I'm pretty sure this spaghetti sauce recipe I'm sharing with you today is the best spaghetti sauce I've ever made.
It's the best spaghetti sauce for a few reasons. 1.) It's so delicious, hearty, flavorful and comforting 2.) It could not be easier to make. I thought my spaghetti and meatballs was as easy as it gets and this one has that recipe beat. And, 3.) It's good for you too with no added sugar or other weird ingredients you might find in a jar.
Before I get to the best spaghetti sauce recipe, I have to tell you a funny story...
When I was a kid, I was staying with my aunt and she made her spaghetti sauce for dinner... with mushrooms. I threw a big ol' fat fit about those mushrooms.
My aunt was like, "If you don't want them just pick them out."
Well, you can imagine a child's reaction to that....
She still teases me about those mushrooms to this day.
I had a pretty picky palette back in my early years - like until I went to college. In my adult life it's expanded quite a bit. I credit my husband with a lot of it. He's one of those guys who will eat just about anything, which works out nicely so he doesn't complain too much about all the vegetables...
Seriously, THE Best Spaghetti Sauce
4.) My kids love it. I I give it to them with noodles or zoodles or spaghetti squash, but most of the time they end up just eating the sauce with the spoon.
5.) You can freeze it. This recipe makes a lot so you can freeze half and get another whole meal out of it.
6.) It's a great last minute meal. What I mean by that is most of the ingredients are canned or dried. This is something I make on a "what the heck are we gonna eat" kinda night. I usually have some frozen ground meat in the freezer. And I always have canned tomatoes in the pantry and spices in the drawer.
A word on canned tomatoes... Check the labels when you shop and look for "BPA free" and "no salt added." And organic is ideal. My favorite brand is Muir Glen. I just think they taste the best.
And herbs and spices... It's worth it to buy high quality organic herbs and spices. Always check the labels, particularly on spice mixes because they may contain fillers like corn starch and other added things you don't want like sugar and preservatives.
My Secret for Seasonings
This sauce is heavy on the seasoning. I hadn't really made sauce very much before coming across this recipe from ourpaleolife.com but when I first read it I couldn't believe the amount of seasoning.
Over the years I've collected a big dried herb and spice collection. And it's the most organized area of my house. It's what inspired me to get a label maker. Can you guess how many times I've used it since?
The rest of my house is another story...
Anyway, back to seasonings. Have you ever been looking for a recipe, thought you found the one and then halfway down see it includes 4, 5 or 6 spices you don't even have?!
You don't want to buy that many spices - that could cost you at least 20 bucks right there. So you move on to find something else...
Well, I'm going to let you in on a little secret for growing your spice collection without blowing the bank.
Bulk Spice Section
Most health food and gourmet grocery stores like Whole Foods, Central Market and Sprouts have bulk food sections where you can buy things like nuts, grains, beans, dried fruit, etc. in bulk. These sections also usually have an area of dried herbs and spices, too.
You can portion out as little or as much as you need or want into a baggie or your own jar (if using your own jar just note the weight of the jar by itself so it can be deducted).
If you want to go all in, you can order jars like mine on Amazon. These are the ones I have. But you don't have to have jars to get started. You can keep the herbs and spices in the little baggies from the store. Just label them so you know what they are and you can keep them in your drawer or a container.
This is what I did for a long time before I got organized. I had a tin box overflowing with baggies of spices. You opened it and, oh... so many smells...
Another trick is if you've already bought prepackaged spices from the store, you can refill those containers. Now you have a labeled jar you can keep refilling and refilling at a fraction of the cost.
When you buy a prepackaged spice at the store you're mostly paying for the jar. Cut out that cost and you will save big.
Cooking is Like Art
That recipe I was talking about earlier, you know, the one with too many spices that you don't have? I tell my clients not to worry about spices when they're just starting out cooking. In a lot of recipes the spices are there to just add a little extra oomph.
This sauce is probably a bad example, I wouldn't skimp on the spices in this recipe, but recipes like my turkey tacos or herby lamb meatballs, the seasoning is not required. Or if you have one or two of the spices but not all, it will still turn out great.
Cooking is more like art than math or science. There's no one right way or one right answer. Rather there are so many different ways to get a beautiful finished product.
Remember that and don't take it too seriously. Have fun in the kitchen. Put your own spin on a recipe. Or ditch the recipe and come up with something totally your own. Let your inner artist play.
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THE Best Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 lbs ground meat (beef, bison, turkey, etc.)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2-1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1-2 tsp sea salt (start with 1 tsp and add more if you like it saltier)
- In a large pot over medium-high heat brown the ground meat until cooked through. Drain excess fat.
- Reduce heat to medium and add diced onion and garlic to meat. Cook until onions are slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to mix well.
- Add basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning and salt. Stir well to combine.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for about an hour. If you can wait 2 hours, that's even better. The flavors will mix together even more.
- Serve over your favorite pasta, spaghetti squash, zucchini noddles or any other vegetables. Even tastes great over broccoli!
If serving over spaghetti squash (get my trick for how to cut one here.)
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Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps people take charge of their health and to start listening to themselves over the latest diet trend to optimize their own wellness, happiness and potential. Her family-friendly meal plans help parents take charge in the kitchen, too. This leads to more vegetables, less junk, and happier, healthier kids and parents. Megan shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.