Kay's All Day Spaghetti Sauce

Kay Summitt Lewis


For over 30 years I have been making spaghetti on the weekend for my family. Started simple when I was very young, and then my kids just fell in love with it. Gradually I modified it and developed a cooking method and recipe that always makes everyone go for seconds! Now my daughters, their kids and my in-laws have switched to using my all day spaghetti recipe for special events as even the ones that never gave spaghetti a second thought love it and ask for it. So here it is, and I hope you will love it too!

It takes a lot of time, so make it on a rainy day when you are in the house anyway!

Blue Ribbon Recipe

What a wonderfully thick sauce! It does, indeed, take all day to procure this delicious pasta topper, but it's well worth the time. Test Kitchen Avatar The Test Kitchen


★★★★★ 6 votes

1 Hr
7 Hr
Stove Top


  • 2 lb
    ground chuck
  • 3/4
    of a medium sized sweet (vidalia) onion, chopped
  • 2 can(s)
    14.5 oz each, petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can(s)
    (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can(s)
    (6 oz) tomato paste
  • ·
  • 1 pkg
    powdered spaghetti sauce spice mix (mccormick's or lawry's)
  • 2 Tbsp
    balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp
    brown sugar
  • 3-4 clove
    garlic, (medium sized) finely diced or minced
  • 2 tsp
    basil (dried) or fresh basil leaves finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp
    thyme, dried, or approx. 1 tblspn fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp
    oregano, dried, or 1/2 tblspn fresh oregano, finely chopped/minced
  • 3/4 tsp
    rosemary, dried, or 1/2 tblspn fresh rosemary, finely chopped/minced
  • 1/8 tsp
    parsley flakes, dried, or 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped/minced
  • 1/2 tsp tsp
    garlic salt
  • 1
    green bell pepper, medium sized, diced
  • 8-16 oz
    mushrooms, fresh, sliced
  • 2
    green onions, with green stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 can(s)
    (2.25 oz) sliced black olives
  • ·
    salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pkg
    (16 oz) thin spaghetti or similar pasta
  • ·
    parmigiano-reggiano, grated or shredded for topping when serving

How to Make Kay's All Day Spaghetti Sauce


  1. In a skillet, brown the ground chuck over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook until there is no remaining pink color in beef. Drain off any liquids and set beef/onion mixture aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, mix together the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste. (See tip below for flavored tomato products.) Stir until well mixed. Fill tomato paste can with water and then add that water to pot of tomato mixture. Then add in packaged spaghetti sauce spice mix and stir until well mixed. Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and stir. Add seasonings, stir well and heat until tomato mixture begins to bubble up/boil lightly. Reduce heat to just above simmer. Add in browned beef and onion mixture, and stir.
  3. Next, add in the sliced mushrooms, diced bell pepper and sliced green onions, including sliced stems. Stir, cover and simmer over low heat 5-7 hours, stirring occasionally... every half hour works best.(You can make this in a crockpot, but it doesn't work as well as the slow simmer and stir method.) When stirring, try and always stir up any sauce that is thickening and sticking to the bottom so it will keep the flavors enriching the whole pot of sauce.
  4. About 45 minutes before you plan to serve the meal:
    Add in the can of sliced black olives and stir.
  5. About 15 minutes before you plan to serve the meal:
    Turn the heat OFF under the pot, remove the lid and let it sit to thicken.
  6. Meanwhile, (as the sauce is thickening) bring a large pot of water to rapid boil. Boil pasta noodles according to directions on the package until "al dente". Drain and rinse quickly with cool water to stop the cooking process.
  7. Serve pasta with heaping ladles of sauce, top with grated cheese.

    Serve with a side salad and garlic bread.

    Note: Leftovers reheated in the microwave are even better the next day since the sauce thickens even more! (I like to make this on Saturday so my hubby can have leftovers all weekend while I relax.)
  8. HINT: When selecting the tomato sauce, tomato paste and petite diced tomatoes try using ones that are flavored with roasted garlic or basil or balsamic vinegar if they are available.

Printable Recipe Card

About Kay's All Day Spaghetti Sauce

Course/Dish: Pasta Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Italian

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