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Homemade Beef Spaghetti Sauce (+Video)

This Homemade Beefy Spaghetti Sauce is simple to make but has incredible flavor. It’s the perfect meaty sauce to hold up to any pasta shape!

AN EASY AND THICK SPAGHETTI SAUCE

The title of this recipe is Homemade Spaghetti Sauce, but really it’s great for any type of pasta. And like all great recipes, this one came to me by way of a friend. Our kids were hanging out playing at the park, and a friend tells me about a delicious pasta sauce that was given to her by a neighbor. Now, you know a recipe is gonna be good when it’s coming from a friend of a friend of a friend!

Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Beef shown mixed together with spaghetti.

THE SECRET INGREDIENT FOR SPAGHETTI SAUCE

This sauce has a little secret ingredient up it’s sleeve (like all good handed-down recipes). And it really is so delicious and comes out right every time! Now y’all might laugh, but I knew this recipe was going to be great when I saw there was grape jelly in it. Do y’all remember those Glazed Party Meatballs? The ones with the grape jelly in the sauce? I knew how good grape jelly could be as a secret ingredient. Now, obviously, you don’t taste it as a separate ingredient. But most Italian cooks will tell you they put a pinch of sweetness in their sauces. Sometimes it’s sugar or brown sugar. In this case, it’s grape jelly!

homemade beef spaghetti sauce on a plate of cooked spaghetti noodles.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • ground beef
  • green pepper
  • onion
  • diced tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • tomato paste
  • grape jelly
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • garlic cloves
  • Italian seasoning
  • dried basil
  • salt and pepper
ground beef, garlic, onion, green pepper, grape jelly, tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, basil, Italian Seasoning, diced tomatoes.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE BEEFY SPAGHETTI SAUCE:

In a large pot, brown and crumble ground beef along with the onions and green pepper. Season with salt & pepper.

ground beef, green pepper, diced onions, salt and pepper in a large pot.

Drain excess grease. Put beef back into the pot. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste.

tomato sauce, diced tomatoes added into cooked ground beef mixture in large pot.

Give it all a good stir. Then add in grape jelly, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, Italian seasoning and dried basil.

Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic, grape jelly added to spaghetti sauce mixture.

Stir then cover and allow mixture to simmer gently for at least 30 minutes. Or, you can put it all into a slow cooker and let it simmer on low for several hours.

a sauce spoon holding up beefy spaghetti sauce over a pot.

This sauce really just gets better and better the longer it simmers. And leftovers freeze beautifully. This makes quite a bit of sauce so it’s good for a small crowd.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce on spaghetti noodles with fork.

Cook’s Note:  If you prefer more sauce than meat (like I do), then just use one pound of beef. If you like it really meaty then use two pounds of beef. The original recipe calls for sausage (one package hot, and one package sweet). You can also use ground turkey or pork. It is a very adaptable recipe. And, if you have it on hand, instead of the dried basil, the original recipe suggested using 12 leaves of fresh basil, cut into ribbons, and added in 5 minutes before serving.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce on spaghetti noodles being twirled on a fork.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Super Simple Beefy Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade Beef Spaghetti Sauce (+Video)

This Homemade Beef Spaghetti Sauce is simple to make but has incredible flavor. It's the perfect meaty sauce to hold up to any pasta shape. Freezes well!
4.74 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef or sausage, (or one pound of each)
  • 1 large green pepper diced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons grape jelly
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • In a large pot, on medium heat, brown and crumble ground beef along with the onions and green pepper.
  • Season with salt & pepper.
  • Drain excess grease.
  • Put drained beef back into the pot. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Give it all a good stir.
  • Keeping heat on medium.
  • Then add in grape jelly, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, Italian seasoning and dried basil.
  • Stir then cover and allow mixture to simmer gently for at least 30 minutes. Then serve.

Video

Notes

  • This is a very meaty pasta sauce. If you prefer more sauce than meat, then you could scale down the beef to one pound. You can use sausage, ground turkey or ground pork.
  • And, if you have it on hand, instead of the dried basil, the original recipe suggested using 12 leaves of fresh basil, cut into ribbons, and added in 5 minutes before serving.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 823mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Post originally published: September 2012
Updated and republished: February 2019

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Loved it! I left out the bell pepper and used red pepper flakes instead. Mmm! The entire family loved it. One batch makes enough to feed 4 people for 2 meals. I ended up just freezing what was left so I’ll have it for next time we want spaghetti.

  2. 5 stars
    Your Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe was so good. I would never have thought to use grape jelly. I usually use plain liquid stevia but next time I make your ground beef recipe – I will try some grape stevia. I loved the flavor!

  3. 5 stars
    This was delicious!! But after I put the sauce on top of the spaghetti noodles, water begins to puddle under the noodles. Any advice on how to avoid that from happening? I put my noodles in a collander and drained all the water off the noddles. I think it's coming from the sauce and not the noodles.

    1. This happens to me quite often as well no matter what type of sauce I use! I hope someone can shed some light on the issue for us!

    2. There are a couple things you can do. Basically, the water is the condensation from the steam coming off the hot pasta. Drain pasta well in a colander and toss a few times. Then put it back in the empty pot you just cooked it in on the stove. The remaining heat from the pot should help remove any excess water that is still hanging onto the noodles. Take a cup of the sauce and stir that in with the noodles, then serve as usual. Hopefully that helps!

  4. 5 stars
    I was skeptical about the jelly but honestly it really added to the sauce. I tasted it before and after. This is now my favorite sauce recipe and I can say that it freezes really well!

  5. 5 stars
    I am Italian and make this sauce nearly everyday. To make authentic Italian sauce omit the grape jelly and Basil. Use Italiano Spice rather then just plain Italian as the Italiano has all the spices you need. CLUB HOUSE makes both Spices but Italiano has the most spices. Add a small touch of ground cloves to bring the spices together. Use Ground Bay Leaves that you can find at a Italian Store. If not, then use whole dried Bay leaves (3). Once Sauce is done remove them from sauce. I add some Balsamic Vinegar to mine but it is optional.

  6. 5 stars
    Looking for a yummy sauce to use with baked ziti. I'll use Italian sausage instead of ground beef. Thanks for sharing.

  7. 5 stars
    This looks sooooo Yummy! I have a ton of fresh tomatoes from my garden I'am going to try it them in stead of can! LOVE your site! Foound it yesterday on pinterest and now I'am addicted! Thanks JL