Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

the best spaghetti (with meat) sauce in the world

a recipe by
Jamie Tarence
Birmingham, AL

I'm thrilled to share my signature spaghetti sauce recipe with you! This recipe calls for a slow cooker, which is indispensable for achieving the excellent texture, flavor, and complexity. I’ve tweaked and perfected the recipe over decades~it's off the charts delicious and so easy to make! A batch of this hearty, savory sauce is always in my freezer. I can pull it out and reheat it for unexpected company or take it to someone who needs a meal. It tastes “just made” even after being in the freezer for a few months. For more great recipes, please visit xoxo~Jamie

serves 12
prep time 15 Min
cook time 7 Hr
method Slow Cooker Crock Pot

Ingredients For the best spaghetti (with meat) sauce in the world

  • 2 lb
    ground chuck
  • 1
    link, hot italian sausage (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1
    onion, chopped (or one cup frozen)
  • 1/2 c
    bell pepper, fresh or frozen
  • 5-6 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1 can
    (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 can
    (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 3/4 - 1 c water (half water, half wine is also good)
  • 1 Tbsp
    worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp
    chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp
    brown sugar
  • 2 tsp
    basil, dried
  • 2 tsp
    oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp
    thyme, dried
  • 1
    bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 - 1/2 c freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 jar
    (24 oz) spaghetti sauce (i use bertolli tomato basil)

How To Make the best spaghetti (with meat) sauce in the world

  • 1
    Heat a small amount of extra virgin olive oil in skillet.
  • 2
    Begin browning meat on medium heat; crumble meat into small pieces so there are no chunks.
  • 3
    Add onions and bell pepper as meat begins to brown.
  • 4
    Pour off liquid when it gets heavy so that meat will brown rather than braise.
  • 5
    Add garlic; continue cooking until meat is fully browned. Pour off remaining fat.
  • 6
    Sprinkle meat with Worcestershire and salt & pepper to taste.
  • 7
    Mix in tomato sauce, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes.
  • 8
    Add seasonings--chili powder, brown sugar, basil, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf--and parmesan cheese.
  • 9
    Cook in slow cooker on low, for 6-7 hours. (I’ve tried this recipe on the stovetop, and it never turns out the same. Low and slow are the way to go with this yummy sauce!)
  • A serving of the best spaghetti (with meat) sauce in the world.
    I most often serve this spaghetti sauce with pasta (and spaghetti squash pasta for low-carb friends), Johnny's Great Caesar Garlic Bread and Easy Peasy Baby Bleu Salad for the Best.Meal.Ever!
  • 11
    To freeze: Make the recipe as written but omit the jarred spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese. Allow sauce to cool for 30 minutes before transferring to a freezer gallon ziploc bag. Remove as much air from bag as possible, label and date the item, and place in the freezer. To prepare from frozen: Thaw sauce or defrost, placing into a slow cooker. Add the jar of spaghetti sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Cook on low, 6-7 hours.