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a bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce and a fork

Meat Sauce

Your family will crave this easy meat sauce for spaghetti! It's a warm, comforting, and flavorful recipe that's freezer friendly for a quick dinner anytime.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade meat sauce, meat sauce, meat sauce for spaghetti
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 338kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage see note
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (28 fluid ounces) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar see note
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Add the oil and onion to a pot, Dutch oven, or braiser and sauté over medium-high heat for 4 minutes.
  • Add in the ground beef and sausage meat and cook it, breaking it up with your spoon as you go along, until browned (about 8-10 minutes). Spoon out some of the excess fat (I leave a few tablespoons in for flavor).
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, Italian seasoning, oregano, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes. When it starts to bubble, reduce the heat, cover the pot with the lid slightly open, and simmer for at least 30 minutes (up to an hour or even more if desired - the longer you cook it, the more flavorful it'll become). Stir it occasionally during this time, and adjust the heat as needed to maintain a simmer (between low and medium-low on my stove). Thin with beef broth if needed.
  • Season with salt & pepper as needed (I am generous with both), and serve over pasta.


  • Use ground sausage meat or take the sausages out of their casings. 
  • Sugar is added to take the acidic edge off canned tomatoes, and it makes them taste sweeter and give it more of a restaurant quality taste. You can omit the sugar, but I don't recommend it. Add more if needed.
  • Portions really depend on how hungry people are and what else is served with this sauce. 
  • This sauce freezes well.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 691mg | Potassium: 684mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 440IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 3mg