This Homemade Spaghetti Sauce is so easy and delicious, you will never buy the jarred kind again! Try it and you will see why I call it the Best Ever!

For more delicious Dinner Recipes, be sure to check out my Mississippi Pot Roast, Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos, and Air Fryer Meatloaf.

a plate of spaghetti noodles with sauce on top.

This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe comes from my mother-in-law, and it is one that I have kept and used ever since she first made it for us.

I love that it is so easy to make, has a delicious rich flavor, and uses real ingredients.

a plate of spaghetti with parmesan cheese on top.

It’s better than any jarred sauce you can find at the store, and there is always plenty left over to freeze for another meal or two in the future.

a wooden spoon holding spaghetti sauce in a pot.

Ingredients for The Best Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

  • lean ground beef
  • onion
  • green bell pepper
  • garlic
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • brown sugar
  • Dried spices: oregano, basil, thyme, salt, bay leaf
  • water or beef broth
ingredients in bowls on a counter top

How to Make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Step 1: Cook meat and vegetables

In a dutch oven cook meat, onion, green pepper, and garlic until meat is browned and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat.

a dutch oven full of tomatoes, meat, and spices.

Step 2: Add tomatoes and spices

Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, oregano, salt, basil, thyme, and bay leaf.

a dutch oven full of tomatoes, meat, and spices.

Step 3: Simmer

Stir in the water or beef broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until sauce is of desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve over hot cooked spaghetti.

a wooden spoon holding spaghetti sauce.

Tips and Notes for Making The Best Spaghetti Sauce

  • Try to use good quality tomatoes if you have access to them. My favorite brand of tomatoes is Tuttorosso tomatoes, Muir Glen, or Pomi tomatoes. I like the Pomi tomatoes because they come in a box rather than a can, which is nice if you’re looking to avoid BPA.
  • Don’t skip the brown sugar. Adding a bit of sugar to your homemade spaghetti sauce helps to cut the natural acidity of the tomatoes and helps to balance the sauce.
  • For an extra kick, add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes to your sauce. Only add this if you like some spice, though!
  • Meat substitutions: you can replace the lean ground beef with ground turkey or pork sausage. You can also leave it out completely for a meatless, vegetarian spaghetti sauce.
  • Let it simmer. I like to let my sauce simmer for at least an hour and a half, but longer is better (up to 2-3 hours.) The more time you allow your sauce to simmer, the richer the flavor will be. You can also transfer the sauce to a crockpot after preparing it on the stove and allow it to cook over low heat for a few hours. If your sauce is too thick after cooking, add a little more water to thin it out.
spaghetti sauce spooned over noodles.

What to do with leftover spaghetti sauce

If you have leftover spaghetti sauce, here are a few ideas to help you put it to good use:

  • Make baked meatballs and serve with leftover homemade spaghetti sauce, or turn them into meatball sandwiches.
  • Use it for lasagna! We love zucchini lasagna and easy skillet lasagna for busy nights.
  • Bake up some garlic bread and use the leftover spaghetti sauce as a dip.
  • Stuff it into bell peppers and bake in the oven, or top cooked spaghetti squash with leftover sauce.
a plate of spaghetti noodles with sauce on top.

FAQs

How long is spaghetti sauce good for in the fridge?

Freshly made homemade spaghetti sauce will last for about 4-5 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How to thicken spaghetti sauce?

Tomato paste acts as a flavor enhancer and also a thickener in the sauce. Also, your sauce will thicken as it simmers on the stove. If you’ve given your sauce plenty of time to simmer but would still prefer a thicker sauce, you can add a cornstarch slurry (1 part cornstarch to 1 part water whisked together; I’d start with 2 Tablespoons of each). Make sure to mix the slurry into your sauce very well to prevent any lumps.

Can you freeze spaghetti sauce?

Yes, and this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe makes enough to freeze leftovers for another meal. To freeze, allow the sauce to cool completely before transferring to a freezer safe container with a lid, or to freezer safe ziplock bags. If using ziplock bags, make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing. Freeze for up to 6 months. Allow your frozen spaghetti sauce to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating on the stove.

Is marinara sauce the same as spaghetti sauce?

Not exactly. While both sauces are tomato based and slow-simmered to develop flavor, marinara sauce is meatless and includes fresh herbs and garlic. Spaghetti sauce usually contains a ground meat like beef, and also includes vegetables like onions, green pepper, mushrooms, etc.

a plate of spaghetti with parmesan cheese on top.
a fork picking up spaghetti.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment and rating below. I love to hear from you and always appreciate your feedback!

a plate of spaghetti noodles with sauce on top.
4.92 from 168 ratings

The Best Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 10 mins
This Homemade Spaghetti Sauce is so easy and delicious, you will never buy the jarred kind again! Try it and you will see why I call it the Best Ever!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef or pork sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups water, or beef broth

Instructions
 

  • In a dutch oven cook meat, onion, green pepper, and garlic until meat is browned and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat.
  • Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, oregano, salt, basil, thyme, and bay leaf.
  • Stir in the water or beef broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until sauce is of desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve over hot cooked spaghetti.

Notes

  • Try to use good quality tomatoes if you have access to them. My favorite brand of tomatoes is Tuttorosso tomatoes, Muir Glen, or Pomi tomatoes. I like the Pomi tomatoes because they come in a box rather than a can, which is nice if you’re looking to avoid BPA.
  • Don’t skip the brown sugar. Adding a bit of sugar to your homemade spaghetti sauce helps to cut the natural acidity of the tomatoes and helps to balance the sauce.
  • For an extra kick, add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes to your sauce. Only add this if you like some spice, though!
  • Meat substitutions: you can replace the lean ground beef with ground turkey or pork sausage. You can also leave it out completely for a meatless, vegetarian spaghetti sauce.
  • Let it simmer. I like to let my sauce simmer for at least an hour and a half, but longer is better (up to 2-3 hours.) The more time you allow your sauce to simmer, the richer the flavor will be. You can also transfer the sauce to a crockpot after preparing it on the stove and allow it to cook over low heat for a few hours. If your sauce is too thick after cooking, add a little more water to thin it out.
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Dish
Calories: 270kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 682mg, Potassium: 724mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 530IU, Vitamin C: 31.9mg, Calcium: 75mg, Iron: 3.8mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know! Mention @TheBelleoftheKitchen on Instagram or tag #BelleoftheKitchen.