Easy Homemade Meat Sauce is a hearty addition to any pasta. Top with some grated parmesan and serve alongside garlic bread and a salad for the best spaghetti dinner.

Spaghetti and homemade meat sauce portioned onto two gray plates on a marble surface, topped with parmesan cheese next to a green salad

Of all the meals I make, this Easy Homemade Meat Sauce is definitely my husband’s absolute favorite. Even though he’s someone that is not a fan of leftovers, he’ll happily consume this sauce over pasta for days on end with zero complaints.

In fact, he says it just gets better after day one.

I’ve even caught him warming it up and eating it with a crusty loaf of bread – no pasta in sight!

Whether you’re serving this sauce over simple spaghetti, using it to make lasagna or manicotti, you simply can’t go wrong!

Side view of spaghetti and homemade meat sauce on a gray plate with a green salad in the background

OUR FAVORITE MEAT SAUCE FOR PASTA

Pasta night is one of my easy go-to dinners. After all, who doesn’t love a good spaghetti dinner? Sometimes a comforting bowl of pasta is just what you need after a long week or on a Tuesday masquerading as a Monday.

Sometimes I’ll make Creamy Pesto Pasta with Shrimp, and of course it’s hard to go wrong with a classic marinara sauce.

Cooked ground beef and sausage for homemade meat sauce in a black skillet on a marble surface

But this Easy Homemade Meat Sauce is the real favorite around here.

Now, before you mention it: This is not your Italian grandmother’s bolognese. That kind of effort is reserved for weekends and big family dinners in my book.

This meat sauce is meant to be easy to put together and pleases even the picky eaters in my family. Getting my family fed a delicious meal with as little effort as possible is honestly my biggest goal these days.

Overhead view of ingredients for tomato sauce in a blender on a marble surface

HOW TO MAKE MEAT SAUCE

My Easy Homemade Meat Sauce recipe has 3 main steps:

  • Brown the meat with onions and garlic
  • Blend the tomato sauce
  • Simmer the meat and tomato sauce together in a slow cooker
Pizza seasoning for using in homemade meat sauce in a jar on a marble counter

That’s it. If you don’t have a slow cooker or just want to simmer the sauce on the stove instead, you can absolutely do that as well.

You could probably even toss the cooked meat and blended tomato sauce into your Instant Pot if you like. It’s hard to go wrong here.

Overhead view of tomato sauce in a blender on a marble surface

WHAT IS IN THIS MEAT SAUCE RECIPE?

When I make this recipe, I like to use a combination of ground beef and plain ground pork sausage.

But you could use mild or spicy Italian sausage, replace the ground beef with ground turkey, or some combination of all of these. Just make sure you use about 1 1/2 pounds of meat total.

Most of the other ingredients are pretty typical to a tomato-based pasta sauce: canned tomato sauce, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, onion, a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Overhead view of homemade meat sauce in the black crock of a slow cooker

But I like to include one secret ingredient that really makes this sauce ultra crave-able: pizza seasoning.

I always keep a jar of the King Arthur Flour Pizza Seasoning on hand. In addition to being great on pizza (both homemade pizza and frozen pizza), it’s the best in this Homemade Meat Sauce.

Of course, feel free to use whatever brand of pizza seasoning you like best!

Plated spaghetti and meat sauce with a fork on the plate next to a green salad

CAN MEAT SAUCE BE FROZEN?

My Easy Homemade Meat Sauce recipe makes a lot of sauce. This recipe easily makes 6-8 servings, depending on how hungry you are.

For many families, that’s probably at least 2 meals out of one batch of sauce!

In my experience, meat sauce will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you plan to use all of the sauce within a few days, storing in the refrigerator is the way to go.

If you want to think of longer-term storage, turn to your freezer. Meat sauce freezes perfectly for future meals.

Just store the sauce in a freezer-safe container, label and date, and freeze for up to a few months.

Spaghetti and homemade meat sauce on a gray plate with a fork, next to a green salad, all on a marble surface

When you’re ready to enjoy, just let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, reheat in the slow cooker or on the stove, and serve on cooked pasta alongside Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread or Garlic and Herb Beer Bread Rolls.

Because this sauce keeps so well, I like to make it when friends have babies or otherwise need a meal. I make a batch of sauce, put both freezing and reheating instructions on the container, and include a box of pasta, salad greens, and garlic bread in the basket.

Enjoy Easy Homemade Meat Sauce the night you make it or a few weeks later as an easy freezer meal. I know your family will gobble it up either way!

Spaghetti and homemade meat sauce on a gray plate with a fork, next to a green salad, all on a marble surface

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Easy Homemade Meat Sauce is a hearty addition to any pasta. Top with some grated parmesan and serve alongside garlic bread and a salad for the best spaghetti dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ medium onion, minced OR 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pizza seasoning

Instructions

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and sausage. Add the garlic and onion; turn the heat to low and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and strain off any fat. Set aside.
  3. In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add the browned meat to a slow cooker and stir in the sauce. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. 

TO COOK ON THE STOVE

  1. Brown the meat in a large Dutch oven. After blending the tomato sauce, add the sauce directly to the Dutch oven with the meat. Simmer, covered, for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Notes

  • I usually use 90/10 ground beef. If using a lean ground beef, you may need to add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan when browning the beef and sausage.
  • I typically use ½ tube of Bob Evans Original Pork Sausage and freeze the other half for later.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8
Amount Per Serving Calories 272Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 75mgSodium 924mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 21g

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