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Ground Beef Spaghetti Sauce

This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe with ground beef has all the classic flavors of a traditional sauce simmered on the stove for an easy and healthy homemade meal!

This delicious sauce uses fresh tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and celery. Ground beef is added and simmered in tomato sauce with dried herbs.

Serve over fresh pasta, spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles with fresh parmesan cheese. Or in our easy dinners including vegetable spaghetti and easy one pot spaghetti recipes!

A large white pot of ground beef spaghetti sauce with chopped parsley sprinkled overtop. Tomatoes, a kitchen towel and fresh parsley surround the pot.

Best Meat Sauce

Making a big batch of homemade spaghetti sauce can really save a lot of time on busy weeknights. It’s one of the easiest meals you can serve by dumping sauce over pasta.

  • This spaghetti meat sauce recipe makes a large batch – about 5-6 meals worth!
  • Use fresh or canned tomatoes for this recipe.
  • With a few fresh ingredients including vegetables, some ground beef and spices, this sauce is easy to prepare.
  • This great recipe freezes well! I prefer to add the sauce to mason jars and pop those straight into the freezer. Freezer bags work great too!
  • Double the recipe for even more spaghetti sauce to freeze for future meals.
  • Homemade sauce can be served over fresh pasta, rice, quinoa, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
  • Serve with garlic bread or our herb quick bread or cottage cheese muffins for a hungry family.
Recipe ingredients on the counter including a bowl of tomatoes, yellow onions, cans of tomato past, a jar of tomato passata, raw ground beef, small bowls of spices, chopped mushrooms, celery and garlic.

Recipe Ingredients

GROUND BEEF: Extra lean ground beef will produce less grease. This works better so you don’t have to scoop out the excess grease while you’re cooking the sauce.

VEGETABLES: I think the veggies really make this sauce delicious! They add a bit of texture and crunch that is needed. Be sure to chop the onions small, along with celery and mushrooms.

TOMATOES: Fresh tomatoes can be added straight to the pot whole or cut in half. No need to chop them any further. You can also use canned whole tomatoes. Small cans of tomato paste and tomato passata add extra flavor. Tomato passata is unflavored pureed tomatoes. You can also use canned tomato sauce with no seasonings added.

SPICES: For seasonings, dried oregano, dried basil, bay leaves, salt and pepper are added.

VARIATIONS: Use ground Italian sausage or ground turkey instead. Add chopped bell peppers, a pinch of red pepper flakes

Four images of a large white and blue pot grouped together. First has cooked chopped onions, celery and mushrooms. Second has browned ground beef and a wood spoon. Third has tomatoes, ground beef, spices, chopped vegetables and tomato passata poured in. Fourth is cooked ground beef spaghetti sauce with a wood spoon.

How To Make Homemade Meat Sauce

This simple wholesome sauce will soon become a family favorite!

  1. Sautee onions, celery, mushrooms and garlic according to the full instructions in the recipe card below.
  2. Cook the ground beef separately until browned.
  3. Add cooked vegetables to ground beef along with all other ingredients.
  4. Cover and let simmer.
  5. Scoop overtop of fresh pasta and enjoy.
A close up of the ground beef spaghetti sauce with a wood spoon and chopped parsley sprinkled inside.

Recipe Tips

  • Keep tomatoes whole or cut in half. Don’t chop any further. As the sauce cooks, the tomatoes break down, but the skin and cores do not. You’ll have to remove those at the end – the less you need to scoop through the sauce the better!
  • If using canned whole tomatoes, choose ones without any added flavor. These already have the skins removed, but cores will still need to be scooped out at the end.
  • Let the pasta sauce simmer for a full hour. This allows for a greater depth of flavor in the sauce. Let simmer on medium-low heat. Cover with a lid on an angle.
  • The sauce will boil and bubble as it’s simmering. Sauce splatters on the stove are just part of the process. I kept a wet cloth nearby to wipe up splatters anytime I stirred the sauce.
  • I used 24 oz wide mouth mason jars (750 ml). These jars are great for homemade sauces! They are freezer friendly and store easily.
  • Because this sauce contains ground beef, it’s best to freeze the recipe and not use it for canning.
Three mason jars of spaghetti sauce on a counter together with garlic and tomatoes in the background.

Best Way To Store

The leftover spaghetti sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for future meals. I used 24 oz wide mason jars which are freezer friendly. This size can be used for 1-2 meals.

If you have limited freezer space, add serving portions (about 1 ½ or 2 cups of sauce) to a medium freezer bag. You can use these freezer bag holders to stand the bag upright while pouring the sauce in. Freezer bags can be stored flat to help save space.

The frozen sauce will keep a long time in the freezer! I usually use it up within about six months.

Because this sauce has ground beef mixed in, I don’t recommend canning it.

A plate with spaghetti noodles and spaghetti sauce poured overtop and a fork. Mason jars with spaghetti sauce and tomatoes surround the plate.

More Tomato Recipes

Spaghetti Sauce With Ground Beef

Ground beef, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions all simmered in a tomato sauce with spices and herbs. Makes 3 – 24 oz (750 ml) jars
Print Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 24 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Prep Ingredients: Chop the onion small, chop celery, mushrooms, slice tomatoes in half, and mince the garlic.
    Two images together: First is cutting board with a large amount of chopped onion and a knife. Second is a cutting board with mounds of chopped mushrooms, celery, a bowl with minced garlic, and a bowl with sliced tomatoes.
  • Add onions, mushrooms, celery and garlic to a large pot over medium heat with the olive oil. Cook until onions turn translucent and mushrooms soften, about 2-3 minutes.
    Remove the cooked vegetables from pot into a bowl. Set aside for now.
    Two images of a white pot with blue handles. First is onion, celery, ground beef and garlic dumped in. Second is all ingredients mixed together and cooked.
  • Add the ground beef to the pot and cook until brown and no longer pink. Drain excess grease if needed.
    Two images of a white pot and ground beef inside. First is pink raw ground beef. Second is brown cooked beef.
  • Add back the veggies along with tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato juice, dried oregano, dried basil, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
    Two images of a white pot. First is pot with tomatoes, cooked veggies, tomato sauce and spices dumped on top. Second is chopped tomatoes with ground beef and sauce mixed together.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce and let it simmer low for 1 hour, stirring occassionally.
    Once finished cooking, you can discard the bay leaves and scoop out any tomato skins and cores.
    Spaghetti sauce in a large pot with a spoon. A small bowl with tomato skins is beside it.
  • Pour sauce into mason jars. Let cool completely then store in the freezer.
    Tall mason jars with tomato sauce inside. Fresh tomatoes and garlic beside the jars.
  • Pour hot spaghetti sauce overtop of fresh pasta. Serve and enjoy!
    A white bowl with spaghetti and sauce overtop. Chopped green parsley and grated parmesan sprinkled on top

Recipe Notes:

  • Freeze the leftovers in mason jars or freezer bags. Add cooled sauce to a container and freeze for up to 6 months.
  • Store in serving portions to save time. 1 ½ to 2 cups per portion.
  • Keep tomatoes whole or cut in half. Don’t chop any further. As the sauce cooks, the tomatoes break down, but the skin and cores do not. You’ll have to remove those at the end – the less you need to scoop through the sauce the better!
  • If using canned whole tomatoes, choose ones without any added flavor. These already have the skins removed, but cores will still need to be scooped out at the end.
  • Let the sauce simmer for a full hour. This allows for a greater depth of flavor in the sauce. Let simmer on medium-low heat. Cover with a lid on an angle.
  • The sauce will boil and bubble as it’s simmering. Sauce splatters on the stove are just part of the process. I kept a wet cloth nearby to wipe up splatters anytime I stirred the sauce.
  • I used 24 oz wide mouth mason jars (750 ml). These jars are great for homemade sauces! They are freezer friendly and store easily.
  • Because this sauce contains ground beef, it’s best to freeze the recipe and not use it for canning.
  • Keep tomatoes whole or cut in half. Don’t chop any further. As the sauce cooks, the tomatoes break down, but the skin and cores do not. You’ll have to remove those at the end – the less you need to scoop through the sauce the better!
  • If using canned whole tomatoes, choose ones without any added flavor. These already have the skins removed, but cores will still need to be scooped out at the end.
  • Let the sauce simmer for a full hour. This allows for a greater depth of flavor in the sauce. Let simmer on medium-low heat. Cover with a lid on an angle.
  • The sauce will boil and bubble as it’s simmering. Sauce splatters on the stove are just part of the process. I kept a wet cloth nearby to wipe up splatters anytime I stirred the sauce.
  • I used 24 oz wide mouth mason jars (750 ml). These jars are great for homemade sauces! They are freezer friendly and store easily.
  • Because this sauce contains ground beef, it’s best to freeze the recipe and not use it for canning.
Nutrition
Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 217mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 758IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

Please note these nutritional values provided above are just an estimate. Actual numbers will vary based on brands and ingredients you choose, and your preferred portion sizes.

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