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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

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! 

Homemade spaghetti on white plate.
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Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch

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, spaghetti 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.

Spaghetti sauce ingredients.

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.

Making spaghetti sauce in pan.

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.
Spaghetti sauce in pan.

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

Spaghetti sauce and noodles on white plate.

You can also use this Sauce in these Recipes

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spaghetti sauce and noodles on white plate

Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

5 from 8 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
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 freezer-friendly and can be easily doubled! 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Simmer time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ 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
  • ¼ teaspoon ground 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.


    Doubling: This recipe easily doubles. It’s a pretty thick sauce, so you could even double the recipe (but still use 1 lb hamburger) for more of a tomato sauce. 
    Freezer friendly: This sauce freezes great. I love to double the batch and freeze half for later. Simply allow it to cool and then place in a zip top bag or freezer container. Freeze up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator over night. Reheat on the stove top. 
    If using ground turkey: It can make it taste more bland, so I would add an extra Tablespoon of worchestire sauce and more seasonings to taste. 


    Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Italian

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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