Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Are you looking for an authentic italian spaghetti sauce recipe?  This one was passed down from my sicilian grandma and it the best you will ever eat!

Growing up, we rarely used jarred tomato sauce when we had Italian dishes, we always used our own homemade spaghetti sauce recipe. Because I was young, I never thought anything of it. But when I had pasta at a friend’s house and they used jarred sauce, I never liked it much.  My dad was generally the one who always made our sauce; it was one of his favorite things to do on Sunday afternoons.

This recipe was passed down from my Sicilian grandma. It has been used for generations and you can’t mess it up! It is really easy and tastes SO much better than the store bought sauce.  You can do this in a crockpot as long as you quickly cook the garlic before hand. Then place all the ingredients into the crockpot and cook on low for six hours.  If you plan to can this sauce, omit the Parmesan cheese and add that when you warm up the sauce before eating. We often add ground beef or italian sausage to it as well (the one pictured has ground beef in it).  This just makes it that much better!

Have you tried any of my meal plans? For $150, you can prepare 20 – 25 meals, many of them incorporate this sauce! Check them out here.

If using Fresh Tomatoes: You can make this sauce with either cans of crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes.  If using fresh tomatoes, you would need about 12-15 medium sized tomatoes.  There is definitely more work involved when using fresh tomatoes, but it is worth it! First, you will need to get the skins off.  The easiest method for this is to score the skins with a sharp knife, and then boil them for about a minute and then place in cold water.  You will want to do this in batches.  Once you the tomatoes have cooled, the skins should peel off relatively easily.  Then chop them up, and blend in a food processor.  You can control how chunky or smooth you want the sauce by how long you blend them for.  Once this step is done, follow the rest of the recipe using the tomatoes you just prepared as the crushed tomatoes. We hope you enjoy it !

5 from 1 reviews
Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce
Here is my family spaghetti sauce recipe passes down from my grandmother in Italy - it is the best one you will ever cook - don't trust me - try it!
Serves: 8-10
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3-4 cans of Crushed Tomatoes (either regular or with basil, oregano and garlic) 28 oz. sized cans OR 12-15 fresh tomatoes (peeled, chopped and blended in a food processor)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • A bunch of dried basil (probably 3-5 Tbsp)
  • A bunch of black pepper ( probably 1 - 2 tsp)
  • 1 TBSP of Sugar (optional)
  • 2 TSBP olive oil
  • ⅓ cup of grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
  • Minced Green Peppers (optional)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a 5+ qt. pot over medium heat, and add the chopped or pressed garlic.
  2. Heat for one to two minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic, then add all the tomatoes, black pepper, basil and sugar. Stirring often, bring to a low boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours stirring often.
  4. For the first half of the simmer time, do so with the pot uncovered, then cover.
  5. Add the cheese, stir in and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.
  6. This will make the equivalent to 4-5 jars of sauce, and the cost is probably about half (and it tastes way better).


Use this to make my Recipe for Chicken Parmesan – restaurant quality or better!

Recipe for chicken parmesan

I have so many other great recipes, so make sure that you check them out here.


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  1. Jen says

    Mmm…that recipe sounds great! I bet that grated cheese really makes it. Hunts is one of my favorite brands and the only canned tomato sauce that I will use. I like to use it as a base for pizza sauce and enchilada sauce.

  2. Christine says

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have always wanted to try to make my own sauce but all the recipes needed 100 ingredients that I didn’t have. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks again!

  3. Drew says

    I would like to try this with fresh tomatoes from a garden how could I substitute them instead of canned crushed tomatoes?

    • says

      I would either roast or boil them until the skins fall off, take the skins off and mash them up into crushed tomatoes. Let me know how it turns out – I am sure it would be much better with fresh ones!

  4. Jennifer S. says

    I make a very similar sauce in the crockpot quite often. A few additions – baking soda stirred in to cut down on acidity; pork tenderloins cooked right in sauce; whatever chopped fresh veggies I have in the freezer/on hand (peppers, etc). I’ve even snuck leftover homemade babyfood purees in (carrots, green beans, peas), and my husband didn’t know!

  5. Jamie says

    How would you store this sauce for future use. Would you recommend canning it (if so, how…I’ve never canned anything but have several good jars on hand) or would you freeze in a freezer bag?

  6. Emily says

    If you want to can this sauce, after it is finished cooking pour hot sauce into clean jars to 1/4in of the top. Wipe off rims and sides of jars and place prepared seals and lids on tightly. Then add to boiling canner for 15 min. Let cool 12-24 hours store in a place away from direct sunlight.

  7. Jenny says

    I just made this sauce (minus the cheese because I am lactose intolerant and minus the sugar because im on a candida cleanse) and it was wonderful! It’s so full of flavor!

  8. Jeni Bowman says

    Thank you for sharing this special recipe! Im making this tonight for my Husband and Daughter. I cant wait!!!

    • Kelly says

      Lauren, in one of your comments you mention sautéing the onions and garlic but your recipe does not list onions as an ingredient. Should I add it and how much?

      • Chuck says

        Kelly, your right, she says for a crock pot to sautee garlic and onions, but there are no onions in the recipe. She addresses all the other comments but yours. I will pass on this not knowing if she left something important out.

    • John says

      Canned or store bought fresh tomatoes don’t make it home made. It’s the love and passion putt in to it that makes it that way.

      • moriah says

        Canned tomatoes vs fresh does make a difference. Anything canned is processed, meaning the product has more salt, sugar or other additives. Fresh from store or from a garden would give the sauce more of an authentic taste and texture. Its just common sense to me.

  9. Carrie says

    Thanks for the recipe. I used fresh tomatoes from my garden. Blanched, peeled, de-seeded, then hand crushed. Delicious!

    • says

      I usually try to use fresh Parmesan cheese, but if I have to use the canned kind I will. I usually put the meatballs into the sauce right before serving them, or cook together for 30 minutes before serving.

  10. Marshall says

    Hey my name is Marshall I tried your sauce it’s amazing I’m 14 years old and cook for a big family everybody loved it :) would you please email me [email protected] but this is the second time I tried it the first time I went by everything correctly and it was AMAZING the second time was tonight as I write you while eating it lol Haha it was better the second time because I just went with what I thought was good it is yummy thanks

      • Sunblock says

        I find in my Crock Pot that if I let it cook for an hour or two with the lid off, towards the end so as to not disturb the melding of spices and flavors, that the evaporation of water will help to thicken some recipes; just make sure your meats are properly cooked as this does lower temps a bit.

        • Mark says

          Thanks for the comments and compliment. That is a good point about keeping the lid on or off. I usually don’t cook this in a crockpot, but even on the stove, I will use or not use the lid based on how thick I want the consistency. Also agree about the meats being cooked thoroughly.

          • Sunblock says

            I forgot to add one thing… recognize that the more water you take out of a recipe the stronger the flavors are going to be (generally speaking); this includes saltiness, which can ruin any good recipe.

  11. Chelle says

    Very easy and very good! my 12-year-old son is the pickiest child on the face of the earth and as never agreed to eat spaghetti. But I found your recipe planning to make it for my other two sons (I’m of Italian descent by the way). Well my 12 year old decided he wanted to eat spaghetti and ate two plates of this sauce! The only thing I did different is I puréed the sauce with a hand blender after the ingredients had all been added; my kids don’t like chunks in their sauce (picky!). And I did two tablespoons sugar. But it became a very tasty, thick sauce. My oldest said he wanted spaghetti for breakfast! I’d say this is a winner.

  12. Steve says

    What does “100% natural” mean? There are no regulations in North America surrounding the usage of the term if it’s on a food label, so just wondering what you think it means? I only use 100% organic tomatoes, Eden Organic is a great brand for crushed tomatoes.

  13. Lorae Dutcher says

    I used to start with prepared sauce and then doctor it up with my favorite things, I.e., black olives, a freshly chopped red pepper, brown sugar, wine…etc. Glad I saw this post. If you can unscrew a jar of Ragu, you can open a couple cans of Hunts tomatoes!

    • Mark says

      I wouldn’t cook the meatballs too long in the crockpot… you want them moist, but not completely falling apart. I would recommended adding them about an hour before serving.

    • says

      As soon as you want. The longer it cooks the better, as long as it is already pre-cooked and drained. If you add the ground beef before it is cooked, it will add a lot of grease to the recipe.

        • Mark says

          Hi Terry. Really, the only reason is personal preference, but I have made the sauce with onions many times. I would dice a half of an onion and saute in olive oil for a few minutes and then add the garlic to the oil for another 1-2 minutes.

  14. Ames says

    I’m going to make your sauce tonight, It sounds amazing, I’m glad you addressed when to put the meat balls in.

  15. Douglas says

    Can’t wait to try this recipe for sauce. I’ve been my own touch to other recipes for yrs. Just curious if you’ve ever added some red wine to this ??

  16. Emily says

    I just made this for dinner and added minced beef, bay leaf, McCormick’s Italian seasoning (instead of dried basil). It was delicious! My husband requested that I make more portions to freeze so that he can bring it for lunch at work.

  17. Tina says

    No offense but if it’s Sicilian, it’s not Italian and most Sicilians would back up that statement. An Italian sauce always has tomatoes and paste and simmers low and slow for hours on the stove. This sauce is much different than a traditional Italian sauce.

  18. amanda says

    this looks like a great recipe! when u freeze the sauce, do u thaw it overnight in the fridge? or how would u thaw it? thanks!

  19. salina says

    Omg the smell in my house is so yummy. I.have always wanted to make a good sauce. Thanks for sharing i took a few bites as its simmering, and its so flavorful.

  20. Alixx says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. Best one I’ve used ever. I sautéed an onion and lots of mushrooms with the garlic and oil before I poured the tomaoes. I also added a few splashes of red wine to it. Just deliciois again thank you so much. What I love, is that it’s not salty. I can’t stand a very salted sauce.

  21. lisa says

    OMG!!!! I made your sauce today and I thought I knew how to cook! Your sauce is by far the freaking bomb!!! I/We love it!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!

    • Mark says

      Hi Sue. Really, the only reason is personal preference, but I have made the sauce with onions many times. I would dice a half of an onion and saute in olive oil for a few minutes and then add the garlic to the oil for another 1-2 minutes.

  22. Sunblock says

    Not much of an Italian food fan (or Sicilian), my family and I usually stick to the Korean, Indonesian/Malaysian, Far East dietary plan. But I gave this one a shot and I have to say that it smokes any other recipe out there. DELICIOUS!!!!!

  23. Tammy says

    Wanting to make this for a huge event & need to know the # of servings the original is for so I can multiply it in order to get the number of servings we need tonight. Thanks.

    • says

      Amber – you would need to use at least some crushed tomatoes to get the consistency right. If you prefer a chunkier sauce I would use 1 can of crushed tomatoes and 1 can of diced.

  24. Victoria says

    Hello Lauren! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! I have a quick question. If I wanted to cut the recipe down and only make one jar equivalent would I also cut down the cook time to correspond with how much less I’d be making? I don’t necessarily think so but I want to make sure. Thanks so much again!!!

  25. Scott says

    Hey, I was wondering how I’d cut down this recipe to serve two people, as opposed to eight. I’d thought about just quartering all of the ingredients, but I thought I’d get your opinion so I don’t mess it up! Any help? Can’t wait to cook this.

    • says

      Scott – what about making the full batch and them freezing it in 4 different freezer bags (per serving size). That way you only have to make it once and you have enough for 4 meals? That is what we do. If you still want to cut it down, I would half the recipe.

  26. Hannah says

    Thanks for this amazing recipe! I usually stay away from tomato based sauces because the taste of tomatoes isn’t one of my favorites. But, crushed tomatoes were on sale so I picked up a couple of cans, wanting to give this a shot. And holy moly! The spices at work make this sauce absolutely amazing. Since I live alone, I separated everything into batches like you suggested. The flavors weren’t as pronounced as when first made but still very good.

    • says

      Hannah – I am so thankful that you were happy with the recipe. We still eat it almost weekly and never get sick of it! It’s funny when I give my kids store bought sauce, they stare at me like “What the heck is this.”

  27. Steven says

    found this on a google search, made it and my kids and I loved it!!! Thank you for posting this. I added some italian seasoned ground turkey to my dish and it was a HUGE hit…. Thank YOU!!!

    • says

      Steven, I am so thankful you like it! I haven’t heard a bad review yet! Glad your kids liked it too, they are always the hard ones to please. Come back again to visit! Did you see the chicken parmesan recipe too?

  28. jane says

    If there is meat in it and you want to can it you need a pressure canner. Water bath cannong will not kill all of the bacteria to make is shelf stable

    • Mark says

      Thanks Jane. Admittedly, I’ve never canned before. If someone didn’t have access to a pressure canner, I assume that it would make sense to simply add the meat when the plan to serve it? I’ll update the post to fix it.

  29. Michelle says

    Thank you for the recipe! I will be making this tonight and I plan to freeze most of it. I would like to add ground sausage to the recipe. Would you recommend that I add it while cooking it and then freeze, or cook the sausage each time I thaw out some of the sauce?

    • Mark says

      If you plan on having sausage in the sauce every time you thaw it, then it would make sense to prepare the whole batch with sausage and then freeze it. I’ve actually done it this way before and it worked out just fine. Hope you enjoy it!

  30. says

    I am making spaghetti for 30-35 people this weekend. I am not a fan of chunky sauce. Do you think it would be fine if I beat them with a hand mixer first?
    Also, this is for a small party after a baptism. I was planning on making everything on Friday and then reheating via a crockpot. Do you think that would be fine or should I just make it all using a crockpot the day of? I was planning on making meatballs too. I noticed in another comment you stated to add the meatballs 30 minutes before serving. Do you think they will dry out if I have them on low and add them to the crockpot about 2 hours before serving?

    • says

      This sauce is not chunky at all. But if you wanted to use a hand mixer that would be fine.

      I do think reheating in the crockpot would be great too! Yes, don’t keep the meatballs in there all day. Just enough to heat them up.

    • Mark says

      Hi Amanda! The best way to thicken the sauce is to simmer it longer; that evaporates some of the water in the sauce. It also will give it a more intense flavor.

  31. Lesia says

    Hi, I am a little confused. You said 3-4 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes. But for fresh tomatoes you said 4 cups.

    4 28oz cans equals 112oz. a lot more than 4 cups. Thanks

    • Mark says

      Hi Lesia – I’m sorry for the confusion. I meant 4 cups per can of crushed tomatoes… but even then, the ratio is off. I would recommend using 8 cups per can (assuming that 8 oz equals one cup), for a total of around 30 cups if you choose to measure it this way. Basically a gallon of fresh tomatoes should be good, as it will allow you to boil it down a bit.

      Lauren and I will be updating the post very soon with more clear instructions on using fresh tomatoes for this sauce as tomato season is upon us.

  32. Lisa says

    The first ingredient in the recipe for “homemade” spaghetti sauce is canned tomatoes. Wtf! The biggest reason homemade sauce tastes so much better than canned sauce is the fresh tomatoes. Use canned stuff, it’s fine, but don’t call it homemade because it’s not.

  33. Amy C says

    You know what is so awesome? I have a Sicilian Great Aunt who passed down what is basically the EXACT same recipe! Except she adds tomato paste to it, and “fries” it in the oil before adding the rest of the tomatoes. I did a bit of research on the recipe, and there is evidence of the recipe being around for nearly 250+ years! Crazy.

  34. Shannon says

    Just made this tonight, I am doing Whole30 so I omitted the cheese and sugar. Have to say…..this sauce is the BOMB!

  35. Patricia says

    If I were going to can this recipe- aside from omitting the cheese, does the meat get omitted and added later? I’ve never canned sauce with the meat in it. Is the shelf life different for sauces containing the meat? Thank you so much! I can’t wait to make this.

    • Mark says

      Hey Patricia – one more thing to add to Lauren’s response – if you are canning, generally using vegetable oil isn’t recommended. I’ve read that it could be a source of botulism. I would omit sauteing the garlic and just add it to the sauce as-is to avoid the oil.

  36. April says

    Hi, first time attempting a homemade sauce. Probably a dumb question, but after peeling the tomatoes am I supposed to remove the seeds as well?

      • rgoldstand says

        April – I read in a different recipe somewhere that when making sauce from fresh tomatoes it’s correct to remove skins but it’s best NOT to remove seeds as they actually add significantly to the flavor. Of course, you can’t always trust what you read on the Internet, but it made sense to me… :)

  37. Gale says

    Hi. I tried your sauce and was very disappointed. I used 15 med. sized tomatoes from my garden and added all the ingredients. My sauce was bitter. I did not cook it for 3 hours on the stove because by the time I had cooked it for 2 on low heat, simmering, there wasn’t even a jar full in the pan. Any suggestiong???

    • Mark says

      What a bummer, Gale. I’m sorry that happened after all that work. From what you describe, it really sounds like the sauce overcooked and burned a little… especially if you cooked that much liquid out to have so little left. If you give it another try, I would recommend simmering REALLY low, and stirring often.

    • Mark says

      It definitely can be… it depends on he water content of the tomatoes you used. You will just have to simmer them longer to boil off some of the liquid. Or maybe try adding some tomato paste to thicken it up a little? Although that would introduce a canned product into your fresh made sauce.

  38. Kelley says

    Just tried this recipe with fresh tomatoes out of my garden. The sauce is nice and thick, but very dark in color …. Not sure why that is? Very hearty flavor …. Was surprised there was no onion or oregano in it!

  39. Margie says

    So glad I found this website and this recipe. I think it was so nice to share with everyone. I am canning tomorrow and planned to do a sauce. I am excited since I have the homegrown tomatoes plum variety and my own dried oregano and basil. Tonight it was elderberry jam making time. End of the garden season is really great and busy!

  40. Adrienne says

    Can I freeze finnished product for long term, and how long if so? Or no freezing at all?? I’d like to keep on hand !! thanks!!

    • Mark says

      You can definitely freeze this! If you use good freezer bags and seal it well, it should keep for several months. If you have a chest freezer (the kind that is NOT self-defrosting) it will keep even longer, probably up to a year.

  41. Tina says

    Hi I am making this tight now- I want to use fresh basil from my garden – how much should I use and when should I put it in? Thanks!

      • Mark says

        Yeah – you can definitely put onions in, sometimes I do. I saute them in oil for about 5 minutes, and then add the garlic and cook for another minute. The basil can go as soon as you have the tomatoes ready to simmer. Thanks Tina!

  42. Tina says

    It turned out delicious!!! Thanks so much I will make this a lots – great way to use up all those tomatoes and basil from my garden.

  43. Melisa says

    any suggestions on how to get it the sauce to not be so pepper spicy? I accidentally added 1 tablespoon instead of 1 teaspoon. All I taste is pepper.

    • Mark says

      Oh No! I love pepper, so I’d probably like your sauce, but it sounds like it is a bit much for you. I don’t think there’s any way to get it out… my only suggestion would be to triple the recipe, but don’t add any pepper to the other 2/3. I know, not helpful.

      But I did a quick search, and on chowhound (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/340163 – scroll down about a third of the way), someone suggested lemon juice to cut the spiciness of cayenne pepper. Seems weird for a tomato sauce and I don;t know if it would work for black pepper. But if it’s inedible now, maybe it’s worth a shot?

  44. Susan says

    I am so confused! Posts aren’t dated so I can’t tell if the recipe was reposted with the clearer directions as Mark said it’d be. I am about to make the sauce, (today) but want to be sure that the ingredient amounts are right for the 12-15 tomatoes. Or do I need more tomatoes for those amounts of spices, etc. Thanks!

  45. Kim says

    Thank you so much for posting this. I grew up eating homemade sauce then the jar sauce came out and for years that’s allI used, until I workedmin a authentic Italian rrestaurant, at first I wasn’t big on the sauce but it grew on me and now I can NOT stand the taist of the jar sauce. I will deffinetly be trying this since ive been wanting spaghetti but needed a recipe and thisnis very close to the one we used where I worked.

  46. Carol says

    Making this now…how much dried basil…the recipe says Tsbp….was that supposed to be tsp and the “b” in there by accident….or should it be Tbsp??…because sugar says TBSP….thanks

    • Mark says

      Hey Fred – Simmering it down more is the best way to thicken it up. Some tomatoes are more watery than others, and might require a longer simmer.

  47. emily says

    I dont know if its me or what, but I made this tonight and it just wasnt good. I needs more favor. My nine month old loved it…it was perfect for him because of how simple it is. But I was definitely expecting something much better.

    • Mark says

      I’m sorry, Emily. How great a sauce can be often depends on the flavor of the tomatoes used, whether canned or fresh. If mine ends up tasting a bit bland, I’ll add a little salt or a bunch more parm cheese.

  48. heather says

    So i made this with like 13 tomatoes and I ended up with a jar and a third of sauce. What did I do wrong? I thought I was going to have a bunch more

    • Mark says

      Hey Heather… I apologize for not responding sooner. When making a sauce from fresh tomatoes, there are many factors. My recommendation of 15 tomatoes is highly dependent on how large the tomatoes are. And some tomatoes have a lot of liquid, others don’t. Another factor is how long or high you simmered them for and how much liquid evaporated. I think you should give it another shot. Maybe use more tomatoes if yours are on the smaller side. I’m sorry it didn’t work out this past time!

  49. Lindsay says

    After scouring the internet for a good sauce recipe to try for my FIRST TIME, I made this last night and I totally knocked it out of the park on the first try. It is so good that even my cooking perfectionist husband thought it was perfect! I added to it a bit to suit our personal taste:
    6.0z chopped mushrooms
    1 med chopped yellow onion
    1 small bell pepper minced
    3 tsp. coarse kosher salt
    *simmered for 1.5 hours, then simmered
    top on for 1.5 hours.

  50. says

    I have used a recipe I got from my neighbor almost 53 yrs ago , who was Italian, and decided to just take a “look” at other Italian recipes. WOW!! So glad I tried it!!!! It’s easier and so much better. Perhaps it’s the amount of Basil (?). Absolutely fantastic and easy. Thank you, Karen

  51. button says

    I used tomatoes from my garden and baked them in the oven @300 degrees for about 1 hr. Then skins off and seedss out. Then the rest.

  52. Stephanie says

    This sauce was great. The recipe as written was SO easy and came out really yummy. My kids each ate a bowl as is before I could even get dinner on the table. Tonight I’m using more for meatball subs and then another pasta dish later in the week. Definitely making this from now on instead of buying pre-made!

    • Mark says

      Thanks again Stephanie! Not only is it better and healthier, it’s wayyy cheaper than the pre-made stuff too. Glad your family enjoyed it!

  53. Dot says

    i now know u r not from RI, bc u would b calling it “gravy”. I myself am not Italian, but that’s what they call it, although I still say gravy is brown and for mashed potatoes lol

  54. randy says

    Why take the skins off? Just more work than it has to be. Fresh Herbs make all the difference, Purple Bell Peppers a MUST

  55. chaimama says

    I love this recipe. It is simple, yet delicious! I add a little salt and probably a little extra cheese (yum!). I’m in the process of making my third batch of sauce to jar from the last of my garden tomatoes from this season. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you for sharing it!

    • Mark says

      Hey Diane – you can add the green peppers at any time before you start simmering. As long as they cook in the sauce for at least an hour, they will soften up and give the sauce a nice flavor.

  56. Kellie says

    I have put fresh tomatoes in the blender w/ the skins on for sauce & they turned out the same as if you took the skins off. I tried it both ways & I couldn’t tell the difference! It’s definitely a time saver.

  57. Eddie says

    Well I’m into and hour of cooking time on this sauce…and its tasting pretty dang good right now….I messed up a little…I added the cheese when I added all the sauce,but I don’t believe that’s going to be a problem…first time ever I’m making home made sauce…and I found this recipe on line…Thank You…I’m that Lady….

  58. says

    Have been looking to make some simple sauce. So glad I came across this recipe. I m sure my Sunday spaghetti treat for my husband is going to turn out great….:)

  59. says

    Cooking this tonight for a Christmas Eve dinner for our family. I believe it will be great! I also found some bay leaves in my fridge and added a couple while the sauce simmers. Should taste great!

  60. Monica says

    WOW! I’ve always my whole life had McCormick spaghetti sauce out of the package.. I’m now watching my sodium intake so i decided to look up a recipe that didn’t have 400mg of sodium per serving! Plus i love health.. I found this recipe and decided to give it a try.. I was a bit skeptical because i am not a big fan of basil.. I didn’t want to go against the recipe so i put it in there.. THIS SAUCE IS AMAZING!! I never knew that spaghetti sauce was supposed to taste like that!! Never going to make the McCormick spaghetti sauce ever again! Thank you so much this is my new spaghetti sauce recipe :)

  61. Jonathan says

    err, what about the ground beef? I’m not a vegetarian and I’m too much of a newbie to know what I should do with the hamburger and in what order? I need more details please.

    • says

      Brown the ground beef in a pan, drain out all the fat. Then make your sauce. Once the sauce has been cooking for about 2 hours, add the ground beef and simmer for about 30 minutes longer. Then serve. Hope that helps.

  62. Lindsey S says

    I stumbled across your recipe, thought it sounded simple enough and then read the reviews. I ran home on my lunch and made this in my crockpot, which I was worried wouldn’t work like it should, but let me tell you. It was simple, quick and the slow cooker did all the work. It turned out wonderfully. It was the first time I have ever made sauce and it was for my Italian boyfriend, so I was extremely nervous. He loved it, and so did I! Thanks so much for posting this.

  63. victoria says

    I have an onion allergy and this is the first recipe I have found without. My godmother had canned tomatoes and I looked everywhere for a recipe years ago and this time it was the 2nd thing that popped up on Google. I am cooking it now and using my hear I grew.

  64. christine says

    Excellent taste but it wasn’t saucy enough for me. How do I thicken this sauce so that it sticks to the noodles?

  65. Tai says

    I want to make this tonight and add hamburger and sausage. Do you think i will have to add more tomatoes? I have never made homemade sauce before and this one looks amazing

    • Mark says

      Hey Tai – it depends on how much meat you add. If you add 2 lbs or less, then it will be fine as is. If you plan on adding more than that, then would might want to add another can of crushed tomatoes.

  66. Jen says

    Thanks! I usually make Alfredo sauce at the same time and mix it together. My family loves it that way because they are not huge tomato fans. :)

  67. Taylor says

    I’ve never been much of a cook, but after getting married and having two step-daughters, I had to quickly get my foot in the door. While I’m still learning, I have found a new found love for it! I’ve been making homemade meatballs for a while now, but have been buying storebought sauce.

    My sweet husband has been saying I should find a recipe for sauce and make my own, so tonight I will try yours. It looks so easy and so good! On top of that, my oldest stepdaughter (12) will be assisting me in the kitchen. What could be better than Italian night with your loved ones?! I can’t wait to try it!

  68. Brandon says

    The pepper ruined this recipe!! Thanks for wasting my time, money and effort! Dish tastes like burning! Hint: skip pepper

  69. Brenda says

    I’ve made this recipe for a few years and my family loves it. We have a large garden so I always use fresh tomatoes (15-20), garlic, basil and green peppers all from the garden. I make a large batch in a crock pot in addition to making a big pot on the stove. I add a few cans of tomato paste to each and always add the black pepper. I usually freeze it flat in freezer bags. This year I am going to try canning it in quart jars. Thank you for a great recipe.

  70. Anna says

    I have never canned before and the video I watched said to can according to the recipe. How much head room would I need and how long should I boil for when canning this recipe?

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