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Easy Spaghetti Recipe

This easy spaghetti recipe with meat sauce is a family favorite for a weeknight dinner. With a few simple ingredients, this hearty classic is always a hit with kids!

While I love making homemade spaghetti sauce, bolognese sauce recipe and million dollar spaghetti when I need a quick 30 minute meal this is my go-to spaghetti recipe!

Spaghetti in a white bowl.
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Best Spaghetti Recipe and Meat Sauce

When it comes to easy meals, this easy spaghetti recipe with ground beef is at the top of my list. Ready in just 30 minutes, it’s absolutely delicious. Other favorites are crockpot Italian chickenmeatball subsFrench bread pizzas and parmesan ranch chicken.

This spaghetti and meat sauce is one of my tried-and-true easy dinner recipes that satisfies any easy pasta recipe cravings. We love to serve it with a chopped salad and breadsticks or garlic bread for an amazing, yet classic spaghetti dinner.

Recipe Ingredients

With almost all of the ingredients already in your pantry, this easy spaghetti recipe comes together in a hurry.

Spaghetti ingredients on marble counter.
  • Onions and garlic: These aromatics add wonderful flavor! Sauté them in oil first before adding the meat.
  • Meat: I like to use ground beef, but Italian sausage works really well, too.
  • Spices: Italian seasoning, Kosher or table salt, black pepper and oregano add so much flavor and work really well with the marinara sauce.
  • Tomato sauce: This easy spaghetti recipe calls for 1 jar of marinara or spaghetti sauce (I love Prego spaghetti sauce), but you can make your own homemade marinara sauce if you prefer.
  • Diced tomatoes: I like the texture diced tomatoes add to the sauce, making it a bit heartier, but this is totally optional.
  • Spaghetti: This long noodle is ideal for soaking up the sauce, but you can use any shape you like.

How to Make Spaghetti

Dinner can be on the table in 30 minutes with this quick and easy spaghetti recipe.

Showing how to make spaghetti with ground beef.
  1. Brown the meat. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add onions and cook until translucent. Stir in garlic and cook 1 more minute. Next add in meat and seasonings and cook until beef has browned.
  2. Simmer. Stir in marinara sauce and tomatoes and let simmer uncovered.
  3. Cook noodles. While sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti noodles according to package.
  4. Serve and enjoy! Serve meat sauce over cooked pasta and top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese, if desired.

TIP: For a thinner sauce, add in 1/2 cup of the pasta water before simmering.

Variations

  • Veggies. Add in vegetables when sauteing the onion, such as mushrooms, carrots, or bell peppers.
  • Meat. Swap out the ground beef for Italian sausage or ground turkey.
  • Cheese. Try topping it with fresh mozzarella for a real treat.
  • Herbs. Fresh basil or oregano work really well in this recipe.
Meat sauce cooking in a skillet with wooden spoon.

Have Leftovers? Try Making:

  • Spaghetti boats. My family absolutely LOVES spaghetti boats! Simply top sliced garlic bread with leftover spaghetti and mozzarella, then bake for 5-10 minutes until bubbly.
  • Leftover spaghetti casserole. Spaghetti casserole is such a fun and delicious way to use leftover spaghetti! It’s basically an easy combo of baked spaghetti and lasagna. Super family-friendly!
  • Italian sloppy joes. This is such an easy and delicious dinner! Make sloppy joes by topping a hamburger bun or piece of Texas toast with the spaghetti meat sauce. Dig in and enjoy!
Spaghetti meat sauce in a white bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make meat sauce better?

The longer you simmer your meat sauce the better it will be. Tossing in some fresh sprigs of basil or oregano will also take it to the next level.

What do you add to basic spaghetti?

Adding in some cooked garlic, onions and herbs will add great flavors to your basic spaghetti recipe. A pinch of red pepper flakes and a splash red wine or pomegranate will help deepen the flavors.

What is the easiest way to cook spaghetti?

I find the easiest way to cook pasta is by boiling it in a big pot of salted water (do not skip this step as it helps the pasta from sticking together). Make sure the spaghetti is completely submerged.

What is the secret to good spaghetti?

That depends on who you ask, but some find that adding a spoonful of pasta water to the sauce helps boosts the flavor. It will thin your sauce, however, so only do so if you are working with a thicker sauce.

Storing and Freezing

One of my favorite things about this easy spaghetti recipe with meat sauce is that it makes a perfect freezer meal! Sometimes I’ll double the recipe and freeze half. It’s perfect for a busy weeknight and makes dinner a breeze!

  • To freeze: Let cool completely, then add sauce to a freezer bag. Label with the date, then store in freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw: Let thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove until warm. Serve over spaghetti noodles and add cheese if desired!
Spaghetti twirled in a fork.

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Spaghetti twirled in a fork.

Easy Spaghetti Recipe

5 from 48 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This easy spaghetti recipe with meat sauce is a family favorite for a weeknight dinner. With a few simple ingredients, this hearty classic is always a hit with kids!
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Video

Ingredients 

  • ½ Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion , minced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 pound ground beef , or Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt , more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper , or red pepper flakes
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can can petite diced tomatoes , drained (optional)
  • 1 (16-ounce) box spaghetti noodles

Option toppings: Fresh basil and Grated parmesan

    Instructions

    • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in ground beef, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until meat is browned. Drain any excess grease.
    • Stir in spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes. Simmer uncovered 15 minutes. Season to taste.
    • Boil spaghetti according to package instructions while sauce is simmering. Drain, reserving 1 cup to add to the sauce if too thick.
    • Spoon sauce over noodles while hot and top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese, if desired, to serve.

    Notes

    Sauce: You can also use a homemade spaghetti sauce if you prefer.
    Variations: Add in vegetables when sauteing the onion, such as mushrooms, carrots, or bell peppers.
    Thinner sauce: Add in 1/2 cup of the pasta water before simmering.
    Freeze: Let cool completely, then add sauce to a freezer bag. Label with the date, then store in freezer for up to 3 months.
    Thaw: Let thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove until warm. Serve over spaghetti noodles and add cheese if desired!

    Nutrition

    Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1075mg | Potassium: 892mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 4mg

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

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Italian

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

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