This flavorful Homemade Spaghetti Sauce is a classic red sauce loaded with onions, garlic, and large chunks of beef and is free of added sugar. This sauce can be ready in as little as 20 minutes!
Why you'll love this recipe
I love red pasta sauce- my husband, not so much. I tried for years to find a sauce that he would like. The jarred sauces were just too sweet and too acidic.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago. I made some spaghetti from a few ingredients I had laying around in the pantry. He asked for a bite, and to my surprise, he finished it off! I finally found a sauce he likes! Cue the happy dance!
This quick and easy red sauce tastes better than what you can buy in the store with the added benefit of customizing it to your own taste. This easy homemade red sauce is great because most of the ingredients can already be found in your pantry! This sauce is low sodium, free of added sugars, and can be made without onions or garlic. The choice is yours!
This recipe makes about 5 ½ cups of Homemade Spaghetti Sauce.
Sauce vs. marinara
The ingredients for both spaghetti sauce and marinara are relatively the same. The biggest difference is that spaghetti sauce often uses some type of meat. It also often takes more time to make, because the meat needs to be cooked and the sauce needs time to simmer. Marinara makes a great replacement if you're short on ingredients or time!
Additionally, you could leave out the meat (and onions and garlic if you want), and voila, you have marinara!
This meaty red sauce can be used for a variety of dishes, such as:
- Spaghetti with zoodles, of course!
- Eggplant parmesan
- Zucchini lasagna
- Zucchini boats
- Leave out the ground hamburger meat and use it as a chunky marinara sauce for Baked Zucchini Bites
This recipe only uses 9 ingredients, and that's including the spices! Here's what you'll need:
- Ground hamburger meat
- Crushed tomatoes, I use "no salt added"
- Tomato sauce
- Yellow onion
- Italian seasoning
Start this recipe by heating up some olive oil in a stockpot (I love using my Dutch oven!) and brown the ground beef. Drain the beef if necessary, but leave a couple of tablespoons of the fat in the beef.
Next, stir in the diced onion and minced garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add in the seasonings, crushed tomatoes, and tomato sauce.
Note: If you’re using salted crushed tomatoes, taste the sauce before adding salt to see if you need additional salt.
Finally, heat the sauce until it simmers. For the best taste, I recommend letting it simmer for at least 30 minutes so the flavors have time to meld together.
Don't want to wait? That's okay, serve it up when the sauce is hot and bubbly!
Take this easy homemade pasta sauce up a notch! Throw in:
- 8-ounces of sliced mushrooms (mini portobellas are our favorite!)
- One diced bell pepper (red bell peppers make a great addition!)
- One or two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream for a creamier version (or if the sauce is too acidic)
- Red pepper flakes to give it a kick!
Tips & tricks
Drain the beef. For this recipe, I use a 90/10 ground hamburger. If you use higher fat hamburger meat, you might want to drain some of the fat off. I use 90/10 because it isn’t overly greasy, so I don’t have to drain it and it gives this sauce a little extra flavor!
Sodium content. If no additional salt is added, this will make for a great low-sodium spaghetti sauce. This recipe uses “No Salt Added” crushed tomatoes so the salt content may need to be adjusted. If you choose to use a full-flavor can of crushed tomatoes, be sure to taste the sauce before adding the additional salt.
Storing and reheating
Refrigerator: You can store this sauce in an airtight container for up to five days.
Freezer: This sauce can be stored for up to three months.
Thaw: Thaw frozen spaghetti sauce in the refrigerator, place it in cold water, or defrost in the microwave.
Reheat: Reheat this sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave.
More easy sauces
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Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 lb ground beef
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes I use "no salt added"
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Heat oil in a stockpot and brown ground beef.
- Add in diced onion and minced garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add in the seasonings, crushed tomatoes, and tomato sauce.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer. Sauce and be served immediately OR for best taste, reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The nutritional information provided is only an estimate. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
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