How To Make Spaghetti And Meat Sauce

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How To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

How to Make Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

This recipe Im sharing with you today will create a nice and thick sauce, NOT a watery spaghetti sauce.

In my opinion, spaghetti sauce should be thick so it sticks to the pasta and doesnt soak into your bread on the side. You know what Im talking about.

However, if youre here because youve followed someone elses recipe and found your sauce is much too waterythe answer is to let the sauce simmer with the lid off until the liquid is reduced.

Most recipes call for adding loads of water, which is totally fine if you plan to let your sauce simmer for hours on end. This is a QUICK recipe, so we arent using a lot of water.

Tomato paste is also added to my sauce which gives it that nice tomato flavor without adding too much excess liquid.

Whats In This Homemade Spaghetti And Meat Sauce

While I have several quick and easy spaghetti recipes like my pasta pomodoro or spaghetti carbonara that are ready in minutes, this spaghetti and meat sauce recipe is the ultimate Sunday, long-simmer dinner.

This is the type of pasta dinner recipe you can easily have at the ready thanks to a simply stocked pantry and a few foundation refrigerator ingredients I can always find at my local Smiths Marketplace / Kroger store.

My Moms spaghetti recipe is both Italian in its inspiration and American in its popularity. It doesnt call for anything extraordinary. In fact, its totally basic, and thats what makes it all the better.

Heres whats in this spaghetti and meat sauce:

What To Do With Leftover Spaghetti Sauce

We love leftover spaghetti sauce and bank on their being some the next day. Here are a few great ways to use it:

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The Best Meat Sauce: A Special Family Recipe

This amazing meat sauce recipe hails from my father-in-laws kitchen and is everyones favorite. Its thick, hearty, and has phenomenal flavor thanks to a combination of beef, veal, and pork.

I think every family has a bona fide people pleaser. My grandma was ours.

She always wanted to please everyone, even if it meant creating much more work for herself. Case in point: Sunday dinner. She often made different versions of the same dish in order to appease everyones taste preferences. Lasagna was one such dish, and her sauce was the other. To accommodate those who didnt like chunks of anything in sauce, she typically made a simple marinara I always loved her sauce, even though I have a huge soft spot for a super chunky meat sauce.

Fast forward to my courtship with my husband. At some point in those early months, I had the chance to taste his dads meat sauce after it had spent a Sunday afternoon simmering away on the stove. I fell madly in love with that sauce.

Ive been enjoying it for years, and the second time that I made it, my husband walked into the kitchen as I was just getting it to a simmer and said that it smelled like his parents house on a Sunday.


If you prefer a meatless sauce, you can simply omit the meat and make the sauce as directed below. Ive done that multiple times when Ive made baked ziti, and its just as fabulous.

I urge you to run, not walk, into the kitchen and get a pot of this started.

What To Serve With Spaghetti Meat Sauce

Easy Weeknight Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

This is technically a condiment, but once you boil some water and make some spaghetti, you almost have a full blown meal. Whip up a side item or two to make this a well rounded meal. I am listing a few below that I think would add very little hands on time and would compliment spaghetti with meat sauce by adding in some vegetables.

  • Easy Arugula Salad: I come back to this one time and again because arugula is such a great way to get another serving of vegetables in your diet, and this salad is to die for with only a few ingredients.
  • Crispy Brussels Sprouts: Like the salad above, this one only has a few ingredients. Its very little hands on time, and the end result is a side dish your family will love.
  • Roasted Cauliflower Recipe: Im adding this because it is our go to side on pasta night. All of my kids eat it up, and one of them even asks for seconds!

As always, if you make this spaghetti meat sauce recipe or any of my others, leave me a comment! Id love to hear what you think.

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What To Do With Leftover Spaghetti And Meat Sauce

Here are some ways you can turn your leftovers into another amazing dish!

  • Place it in a casserole dish and sprinkle some mozzarella on top and bake it in the oven.
  • Make a lasagna out of it but sprinkling cheese between layers of the spaghetti and baking it.
  • Turn it into a pie by compacting it into a pie dish and reheating it in the oven with cheese on top.

More amazing pasta recipes to try!

More Easy Pasta Recipes

This Easy Baked Spaghetti combines a simple tomato meat sauce, spaghetti, cheese, and a creamy pesto layer.

Our readers have said that our Meaty Lasagna Recipe is the best theyve ever made. We combine beef, sausage, and a homemade sauce.

This Easy Fettuccine Alfredo features a silky smooth sauce made with butter and parmesan cheese, cooked sausage, and lightly wilted spinach.

For a lighter take on spaghetti, try our Fresh Veggie Spaghetti. The sauce is simple, vegetarian, and made 100% from scratch.

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What To Serve With Spaghetti

There are so many easy side dishes to serve with spaghetti with homemade spaghetti sauce. I like to stick with a salad and bread most of the time because it is quick and easy. But even on nights when I want to get fancier we always have a bread and a veggie with it. Check out some of the great sides that make spaghetti a whole meal.

How To Make Spaghetti Meat Sauce

How to make Meat Sauce and Spaghetti

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

In a pot, Dutch oven, or braiser sauté the onion in the olive oil. Add in the ground beef and sausage, and cooked until browned. Leave in a little bit of the excess fat for flavor. Stir in the garlic.

Add in the tomatoes, broth, and the rest of the seasonings. Let it bubble, and then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season generously with salt & pepper and serve over spaghetti.

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Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch My Rendition Of Italian Comfort Food

Id like to share my family recipe, which is based on the classic Italian pasta sauce. I have made some kinds of adaptations to this sauce and everyone that have tasted this sauce always has something good to say about it.

This is my take on the famous classic Italian spaghetti sauce. You might be wondering, is Lola now cooking Italian food? Well, yes and No. I just like to share recipes that our family truly enjoys, no matter its origin.

You Ignore The Portion Sizes

“Pasta gets a bad reputation for being too high in carbs, but in fact, it can be part of a balanced diet,” says Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, CSO, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “A serving of pasta is two ounces or one cup, which equals about 75 to 100 calories.”

Many people eat much more than that and will often also add in French bread and several servings of high-fat meat like ground beef or sausage with cheese, she says. “This can create a high calorie meal that exceeds saturated fat recommendations,” she explains. So, keep portions in check to avoid making this health mistake.

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How To Freeze Meat Sauce

Freeze the homemade spaghetti sauce separately and then make fresh spaghetti noodles when youre about to eat it. Defrost the sauce in the refrigerator for 1 day, or, add to a large pot, cover, and heat on medium to medium-low until thawed.

To make this spaghetti sauce for meal prep, freeze the sauce in gallon freezer bags. Lay them down flat so you can stack them flat or upright side by side in the freezer.

Cook’s Tips And Recipe Variations:

  • While my mom always prepares this meat sauce with ground beef, you can substitute Italian sausage for half of the beef called for. If you want a spaghetti meat sauce with ground turkey, simply substitute 2 lbs. of ground turkey for the ground beef.
  • For an even lighter option, try serving your meat sauce over zucchini noodles.
  • My mom makes her spaghetti meat sauce with mushrooms, so feel free to add sliced mushrooms to your pot! I omitted them from my recipe because my kids prefer the sauce without the mushrooms.
  • I like the rich flavor of the spaghetti meat sauce with red wine. Don’t worry — the alcohol cooks off! That said, if you would rather not use wine in this recipe, you can substitute with an equal amount of beef broth.
  • I list “sugar” as an optional ingredient. Sugar balances the acidity of the tomatoes, so I typically include about 1-2 teaspoons when I’m making a pot of sauce.
  • When cooking the sauce on the stovetop, be careful to simmer the sauce over very low heat. Stir occasionally, as well. This will prevent any scorching in the bottom of your pot.

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Best Spaghetti Meat Sauce Recipe

If you are looking for the best spaghetti meat sauce recipe then you have come to the right place. In this post, I will give you 5 simple steps to follow for this easy meat sauce recipe that is homemade and includes browned ground beef for an incredible flavor.

Making your own homemade spaghetti sauce from scratch has so many benefits.

You are not using a jar of sauce that has all kinds of added ingredients and preservatives that you dont need.

Another benefit is cost. You can most likely make a lot more and a better sauce for less money. Just freeze the extra and pull it out for a quick meal during the week.

Can I Make This Pasta Recipe In Advance

Ultimately, yes you can. This pasta recipe reheats REALLY well. Here are two options for making it in advance.

  • Reheat method: Whether you pop it in the microwave or reheat in on the stovetop, it wills till taste just as great
  • Make-ahead method: You can make this recipe up till the chicken is cooked and the spaghetti sauce has simmered. So whenever you are ready to serve it, just reheat the meat sauce on the stovetop and add your freshly cooked pasta.
  • Crockpot spaghetti and meat sauce: You can easily leave all the ingredients in a crockpot and come back to it later. View instructions on how to make this in a crockpot below.

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Why Make Homemade Meat Sauce

  • Simple ingredients. This delicious sauce uses fresh and easy-to-find ingredients.
  • Healthier than store-bought. Our Meat Sauce recipe is rich and tasty but omits the added salt and sugar found in many canned and jarred sauces.
  • Slow cooker friendly. You can simmer this on the stove, or put it in your slow cooker on low for a hot, delicious sauce waiting for dinnertime.
  • Easy to freeze. Try making our spaghetti meat sauce in larger batches to keep in your freezer for a quick and easy meal.

How To Make This Spaghetti And Meat Sauce

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Recipe

Truly fantastic homemade spaghetti sauce is easier to make than youd think, but it does take time.

Brown the beef. Drain off any excess fat, then, throw in the chopped celery, onion, and garlic and cook until the vegetables soften.

Boil and simmer. Dump the rest of the homemade pasta sauce ingredients into the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the spaghetti sauce is boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer on the stove for 3 hours. I know 3 hours sounds like forever, but thats how long it takes to make a rich, flavorful meat sauce. Just do what the Italians do, .

Cook your noodles. Once the homemade spaghetti sauce has had time to simmer, all thats left to do is boiling the spaghetti noodles according to package instructions and dish it up!

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Spaghetti Recipe With Ground Beef

Bring out the garlic bread its time for one of my favorite Italian dishes, spaghetti recipe with ground beef! While theres no such thing as bad pasta recipes, this one is particularly delicious thanks to the sauce + meat concoction you make all in one simmering, savory pot. And you can top it off with your favorite Italian cheese! I love giving my spaghetti recipe with ground beef a good grate of fresh parmesan. Yum!

This is one of many spaghetti recipes youll be adding to your usual dinner roster! Lets dive in.

How To Cook Ground Beef For Spaghetti Sauce

Step by step instructions for how to cook ground beef for spaghetti sauce. Cooking ground beef is a healthy way to make your spaghetti sauce. A simple skillet, some simmering liquid and time are required to cook ground beef. Cook the ground beef until it is browned on all sides, removing it with a slotted spoon or tongs as you work.

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How Do You Make The Best Meat Sauce

With the best ingredients, a rich, flavorful and simple spaghetti sauce comes together easily!

First, cook ground beef, onion and garlic in a Dutch oven until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the fat.

Next, add the remaining ingredients — starting with the tomatoes! I used 2 cans of Redpack Crushed Tomatoes, along with Redpack Tomato Paste. This sauce is full of fresh, rich flavor!

As I mentioned above, I prefer the Redpack tomatoes not only because they offer the best quality on the market, but also because they are family-owned and sustainably grown on Midwest family farms. The tomatoes are steam packed fresh, non-GMO Project Verified and come packed in Non-BPA/BPS lined cans. Love that!

You’ll stir in some red wine,

Italian seasoning and chili powder.

Put a lid on your pot and let the stove do the rest of the work! Isn’t that easy?

The spaghetti meat sauce simmers for about 2-3 hours over very low heat. Stir it occasionally, and be sure that the heat isn’t too high. You don’t want the sugars in the tomatoes to scorch the bottom of your pot .

What Meat Goes In Spaghetti Sauce


If you are wanting to make a meat spaghetti sauce then you have a lot of options for the meat that you put into it. Ground beef, ground turkey, ground pork and ground chicken are my top choices. For this recipe I used ground beef but you can use any ground meat that you want to.

You can also add Italian sausage and homemade meatballs. I have used the meatballs that I use in my meatball grinders and also rosemary chicken meatballs in this sauce recipe and they were both delish!

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You Don’t Boil Enough Water

The water requirements for cooking pasta ma seem excessive, but don’t ignore them. There’s a reason you’re supposed to have extra water in the past. When the pasta is added to the boiling water, it can lower the temperature of the water, which will stall cooking and may add minutes to your total time or impact your pasta’s texture. Make sure you have enough water in your pot so that adding pasta doesn’t drastically drop the water’s temperature, Underbrink says.

Can I Cook This In A Crockpot

The only thing that brings a heartier taste to spaghetti than oven-baking it is the Crockpot! Crockpot spaghetti intensifies the simmered flavors, really deepening all the best parts of the spices and tomatoes. Plus, something wondrous happens with the noodles in that sauce its an Italian miracle!

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Crockpot Spaghetti And Meat Sauce

If you prefer to make this recipe in a crockpot here is how to do it.

  • In a skillet, cook the onions and chicken in hot olive oil until the meat is cooked through.
  • Now add the ground chicken to a crockpot along with the sauce and spices.
  • Cook the spaghetti sauce in the crockpot for about 6 hours on low. Then serve it over hot pasta.
  • How To Make Nanas Easy Meat Sauce

    Classic Spaghetti and Meat Sauce | Meat Sauce Recipe | The simple way
  • First, set a heavy-bottomed 6 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter and onions, and stir until the onions become soft. If they start to brown, turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Then stir in the minced garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes. Next add in the ground sausage, ground beef, and dried oregano. Cook the meat and break into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Once the meat pieces are well browned, stir in the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes.
  • Cover and simmer for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the sauce is done, stir in the fresh chopped basil. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. If the meat sauce tastes too acidic, stir in 1-2 tablespoons sugar.
  • Pro Tip: The ground sausage and canned tomatoes are both quite salty. Its best to let the sauce cook a little while at least 30 minutes before deciding if you want to salt it.

    Keep homemade Meat Sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The flavors keep getting better the longer all of the ingredients sit together!

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