My family claims this is the BEST homemade spaghetti sauce! It’s easy to make, super flavorful and takes only 10 minutes to prep. Plus it’s made from scratch, freezer-friendly and can be easily doubled!
There’s just something about making a sauce from scratch. It’s so flavorful and tastes way better than any jarred sauce you get from the grocery. This recipe is one of my favorite Italian sauces to make, as well as alfredo, bolognese, pesto and marinara.
I just realized I’ve never posted my favorite homemade spaghetti sauce that is made from scratch. My kids always love when I make this and claim it the BEST spaghetti sauce ever. Everyone loves this recipe and we make it at least once a month!
It’s a lot easier than you think to make and only takes about 10 minutes to prep. If you don’t have whole tomatoes and want to just doctor up a jar of spaghetti sauce, you can always try this easy spaghetti recipe. But I promise, making it from scratch only takes a little bit longer.
How to make spaghetti sauce
SAUTE. Cook the onions in a large skillet over medium heat until translucent. Add in garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then transfer the mixture to a bowl. Next, brown the meat. Remove any grease from the skillet, then pour the onion mixture back in.
SIMMER. Stir in the tomato paste and seasoning and cook for 1 minute. Then add in tomatoes and vinegar, breaking down the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer, then turn heat to low and cook for about 30 to 60 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add 1/2 to 1 cup pasta water to thin it out.
SERVE. Serve the sauce over cooked pasta with parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top.
Cooking tips + variations
- I love using the San Marzano whole tomatoes, they are the best. I found them at Trader Joe’s.
- You can also substitute about 10-12 fresh tomatoes, or 2 pounds.
- If you don’t have balsamic vinegar on hand, you can also use Worcestershire sauce or even soy sauce. Both will give a great depth of flavor.
- You can omit the brown sugar or substitute it for granulated sugar. However, I do recommend it as it adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
- If you prefer your sauce less chunky, use 1/2 pound of meat or double the other ingredients.
- For even more flavor, add a combination of ground beef and ground sausage.
Doubling, freezing & reheating
To double: Simply double the ingredients and cook according to directions. The sauce is on the thicker side, so you could even double all ingredients except the hamburger (still use 1 pound) for more of a tomato sauce.
To freeze: Let the sauce cool completely, then pour into a freezer bag or container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Let thaw in the fridge overnight, then pour the sauce into a pan. Cook on the stove until warm.
What to serve with spaghetti:
- Chopped salad -perfect for any meal.
- Garlic bread -my kids favorite!
- Breadsticks -similar to ones you’d find in a restaurant.
- Green beans -a classic side dish for pasta.
- Parmesan broccoli -I could eat this with every meal.
You can also use this sauce in these recipes:
- Baked spaghetti
- Spaghetti boats
- Classic lasagna
- Baked ziti
- Angel hair pasta
- Stuffed spaghetti squash
Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion , more if desired
- 1 pound lean ground beef , can sub for turkey or pork (or do half and half)
- 2-3 teaspoons minced garlic , more if desired
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano , or 1 TB fresh
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt , more if desired
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper , more if desired
- pinch red pepper flakes , optional
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes , I prefer San Marzano
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar , or worchestire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
- Pasta water , as needed
For serving: Cooked spaghetti, parmesan cheese, basil
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add in the garlic and cook another minute. Then remove to a bowl. Next, brown the meat. Remove any extra grease and then add onions back in.
- Add in the tomato paste and seasoning. Stir and cook a minute. Then pour in tomatoes, vinegar and brown sugar. Add about 1/2 cup water to the can to reserve any extra tomato sauce. Break down the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer and then turn to low until ready to serve. I like to let it simmer for about 30-60 minutes. The longer the better. Add 1/4-1/2 cup pasta water if desired to thin out.
- Serve over cooked pasta with parmesan cheese and fresh basil if desired.