With it's robust flavors and quick cooking time -- your friends and family will think you slaved over this Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce all day long.
Don't worry though, we won't tell them it only took you 30 minutes to make this recipe from start to finish! (It'll be our little secret).
So get ready to ditch the store bought jar sauce because once you try this recipe you'll never buy another jar of pre-made spaghetti sauce again.
EASY HOMEMADE SPAGHETTI SAUCE RECIPE
I grew up on store bought pasta sauce in a jar, so I've never really thought much about it... until I tried a homemade spaghetti sauce for the first time. My whole world was flipped upside down and inside out.
What was this goodness I had been missing out on. Why had I never made homemade spaghetti sauce before? How quickly could I get to the store and buy ingredients? So many thoughts were running through my head.
Sitting there at a friends house for dinner, I found myself wondering if my husband would eat spaghetti again for dinner the next night because I had to try this out at home. I had been so wrong about homemade spaghetti sauce for all of these years.
In my head I had convinced myself that only cute little elderly Italian grandmothers make a good homemade spaghetti sauce. I also assumed that they spent all day in the kitchen chopping fresh vegetables and seasonings, just so that goodness could simmer all day long.
Thinking about it, I can almost smell what I thought it would taste like.
Then I was blindsided when a friend said her recipe only simmered for 30 minutes and it was basically a pantry ingredient recipe.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN HOMEMADE SPAGHETTI SAUCE
Because I like full flavored recipes, I added a few extra things to the original recipe I decided I wanted to try. I'm a huge fan of FLAVOR.
You really don't have to be shy when adding ingredients. Honestly, unless I'm cooking for you guys I don't ever use a measuring spoon when cooking. I like to go by the "feeling of the dish".
Does that even make any sense?
Of course I measure most liquids when cooking because I tend to pour quickly end up with more sauce than intended. Not always a bad thing since I like things flavorful AND saucy.
For this recipe I decided that I wanted a strong beef flavor, onion and garlic, and obviously I would add go to Italian ingredients. But what else did I want in the mix? I decided on two "super secret" ingredients that took this from a regular spaghetti dinner -- to HOLY MOLY BATMAN we're having SPAGHETTI for dinner.
The two ingredients I added: Worcestershire sauce and 1 Knorr Tomato Bouillon Cube .
The result..... the best spaghetti that I've ever had. Period.
How to get the most flavor from the Ground Beef?
Want to know my super secret beef secret? Okay, just because we're friends I'll tell you.
First, I use a Potato Masher to get the beef ground into really small pieces. When I married my husband 12 years ago I "thought" I knew how to make ground beef -- until he showed me the way and introduced me to my first ground beef potato mashing session.
I'm not gonna lie, you've got to put some elbow into it and really get those pieces small. The end result is worth it though, trust me.
Second, I let the ground beef get really browned. NOT BURNT! But browned so the bottom of my Stainless Steel Skillet is covered in a layer of hot browned beefy goodness.
Oh wait, there is a third step that I almost forgot to mention. When adding the liquid to this recipe (water + tomato bouillon cube) you need to scrape the bottom of the pan to really incorporate the browned deliciousness through out the entire sauce.
What kind of tomatoes should I use to make Homemade Spaghetti sauce?
Can we talk tomatoes for just a minute. I love them. I'll eat tomatoes roasted, chunky in salsa, pureed in sauce, etc.... but my kids say NO.
"I don't like tomatoes in my spaghetti MOM" -- said my 20 year old daughter two weeks ago. No joke, she won't let me buy chunky tomato anything. She's one of those people who eats the salsa liquid and leaves the rest in the bowl.
I still claim her as mine even though we couldn't be more different when it comes to tomatoes.
With that being said, I didn't miss the chunks of tomatoes in this sauce at all!
I used two 15 ounce cans of tomato sauce, and one 6 ounce can of tomato puree. No having to blend anything, just smooth as a baby -- you know where I'm going with that one.
You can use a chunkier tomato sauce if you'd like, but for this recipe if you have kids use just a regular tomato sauce.
Should I add onion and garlic to Homemade Spaghetti Sauce?
The answer is yes and yes. You wouldn't think you'd want an actual onion chopped up and added to your spaghetti sauce but trust me, you DO!
When I'm chopping up the onion for this recipe I almost mince the onion. I use a super sharp knife that lets me chop quickly and into the smallest pieces possible. That way when it cooks down in to the sauce you're kids won't see them.
My favorite set of knives is from Chefs Foundry. They have a white blade and are probably the best knives I've ever used before.
Should I use fresh or freeze dried herbs in my Homemade Spaghetti Sauce?
Okay here's where we might disagree just a little bit. Let me start out by saying that I have nothing against fresh herbs and spices, I just don't like to cook with them.
Let me explain.
I have little kids. One is on the spectrum. He is the most picky eater I have ever met in my whole entire life. My other little one is picky but not to the same extreme. If I chop up a "plant" and put it in their food they won't eat it. No matter how much this mama tries, it's just not gonna happen.
To them it's as if I just went out to the backyard, pulled up some grass and threw it in the pot.
With freeze dried ingredients I can add whatever I want to a recipe and my kids don't make too much of a fuss about it. It also saves me tons of money because for some reason when I buy fresh herbs they go bad faster than I can use them up.
I also think freeze dried herbs are budget friendly and go farther when cooking.
How long should I simmer a Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe?
Technically the longer you simmer something the better it tastes. It's not my opinion, it's just fact.
Do I have time to simmer things for a super long time, NOPE. I am busy. I work full time, have three kids, a dog, a cat, a husband, and I deal with a genetic condition that causes tons of body pain.
I'm all about let's make this dinner and eat it now please. I'm hungry, you're hungry, kids are hungry -- a long simmer just isn't on my list of things that need to happen today.
Instead I let this recipe simmer for about 30 minutes total. I stir it occasionally while it's on the stove but I'm usually busy making garlic bread, a side salad, and finishing up the noodles to pay too much attention to it.
That's the best thing about this recipe, so easy peasy.
Should I add fresh Parmesan Cheese to my Spaghetti Sauce?
YES, but can we please not put it IN the sauce. This recipe is best served just how it is once done being simmered. Parmesan cheese is a nice addition when you add it to the top of the plate.
I generally don't like grating Parmesan cheese myself because of the pain in my hands when cooking so I opt for Belgioioso Shredded Parmesan Cheese. You can usually find it at your local grocery store near the produce section near the specialty cheeses. It's about $7.99 for a package but it goes a long way and can be used in multiple different dinner recipes.
Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 tbsp minced garlic heaping
- 2 cans tomato sauce 15 ounce
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 cube Knorr Tomato Bouillon Cube * can sub chicken bouillon cube if not able to find tomato bouillon cubes
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 package thick spaghetti noodles
- In a large saucepan break up ground beef with a meat masher, cooking until browned. Drain grease.
- Add salt, pepper, chopped onion, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, dried parsley, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and dried basil. Stir well and cook until onions are soft and translucent.
- While your onions are cooking microwave 1 cup of hot water in a bowl for 2-3 minutes. Add the Knorr Tomato Bouillon Cube and stir until dissolved.
- Once your onions are done cooking, add 2 cans of tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water with bouillon. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Cook spaghetti noodles per package directions.
- Serve with garlic bread and a side salad.