This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe is easy to make and perfect over almost any kind of pasta.

Jam packed with flavor, this spaghetti sauce is made with ground beef, Italian sausage, and seasonings in a zesty tomato sauce.

pot full of Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Our Go-To Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

  • This recipe is so easy to make at home.
  • Made with sausage and ground beef, it’s hearty and filling.
  • Stretch this sauce even further with extra veggies or canned tomatoes.
  • Make a double or triple batch, this spaghetti sauce freezes well for future meals.
  • Enjoy it over spaghetti noodles or other pasta shapes, or use it lasagna.
ingredients assembled to make homemade spaghetti sauce

Ingredients for Spaghetti Sauce

Meat – Ground beef and Italian sausage add lots of flavor. You can use just one or the other if you’d like. The sausage adds extra flavor, so if you replace it, add extra Italian seasoning.

Veggies – Onion and fresh garlic add flavor, while shredded carrot adds just a bit of sweetness to balance the tang of the tomatoes. Replace the carrot with a small amount of sugar or a finely diced red bell pepper.

Other great additions to a homemade spaghetti sauce recipe include green bell pepper, mushrooms, or shredded zucchini.

Tomatoes – Spaghetti sauce has a base of canned crushed tomatoes (you can replace it with marinara sauce if you’d like). Tomato paste adds a zesty flavor, while diced tomatoes add texture. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use all crushed tomatoes and simmer a bit longer.

How to Make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

This is an easy spaghetti sauce recipe – most of the time is spent simmering.

  1. Brown Italian sausage, beef, onion, & garlic in a skillet or Dutch oven.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients & simmer (as per the recipe below).
  3. Season with salt and pepper and stir in fresh herbs if using.

Feeling Fancy?

  • Fresh herbs add a really great flavor to this spaghetti sauce recipe. If using fresh basil or fresh parsley, stir it in right before serving and reserve a little bit for garnish.
  • If you have a parmesan cheese rind, add it while the sauce simmers and discard before serving.
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce on top in a white bowl

Tips for Perfect Homemade Pasta Sauce

  • For a thicker sauce, simmer longer on the stove without the lid. This will cause the liquid in the sauce to evaporate.
  • Add dry seasonings or spices at the beginning of cooking and fresh herbs at the end of cooking.
  • Don’t rinse the pasta. When the sauce is added to the noodles, some of the starch in the pasta will thicken the sauce slightly and help it to adhere to the noodles.

Storing Leftovers

This spaghetti sauce recipe is great for meal prep.

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze leftover spaghetti sauce in an airtight container or a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

More Favorite Pasta Sauce Recipes

Did your family love this homemade Spaghetti Sauce? Leave a rating and a comment below!

ladle scooping homemade spaghetti sauce with text
4.99 from 132 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

This spaghetti sauce recipe is rich and meaty with lots of zesty flavor.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings


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  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound Italian sausage casings removed, or bulk sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 ounces can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup *carrot grated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley optional


  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the beef, sausage, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat until no pink remains, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain fat.
  • Add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, Italian seasoning, carrot, basil, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until thickened.
  • Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Stir in fresh parsley if using.
  • Serve over spaghetti or cooked pasta.


*Shredded carrots add sweetness to balance the tart flavor of the tomatoes. Carrot can be replaced with ½ finely diced red bell pepper or a small pinch of sugar.
If substituting Italian sausage for another ground meat such as ground beef or pork, increase the Italian seasoning to 2 teaspoons and add ½ teaspoon oregano and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
To thicken this homemade spaghetti sauce further, let it simmer uncovered.
Do not rinse the spaghetti after draining as the starches in the pasta will thicken the sauce slightly and help it stick to the noodles.
Spaghetti sauce can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
4.99 from 132 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 251 | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 691mg | Potassium: 1003mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1327IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course, Pasta, Sauce
Cuisine American, Italian
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce in the pot and taking a spoonful out of the pot with a title
pot of Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with a spoon and title
comforting Homemade Spaghetti Sauce in the pot with a title
pot of Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with a title


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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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Recipe Rating


  1. I’ve been using this recipe for years. Delicious. Some of the grandchildren don’t like vegetables so I put half a green pepper in sauce for flavor and remove just before serving. In past I’ve also pureed cooked carrots, celery and peppers and added to sauce. Green pepper much easier. Pasta supper tonight with family. 5 stars

  2. For us, this was too tomato forward and not savory enough. Also a bit sweet and added a splash of wine to neutralize it. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t cook long enough? Tomorrow I’ll add more Italian sausage , and maybe some mushrooms.4 stars

  3. I think this is the best homemade spaghetti sauce I have every tried! The added carrots instead of sugar was a big plus! It’s an easy recipe as well!5 stars

  4. We loved it! I added the shredded carrot and red pepper smaller chunks. This crew is picky, so when they wanted more, that was great! Will definitely add it to the meal rotation. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  5. Was wondering if you can help me with something..
    Hubby and I froze some Roma tomatoes and I figured it’s probably time to make sauce ..
    I don’t do well thinking outside the box ..
    What do I do to make sauce ?
    We also don’t do well with onions , we can handle a little bit of garlic ..
    thanks for your time ..

    1. If you have a lot of fresh tomatoes (that have been thawed) this tomato sauce recipe although it does have a little bit of onion for flavor. You can also add cooked Italian sausage and other veggies to the recipe for extra flavor.

      If you don’t have lots you can also just peel, seed, and dice the tomatoes and add them in place of the canned diced tomatoes.

  6. Hi Holly! All of your recipes with pasta sauce makes me drool ! To make this sauce in a crock pot…how long should it be? Thanks so much.

    1. To prepare in a slow cooker, reduce the water to ½ cup. Brown the meat, onion, and garlic as directed and place it in a 6qt slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

  7. I’ve been making this sauce for a few years now. Husband loves it. Begs for it often. Also it freezes well. This is my forever go to recipe.5 stars

  8. Absolutely need to add chopped green pepper and celery to this sauce. Other than that, it is as on the mark as a meat sauce for pasta could possibly be. One final hint, if you find the sauce to be on the acidic side when tasting, a pinch of baking soda in the sauce will solve that without the need of any added sugar.5 stars

  9. Question – my family has big meat eaters. Would you suggest doubling the meat and keeping everything else the same if we want more meat, or should we double the whole recipe? Thank you!

    1. This sauce is pretty meaty but you could certainly add a little bit more (up to 2 pounds total). If you’re doubling the meat, you’ll probably need to increase the sauce ingredients a little bit.

  10. made this and loved it , added green peppers, red peppers and mushrooms a, and some additional seasonings, mrs dash, oregono, and sea salt .

  11. I made this in a crock pot……….cooking the meat, onion and garlic in a pan on the stove, before adding to the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot. I added mushrooms and served it over spaghetti noodles and it was wonderful !!!!5 stars

  12. I plan to make this recipe for Sunday night dinner. I’m having 9 kids over for dinner. Can I puree the tomato sauce before adding the meatballs? I’m not sure kids will enjoy having whole tomatoes in the sauce.

  13. i am not a cook AT ALL. can i make the sauce without meat to freeze? i want to use fresh meat every time. or does it matter??