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How to Make Spaghetti Meat Sauce

The house smells heavenly while this is cooking.

Spaghetti Sauce and Noodles on Plate

This spaghetti sauce recipe has been around a long time in my family.  Each generation changes it up just a bit.

My grandmother made it with ribs, my mother made it with ground and shredded beef, and I make it with 3 different types of ground meat; pork, beef and turkey.

I also add a bit of spice to my version by including a Serrano pepper. 

The one thing each generation has in common when making homemade spaghetti sauce is using canned tomatoes and canned tomato sauce.

Canned tomatoes and tomato sauce are for sure pantry staples right up there with flour and sugar in my kitchen.

Here are more recipes made with canned tomatoes and, or canned tomato sauce you may like “Italian Sausage and Radiatore Pasta with Homemade Sauce“, “Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce” and “Marinara and Pasta with Mushrooms Sautéed in Butter and Wine“.

This spaghetti sauce is a great recipe to make for friends and family when they come over for dinner because when they arrive at the door, the house smells amazingly delicious.

It never fails, when I make this sauce the first thing that guests say when they come in the house is “it smells so good in here”.

It’s nice to make a large batch of this sauce because it lasts nicely in the freezer.

Freezing this sauce in portion-size containers is especially appreciated on those busy nights when the last thing there is time for is cooking dinner.

Just defrost a container of spaghetti sauce, warm it up in a pot, boil up some pasta and wella, a delicious homemade dinner is served.

Serve this delicious spaghetti sauce over angel hair pasta, spaghetti or your favorite pasta along with quick and easy garlic bread and you’re in for a wonderful meal.

Let’s check out the ingredients.

Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients

Tomato sauce, canned cut tomatoes, tomato paste, celery, bell pepper, onion, Serrano pepper, garlic, olive oil, water, Worcestershire sauce, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, bay leaves, salt, pepper and…

Ground Meat for Spaghetti Sauce

…ground beef, ground turkey and ground pork…

Mushrooms Olive Oil Herbs

…mushrooms and olive oil

printable recipe with the measurements and instructions is located at the bottom of this post.

Here’s how to make it.

Chopped Celery

Chop all of the celery, including the leaves from the innermost section.

Mushrooms Onion Jalapeno

Slice the mushrooms in fairly thin slices about 1/8 of an inch wide.

Chop the onion, bell pepper, Serrano pepper, and garlic in small pieces.

Vegetables for Spaghetti Sauce

For the Vegetables – In a large bowl add the mushrooms, celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic and Serrano pepper.

With a large sturdy spoon, mix together.

Olive Oil in Pan

In a large saucepan, add olive oil and heat the pan on medium heat.

Cooking Vegetables in Pan

To the pan, add the chopped vegetables.

Let the vegetables cook for 10 minutes while stirring about every 3 minutes.

Canned Cut Tomatoes in Bowl

In the bowl that the chopped vegetables were in, add the cut tomatoes.

With a clean hand mash them up a bit.

Tomatoes in Spaghetti Sauce

For the Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce – After the chopped items have cooked for about 10 minutes, add the cut tomatoes to the pot.

Spaghetti Sauce in Pot

Stir all of the ingredients.

Spaghetti Sauce in Pot

To the pot, add tomato sauce and tomato paste.

To the empty cans of tomato sauce, add the water and stir (to get any excess tomato sauce that is left inside of the cans); add this water to the sauce and stir.

Herbs in Spaghetti Sauce

For the Seasonings – To the pot, add Worcestershire sauce, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.

Stir together.

Turn the heat down to low and continue to stir occasionally while the meat is cooking.

Ground Meat in Skillet

Cooking the Meat – To a large skillet add the ground meat and pepper.

Heat the skillet on medium heat and stir.

Using a heat resistant spatula or end of a wooden spoon, break up the ground meat so that it’s all about the same size.

Cooked Ground Meat

Continue cooking until the meat starts to brown.

Transfer the ground meat onto a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess grease.

Ground Meat in Spaghetti Sauce

To the sauce, add the cooked meat and stir.

Bay Leaves in Spaghetti Sauce

To the pot, add bay leaves and stir.

Spaghetti Sauce in Pot

Let simmer for at least 3 hours.

Continue to stir every 20 minutes or less.

Spaghetti Sauce in Pot

Here’s how the sauce looks after cooking for about 3 hours.

It will reduce, thicken, and the ingredients should blend together nicely.

Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Spaghetti Sauce and Pasta on Plate

Serve warm over any type of pasta and enjoy.

Thank you so much for stopping by CCC!

More Pasta Recipes You May Like:

Penne Pasta with Tomato Cream Vodka Sauce

Mostaccioli Pasta with Blue Cheese and Bacon

3-Cheese Stuffed Shells in Marinara Sauce

Chicken Cashew Stir-Fry with Cashews

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Spaghetti Sauce and Pasta

How to Make Spaghetti Meat Sauce

The house smells heavenly while this is cooking.  
Print Pin
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Spaghetti, Spaghetti Sauce
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground meat beef, pork and, or turkey
  • 4 cans (15 ounces per can) tomato sauce
  • 3 cans (14.5 ounces per can) cut tomatoes
  • 3 cans (6 ounces per can) tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bell pepper stem and seems removed, chopped
  • 1 medium to large size onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch celery chopped, including the leaves from the innermost section of the bunch
  • 15 medium size fresh mushrooms sliced from top to bottom in fairly thin slices (about 1/8-inch wide)
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 Serrano pepper stem and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 7 bay leaves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper for the sauce
  • 4 dashes ground black pepper for the ground meat

Instructions

  • For the Vegetables - In a large bowl, add the bell pepper, onion, celery, mushrooms, garlic and serrano pepper.  With a large sturdy spoon mix together.
  • To a large sauce pan, add olive oil and heat the pan on medium heat.  To the pan, add the chopped vegetables. 
  • Let the vegetables cook for 10 minutes while stirring about every 3 minutes. 
  • In the bowl that the chopped vegetables were in, add the cut tomatoes. With a clean hand, mash them up a bit.
  • For the Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce - After the chopped items have cooked for about 10 minutes, add the cut tomatoes to the pot.  Stir together.
  • To the pot, add tomato sauce and tomato paste.  To the empty cans of tomato sauce, add water and stir (to get any excess tomato sauce that is still inside of the cans); add this water to the sauce.  
  • For the Seasonings - To the pot, add Worcestershire sauce, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.  Stir together.  
  • Turn the heat down to low and continue to stir occasionally while the meat is cooking.
  • Cooking the Meat - To a large skillet, add the ground meat and pepper.  Heat the skillet on medium heat and stir.  
  • Using a heat resistant spatula or the end of a wooden spoon, break up the ground meat so that the meat is all about the same size.  
  • Continue cooking until the meat starts to brown.  Transfer the ground meat onto a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess grease.
  • To the pan, add the ground meat and stir.  Add the bay leaves to the pan and stir.
  • Let simmer for at least 3 hours.  Continue to stir every 20 minutes or less. 
  • After simmering for 3 hours, the sauce should reduce, thicken, and the ingredients should blend together nicely.
  • Remove the bay leaves before serving. 
  • Serve warm over any type of pasta.
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This recipe was originally posted on July 23, 2011.

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4 Comments

  1. Yummy, a classic! I find that when using dried herbs, it’s nice to turn the heat down a tad at the “sauteing chopped things” stage, add the dried herbs, and allow them to get fragrant. It gives a more robust taste!

    • Rachel, that’s a really good idea and makes sense to add the dried herbs when cooking the chopped items….I’m going to do that next time I make this sauce. Thank you!

  2. Gotta love spaghetti. It is a staple in our family. Excellent post with great details. Good job. Love the pick with the bay leaves just sticking in the sauce. 🙂