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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade spaghetti sauce made with sausage, ground beef, and three types of tomatoes is perfect for spaghetti or lasagna.

On days when you don’t feel like eating red sauce, try our famous alfredo sauce or pesto sauce.

The Best Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Everyone should have a go-to homemade spaghetti sauce recipe in their arsenal. I know jarred sauce is so convenient, but there’s just nothing like homemade sauce.

This is my favorite, made with a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage, three different types of tomatoes, wonderful aromatics, and perfect seasonings. Maybe not considered a quick spaghetti sauce, since you really want it to simmer for several hours which deepens the flavors, but definitely an easy spaghetti sauce.

It’s the perfect sauce for piling on top of spaghetti, used as the sauce layer in lasagna, or just mopped up with some garlic bread. It also freezes beautifully, so you can always have some on hand.

What Is The Difference Between Marinara Sauce and Spaghetti Sauce?

I know they look and smell the same, but marinara sauce is basically tomato sauce with aromatics such as herbs and onion, whereas spaghetti sauce is usually made with meat and vegetables. Then there’s also a Bolognese sauce, which usually includes carrots, wine and/or milk. This particular recipe is sort of a cross between all three!

Ingredients Needed

Here’s what you’ll need for this spaghetti sauce recipe:
(Don’t miss the detailed printable recipe card below for measurements.)

  • Meat – Hot (or sweet) Italian sausage and lean ground beef. You can double up on one or the other, but the combination of both in awesome.
  • Sweet onion and garlic – For wonderful flavor and aromatics. A must in Italian cooking!
  • Seasonings – Italian seasoning, kosher salt, pepper, and fresh parsley season the sauce.
  • Granulated sugar – Just a bit. See note below.
  • Tomatoes – Tomato paste, diced fire roasted tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes.
  • Liquid – Beef or chicken broth.

Why Use Sugar In Spaghetti Sauce?

Sugar, like salt, is a great ingredient that gives balance to food and helps with overall flavor. It is especially needed in a spaghetti sauce to help cut the acidity from the tomatoes. Keep in mind, it’s only a small amount for an entire pot of sauce.

How to Make Spaghetti Sauce

For optimal results, this sauce should simmer for several hours, but making it is quite simple in just a few steps.
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for details and measurements, and don’t miss the video below.)

  1. Brown the meat. In a large nonstick skillet, brown the sausage and beef together, breaking them up into small pieces.
  2. Add in the aromatics. Add in the onion and garlic and cook, until no pink remains in either meat. Drain off fat.
  3. Season the meat. Add in the seasonings and sugar, followed by the tomato paste and stir to combine.
  4. Add the tomatoes and broth. Pour in the diced tomatoes with their liquid, crushed tomatoes, and broth. Stir well until combined.
  5. Simmer. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 1 hour (ideally 3.)
  6. Serve. Use right away, refrigerate for later, or freeze for down the road!

How long to cook spaghetti sauce?

Similar to a beef stew, the longer the sauce cooks, the deeper the flavors. If you’re in a pinch for time, you can certainly get away with cooking it for a short time, but you really want the sauce to simmer for at least 1 hour, and ideally 3 or 4.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

What To Do With Leftover Spaghetti Sauce

We love leftover spaghetti sauce and bank on their being some the next day. Here are a few great ways to use it:

  • Make some homemade garlic bread instead of pasta and mop up the sauce with it!
  • Top some roasted spaghetti squash with it for a delicious low-carb option.
  • Swap out some of the ingredients in this American Goulash recipe for a scoop or two.
  • Use it to make Skillet Lasagna.

Proper Storage

  • Can spaghetti sauce be made in advance? Definitely! In fact, I recommend making it in advance. Start it in the morning and let it low simmer for hours. The longer it cooks, the better!
  • How long does spaghetti sauce last in the fridge? It can be made ahead and kept refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.
  • Can you freeze spaghetti sauce? Yep! You can further extend its shelf life by freezing it, covered in an airtight freezer-safe container, for up to 4 months.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

This hearty Homemade Spaghetti Sauce, made with sausage, ground beef, three kinds of tomatoes, and wonderfully seasoned is perfect over spaghetti or in lasagna!
Prep Time 15 days
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion , diced
  • 5 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 12 ounces tomato paste
  • 15 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken or beef broth


  • In a large pot or pan, add in the sausage and beef over medium-high heat. Use a spoon to break up the meat into small pieces. Add in the onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is browned and no pink remains. Drain off the grease. 
  • Reduce heat to medium; add in the sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and parsley. Add in the tomato paste and stir to combine.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes with their liquid, crushed tomatoes, and chicken (or beef) broth. Stir well until combined; bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 1 hour (ideally 3 to 4)
  • Use right away, refrigerate for later, or freeze for down the road!
Keyword Homemade Spaghetti Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

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