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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

A homemade spaghetti sauce recipe (with meat) that you can have on your table in about 1 1/2 hours! Delicious served over fresh cooked pasta.

If you’re looking for a classic meat sauce for spaghetti, this is it! This recipe makes a hearty tomato and meat sauce that is delicious served over fresh cooked pasta. So much flavour in this rich spaghetti sauce!

a top down image of a pot of spaghetti sauce with a wooden spoon beside it

Homemade is worth it!

You just can’t go wrong with homemade spaghetti sauce! This tried-and-true recipe is a favourite in our home. It’s rich, flavourful and so delicious. This spaghetti sauce is also one of my favourites because this recipe makes a big batch that’s enough for two meals (love that!). Use half for spaghetti night, and use the other half to make something else!

a top down image of a pot of spaghetti sauce

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe Tips:

  • Ground Beef: I use ground beef for this spaghetti sauce. But any ground meat works well in this recipe especially ground chicken or ground turkey. You can also use a beef and Italian sausage combination (1/2 beef and 1/2 Italian sausage). Another nice combination is a beef/pork mix.
  • Tomatoes: This recipe calls for canned diced tomatoes, but you can also use canned crushed tomatoes instead. And if you have San Marzano tomatoes, these are the best!
  • Red Wine Substitute: Feel free to use beef broth instead of red wine.
  • Herbs: You can use fresh or dried herbs. 1 tsp dried = 1 tbsp fresh Or, if you prefer to use Italian seasoning, you can use about 2 tsp instead.
  • Optional Additions: For extra nutrition you can add any chopped up vegetable to the sauce that you like: bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots. Just fry them up first in a frying pan until they’re cooked yet still crisp. Then add them to the sauce and cook as directed.  You can add also add pureed yam or pumpkin.
  • Freezing: This recipe freezes well. Let the sauce cool, then store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Slow Cooker Option: After you’ve browned the beef with the onions and garlic, then drained the excess grease, instead of adding it to a stock pot, put everything (the browned beef and all the remaining ingredients) into a slow cooker and cook it on LOW for 4 hours.
a top down image of a pot of spaghetti sauce

Our Favorite

Ways to use spaghetti sauce:

  • Put this pasta sauce over fresh cooked pasta. 
  • Use the sauce in homemade lasagna or this Easy Ravioli Lasagna 
  • Pour some over buns and top with cheese for a delicious sloppy joe meal.
  • Use it to make stuffed zucchini boats.
  • Put it in stuffed peppers.
a top down image of a pot of spaghetti sauce with a wooden spoon beside it
a top down image of a pot of spaghetti sauce with a wooden spoon in it

You can have a homemade spaghetti dinner on your table in just over an hour! Homemade, simple and quick! Oh, and delish (much better than a jar!).


Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

A homemade spaghetti sauce recipe (with meat) that you can have on your table in about 1 1/2 hours! Delicious served over fresh cooked pasta.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop


Units Scale
  • 1 to 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce (plain, no spices)
  • 1 (19 ounce) can diced tomatoes (plain, no spices)
  • 1 (5.5 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine (or beef broth if you don’t want to use wine)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil (or 1 tbsp fresh basil)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. In a large frying pan, brown the beef with the onions and garlic. When the beef is cooked through, drain the excess grease.
  2. Add the cooked beef to a large stock pot.
  3. Now add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, wine, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, oregano, basil and salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a light simmer.
  4. Simmer over low-medium heat for about 1 hour, covered.
  5. Serve over fresh pasta and with grated parmesan cheese.

Keywords: spaghetti sauce, pasta sauce, homemade tomato sauce

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Have a delicious day!

a top down view of a pot of Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Note: This recipe was originally published in 2013. I have since updated this post with new images and more useful recipe tips!

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  1. HAPPY HAPPY New Years Jo-Anna to YOU & Yours ! Your Spaghetti Sauce Recipe sounds a bit different then mine, so I will “do” yours some day, even though I have been making “do” with mine for years.. New Years for new changes, right?

    “Just Me” xx

  2. This was great! I used ground turkey, added bell peppers and spinach, a 1 tsp of garlic, and a little more brown sugar. This will be added to the rotation

  3. This was delish! I left out the meat. Doubled up on everything else. After sauteeing onions and garlic I put everything in a crock pot and dropped my uncooked meatballs in gently and let it simmer on low all day! My kids raved it was the best meatballs and spaghetti they ever had!!!

  4. I am making this right now and made some adjustments. I added 4 bay leaves along with an extra tsp of the oregano and basil. also added a jar of store bought spaghetti sauce because it was looking a bit too thick to me. also added half of a yellow bell pepper and half a red bell pepper and then some garlic powder to go with the garlic clove and it smells amazing. I started it at 9 am an its been simmering for 4 hours so far. have enough for dinner tonight and enough to freeze for another time

    1. Hi Ashley!
      This sauce freezes beautifully! But I’m not sure about canning – I’ve never canned before! But I don’t see why not! Let me know if you do can it, and how it is!

  5. Just wanted to let you know I found this on Pinterest a few weeks ago and I am about to make it for the THIRD time. It is by far the most delicious spaghetti sauce I have ever eaten. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

    1. Hi!
      I’m not sure…I’ve never put ground beef into a crockpot before. But I think you could, if you cooked the ground beef first, then put it in the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients.

  6. I made this tonight! Best sauce ever!! I will make this again and again… I had to use beef consume in place of beef broth and added mushrooms from your suggestions… Otherwise exactly the same. Loved it! Pinned it! Called my friends and raves about it! Thanks for the delish recipe

  7. I made this recipe this last weekend. It was simple and very tasty! I added zucchini and bell peppers as you suggested. It made plenty of sauce for two meals. Thanks so much!

  8. Made this last week! Used turkey instead of beef, added mushrooms! Delicious! im making it again tonight .. will add celery and carrots! Thank you for the yummy recipe!!

  9. Hi Jo-Anna! I have to say this is one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever found online, but THE RECIPE ITSELF IS GONE! AHHHHH!!!!!! In it’s place it says “[mpprecipe-recipe:186]” Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease help or repost or anything! I can’t live without this sauce! =)

  10. Jo-Anna,
    We love this sauce! I used 1 lb ground beef, and 1 lb Italian sausage, & it was perfect! Thank you. I’ve been looking for a better spaghetti sauce and this is great. Also, I used a teaspoon and a half of basil pesto, in case anyone is thinking of that. It works perfect!

  11. Found you on pinterest and decided to try making spaghetti sauce for the first time without using the stuff from a jar…. I will never be able to go back! This is fantastic!

  12. 5 stars
    I’ve been using this recipe for the past few years and it’s so delicious!!

    I love the flavor of the Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar mixed in! (I add yellow bell peppers, and extra Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. )


  13. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe. I added one green bell pepper, 1 celery stalk and 2 bay leaf. This recipe reminds me of my moms spaghetti. Definitely will keep this one!! The best!!!

  14. 5 stars
    Your recipe has been my go-to recipe for meat sauce for years. I add mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and dried chilli/pepper flakes. I use half beef and half pork. I just finished the last batch I made/froze a month and had to pass along my reviews. Hands down one of the best meat sauces!

  15. 5 stars
    Just made this for my family. Turned out so delicious they devoured it! I added peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini. Love the hint of wine in it!

  16. Is there a certain red wine you prefer? I don’t usually use red wine or have never tried a recipe with it at all, which makes me very unfamiliar with wine lol. Any help with this would be very much appreciated!! Thank you in advance 😊

  17. My go-to meat sauce since 2013. Sometimes use ground Turkey if it’s on-hand but otherwise don’t change a thing, it’s perfect.