Looking for a homemade pasta sauce recipe that will have everyone coming back for seconds? Look no further!
Made with just a few simple ingredients like ground beef, herbs, and spices simmered in a rich tomato sauce, it packs lots of flavor and is the perfect complement for any type of pasta.
And the best part? It’s incredibly easy to make!
Homemade Pasta Sauce; Delicious, Easy, and Oh So Versatile!
- This homemade pasta sauce is quick and easy to whip up.
- Make it with simple ingredients like ground beef or turkey, onion, garlic, and tomato sauce. You can also sneak in your favorite vegetables.
- Make it a freezer meal and double (or triple!) the recipe for future dinners!
- It’s versatile and budget-friendly, perfect over pasta or in lasagna. Use it as a dipping sauce for breadsticks or a ready-made marinara on your favorite pizza crust!
Ingredients for Homemade Pasta Sauce
Meat – I most often use ground beef or turkey but this sauce can be made with any kind of ground meat. Try Italian sausage, pork, or even veal.
Sauce – Choose quality canned tomatoes for the best flavor, and don’t drain them. San Marzano tomatoes from Italy are fresh-packed and worth the extra cost (usually $1 to 2 extra for the can). They have a bright, bold flavor and fewer seeds.
Seasonings – This recipe has layers of flavor.
- Start with dry herbs (like Italian seasoning) at the beginning of cooking to allow them to rehydrate and develop flavor in the sauce.
- The seasoning mix for the meat is similar to the seasonings I add to homemade Italian sausage ensuring that every bite is infused with flavor.
- Add fresh herbs just before serving as they’re delicate and shouldn’t be simmered.
A Perfect Balance
Tomatoes are naturally acidic, and adding a small amount of sugar can help balance the acidity in tomato sauces or marinara sauce. If you prefer not to use sugar, try adding a shredded carrot to the sauce instead for a subtle natural sweetness.
- Make this sauce without the meat and add fresh tomatoes, red peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini for a hearty vegetarian pasta sauce!
- Add extra herbs and spices to your liking or a small sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a little heat.
- Add a few spoonfulls of fresh pesto in place of basil for a new flavor.
How to Make Homemade Pasta Sauce
- Season meat and brown it with onion and garlic per the recipe below.
- Add remaining ingredients (except parsley and basil) and simmer for an hour.
- Stir in fresh parsley and basil. Remove bay leaves and garnish with freshly grated parmesan or Romano cheese, if desired.
This pasta sauce recipe is makes a great homemade spaghetti sauce recipe but it really can be servecd over any pasta shape you have on hand.
Leftovers and Freezing
Keep leftover homemade pasta sauce covered in the refrigerator for up to a 4 days.
Freeze portions in zippered bags for up to 3 months and thaw in the refrigerator or reheat from frozen on the stovetop over medium heat.
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Homemade Pasta Sauce
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef or turkey
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes*
- 28 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 1 large green bell pepper diced, or red bell pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
Meat Seasoning Mix
- 2 teaspoons sage
- 2 teaspoons fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- In a medium bowl, combine the seasoning and ground meat until well mixed.
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat mixture, onion, and garlic, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Cook until the browned, drain excess fat if needed,
- Add the canned tomatoes with the liquid, tomato sauce, green bell pepper, water, bay leaves, sugar, and salt to the pot. Stir well to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until the sauce has reached your desired consistency. Stir occasionally.
- Once the sauce has thickened, stir in the chopped parsley and basil.
- Remove bay leaves, taste and season with additional salt and pepper. Serve over hot pasta.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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