Easy Homemade Meat Sauce for Pasta

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Sometimes healthy eating = bland food.  Not in my house, dadgum it!  Like is too short to eat stuff that gives you a sad.

One of our favorite healthy meals is whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce.  In the winter I load the sauce with hot spices and garlic to ward of the flu-debil; gotta keep us upright and fever-free.

New cooks can be intimidated making a homemade meat sauce, opting for the jarred variety, but I’m here to tell you it’s easy, my babies.


Check it:

Start by chopping an onion and mincing some garlic:

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce

Put a little oil in a pot over a medium flame and throw in a chub of lean meat (one pound). I typically use turkey, but use whatever you love.

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce

Open some tomatoes while the meat is browning:

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce

Brown the meat:

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce

Thoroughly.  You don’t not want to see any pink when it’s done:

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce

Next, add the onions and saute lightly by stirring over a medium flame:

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce

Lightly = the onions are still a bit crunchy, but not fully translucent:

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce

Next up: garlic.  Stir until lightly browned, being careful not to burn:

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce

Once the onions and garlic are cooked through, dump in the spicy tomatoes and stir until mixed:

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce

Lastly, add the rest of your tomatoes, followed by spices/seasonings.  Combine well, reduce heat and simmer on low for 10 minutes:

Easy Homemade Meat SauceCan you smell it?  Oh, man.

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce for Pasta


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound of lean ground meat
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3-5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 15 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp sugar (1)
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.(2)


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in pot.
  2. Add meat and cook until there is no more visible pink.
  3. Add chopped onion into meat mixture, stirring until semi-translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more, being careful not to burn. If heat is too high, turn to low.
  5. Once onions and garlic are cooked, add crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes with green chilies.
  6. Stir well and reduce heat.
  7. Add tbsp of sugar.
  8. Stir to combine and let simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
  9. Add seasonings.
  10. Ready to eat!


For New Cooks

(1) The sugar is used to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Do not omit. (2) I typically use 2 tsp. of Kosher salt, 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper and whatever other spices jumps out at me from the rack. Mix it up and try new thangs. DO IT!


See?  So easy.

You can use this sauce with pasta, on pizza (faint), with rice, or just be a barbarian and eat it straight from the pot with a wooden spoon.  Not that I’ve ever done that.  Fine, I’ve totally done that, just don’t tell The German.

Now get to whizzin’ in the kitchen!

Homemade meat sauce: it’s what’s for dinner!


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  1. This looks fantastic! I will definitely be trying it. I’m a huge fan of white sauces myself, but this one is right up my husbands alley…and I think I may like it too! Perfect!! Thanks! 🙂
    -Leah from thatmamajama.com

  2. Yum! Looks delicious and I have wanted to try it with ground turkey!

  3. That looks delicious! I love homemade meat sauce, especially with lots of crushed tomatoes. I don’t get to make it often as my husband is not a fan of crushed tomatoes. However, he might enjoy a meat sauce with green chiles in it. Pinning for later! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I used to have a homemade pasta sauce recipe I absolutely loved but lost the recipe card in my recent move 🙁 boo. BUT this seems similar to the one I absolutely loved and am going to have to try it! Look DE-LIC-IOUS 🙂

    • I hope it’s what you’re looking for. You can make it without the spicy tomatoes in case you have spice-adverse kiddos!

  5. Thanks for the recipe! I don’t have a “Go To” meat sauce – this will definitely be added to our family menu within the next couple weeks! Thanks!

  6. Oh yum, that looks great! We are not currently eating grains, but I absolutely think that sauce could make a meal in itself served with a salad. I’m going to try it out. Thanks!

    • It really could be. If I made this as a meal in itself, I would add some sweet peppers, maybe some celery, and anything else you could think to bulk it up a bit (Husband likes a bit of spice, so I make it with the green chilies, but you could certainly omit them). It’s hearty, nutritious, but most importantly, delicious.

  7. This looks SO good! My boys absolutely love spaghetti for dinner, but I usually resort to the jarred stuff. I will definitely give this easy recipe a try!

  8. I hate jared products, this looks great! Thanks for sharing on Sweet and Savoury Sundays, stop by and share with us again this weekend!


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