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

Equipment

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Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

*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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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. Hi Holly, I don’t have passata or tomato sauce on hand. Could I substitute jarred spaghetti sauce? I do have the diced tomatoes.5 stars

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

    2. Hi Robin, while I haven’t made this specific recipe but plan to. It’s really close to how I make homemade Italian meat sauce. Usually just wing it. I use fresh tomatoes when I have a ton in the garden. I put in more than what the cans hold as they will cook down and alot of the juice will evaporate. So there would be no need to add water and the sauce would have to simmer longer to reduce to a thicker sauce. But the results are amazing because all the flavor is infused in the process. As a matter of fact I purposley can my tomato sauce on the thin side so I can let it simmer longer when I use it it applications like this. You can always taste as you go in case it needs more seasonings. Dorie

      1. If I want to replace the diced tomatoes with crushed tomatoes, do I add 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes or would I need less crushed tomatoes?

      2. If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can use all crushed tomatoes and simmer a bit longer so the sauce isn’t too thin.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.