The BEST EVER Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

By Mark
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    Growing up, we rarely used jarred tomato sauce because we always made our own homemade spaghetti sauce. Because I was young, I never thought anything of it. But when I had pasta at a friend’s house and they used jarred sauce, I never liked it much. My dad was generally the one who always made our sauce; it was one of his favorite things to do on Sunday afternoons.

    Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

    This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe was passed down from my Sicilian grandma. It has been used for generations and you can’t mess it up! It is really easy and tastes SO much better than the store bought sauce. You can do this in a crockpot too – in fact it is one of our favorite dump recipes.

    If you plan to can this sauce, omit the Parmesan cheese and add that when you warm up the sauce before eating. We often add ground beef or italian sausage to it as well (the one pictured has ground beef in it).  This just makes it that much better!

    If you love this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, you will love some of our other Italian Recipes:

    Dump Recipes

    Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Slow Cooker Meat Sauce

    Slow Cooker Meat Sauce

    Alfredo Sauce Recipe

    Easy Alfredo Sauce Recipe

    In fact, you can find many of these recipes in our ALDI Meal Plans, where we teach you how to make 20 meals for under $160 in under 3 hours!

    Oh – and in case you’re interested, I’d LOVE to send you a FREE Meal Plan! 10 super easy meals prepared in about 45 minutes for under $80! Sign up right below:

    Ok back to the recipe at hand…

    NOTE: If using fresh tomatoes:

    You can make this sauce with either cans of crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes.  If using fresh tomatoes, you would need about 12-15 medium sized tomatoes.  There is definitely more work involved when using fresh tomatoes, but it is worth it!

    First, you will need to get the skins off.  The easiest method for this is to score the skins with a sharp knife, and then boil them for about a minute and then place in cold water.You will want to do this in batches.

    Once you the tomatoes have cooled, the skins should peel off relatively easily.  Then chop them up, and blend in a food processor.  You can control how chunky or smooth you want the sauce by how long you blend them for.

    Once this step is done, follow the rest of the recipe using the tomatoes you just prepared as the crushed tomatoes. We hope you enjoy it!

    Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 8-10
    Here is my family spaghetti sauce recipe passed down from my grandmother in Italy - it is the best one you will ever cook - don't trust me - try it!
    • 3-4 cans of Crushed Tomatoes (either regular or with basil, oregano and garlic) 28 oz. sized cans OR 12-15 fresh tomatoes (peeled, chopped and blended in a food processor)
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • A bunch of dried basil (probably 3-5 Tbsp)
    • A bunch of black pepper ( probably 1 - 2 tsp)
    • 1 TBSP of Sugar (optional)
    • 2 TSBP olive oil
    • 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
    • Minced Green Peppers (optional)
    1. Heat the olive oil in a 5+ qt. pot over medium heat, and add the chopped or pressed garlic.
    2. Heat for one to two minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic, then add all the tomatoes, black pepper, basil and sugar. Stirring often, bring to a low boil.
    3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours stirring often.
    4. For the first half of the simmer time, do so with the pot uncovered, then cover.
    5. Add the cheese, stir in and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.
    6. This will make the equivalent to 4-5 jars of sauce, and the cost is probably about half (and it tastes way better).

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    • Gloria

      Delicious! I added 1 large sweet onion whole and a pack of boneless ribs and about 3/4 lb of ground beef. I cooked it in the slow cooker from 9-3, then transferred it to the pot to cook down and threw in a little tomato paste. The onion falls apart as it cooks. At 3, I took it out and chopped it tiny and put it back in. If you add in the whole onion and ribs, it gets this sweet taste like it has seafood in it. After I transferred it to the pot, I tasted it. It was a little tart so I added a little baking soda, let it sit a little and retasted it. Perfect.

    • Heather

      I didn’t remove the seeds and regretted it. Looks like salsa. Lol. Next time I will remove the seeds. I also added tomato paste to help thicken the sauce.

    • Donna

      Where’s the pork that is in AUTHENTIC Italian sauce?

      • Trey Peters

        wheres the point in YOUR comment?

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    • Simmi A

      Can you please mention, quantity of beef and when to incorporate it in the recipe?

    • Debbie Nilson

      I have had no problems freezing sauce with ground meat. I have also defrosted first as well as heat from frozen. Both methods work.

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    • Cindy

      Lauren i am really excited to try this recipe. Any canning suggestions or have you tried canning this?

    • John Greyson

      Wassa matta you! Itsa not called spaghetti sauce, itsa called gravy!

    • flipzhd

      with attitude like that …you need meds fool….wasting money? .30 for a pepper? YOUR times worth O (zero)arrogant snot.

    • tig519

      What tomatoes do you recommend? My garden was quite the jungle this year and I have about a bushel of San Marzano tomatoes and then a much smaller amount of beefsteak and heirloom.

    • Dianna

      I would suggest sweet anise if you want to up it another notch

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    • RM

      I learned a similar recipe from my mother. Some things to try:

      My mother taught me to add three primary ingredients (holy trinity) chopped/minced garlic, chopped onion, and chopped pepper.) I wonder if the onion is a Scottish thing (mom was born and raised in Glasgow, but worked for five years for an Italian family restaurant).

      Like the recipe says, the key is creating a base by sauteing the first ingredients at a low to medium heat in olive oil.

      I use only San Marzano canned tomatoes from Italy… I was told by an Italian friend that they are less acidic… Unless I get some good fresh tomatoes of course.

      i also add fresh basil leaves, lightly chopped towards the end of the simmer.

      I think it is best to make the day before you serve.. that lets the flavors blend.

      I never measure the seasonings… I add a little at a time until it tastes “right”

      Start with the recipe and then make it your own 😉

    • Shannon K Eisenberg

      Do you have a recipe for a much smaller batch? I do not have freezer space or equipment to store the sauce in jars.

      • Victor Russo Vergara

        Use half of everything. 😉

    • V

      When my husband and I visited Italy a few years back, we had the privilege of eating spaghetti cooked by our Italian chef friend that was out of this world delicious and was the exact recipe that Lauren’s grandmother passed down to her. It is not the thick pasty tomatoey glob that overpowers American spaghetti so you can’t taste anything else. You can call it gravy or whatever you please…I call it fantastic and tasteful. I am so glad Lauren shared her culinary treasure!!! Love, Love, Love it!!!!