How To Make Homemade Meat Sauce From Scratch:
The photos take you through the general steps of making the best spaghetti meat sauce without giving you exact amountssee the recipe card below for the details.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About This Meat Sauce Recipe
What is the difference between meat sauce and Bolognese?
Meat sauce usually contains garlic, herbs and spices, and additions like mushrooms or olives and tomatoes and wine for liquids. Meat sauces vary by region in Italy, or even house-to-house, based on whats easily available or on hand. Ragu Bolognese starts with onion, celery and carrots , and no garlic, herbs, or seasonings are added. While both use ground meat, Bolognese doesnt have any add-ins like mushrooms or olives.
How do you make meat sauce thicker?
You can cook the sauce longer at a hard simmer to reduce the liquid and/or add tomato paste.
How do you thicken spaghetti sauce?
You can cook the sauce longer at a hard simmer to reduce the liquid and/or add tomato paste.
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How To Make Instant Pot Spaghetti:
How To Store Meat Sauce
Homemade meat sauce will keep about a week in the refrigerator if it is covered. Just reheat on the stove and add a little extra garlic to refresh the flavors!
To freeze meat sauce, ladle it into zippered bags and lay them flat. Once frozen, stack them upright to save space in the freezer! The homemade sauce should last about 3 months in the freezer!
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Our Favorite Meat Sauce For Pasta
Pasta night is one of my easy go-to dinners. After all, who doesnt love a good spaghetti dinner? Sometimes a comforting bowl of pasta is just what you need after a long week or on a Tuesday masquerading as a Monday.
Sometimes Ill make Creamy Pesto Pasta with Shrimp, and of course its hard to go wrong with a classic .
But this Easy Homemade Meat Sauce is the real favorite around here.
Now, before you mention it: This is not your Italian grandmothers bolognese. That kind of effort is reserved for weekends and big family dinners in my book.
This meat sauce is meant to be easy to put together and pleases even the picky eaters in my family. Getting my family fed a delicious meal with as little effort as possible is honestly my biggest goal these days.
How Can I Enjoy Meat Sauce Made From Scratch
Serve this classic homemade Meat Sauce with spaghetti or ziti, in lasagna, or as the sauce with our Ricotta Stuffed Shells recipe. But before you start to boil the water, be sure to check out our guide for How to Cook Pasta !
Also, this Baked Spaghetti Pie is perfect for a fun and easy family meal.
Enjoy a gluten-free meal by pairing with baked polenta, or even enjoy over baked potatoes to mix things up.
Living low carb? Try the best Meat Sauce with Low Carb Spaghetti for a yummy and super healthy dinner.
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How Long Does This Meat Sauce Recipe Last
Because of the ground beef used in this sauce recipe, leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days after preparation. If you reheat the sauce, make sure you consume all of the heated sauce or toss the leftovers in the trash. It is not necessary to reheat the sauce twice. Once youve reheated it, youre done.)
Watch Us Make The Recipe
Sauce for Spaghetti and Meat ground beef, turkey, chicken, or lamb 1 pound lean ground meat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil one-half cup finely chopped onion 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced the tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves a pinch of red pepper flakes 1 cup of liquid 1 can crushed tomato sauce Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Fresh basil leaves in a handful, plus more leaves for serving 12 ounces of dry spaghetti or your favorite type of pasta parmesan cheese shredded Optional ingredients are listed in the notes.
3 to 4 anchovy fillets, minced with part of their oil, or anchovy paste can be substituted.
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Easy Homemade Meat Sauce For Pasta
Pasta is one of my favorite quick and easy meals to make for the family. And while its pretty simple to open up a can of premade sauce and pour it on your pasta, theres no reason you cant spend a few extra minutes of prep time to make your own sauce from scratch. This easy recipe for homemade meat sauce for pasta can be made with fresh ingredients and it adds a ton of delicious flavor to any pasta dish.
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Can Meat Sauce Be Frozen
My Easy Homemade Meat Sauce recipe makes a lot of sauce. This recipe easily makes 6-8 servings, depending on how hungry you are.
For many families, thats probably at least 2 meals out of one batch of sauce!
In my experience, meat sauce will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you plan to use all of the sauce within a few days, storing in the refrigerator is the way to go.
If you want to think of longer-term storage, turn to your freezer. Meat sauce freezes perfectly for future meals.
Just store the sauce in a freezer-safe container, label and date, and freeze for up to a few months.
When youre ready to enjoy, just let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, reheat in the slow cooker or on the stove, and serve on cooked pasta alongside Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread or Garlic and Herb Beer Bread Rolls.
Because this sauce keeps so well, I like to make it when friends have babies or otherwise need a meal. I make a batch of sauce, put both freezing and reheating instructions on the container, and include a box of pasta, salad greens, and garlic bread in the basket.
Enjoy Easy Homemade Meat Sauce the night you make it or a few weeks later as an easy freezer meal. I know your family will gobble it up either way!
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Balance Your Costs With Vegetables
My favorite trick for stretching ground meat in recipes is to use vegetables or beans to replace half of the ground meat. This time I shredded vegetables, which mimicked the texture of the ground meat, but added a subtle sweetness and a whole lot of extra flavor, texture, and nutrition to the sauce. This sauce is so delicious that I couldnt stop sneaking spoonfuls while I took photos!
How To Make Spaghetti With Ground Beef
Scroll down for the printable recipe.
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About The Meat Sauce Ingredients:
The ingredients for the sauce are pretty simple, so its important that theyre good quality. Choose canned tomato products with fresh, bright flavor look for tomatoes from Italy or California. Choose sausage that you like the flavor of when its served by itself. Sometimes I use a combination of hot and sweet sausages, especially if Im making a double batch of sauce. If youre a gluten-free household, youll want to make sure both the sausage and the Worcestershire sauce youre using are safe.
You can definitely use different ground meats, or finely chopped prosciutto or mortadella, or add in some leftover cooked beef or pork that would be a very Italian-making-Sunday-sauce move. My mother often add in a shallot if we have one, and substitute dried herbs for the fresh ones if we need to. Feel free to make this meat sauce recipe your own but Id make it once or twice Joanies way first.
Next, you can make a batch of fresh pasta or her Meat Lasagna recipe. Or just serve yourself a dish of spaghetti with meat sauce and a nice glass of wine. The choice is obviously yours!
Please let me know if you make this recipe especially if it becomes a favorite for you. I love knowing that our familys recipes are feeding you and your loved ones. Mangia bene, friends.
Photos by James Collier
Make Meat Sauce With Store Bought Pasta Sauce
Recipe to make an easy meat sauce that is quick for when you dont have the time to make a 100% homemade sauce.
Ive never found a store bought meat sauce that I really liked. Seriously they say meat flavored and there isnt much meat.
Heres how you can turn a jar of store bought pasta sauce into a good meat sauce youll enjoy by adding meat and some spices.
Great for making spaghetti, lasagna, baked ziti, or whatever you want.
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So Easy Penne Pasta Tossed With A Simple Tomato Sauce With Ground Beef Onions Italian Seasoning Garlic And Basil This Penne Pasta Dish Is A Perfect Budget
My mother made a penne pasta dish the other night that took everyone by surprise.
My skinny-as-a-spatula 10-year old nephew who won’t eat anything ate this penne pasta with gusto and asked for more. My carb-avoiding sister couldn’t resist it. My father declared it a triumph!
Later that night, Dad had my mom recount to him exactly what she did to make this particular penne pasta dish. Thank goodness, because experience has shown that my mother’s memory for recipes has a half-life of only a few hours.
Sure enough, when we asked her to make it again a few days later she had a hard time recalling the details. Diligent Dad supplied a few notes and it all came back to her.
What To Serve With Spaghetti And Meat Sauce
We always serve this with a super crunchy iceberg salad tossed with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes and dressed in my favorite red wine vinaigrette and a few slices of buttery garlic bread. If youre looking for a little bit more, here are a few recipe ideas to make your meal.
- 1teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
- 1pounddried spaghetti noodles
- grated Parmesan cheese
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What Is The Difference Between Marinara Sauce And Spaghetti Sauce
I know they look and smell the same, but is basically tomato sauce with aromatics such as herbs and onion, whereas spaghetti sauce is usually made with meat and vegetables. Then theres also a Bolognese sauce, which usually includes carrots, wine and/or milk. This particular recipe is sort of a cross between all three!
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.
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What Ingredients You Need
Here are the ingredients needed to make our classic Italian-inspired Meat Sauce recipe:
- Fresh basil
- Salt and pepper
You can jazz the sauce up a bit by adding a variety of other ingredients, like shaved carrots, aged balsamic vinegar, red wine, crushed red pepper, ground veal, and/or bell peppers. These arent necessary, but each adds a different unique flavor that can be fun to try!
Also Sometimes canned tomatoes can be overly acidic and benefit from a little bit of sugar to balance the flavor. Only use if needed, and remember, a little goes a long way.
Recipe Tips & Storage
Simmering Is Key The key is to let meat sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes, to let all of the flavors blend together. If you have time, you can simmer the sauce for up to two hours. It just gets more delicious the longer it simmers!
Servings & Doubling This meat sauce recipe makes about sixteen servings. If youre feeling extra ambitious, you can double the recipe and stock your freezer for later.
Freezing I like to use half for one meal and freeze the other half for another day. It will stay good in the freezer for up to six months. Just make sure to use an extra big pot if you double the recipe since it will make a ton!
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What Makes This Spaghetti Meat Sauce Recipe So Easy
Everything that my family, friends, and neighbors have told me about this Homemade Spaghetti Meat Sauce Recipe has confirmed that it is simple to make.
A simple variation on my Homemade Spaghetti Sauce, allow me to explain why this is so simple to make.
- This spaghetti meat sauce may be prepared in a single pot. Yes, if youre serving it with spaghetti, youll need to use a second pot to cook the sauce. Once everything is said and done, there arent many dishes to wash
- Your new favorite meat sauce can be prepared in 30 minutes. This was a major selling point for many of the folks I spoke with when it came to the easy meal label: there are no difficult components in this beef sauce recipe. In fact, all but one of the ingredients may be purchased in bulk and kept on hand in your cupboard until needed. That was a significant element for a number of my pals
Guys. Weve pretty much checked off every single item on the list of requirements for the simple dinner certification.
How To Make Million Dollar Spaghetti:
1. Prep the noodles: Boiling a package of spaghetti noodles, drain the water and toss them in a bowl with some butter and a little marinara sauce. Pour half the noodles in a 9×13 pan.
2. Spread cheesy mixture over noodles. Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese and spread it over top of the noodles.
3. Layer remaining noodles, creating a little surprise cheese filling between the noodles.
4. Layer marinara meat sauce. The simple meat sauce is made with ground beef, ground sausage, onions, garlic, and .
5. Top with cheese and bake. Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese over top and bake at 350 degrees F until cheese is melted and bubbly. I love it when the cheese on the edges get golden YUM!.
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Easy Italian Meat Sauce Recipe
This Homemade Spaghetti Meat Sauce recipe is quick and easy to prepare, and it is perfect for hectic weekday dinners. It is ready in 30 minutes. In less than an hour, youll have a slow simmering flavor that will have you bypassing takeout from now on. With the entire family, this one is a tremendous hit! Its strange to confess, but while I was working outside the home, I ordered takeout far less frequently. My supper plans constantly seemed to change, and after a long trip, the last thing I wanted to do was get back in the car and go back to my house to cook.
Cooking time for this quick spaghetti beef sauce recipe is only a few minutes of hands-on time, followed by a few minutes of simmering time before you can start digging into delicious noodle bliss.