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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

You may never buy the jarred stuff again! Homemade spaghetti sauce is a classic and easy recipe. Made with Italian sausage, savory herbs, and tomatoes, this is the ideal family-favorite meal.

plated bowl of spaghetti noodles and sauce

Best Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

If there’s one recipe you should know how to make, it’s this spaghetti sauce! This recipe is such a simple meal to make for your family – even if you are learning the basics of cooking. In fact, this was my first victory with our picky-eater, so it might work for yours, too!

I remember my mother and grandmother simmering this recipe on the stove all day long. The smells swirling around the house bring back sweet memories!

We love to enjoy this Spaghetti sauce recipe on cooler, fall days sitting around the kitchen table. It’s a meaningful way to close out the weekend and begin another week all together.

The best thing about this recipe is that so many of the ingredients are flexible. You can use fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, and even swap out different styles of sausage. Feel free to use additional ingredients if you need to stretch the recipe.

What is Spaghetti Sauce Made Of?

Red sauce for spaghetti noodles is made of a few main ingredients: meat, vegetables, tomatoes, and seasonings.

ingredients for spaghetti sauce

Spaghetti Sauce Variations and Substitutions

  • Mild Italian Sausage adds delicious flavors to this recipe. If you prefer a spicier version, try hot or spicy Italian sausage. Alternatively, you can also use ground beef.
  • Onion, garlic, and other seasonings add great depth. Feel free to substitute dried Italian seasoning for basil and oregano.
  • Tomato sauce: A can of plain, generic tomato sauce will work. You can also use jarred pasta sauce as a shortcut to save time. Just omit the seasonings to avoid overpowering the sauce.
  • Tomatoes: Easily swap the stewed and diced tomatoes for each other and add more as desired. This is also my favorite opportunity to use homemade canned tomatoes when I have those on hand.
  • Tomato Paste is the key to thickening spaghetti sauce or any other tomato-based sauce. Start with the specified measurement, then add more if you like a thicker sauce. For a few dollars more, you can buy this in a TUBE! I always end up throwing half the can out otherwise. Save money here and always have this ingredient on hand.
  • Spaghetti noodles are the ideal pasta choice for this sauce! Angel Hair, Fettuccini or other long noodle will also work. Whole wheat pasta noodles, gluten-free pasta noodles, zoodles, and other pasta substitutions will work, too.

How to Make Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch

In a large dutch oven, add one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown until crumbled.

If needed, drain the excess grease from the sausage. Return the pot to the stove and saute the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until the onion is translucent.

Then, stir in the tomatoes, sauce, and tomato paste until all ingredients are incorporated. Season the sauce. Then, simmer up to one hour, or until your are ready to serve that evening.

A pinch of sugar neutralizes the acidity of the recipe. It’s optional, but many people add a pinch of sugar to their tomato sauces.

Spaghetti Sauce Recipe – No Meat

To make this spaghetti sauce vegetarian, simply leave out the meat. In addition to the mushrooms and onion, consider adding chopped carrots, bell pepper, or other vegetables for more substance.

adding spaghetti sauce to a bowl of noodles

Differences between marinara sauce, pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce

  • Pizza sauce is an uncooked tomato sauce that cooks as the pizza bakes.
  • Marinara sauce is a basic meatless tomato sauce that can be used in a variety of ways.
  • Spaghetti sauce is simply a sauce that goes over spaghetti noodles, like this one. Of course, we all know spaghetti is a shape of noodle.

Can you freeze meat sauce?

This sauce freezes beautifully. Simply put your leftovers in a Tupperware container when cool and freeze. Defrost in the fridge or sink for several hours, then warm on the stovetop.

Sometimes, leftover spaghetti sauce can become thick and congealed as it rests. To loosen up the sauce, add the leftover sauce to a saucepan. Then, add about 1 cup of tomato juice, tomato sauce, or water to the leftovers and warm until you reach the desired consistency.

Leftover spaghetti sauce is perfect for making baked ziti, too!

Easy Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Anna Kate
You may never buy the jarred stuff again! Homemade spaghetti sauce is a classic and easy recipe. Made with Italian sausage, savory herbs, and tomatoes, this is the ideal family-favorite meal.
Servings 6 people
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage*
  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 12 ounces of canned (sliced mushrooms and stems)
  • 24 ounces of canned or jarred tomato sauce*
  • 12 ounces of diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounces of stewed tomatoes
  • 6 ounces of tomato paste*
  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles (uncooked*)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Instructions
 

  • In a large dutch oven, add one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown until crumbled.
  • Add diced onion, minced garlic, and mushrooms to the same pot. Cook until onion turns translucent.
  • Add cans of sauce, tomatoes, and tomato paste to pot and stir well.
  • Add oregano and basil, and a pinch of sugar, if desired.
  • Simmer on stovetop for 30 minutes to an hour, or until fragrant and flavorful!

Notes

  • A pinch of sugar reduces the acidity of the recipe. It's not necessary, but many people add a pinch of sugar to their tomato sauces.
  • Mild Italian Sausage adds delicious flavors to this recipe. If you prefer a spicier version, try hot or spicy Italian sausage. Alternatively, you can also use ground beef.
  • Substitute dried Italian seasoning for basil and oregano.
  • Use jarred pasta sauce instead of tomato sauce as a shortcut. Just omit the seasonings to avoid overpowering the sauce.
  • Swap the stewed and diced tomatoes for each other and add more as desired. This is also my favorite opportunity to use homemade canned tomatoes when I have those on hand.
  • Tomato Paste is the key to thickening spaghetti sauce or any other tomato-based sauce. Start with the specified measurement, then add more if you like a thicker sauce. For a few dollars more, you can buy this in a TUBE! I always end up throwing half the can out otherwise. Save money here and always have this ingredient on hand.
  • Spaghetti noodles are the ideal pasta choice for this sauce! Angel Hair, Fettuccini or other long noodle will also work. Whole wheat pasta noodles, gluten-free pasta noodles, zoodles, and other pasta substitutions will work, too.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 17gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 654mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recipe Rating




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Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage - Southern Cravings

Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

[…] can even make your own tomato sauce with crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and a few seasonings. Leftover spaghetti sauce works well for this recipe, […]

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