The Best Homemade Pasta Sauce

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Homemade Pasta Sauce is one of our all time favorites and perfect on any type of pasta from spaghetti to Baked Rigatoni!

I’ve made this literally hundreds of times and it’s perfect every single time with tender meat and a silky flavorful sauce that is perfect on any kind of pasta dish!

Homemade pasta sauce over a plate of spaghetti noodles

Healthy, Homemade and Delicious!

This is hands down the BEST homemade pasta sauce I’ve ever had and even better, it’s totally healthy (shhh… nobody will ever know)!!

This pasta sauce starts out with a base of lean ground turkey or beef cooked with some aromatics including onions and garlic but the real secret lies in the spice mixture.

The combination may seem a little bit unusual but they’re the same seasonings I put in my homemade turkey sausage patties and it’s delish! Once combined, I mix the seasonings into the meat before I even cook it and it adds amazing flavor to the dish. You can use lean beef or pork but I almost always use ground turkey in this recipe!

Achieve That Perfect Texture

I find that using a meat chopper tool (what do I even call that thing?) is the best tool for this dish!

Not only does it make the meat the perfect texture, but it also can help chop the tomatoes slightly (in fact, I never make any ground meat without it)!

As with most tomato based recipes, this is just delicious leftover if you’re lucky enough to have any left… I usually double (or triple) the recipe and freeze the leftovers for a perfect quick weeknight meal!

Tips For Perfect Homemade Pasta Sauce

  • Mixing your seasonings into the raw meat infuses flavor into every bite.
  • While I use ground turkey, subbing in 1/3 lb ground beef, veal or pork will add additional flavor.
  • Canned tomatoes provide excellent flavor and are a staple in Italian cuisine (learned a lot about this in cooking classes in Italy). Choose a good quality as this is the base flavor for your sauce.
  • Time = flavor.  In the case of this delicious homemade pasta sauce recipe, the flavor changes and is incredible after it’s simmered for at least one hour.
  • No matter how much flavor your sauce has, don’t forget to salt your pasta water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter just before serving to add a bit of richness to your sauce.

Fork full of spaghetti with Homemade Pasta Sauce

More Tips for your Homemade Pasta Sauce

If possible, use fresh herbs in this recipe for the best flavor. Of course they cook down so I always throw a handful in right before serving and a little sprinkle on top too!

The longer you cook this homemade pasta sauce, the thicker it will get so cook it as long as needed.

I’ve served this over spaghetti but as you’d expect, this homemade meat sauce is very versatile. It’s amazing used as a sauce for homemade lasagna or if you’d like to keep it low carb, serve it over spaghetti squash or Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)!

Once you try it, this will be the very last pasta sauce recipe you will ever need!

Love Easy Pasta Dishes? Here are a few more of my favorites:

Cooked spaghetti on a plate with homemade pasta sauce on top
4.75 from 4 votes
Review Recipe

The Best Homemade Pasta Sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Homemade Pasta Sauce is one of our all time favorites! I’ve made this literally hundreds of times and it’s perfect every single time with tender meat and a silky flavorful sauce that is perfect on any kind of pasta dish!


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef or turkey
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 large green bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can 28oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 can approx. 28 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
Meat Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons sage
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon teaspoon allspice

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  • Combine seasoning & ground meat until well mixed. Brown meat, onion & garlic over medium heat making sure to break up the meat very well. (Drain any fat if needed).
  • Add remaining ingredients (except parsley & basil) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 1 hour or until desired consistency.
  • Stir in parsley & basil.
  • Remove bay leaves and serve over hot pasta

Nutrition Information

Calories: 130, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 340mg, Potassium: 521mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 415IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 2.3mg
Keyword homemade pasta sauce

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The BEST Homemade Pasta Sauce! This is literally the BEST Homemade Pasta Sauce you'll ever have! Made with ground turkey or beef, this rich tomato sauce is perfect over spaghetti or in lasagna!
Homemade Pasta Sauce is one of our all time favorites!  I've made this literally hundreds of times and it's perfect every single time with tender meat and a silky flavorful sauce that is perfect on any kind of pasta dish! #spendwithpennies #pastasauce #homemadepastasauce #homemadesauce #easyrecipe #dinnerrecipe #fromscratch #groundbeefrecipe

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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