Life Style

Homemade Pasta Sauce {Meaty & Flavorful}

Homemade Pasta Sauce is one of our all time favorites and perfect served over any type of pasta from spaghetti to Baked Rigatoni!

I’ve made this literally hundreds of times and it’s perfect every single time with tender meat and a silky flavorful sauce!

Cooked spaghetti on a plate with homemade pasta sauce on top


This is hands down the BEST homemade pasta sauce I’ve ever had and even better, it’s healthy!

  • Meat – This recipe uses either lean ground turkey or beef. You can substitute your favorite ground meat
  • Seasonings – The real secret lies in the spice mixture. The combination may seem a little bit unusual but they’re the same seasonings I put in my homemade sausage patties! Delicious!
  • Sauce – Canned tomatoes provide great flavor and are a staple in Italian cuisine. Choose a good quality as this is the base flavor for your sauce. Water is added to the sauce to give all of the flavors a chance to blend.

Flavor Tip: Add the seasoning mix into the meat before cooking (I do the same with chili) to ensure every bite is full of flavor. Cook the meat with onions and garlic.

Perfect Consistency

I find that using a meat chopper tool not only does it make the meat the perfect texture, but it also can help chop the tomatoes slightly (in fact, I never make any ground meat without it)!

The longer you cook this homemade pasta sauce, the thicker it will get so cook it as long as needed. If it gets too thick, reserve some of the pasta water when you drain your pasta and add it to the sauce.

Leftovers: As with most tomato based recipes, this is just delicious leftover if you’re lucky enough to have any… I usually double (or triple) the recipe and freeze the leftovers for a quick weeknight meal!

Tips For Perfect Homemade Pasta Sauce

  • Seasoning: Mixing your seasonings into the raw meat infuses flavor into every bite.  Don’t forget to salt your pasta water too.
  • Meat: While I use ground turkey or beef, substitute some or all of it for veal, pork or sausage.
  • Time = flavor.  In the case of this delicious homemade pasta sauce recipe, the flavor changes and is incredible after it’s simmered for at least one hour.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter just before serving to add a bit of richness to your sauce.

closeup of Homemade Pasta Sauce with spaghetti on a fork

Serve with…

Add some fresh herbs at the end for a nice fresh flavor (basil and parsley are favorites)!

I’ve served this over spaghetti but as you’d expect, this homemade meat sauce is very versatile. It’s amazing used as a sauce for homemade lasagna or if you’d like to keep it low carb, serve it over spaghetti squash or Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)!

Of course this goes well with Homemade Garlic Bread and an Italian Salad!

More Italian Inspired Favorites

plated Homemade Pasta Sauce on spaghetti with parmesan

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Homemade Pasta Sauce

This rich meaty pasta sauce recipe great over any shape of pasta.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

  • In a medium bowl, combine the seasoning and ground meat until well mixed.

  • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat mixture, onion, and garlic, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Cook until the browned, drain excess fat if needed,

  • Add the canned tomatoes with the liquid, tomato sauce, green bell pepper, water, bay leaves, sugar, and salt to the pot. Stir well to combine.

  • Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until the sauce has reached your desired consistency. Stir occasionally.

  • Once the sauce has thickened, stir in the chopped parsley and basil.

  • Remove bay leaves, taste and season with additional salt and pepper. Serve over hot pasta.

While any type of canned tomatoes work well in this recipe, I love San Marzano tomatoes for their bright flavor. If using whole tomatoes, break them up with your hands as you add them to the sauce.  
Leftover pasta sauce can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freeze cooled portions in zippered bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or reheat from frozen on the stovetop over medium heat. 

Calories: 130 | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 521mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 415IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2.3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course, Pasta, Sauce
Cuisine American, Italian

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Pasta sauce and noodles on a fork with writing
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