Homemade Spaghetti Sauce is a simple and classic recipe that can be used in so many different ways!

With both ground beef and Italian sausage, it’s all simmered in a zesty seasoned tomato sauce! Perfect over pasta, added to Lasagna or Baked Ziti, and perfect for dipping Cheesy Bread Sticks

Pasta with homemade sauce in a white bowl

Homemade Sauce is Easy!

This sauce happens to be so fragrant, flavorful, and oh-so-easy to put together!

So Many Uses The best spaghetti sauce is a one-size-fits-all sauce that can be used over pasta, eggplant parmigiana, or even as a sauce over your favorite Pizza Dough!

Add Veggies This pasta sauce is very simple and straightforward but is a great base to add in your favorite veggies if you’d like! Mushrooms, zucchini, or bell peppers are great additions. If you’d prefer a little spice, add extra chili flakes.

Make Ahead This sauce will last a few days in the fridge but it freezes beautifully too so don’t be afraid to double the recipe!

Ingredients

This easy homemade spaghetti sauce uses just one skillet and a few savory ingredients.

MEAT While I do make pasta sauce with just beef or ground turkey, the combination of beef and Italian sausage gives it a little more flavor oomph in this recipe.

SAUCE This recipe has 3 types of tomatoes, crushed tomatoes are the base, diced tomatoes add texture, and tomato paste adds zest.

AN ODD INGREDIENT Shredded carrots are added to this recipe instead of sugar. Tomatoes can be acidic and, while you can’t taste the carrots, they balance out the sauce. (I add them to my homemade marinara too).

Stove Top or Slow Cooker

This recipe can even be made into an easy crockpot spaghetti sauce! Just pre-cook the meat and drain off the fat before adding all the other ingredients to the crockpot.

On the stovetop, set on simmer for a perfect homemade spaghetti sauce!

Overhead shot of a big pot of homemade spaghetti sauce with two small bowls of pasta with sauce next to it

How to Make Spaghetti Sauce

  1. Brown meat, onion and garlic. Drain any fat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (per the recipe below) and simmer.
  3. Spoon over your fave pasta and enjoy!

How to Thicken

The easiest way to thicken a spaghetti meat sauce is to let it continue to simmer on low heat (uncovered) until the liquid evaporates a little more.

To thicken in a hurry, you can make a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cornstarch/water) and add a little at a time but for the best flavor, just let it simmer.

Be sure not to rinse the pasta after draining. The starches in the pasta will thicken the sauce slightly and help it stick to the noodles!

Big pot of spaghetti sauce with a ladle

Leftovers

Spaghetti sauce will last up to about 3-4 days in the fridge (and is one of those great recipes like chili that seems to get better with time)!

To freeze spaghetti sauce, simply cool completely, pour into freezer bags, label and lay flat in the freezer. When making spaghetti sauce, double or triple this for freezing so you’ll always have plenty on hand!

More Zesty Pasta Recipes

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Pasta with homemade sauce in a white bowl
4.98 from 35 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

This spaghetti sauce is versatile and filled with flavorful and fragrant ingredients.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup carrot grated
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil

Instructions 

  • Cook beef, sausage, onion, and garlic in a large pot until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered 30 minutes or until thickened.
  • Serve over spaghetti.

Notes

Shredded carrots add sweetness to balance the tart flavor of the tomatoes. If you don't have carrots, you can add a small pinch of sugar.
If substituting Italian sausage for another ground meat such as beef or pork, bump up the seasonings a little bit.
To thicken spaghetti, let it simmer uncovered until the liquid evaporates a little more without a lid.
Be sure not to rinse the pasta after draining. 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 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
4.98 from 35 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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

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A pot of homemade Spaghetti Sauce being served with a silver ladle and writing.

A pot of homemade Spaghetti Sauce with two bowls of spaghetti ready to serve, with a title.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce on pasta garnished with parsley, and writing.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce served over pasta topped with parsley and a pot of spaghetti sauce ready to serve, under the title.

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About the author

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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Comments

  1. Have made similar for years… but I put a whole carrot in and then take out and discard when ready to serve….I make up a big batch and freeze…5 stars

  2. I’ve been making the same old sauce recipe I found when I first got married. This one looks similar but much easier to prepare. I’m anxious to try it.

    1. No, it’s not. There is plenty of water in the tomatoes. This is how my mother used to make her spaghetti sauce. She never added water. This is how I make my sauce, when I do it from scratch. I don’t bother doing that though any more. Jarred Ragu is my base that I add hamburger/italian sausage too and if I’m feeling up to it, I’ll jazz it up by adding more garlic, diced onion, italian seasoning, basil and a splash of red wine. But truthfully, we like the jarred Ragu roasted garlic and parmesan combos that I often don’t.

      1. There are many ways to make Spaghetti Sauce (and this is my favorite). Your version sound good too, thanks for sharing.

  3. I cant wait to try thes resrespis thank you for sharing your resepis I am a firefighter in a smal town scaly mountain nc

  4. I have been growing my own herbs/spices for yrs & I have fallen on love with Purple Basil. I use it now in everything. It adds just a bit of earthy flavor to things & this sauce recipe is no different. It gives it just a touch or sweet earthy flavor.5 stars

    1. Hi Amelia, this recipe is a delicious homemade spaghetti sauce. You can scroll to the bottom or use the jump to recipe button at the top to view the whole recipe.

  5. Oh my! This is exactly my husbands recipe he used to make! He didn’t cook much, but he would make this & was always a favorite of ours. Believe me – it’s wonderful!!! Love it!

  6. I’m shocked that your telling everyone they can eat a spaghetti sauce with meat in it for two weeks!! It only lasts 3 days in the refrigerator!!!

    1. I have only made this as written so I can’t say for sure how to substitute fresh tomatoes. If you have home-canned tomatoes, they should work perfectly in this recipe. Enjoy Robin!

  7. This spaghetti sauce is SO delicious! We used spicy Italian sausage which gave it a tiny bit of a kick. This is the perfect meat sauce and was so easy to make. I’m glad it made so much so I can have leftovers all week long!!!5 stars

  8. The 1st sentence in the instructions cannot be right. I get it but just a FYI. I am going to try it. Sounds yummy!

    Instructions
    Cook sauce, beef, onion and garlic in a skillet until no pink remains.

  9. I also make your sauce, but I add about half of cup of semi sweet red wine instead of carrots. I also add a cup of portobello mushrooms sliced.

    1. It’s doable but seems pointless to pressure cook it as it would take more time for the pot to come to pressure and would prevent the sauce from cooking down and allowing it to evaporate slightly.