers of spaghetti meat sauce will store well, in an air-tight container, for up to 3-4 days.
When ready to eat simply heat up some meat sauce in the microwave or on the stove top.
Can I Freeze Spaghetti Meat Sauce?
Yes you can freeze spaghetti meat sauce! I love to freeze the leftovers in a freezer safe Ziploc bag (or other freezer safe container) for up to 3 months.
Thaw leftovers in the fridge overnight or place the frozen leftovers in a pot, with additional liquid, and warm it up that way.
You'll Love These Other Family Favorite Pasta Dinner Recipes
Easy Garlic Parmesan Pasta - My kids call this 'white pasta' and I make it weekly! So good, kid-friendly, and easy to keep the ingredients on hand.
Creamy Tomato Beef Pasta - Pasta covered in a creamy ground beef sauce.
Perfect Instant Pot Baked Ziti - This really is 'perfect' each time! This is a no-fail Instant Pot recipe.
Spaghetti Meat Sauce
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 sweet onion finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes w/ garlic, oregano, basil
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Cook ground beef, onion, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Crumble as you cook it. Drain the meat to avoid a greasy pasta sauce.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Bring to a low boil and then turn heat down to medium low and let it simmer for at least 20-30 minutes, longer if you can. If it starts to boil and spit sauce, just turn the heat down.
- Serve over hot cooked pasta and garnish with chopped parsley and shredded parmesan cheese if wanted.