What Can I Put In Spaghetti Sauce?

My aim for most weeknight dinners is to reduce the time between entering my apartment and eating pasta. The ultimate triumph, of course, would be to walk through the door while eating pasta. So, what can I put in spaghetti sauce?

Instead, You typically make marinara sauce from scratch in roughly 30 minutes. Bring water to a boil while changing clothing; cook pasta while sautéing greens with fresh garlic; add pasta to gardens with a splash of cooking liquid and copious amounts of pecorino, olive oil, and fresh herbs; face-plant onto plate.


  • Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Servings: 8 
  • Yield: 8 servings


This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe calls for several ingredients you may already possess. Here are the ingredients and preparation instructions for this recipe:

  • Extra virgin olive oil: I used Greek extra pure olive oil from Private Reserve. To begin the sauce, the chopped vegetables and aromatics are sautéed in this EVOO.
  • Onions: I used a medium-sized yellow onion for the onion. It’s excellent to chop the onions as small as possible so they’re manageable.
  • Garlic: An excellent Italian tomato sauce cannot exist without a touch of fresh garlic—about three to four minced garlic bulbs.
  • Carrots: Although carrots are not a traditional ingredient for spaghetti sauce or pasta sauce, they are the secret ingredient that thickens the tomato sauce and imparts natural flavor. I use 2 carrots. Be careful to finely grate the carrots using either a small food processor or a grater.
  • Canned Tomatoes: This recipe uses a large 28-ounce can of pureed tomatoes. There is no need for various tomato sauces or canned tomatoes, but adding a teaspoon of tomato paste won’t hurt. 
  • Seasoning: A decent amount of dried oregano and a pinch of sweet paprika create a simple and effective Italian seasoning. Put a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to your sauce if you like a little heat. 
  • Fresh Herbs: The Italian flavors of this marinara pasta sauce are completed with fresh herbs: torn basil and fresh parsley. You can adjust the fresh herbs to your liking, but a decent starting point is approximately half a cup each.

How To Make Spaghetti Sauce?

Here are steps to follow for how to make spaghetti sauce:

1. Cook onion, garlic, and carrots.

Add some extra virgin olive oil tablespoons to a kettle or braiser. Heat over medium/medium-high until the liquid begins to glisten. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 5 minutes.

2. Add vegetables, water, and seasonings.

Now, add crushed tomatoes and a small amount of water (approximately half a cup)—season with kosher black pepper and salt to your preference. Incorporate dried oregano, paprika, and fresh herbs (basil and parsley) into the sauce.

Briefly bring this event to a simmer, then reduce the heat.

3. Simmer till ready to serve!

Cover and simmer the sauce for 15 to 20 minutes (I like to stir the sauce occasionally and add a small amount of pasta cooking water if necessary).

It would be best to achieve a beautiful sauce with the ideal consistency. Add a touch to the dish if fresh basil or parsley is leftover.

4. Add pasta and serve

If you want the best-tasting pasta, add the freshly-cooked pasta to the sauce and cook for approximately 5 minutes to enable the pasta to absorb the sauce’s flavors and goodness!

Tips For Making The Best Spaghetti Sauce

If you have access to high-quality tomatoes, you should use them. My fave tomato brands are Tuttorosso tomatoes, Muir Glen tomatoes, and Pomi tomatoes. Pomi tomatoes are packaged in a carton rather than a can, which is convenient if you’re trying to avoid BPA.

1. Avoid omitting the brown sugar. Adding sugar to homemade spaghetti sauce reduces the acidity of the tomatoes and helps to balance the spice.

2. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to your sauce for added heat. However, only apply this if you enjoy spice!

3. Meat substitutions: You can substitute minced turkey or pork sausage for lean ground beef. You may also omit the meat entirely for a vegetarian spaghetti sauce.

4. Allow to simmer. I prefer to steam my sauce for at least an hour and a half, but up to two or three hours is optimal. The longer you simmer your sauce, the more flavorful it will become. After preparing the sauce on the stove, you can transition it to a slow cooker and cook it on low heat for several hours. If your cooked sauce is too dense, add more water to thin it out.

How To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce?

Why is this homemade spaghetti sauce so dense and flavorful despite the absence of meat? Here are a few differentiating factors: 

Add vegetables finely diced or grated. It is yet another reason why I enjoy adding grated carrots. Not only do they impart natural flavor to the tomato sauce, but they also thicken and impart body to the sauce.

Utilize the correct type of tinned tomatoes. Numerous recipes call for tomato sauce. If you desire a denser consistency, crushed tomatoes in a can will produce a superior result. As previously stated, I don’t always include a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, which could also be beneficial.

Do not add excessive liquid. I start things with about half a cup of water in this recipe. Later, I keep an eye on the sauce as it simmers and add more if necessary (an excellent use for pasta cooking water if you have it on hand; the starch from the pasta cooking water will also help).

Slowly simmer the sauce. Once the sauce begins to boil, I reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for twenty minutes. If I’m not in a rush, I give it a few additional minutes, observing the consistency and adding water if it becomes too thick.

Other methods for thinning the sauce. You can also use a small amount of corn flour or egg to thicken the sauce. I don’t use either of these techniques in my recipe because the consistency is perfect.

What To Do With Leftover Spaghetti Sauce?

If you have excess spaghetti sauce, here are some creative ways to utilize it:

  • Make baked meatballs and serve them with homemade spaghetti sauce, or make meatball sandwiches.
  • Utilize it in lasagna! We adore zucchini lasagna and skillet lasagna for hectic weeknights.
  • Make garlic bread and use the residual spaghetti sauce as a dipping sauce.
  • Stuff it into bell peppers and bake, or top spaghetti squash with leftover sauce.

How Long Does Spaghetti Last In The Fridge?

Separate your cooked pasta from your spaghetti sauce with minced beef. You can refrigerate the spaghetti noodles for up to 5 days in a secure container. You will keep the minced beef sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days.

Can You Freeze Spaghetti Sauce?

Yes! It is possible to preserve spaghetti sauce. It is a fantastic method to utilize leftovers and prepare meals simultaneously. To freeze spaghetti sauce, divide out serving-sized portions into zip-top freezer bags. Squeeze out excess air, seal, label with the date, and lie flat in the freezer for up to six months.

How To Reheat Frozen Spaghetti Sauce?

There are multiple methods for rewarming refrigerated spaghetti sauce. Reheat in 10-second increments in the microwave (stirring between increments) or on the stovetop, whisking frequently.

Thaw thawed spaghetti sauce overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat melted sauce on the cooktop with frequent stirring.

You can use numerous ingredients to enhance spaghetti sauce. Experiment with herbs such as basil and oregano, vegetables such as bell peppers and onion, and proteins such as ground beef or mushrooms to create a unique and flavorful sauce that suits your tastes. The possibilities are tantalizingly limitless.

Thank you for reading….

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