This easy spaghetti recipe with meat sauce is a family favorite! It adds a little flavor to the good ol’ classic and is always a hit with the kids!
Table of Contents
Best Spaghetti Recipe and Meat Sauce
When it comes to easy dinners, this easy spaghetti recipe with ground beef is at the top of my list. It’s ready in just 30 minutes and is absolutely delicious. Some of my other favorites are crockpot Italian chicken, meatball subs, French bread pizzas and parmesan ranch chicken. In fact, here are 45+ Easy Pasta Recipes if you are craving inspiration.
This spaghetti and meat sauce, however, is one of my tried-and-true easy dinner recipes. It’s simple, family-friendly and ready in just 30 minutes. Doesn’t get better than that!
While I love making homemade spaghetti sauce and this bolognese sauce recipe, they both take a little more effort to whip up. This million dollar spaghetti is a family favorite but it takes about an hour to make. So when I’m craving pasta and need something a little easier, this recipe is my go-to spaghetti recipe.
We love to serve this easy spaghetti recipe with a chopped salad and breadsticks or garlic bread. The perfect dinner that the whole family will enjoy. Amazing, easy classic spaghetti!
With almost all of the ingredients already in your pantry, this easy spaghetti recipe comes together in a hurry.
- 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 with Ground Beef
Dinner can be on the table in 30 minutes with this quick and easy dish.
- 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.
- Simmer. Stir in marinara sauce and tomatoes and let simmer uncovered.
- Cook noodles. While sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti noodles according to package.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
More Easy Pasta Dishes
HUNGRY FOR MORE? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the newest recipes!
Easy Spaghetti Recipe
- 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
- 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.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
I used diced fire roasted tomatoes, I got a “suggestion” to add a tad bit of sugar and followed the recipe and it was great!!
Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing :)
I made this with a lb of Italian sausage and 1 lb of hamburger meat. I also added a 1/4 tsp of dried basil. It was amazing!
Sounds delicious! So glad you enjoyed it :)
Great spaghetti recipe
My kids devoured this!!
Thank you for this recipe! My tastebuds have gone blind to jarred pasta sauce and it just tastes so plain to me now. I needed a recipe that was easy to spice up since I’m too lazy to actually make from scratch sauce. This was perfect! It has that homemade taste to it, and it’s so full of flavor and so simple to make! I’ll definitely be making this again.
I’m the same way! So glad you enjoyed this sauce!
I seriously loved this! Such a perfect meal for busy nights!
Total family favorite!
You just can’t beat a thick and tasty homemade red sauce! This recipe sounds super tasty.
Hope you enjoy! :)
Made this tonight and it turned out perfect! So good and easy. Definitely a keeper.
To make spegatti dinner extra special or date night or Sunday dinner add sausage and Italian sausage. Add garden salad , garlic bread and cinnamon rolls for dessert. Use candles or to give table new look at hurraine lamp and oil and light for dinner or go dollar store get candles and add it. Dress up for dinner. Especially if gave kids and can’t go out. Do romantic candle night dinner once kids go bed.
Great ideas Veronica! Thanks for sharing! :)