This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure.
Grandma’s meaty spaghetti sauce from scratch is hearty, savory and packed with flavor. Tomatoes, ground beef, Italian sausage, veggies, and spices simmer on stovetop. The flavor and aroma are deeply comforting.
ABOUT THIS HOMEMADE SPAGHETTI SAUCE
Most everyone loves a good homemade spaghetti sauce that’s been simmering on stovetop to develop depth of flavor. And this one really is the best recipe. It’s simple, straight forward, and uncomplicated.
The sauce is prepped in 15 minutes, then allowed to gently bubble on low heat while the flavors continue to merge.
This unique recipe for Grandma’s meaty spaghetti sauce from scratch has been passed down through the generations. And as a natural progression it’s been tweaked a bit over time to make it even more savory and delicious.
My own additions to this heirloom recipe are tangy mushrooms, apple cider vinegar and ground cloves. I know your taste buds will agree that these ingredients really elevate the taste of this flavorful sauce.
👉🏻 EXPERT TIP: The cookware I recommend for making this spaghetti sauce is a heavy-duty pan like a Staub Universal Pan with lid, a Dutch oven, or a large deep saucepan with high sides.
- Ground Beef: Select lean ground beef for this recipe.
- Ground Italian Sausage: Pairs well with ground beef.
- Olive Oil: For sautéing and drizzling.
- Yellow Onion: This aromatic provides a key flavor for spaghetti sauce.
- Celery: Adds texture and a fresh grassy flavor.
- Green Bell Pepper: An aromatic that helps build a foundation for flavor.
- Garlic Cloves: Add an earthy rustic taste and aroma.
- Italian Parsley: Adds color and freshness.
- Canned Mushrooms: Add a delicious texture and burst of tang.
- Crushed Tomatoes: A base ingredient for spaghetti sauce.
- Tomato Sauce: Adds a concentrated tomato flavor.
- Tomato Paste: Thickens the sauce so it’s the ideal consistency.
- Beef Broth: Feel free to substitute with chicken broth, if desired.
- Apple Cider Vinegar or Red Wine: Boosts the flavor of spaghetti sauce.
- Granulated Sugar: Adds a touch of sweetness to balance the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Bay Leaves: Add a subtle yet distinct flavor and aroma that enhances homemade spaghetti sauce.
- Dried Spices: A variety of traditional spices for spaghetti sauce to include salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and thyme. Plus my own signature addition – ground cloves.
📖 RECIPE STEPS
- STEP 1: In a large heavy skillet with tall sides, cook ground beef and ground Italian sausage over medium heat. As you brown the meat, break it up into small pieces with a wooden spatula. Once the meat is fully cooked, drain off all the fat.
- STEP 2: With the meat still in the pan, add olive oil, onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender.
- STEP 3: Add remaining ingredients to the pan: parsley, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, apple cider vinegar, granulated sugar, bay leaves and spices.
- STEP 4: Stir until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Bring the sauce to a light boil. Cover the pan with a lid, and turn the heat down to low/simmer. Let the meaty spaghetti sauce simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- STEP 5: Remove bay leaves from the sauce. Do a taste test. Adjust seasonings and spices, if needed. Add a light drizzling of olive oil over the top. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
🍽 combine spaghetti noodles with MEAT Sauce
- In a tall pot, cook pasta according to package directions.
- Drain the pasta well, then transfer it back to the hot pot.
- Pour spaghetti sauce into the pot, over the noodles. With kitchen tongs, toss the pasta and sauce together until combined.
- Transfer pasta with spaghetti sauce to a large serving bowl.
- If desired, garnish with more Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
🧑🏼🍳 HOW To MAKE SPAGHETTI SAUCE BETTER
Elevate homemade spaghetti sauce and take things to the next level. Here’s how to make spaghetti sauce better.
- Use canned mushrooms instead of fresh. Because they’re packed in water and citrus juices, they have outstanding texture and a touch of tangy citrus flavor.
- Use ground cloves and apple cider vinegar. This combination provides exciting complex flavors and a distinctive earthy, rustic taste.
- Taste the sauce throughout the cooking process. If you’re unsure about a spice or other ingredient, add in a portion and then taste the result before adding in the entire amount.
- Simmer spaghetti sauce a bit longer. This gives the ingredients a chance to reduce and meld together beautifully.
- Garnish and drizzle for added flavor. A drizzle of olive oil over the spaghetti sauce adds a savory look and taste. Grated Parmesan cheese and Italian parsley and more texture and flavor.
🍝 BEST PASTA TO PAIR WITH MEAT SAUCE
This meaty sauce is very hearty. It’s best to pair it with a hearty pasta rather than a more delicate type.
- Spaghetti, thick spaghetti is our preference
- Tagliatelle, long flat ribbons of pasta
- Pappardelle, broad flat pasta noodles
- Fettuccine, thick flat pasta
- Mafaldine, ribbon-shaped pasta
👩🏻🍳 BEST WAY TO COOK PASTA
- Select a large tall pot.
- Fill the pot with water: 4 quarts for every pound of pasta.
- Salt the water well so it tastes like the ocean.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Add pasta to the boiling water.
- Stir to separate the pasta and make sure it’s all covered by water.
- Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
- Using a colander, drain the pasta well.
These are the commonly asked questions about meaty spaghetti sauce from scratch, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.
Ground cloves in combination with apple cider vinegar. Cloves are earthy and rustic. Apple cider vinegar is tangy and sour. Combined, they’re a powerhouse of flavor for spaghetti sauce.
When calculating how much spaghetti sauce you’ll need to feed your family or a crowd, estimate 1/2 cup sauce per adult, and 1/4 cup sauce per child. It will pair with a serving of 1 1/2 cups cooked pasta per adult, and 1 cup cooked pasta per child.
To thicken the sauce without altering the flavor, simmer the sauce until it’s reduced to the desired consistency.
When stored in an airtight container, spaghetti sauce with meat can last up to 3 days in the fridge. Spaghetti sauce without meat can last up to 4 days in the fridge.
Yes. Transfer cooled spaghetti sauce to a zip-top freezer bag with the air pressed out. Freeze it flat on a baking sheet. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer, and freeze the spaghetti sauce for up to 1 month.
Use it to make lasagna, Sloppy Joe’s, or as a base for soup. Reduce it to thicken, then use it as pizza sauce or a dipping sauce for breadsticks. Use it with meatballs to make meatball sandwiches.
🇮🇹 MORE ITALIAN DINNERS
These Italian dinners are packed with flavor. They’re also easy to make. Add them to your monthly meal-plan rotation.
- Baked Ziti with Ricotta & Sausage
- Legendary Meat Lasagna
- Lemon Pasta with Crispy Salami
- Homemade Alfredo Sauce with Fettuccini
- Minestrone Soup
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Fresh Homemade Pasta
RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Flavor tested rated this the BEST meaty spaghetti sauce from scratch. The savory flavor and meaty texture are amazing. They said Grandma’s heirloom recipe can rival the meat sauce at your favorite Italian restaurant.
If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with friends. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.Print
Grandma’s meaty spaghetti sauce from scratch is hearty, savory and packed with flavor. Prep it in 15 minutes, then let it simmer on stovetop. The taste and aroma are deeply comforting.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2–3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 (4 oz) cans sliced mushrooms, liquid drained off
- 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
- 1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar or red wine
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- Garnishes: fresh Italian parsley and Parmesan cheese
- 1 (16 oz) box thick spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
- In a large heavy skillet with tall sides, cook ground beef and ground Italian sausage over medium heat. As you brown the meat, break it up into small pieces with a wooden spatula. Once the meat isfully cooked, drain off all the fat.
- With the meat still in the pan, add olive oil, onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender.
- Add remaining ingredients to the pan: parsley, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, apple cider vinegar, granulated sugar, bay leaves and spices.
- Stir until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Bring the sauce to a light boil. Cover the pan with a lid, and turn the heat down to low/simmer. Let the meaty spaghetti sauce simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove bay leaves from the sauce. Do a taste test. Adjust seasonings and spices, if needed. Add a light drizzling of olive oil over the top. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve over cooked thick spaghetti.
How to make spaghetti sauce even better: Taste the sauce throughout the cooking process. If you’re unsure about a spice or other ingredient, add in just a bit and then taste the result before adding in the entire amount. Let the spaghetti sauce simmer for just a bit longer. This will give the ingredients a time to meld together tand the sauce a chance to reduce.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 150 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: spaghetti sauce, homemade spaghetti sauce, spaghetti sauce from scratch, best spaghetti sauce, homemade pasta sauce, dinner
SPAGHETTI SAUCE FROM SCRATCH > JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Have you ever made spaghetti sauce from scratch? What do you think of this homemade spaghetti sauce? Join the conversation in the comments below!