Here’s everyone’s childhood favorite, Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. It’s such a classic, easy and loved by everyone.
This recipe is super meaty and saucy at the same time. Everyone will have fun twirling those noodles when this comes to the table.
The next time someone asks “what’s for dinner?”, tell them “spaghetti” and wait for those smiles…
We love bringing you unique recipes from every corner of the world. But sometimes, just good old nostalgic comfort food is just what you need.
But there’s something extra special about spaghetti with meat sauce. It’s certainly my husband’s favorite, as well as his father’s. And it was our son, Noah’s, very first taste of food.
So, our recipe collection could just never be complete without this generational favorite…
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
When it comes to Italian cuisine, spaghetti with meat sauce is surely the most commonly eaten pasta in the States. It’s so easy and so good.
Not technically a bolognese, lacking certain ingredients, it’s definitely in the same family.
It can be your lazy weeknight meal, where you use store bought spaghetti sauce, or you can make your own homemade.
Every chef may have their own variations and proportions, but this is our favorite. It has just the right amount of meatiness and flavor.
Tips for the BEST Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- Use good quality ingredients. Though it has surely been made countless times with a tube of ground beef and a can of cheap sauce, better ingredients will make a better sauce. If you have the time, make our Homemade Marinara Sauce. We make it in huge batches, as it freezes well.
- Doctor up the sauce. Unless you are using homemade marinara, you’ll want to personalize it. Some jarred sauces are sweeter, and some are tangier, so adjust to your preference.
- Don’t forget to salt the pasta water. It may seem like a minor step, but your pasta can’t absorb the salt after it’s cooked.
Here is what we are using today. Be sure to check out the Variations section below for some more ideas.
- Ground Beef
- Olive Oil
- Marinara Sauce
- Seasonings – basil, oregano, red chili flakes, salt and sugar
- Spaghetti pasta
How to Make Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
First, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the meat, and break it up with a wooden spoon. We like it a bit chunky, but if you prefer a finer sauce, break the meat into smaller bits. Cook till there is no more pink.
Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Then, stir in sauce and seasonings. Bring it to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Towards the end of cooking time, taste and adjust for salt and sugar.
Tip: This can be your easy weeknight dinner, where you only simmer the meat sauce 30 minutes or so. However, to really develop the flavors, we recommend at least 2 hours.
If you prefer a thinner sauce, you can add in some water or beef broth.
When the sauce is ready, cook the noodles in boiling salted water, to your preferred tenderness. We find the cooking times on packages are often underestimated, so be sure to check the tenderness before draining.
For serving, you can either plate the pasta, then top it with sauce, or mix everything together in the pan. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.
Top it off with some freshly shredded parmesan, and enjoy!
How to Make Meat Sauce in a Slow Cooker
If you want a slow simmered simmered sauce, but know you won’t have time in the evening, you can prep it in the morning and let your crock pot work for you.
First brown the meat in a skillet, then transfer it to your slow cooker with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
- You can add chopped onion in at the same time as the garlic. Many people do, but we omitted it so my husband could enjoy his favorite meal without picking the onion out.
- Try different meats. Ground pork goes great here, or even a 50/50 mix of beef and pork. For a leaner dish, use ground chicken or turkey. Or, try it with sausage.
- Play with different seasonings, or use fresh. Remember, use 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs for every 1 teaspoon of dried.
- Add in mushrooms. Cook them after the meat has browned, before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Adding a good splash of red wine never hurts!
What to Serve with Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
It’s a pretty complete meal in itself, with protein, veggies and carbs. However, we love a nice green salad and some crusty bread on the side.
If you want to make your own bread to serve with this spaghetti, it doesn’t get much easier than our No Knead Bread!
Leftovers and Storage
You can refrigerate leftover spaghetti with meat sauce in an airtight container for 3-4 days. If you have stored the components separately, reheat the sauce on stovetop and give the pasta a quick dunk in boiling water to reheat.
The meat sauce can be frozen for 3 months in a freezer safe container. We prefer to cook fresh pasta, rather than freezing it.
So there you go, my friends. This spaghetti with meat sauce is one recipe sure to please everyone, young and old alike.
We have some amazing recipes coming up for you, from curries to stir frys to even more tacos. We hope you join us for all of them.
But it sure is hard to beat a big, heaping plate of spaghetti…
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 24oz marinara sauce
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- salt to taste
- sugar to taste
- 8oz dried spaghetti pasta
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the meat, and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook till there is no more pink.
- Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Then, stir in sauce and seasonings. Bring it to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer. If you're in a hurry, simmer for 30 minutes, but for best flavor, simmer at least 2 hours. Towards the end, taste and adjust for salt and sugar.
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, to your preferred tenderness. Drain in a colander.
- For serving, you can either plate the pasta, then top it with sauce, or mix everything together in the pan. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 358Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 78mgSodium 584mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 26g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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