Easy homemade spaghetti sauce, using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry! This recipe is a family dinner staple!

Homemade spaghetti sauce in a saucepan with a wooden spoon.

Spaghetti Sauce

This spaghetti sauce recipe may be the first thing I learned to cook, completely by myself, when I was really young. As I got better at cooking and baking (and because I loved it so much) I can specifically remember two recipes my Mom would let me make all by myself: this homemade spaghetti sauce, and our family’s favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

She’d be nearby for supervision, but it was a huge confidence boost for me to cook all on my own! And an even bigger confidence boost when my older brothers said they liked the food 🙂

This Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe has been a family staple for as long as I can remember. It’s really simple and the flavors are fantastic.

This is one of those meals that always tastes amazing–and it’s perfect for busy weeknights this time of year! Plus, there’s no picky eater that would ever say no to spaghetti!

A white bowl full of spaghetti noodles with homemade spaghetti sauce on top and fresh grated parmesan cheese and basil.

How to make homemade spaghetti sauce:

First brown the beef and onion. Chop the ground beef finely as you go. After it’s browned I often like to add it to my food processor to pulse it once or twice so that it’s finely crumbled. It makes the sauce extra smooth (although some people like their spaghettie sauce with larger peices of meat in it,)

Side by side photos of a skillet with uncooked ground beef and onion, and then cooked and crumbled ground beef and onion.

Next, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Add water and simmer for 30 minutes or longer, to get more depth of flavor. The longer you simmer it, the more the flavors will blend together beautifully.

A saucepan with the ingredients to make homemade spaghetti sauce including tomato sauce, spices, ground beef, ground italian sausage, and onion, next to another photo of the sauce mixed together and water being added to it before it simmers.

I use this sauce all the time in my Spaghetti PieMillion Dollar SpaghettiSlow Cooker Lasagna and Instant Pot Spaghetti.

Spaghetti sauce, marinara sauce and pizza sauce; what’s the difference?

There is all sorts of confusion surrounding these terms, but spaghetti sauce, marinara sauce, and pizza sauce are usually all tomato based sauces. Marinara sauce, or pasta sauce is a slow-simmered sauce that is often made with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.  In America, we often refer to marinara as a meatless, tomato-based sauce.

Spaghetti sauce is essentially any sauce that you put on spaghetti.  Traditional spaghetti sauce is often just a more complex marina sauce that has additional spices and may be made with meat, vegetables, cheese, etc.

Pizza sauce is typically uncooked and refers to any sauce you put on pizza. This sauce is usually simple, with few ingredients and is meant to cook with the pizza for added flavor.

Overhead photo of a saucepan filled with homemade spaghetti sauce.

Tips for making ahead and freezing spaghetti sauce:

This homemade spaghetti sauce can be easily made ahead of time.  Store it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days or freeze it.  Before freezing spaghetti sauce, allow the mixture to cool completely.  Label a gallon freezer bag and fill it with the sauce.  Store it on a flat surface so that it freezes into a flat shape that will store easily.  Store it for up to 4-6 months.  To use, place frozen sauce in a pot and reheat on the stove until warm.

 

Need a SIDE DISH? Some of my favorites include:

 

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Recipe

Homemade spaghetti sauce in a saucepan with a wooden spoon.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 40 minutes
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Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Season ground beef with salt and pepper. 
  • In a large skillet, add the beef and chopped onion and brown.  Drain excess grease. 
  • Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, worcestershire, and sugar to the skillet. 
  • Stir well to combine and bring to a boil. Add water and stir well. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add chopped basil before serving, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 303kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 18gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 814mgPotassium: 948mgFiber: 3gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 885IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 4mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

 

*I originally shared this recipe in September 2015. Updated July 2018.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe from TastesBetterFromScratch.com

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just finished making this sauce. I added a serrano chili while sauteing the onions. I love this recipe; it’s very flavorful.

  2. I made this last night and did not like it at all. It was way too sweet and pretty flavorless. I even added a can of fire roasted tomatoes.

  3. 5 stars
    My whole family loved this recipe! A few changes I made; used pasta water instead of just water and brown sugar instead of white. It was a hit!

  4. 1 star
    First of all, I’m not a very experienced cook, so take that into consideration. I made this and I could barely eat it. My girlfriend would t eat it, and I threw what we didn’t eat away. Did I follow the recipe exactly? No. Here’s what I did differently. No worchestershire sauce. It probably needs it. Had to add a lot of salt to the finished product. I added fire-roasted diced tomatoes and I think this is what killed it. I didn’t like the smell or taste if those, so that’s on me. It was very sweet, but also had a bitter aftertaste and aside from the overpowering taste of the tomatoes, it didn’t seem to have a lot of flavor. I did like that it was think and chunky. I did add the basil leaves but added them earlier than suggested.

    So, perhaps, this is my fault, but I will keep looking for a better recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    My husband is kind of a spaghetti snob and he LOVED this recipe. I think I added some oregano, too, because we like it.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for a party and it was a hit, everybody raved about it. I went with the recipe only use beef broth instead of water. Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe.
    I will try adding veggies next time. Keeper!!

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