Isn’t spaghetti just the best go-to family dinner? It can be put together quickly, in large batches if needed and is usually kid approved. I am sharing with you a tried and true sauce recipe. It is just sweet and salty enough, lots of flavor and not super acidic. I have spent years tweaking it to get it just right. I have made it with and without meat with excellent results. It is also such a great way to get your family to eat veggies. Serve over noodles, zoodles, as pizza sauce or even layer in a lasagna. . . here it is . . . The BEST Homemade Spaghetti Sauce.
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What you will need for the BEST Homemade Spaghetti Sauce:
- Olive Oil
- Chopped Onion
- Chopped Garlic
- Ground meet
- tomato paste
- crushed tomatoes
- beef stock or broth
- brown sugar
- balsamic vinegar
How to make the BEST Homemade Spaghetti Sauce:
Add onion and garlic to a sauce pot with olive oil and saute until just soft and translucent.
Add ground meat and brown.
I used frozen, thawed venison and skipped the onion as my husband doesn’t like them. I also was lazy and just mixed the garlic with the meat to brown. Hey do what works for you!
Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, stock/broth, 1 Tbsp brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.
Stir well and simmer low for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
You could enjoy this sauce earlier but it thickens and it’s flavor deepens. If you have more time, simmer longer (a crock pot on low is a great option for long, slow simmering)
LASTLY . . . and here is the best part . . . TASTE the sauce. . . adjust seasoning. You may add another 1 Tbsp of brown sugar if you like a sweeter sauce or a bit more salt and pepper.
Follow package instructions to prepare a pasta of your choice. We really enjoy zucchini noodles. Top with fresh grated Parmesan or thin strips of fresh basil.
Options for EXTRA flavor boosts in The BEST Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
1. Use homegrown tomatoes instead of canned, crushed tomatoes.
At the end of gardening season (if I am lucky) – I have lots of extra tomatoes and am TIRED of canning them or making salsa.
If you have the same “problem” just rinse the fresh picked tomatoes and simply POP them in freezer bags whole, skins intact.
Whenever you are ready to make spaghetti sauce, tomato soup or any other recipe using crushed tomato, rinse them in a hot water until the skins slip right off.
Remove stems as well.
Toss them in a blender or food processor – give them a quick process and BAM. Homegrown crushed tomatoes.
2. Use sausage (Italian, Hot Italian or other) instead of ground beef.
There are great options for sausages in markets these days. You could choose a seasoned pork sausage or even ground chicken or turkey.
You could even mix, form and bake a meatball and simmer in the sauce before serving.
3. Add fresh herbs when serving.
Slice fresh BASIL into thin strips and sprinkle over tip right before serving for a FRESH POP of flavor.
3. Turn this sauce into PIZZA
For another EASY weeknight supper, save sauce and make a fast HOMEMADE PIZZA.
Use my EASY, 5 INGREDIENT Artisan French Bread recipe to make a homemade pizza crust. . . top with this BEST Homemade Spaghetti Sauce, cheese and bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Sneaky Mom Hacks: ((Hide Veggies)) in the BEST Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- Shredded Carrots or zucchini – shred 2-3 carrots and add to the sauce with the crushed tomatoes. They will never know the difference.
- Finely chopped zucchini, peppers or mushrooms – at the end of browning the meat, add chopped veggies and saute till soft. Continue to make the rest of the sauce . . . they will love it!
Make the BEST Homemade Spaghetti Sauce EXTRA fast: Instant Pot = long simmered flavor in UNDER 2 hours.
One of my favorite kitchen tools is my Instant Pot. I use it for everything from making hard boiled eggs, steel-cut oats and yogurt to soups, stews, beans and sauce.
I’m not a HUGE kitchen gadget person and prefer to keep my kitchen pared down to the essentials. The Instant Pot will forever be a part of my kitchen.
To make the BEST spaghetti sauce extra fast and easy start with frozen ground meat. Place in bowl of Instant Pot with 1/2 cup beef broth, onions, garlic and seasoning. Set to pressure-cook for 60 mins.
Manually release pressure and turn Instant Pot on saute mode. Break meat apart with spatula and saute for 5 minutes.
ADD crushed tomatoes, paste, beef stock or broth, brown sugar and balsamic. Stir well and set to pressure-cook for 30mins. Release pressure, stir and server over noodles.
SO FAST AND EASY!!
I do hope you and your family love this recipe as much as we do.
When you make this Spaghetti Sauce make sure to make a delicious loaf of ARTISAN FRENCH BREAD to go along with it!
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- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 C chopped onion
- 5 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 Lbs groud meat (beef, venison, chicken, turkey, pork etc)
- 1 12 oz can tomato paste
- 28 oz crushed or pureed tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 tsp oregano
- 3 tsp basil
- 1 1/2 C beef stock or broth (could use chicken or veggie)
- 1-2 Tbsp brown sugar (to taste & depending on sweetness of tomatoes)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until just soft and translucent
- Add ground meet cook til brown
- Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, stock/broth, 1 Tbsp brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.
- Stir well and simmer low for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. This deepens the flavor. If you have more time simmer longer (a crock pot on low is a great option for long, slow simmering)
- TASTE the sauce. . . adjust seasoning. You may add another 1 Tbsp of brown sugar if you like a sweeter sauce or bit more salt and pepper.
- When ready to serve, boil your favorite pasta or noodle of choice.
- Serve a generous, luscious portion of sauce with fresh Parmesan.
If your sauce tastes too acid, try adding 1 tsp. baking soda.
Use fresh or frozen homegrown tomatoes instead of canned, crushed:
- Freeze tomatoes by rinsing them and simply popping in zip top bag. FREEZE
- When ready to use thaw slightly by running under warm water.
- Skins will slip right off, remove stems and puree in food processor or blender.