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Easy Spaghetti Meat Sauce

Use your favourite jar sauce to quickly make an Easy Spaghetti Meat Sauce. Two ingredients in the spice blend of this delicious sauce recipe make it stand out from the rest and will have your guests asking for more.

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Bowl of spaghetti topped with meat sauce.

This Easy Spaghetti Meat Sauce is loaded with fresh vegetables, ground beef, tomato sauce and spices. But so are almost all of the meat sauce recipes out there, so you might be wondering what's so special about this recipe? Well I believe it's a couple of the spices that I include when seasoning the sauce.

Close-up of spaghetti and meat sauce twirled around a fork. Garlic bread in background.

Making Meat Sauce with Jar Sauce

Using a really good quality jarred tomato pasta sauce is a practical short cut that shortens the time needed for a delicious tasting sauce. I use a ready-made organic tomato and basil pasta sauce instead of a plain tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes to make my meat sauce.

When choosing your jarred sauce make sure to check the amount of sodium and sugar, it can vary greatly from one brand to another. It's completely up to you to use the sauce that you prefer. You could also use plain tomato sauce, but you'll have to add extra seasoning.

When adding the spices to my meat sauce, I include the usual oregano, basil and bay leaves, but I also include ground cumin and coriander (the dried seed of cilantro). These spices make the sauce super flavourful and really make it stand out from the rest.

What I love about sauces like this one, is that after you've made the sauce once, you can adjust it to your liking by playing around with the spices, adding more or less, or omitting one altogether.

How to Make it

I like to fill my meat sauce up with aromatic vegetables like garlic, onion, carrot and celery. I also add sweet peppers and mushrooms.

To start the sauce, prep all of your vegetables. Using your food processor, chop them up to the desired consistency. Do this in batches so you don't overload your food processor. You can chop them up really finely if you've got picky eaters in your household.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the veggies to the pan and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink.

Add the tomato sauce and all the seasonings, reduce the heat, stir and let simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

After the sauce has simmered for 30 minutes or so, taste and adjust the seasonings. If you're in a hurry, the sauce can be used at this point but if you have time you can reduce the heat to very low and continue to simmer the sauce for up to two hours.

If you do, don't forget to stir the sauce occasionally. If too much liquid has evaporated you can add more tomato juice or water. Just make sure to adjust the seasonings one more time before serving the sauce.

Top view of a bowl of spaghetti and meat sauce with piece of garlic bread on the side.

This recipe makes a large pot of sauce, I like to make a large batch that I can then portion and freeze, it makes life easier on busy weeknights. But if you prefer a smaller batch you can easily cut this recipe in half.

Serve the sauce over the pasta of your choice, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley (or basil) and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

More Pasta Recipes

Close-up of spaghetti and meat sauce twirled around a fork. Garlic bread in background.

Easy Spaghetti Meat Sauce

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits
Use your favourite jar sauce to quickly make an Easy Spaghetti Meat Sauce. Two ingredients in the spice blend of this delicious sauce recipe make it stand out from the rest and will have your guests asking for more.
4.72 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 16 -20 sevings
Calories 130 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion large
  • 3 garlic cloves large
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 sweet pepper red or green
  • 227 grams fresh mushrooms one package
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 6 cups pre made pasta sauce your favourtie brand
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes more to taste

Instructions
 

  • Wash vegetables and peel garlic, onions and carrots.
  • Cut all vegetables into chunks for your food processor.
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Start by adding the onion and garlic to the food processor, when vegetables are chopped to your liking, add them to the saucepan and give them a quick stir.
  • Continue to process the rest of the vegetables and add them to the pan as you go. Stir and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Raise the heat to medium high and add the ground beef, sauté and break up the large chunks of meat. Cook until the ground beef is no longer pink, about 10 min.
  • Add the tomato sauce and all the seasonings, reduce heat, stir and let simmer.
  • After the sauce has simmered for approximately 30 min, taste and adjust the seasonings.
  • Reduce heat to low, and let simmer for up to two hours, stirring occasionally and adding tomato juice or water if too much liquid has evaporated.
  • When ready to serve, taste sauce one more time and adjust seasonings, remove bay leaves.
  • Serve over the pasta of your choice, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley (or basil) and freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional).

Notes

  1. Depending on what tomato sauce you use, whether it's a ready made store bought pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes, or plain tomato sauce you will have to adjust the seasonings to your liking, adding a little at a time and tasting often is the trick to a great tasting sauce!
  2. If you prefer, you could use plain tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes with purée*, make sure to season sauce with oregano, basil, salt and pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 130kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 14gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 532mgPotassium: 623mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1950IUVitamin C: 17.6mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2.7mg
Keyword Bolognese, Easy Spaghetti Meat Sauce, Meat Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce
Tried this recipe? Have any questions, comments or suggestions? Leave a comment below!Mention @sweetandsavourypursuits or tag #sweetandsavourypursuits!
Recipe Rating




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Andrea Broom

Saturday 14th of January 2017

This looks so good! Can't wait to try this recipe.

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Sunday 15th of January 2017

Thanks Andrea, it's my favourite pasta sauce, I hope you enjoy it!

Karen

Wednesday 27th of April 2016

I can't wait to try your meat sauce recipe as your spices are some of my favorites…very creative.

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Wednesday 27th of April 2016

Thanks so much Karen, I hope you enjoy it!

Nancy

Thursday 21st of April 2016

No culinary infractions committed here, Fida. Now if you simply opened the jar of sauce, at left it at that, it wouldn't be much of a recipe then. ;) However, you've taken a humble, basic sauce and turned it into something fabulous! If it's even half delicious as it looks...you've created a masterpiece!

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Saturday 30th of April 2016

Thanks so much Nancy, I'm so glad others feel the same way :)

Lucy @ Globe Scoffers

Friday 8th of April 2016

This is so easy to make which is great for a mid week dinner and it looks incredibly delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Friday 8th of April 2016

That's one of the things I love so much about this sauce, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Louise Crosby

Wednesday 6th of April 2016

Fida, I love the idea of adding cumin, coriander and even cinnamon to meatballs and meat sauces. It makes the flavours more complex. So I will definitely give this recipe a try. Thanks!

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Friday 8th of April 2016

Thanks so much Louise, I agree I find myself using those particular three spices so much. Take care :)

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