How can I Make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Homemade spaghetti sauce is easy to make provided you have a few basic ingredients in your house. You first need to decide whether you’d like to make a sauce with or without meat. If you’d like to use some meat, typical choices are ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey, and you can also use things like ground sausage mix or Italian sausage.

Of course, homemade spaghetti sauce wouldn’t be the same without tomatoes, so you’ll want to have either canned or fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce on hand. Some people use tomato paste instead, which is fine as long as you reconstitute with water to turn it into sauce. Don’t confuse paste with sauce or your sauce will be too acidic and thick.

You’ll also need some spices. You can choose an Italian spice mix or you can use your own spices. Have on hand some garlic and onion if you like, and herbs and spices like basil, oregano and thyme. You may also want to use a bit of rosemary, you can make the sauce hotter with red pepper flakes, and you’ll need salt and pepper for flavoring.


If you’re making meat sauce, you want to start by browning the meat. If you’re also using onions, brown the meat and onions together. There’s some dispute about whether you should cook the garlic too at this point. This is matter of preference; some prefer to add the garlic as a last ingredient. Carefully drain meat when it is browned or you will have very oily sauce.

Once the meat is drained, add tomatoes or tomato sauce, herbs and spices, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. You might use about two to three cups (.45-.68 kg) of freshly chopped tomatoes per about a pound (.45 kg) of ground meat. It really depends on how thick or thin you want your homemade spaghetti sauce to be. You may also want to add a spoon of sugar, since canned tomatoes and sauces are a little acidic and sugar can cut down on this acidic taste.

Bring all ingredients to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Most homemade spaghetti sauce gets better when you simmer it on a low heat for a few hours prior to serving. If you can simmer the sauce for even an hour or two the flavors will blend nicely together. Make the sure the heat is very low and check the sauce periodically to make sure it is not becoming too thick. If it seems too thick, add a little water.

You may want to add a splash of red wine to the sauce when you add all ingredients but this is typically a matter of preference. Just a few minutes before serving, you can a add things like grated zucchini or carrots, which can boost the nutritional value of your sauce. Homemade spaghetti sauce will be chunkier if you have used chopped tomatoes, and a little smoother if you have used tomato sauce or paste.

If you’re really short on time and want to still make a semi-homemade spaghetti sauce, you can do the following. Brown some meat, and add a can or jar of simple marinara sauce. Add a little fresh garlic, and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes. This is quick "homemade" spaghetti sauce that can still taste great and fresh.


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Post 4

Thank you. i have been trying to eat healthier and didn't know how to make sauce for my spaghetti. the sauce in a jar at the store is so sweet. as a diabetic this is a good alternative and probably cheaper.

Post 3

@dinoleash: This recipe has both oregano and mushrooms in it and is very tasty. The ingredients are:

2 cans crushed tomatoes, 1 can tomato puree, 1 can tomato paste, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 4 cloves garlic, 1 onion (finely chopped), 1 cup chopped mushrooms, ½ tsp. onion powder, 2 Tbsp. parsley (minced), ½ tsp. basil, and oregano, salt, and pepper to taste.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the chopped onions. When they are about halfway done, add the garlic (minced). Cook that until it browns. Add the tomato paste, puree, and crushed tomatoes. Mix well. Add the rest of your ingredients and mix well again. Cook for a few hours on very low heat.

It is also very good if you add about a pound of Italian sausage.

Post 2

I used to have a homemade spaghetti sauce recipe that was out of this world but I seemed to have misplaced it. I know it had mushrooms and oregano in it. Does anyone have a good recipe that has both of those ingredients?

Post 1

Sauteing mushrooms and adding them to the sauce will add a nice flavor.

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