Why buy jarred sauce when you can make your own spaghetti sauce at home using simple ingredients? This homemade marinara sauce is great over pasta and tastes so much better than store-bought. It has a deliciously rich flavor, is easy to make, and uses real ingredients. No need to puzzle over chemical-sounding names on a label!
This easy pasta sauce recipe makes a wonderful tomato sauce. If you already have recipes for homemade sauce, you may want to get rid of them after trying this one! Give it a go, and you will see why I call it the best ever spaghetti sauce. You will never buy the jarred kind again!
Spaghetti sauce made from scratch makes an easy, delicious, filling, and economical meal when paired with pasta. The ingredients to make the best spaghetti sauce are tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, sugar (yes sugar! – see notes below), and a mixture of herbs – basil, parsley, oregano. See the instructions below to find out how to make this spaghetti sauce from scratch.
Recipe Tips for the Cook
- One of the secrets to the best spaghetti sauce is good quality tomatoes – Tuttorosso , Muir Glen , San Marzano , Pastene , Pomi are all good brands. In addition, Pomi tomatoes come in a box rather than a can, which is nice if you’re looking to avoid BPA , which is still found in some canned foods.
- Consider adding some fennel seed to take your spaghetti sauce recipe to a more authentic Italian level. If you’re a bit apprehensive about adding it, start by adding 1/4 teaspoon and build up from there!
- For meat sauce, add one pound of cooked ground chuck when the tomato products are added.
- You could also use Italian sausage or part beef and part sausage.
- If you don’t want to use beef, try ground turkey – it adds a very different but dynamic flavor.
- Sprinkle with freshly grated romano or parmesan cheese when serving this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe with your favorite pasta.
For a vegetarian “meat” sauce, add a plant-based meat product such as Beyond Beef or Beyond Sausage.
Should You Put Sugar in a Spaghetti Sauce Recipe?
Sugar is another secret to the easy spaghetti sauce recipe. Tomato sauce is quite acidic, and sugar serves to tone down the tartness of the tomatoes and balance the flavors. However, you can always cut back on the sugar if you choose.
- If you don’t want to use any sugar, a trick is to add about a tablespoon of baking soda. It neutralizes the acid of the tomatoes without making the sauce too sweet.
What Type of Pasta Goes Best With This Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe?
Generally, a thick, hearty cooked pasta shape is better suited to big, hearty sauces, whereas lighter and thinner noodles need to be treated with more finesse by pairing them with lighter style sauces.
Long, thin shapes are great for a tomato-based sauce. This homemade spaghetti sauce binds well with thin noodles like spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair.
If you add meat to this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, the sauce will be more easily mopped up by tube-shaped kinds of pasta such as penne , rigatoni , or tortiglioni . The meat can enter the tubes, and the pasta acts as a great vehicle to carry the sauce.
If you want to understand more about pairing the right pasta shape with the right sauce, here’s a good link for you.
Tips for Cooking Pasta
- Add about a teaspoon of olive oil to your salted water when you cook your pasta. It helps to prevent the pasta shapes from sticking together.
- Taste the pasta to find the “sweet spot.”It’s ready when it feels soft on the outside but has an inner, more solid core. This is called al dente (at the tooth), and it is the right way to cook pasta from an Italian perspective.
Side Dishes for Your Pasta With Homemade Pasta Sauce
Tips for Making in Advance and Freezing Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
This spaghetti sauce can easily be made in advance. It can be stored in your fridge for 3 to 4 days, or you can freeze it. Before freezing, allow the sauce to cool completely. Label a gallon freezer bag and fill it with the red sauce (or divide it into smaller portions). It’s best placed on a flat surface, so it freezes in a flat shape for easy storage for up to 4-6 months. To use, simply place the frozen sauce in a pan and reheat it on the stove.
Best Spaghetti Sauce Recipe Ingredients
Here’s a list of what you need:
- Olive oil
- Onion – I recommend using white onion, the yellow onions tend to be too hot for this recipe.
- Dried basil – the recipe is meant for dried herbs, but you can use fresh herbs. If you use fresh basil use twice the amount listed in the recipe card.
- Dried parsley flakes – you can use fresh parsley use twice the amount listed in the recipe card.
- Ground black pepper
- Dried Oregano
- Canned crushed tomatoes – you do not need fresh tomatoes for this recipe, use a good quality brand of canned tomatoes.
- Tomato puree – I think tomato paste is too thick and tastes too strong in this recipe.
How to Make Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add garlic. Stir and cook until golden brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add onion and cook until soft and golden, stirring frequently.
- Add basil, parsley, pepper, oregano, sugar, crushed tomatoes, and tomato puree. Stir to combine.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
- Reduce heat to low, cover loosely, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn this into your favorite meat sauce!
You always need to have a good spaghetti meat sauce on hand, it’s easy to turn this into a delicious sauce. Let’s go over what you need to do.
- Add 1 1/2 pounds of cooked seasoned ground beef to this recipe when you simmer it.
- You could add 1 1/2 pounds of cooked Italian sausage to the sauce when you simmer it.
Love spaghetti? Try these recipes!
- Homemade Spaghettios
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Spaghetti Casserole
- Spaghetti Salad
- Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese
- Taco Spaghetti
Favorite Italian Recipes
- Creamy Alfredo Sauce
- Homemade Italian Sausage
- Italian Rice Balls
- Penne alla Vodka
- Red Clam Sauce
- Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce
- Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi
The recipe comes from Sue A. Mertens Minick from Hazelwood, MO. She actually found this site on the internet! And yes, she is family
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon. oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 29 ounces tomato puree
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add garlic. Stir and cook until golden brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Add onion and cook until soft and golden, stirring frequently.
Add basil, parsley, pepper, oregano, sugar, crushed tomatoes, and tomato puree. Stir to combine.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
Reduce heat to low, cover loosely, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.