Meat Sauce for Spaghetti

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 8 hours


9 servings

Updated: Mar. 28, 2023
Here's a thick, hearty meat sauce for spaghetti for a filling feast. When I'm in a hurry, I make this slow-cooker recipe in an electric frying pan instead. —Mary Tallman, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin
Meat Sauce for Spaghetti Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked spaghetti


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef and sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
  2. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the tomatoes, green pepper, onion, carrots, water, tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until bubbly. Serve with spaghetti.

Can you freeze Meat Sauce for Spaghetti?

Do not cook spaghetti. Freeze meat sauce in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Place sauce in a large skillet; heat through, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary. Serve over spaghetti.

Meat Sauce for Spaghetti Tips

Can you serve meat sauce with other types of noodles?

Even though spaghetti is in the recipe name, this and other pasta sauce recipes can be served with many types of noodles and shapes. Try using rotini, farfalle or even zoodles (zucchini noodles).

How else can you cook meat sauce for spaghetti?

While we like the convenience of preparing this meat sauce in the slow cooker, it can also be made on the stovetop. Start the recipe by cooking and draining the meat in a Dutch oven. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring often.

How can you thicken meat sauce for spaghetti?

If you find the sauce too loose, remove the lid from the slow cooker and let the sauce stand a few minutes before serving. You can also transfer the sauce to a Dutch oven and cook uncovered on the stovetop until you reach the desired consistency.

How long will meat sauce for spaghetti last?

We recommend keeping your sauce covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days. As with a lot of pasta sauce recipes, the longer the sauce sits, the more time the flavors and ingredients have time to meld. This recipe will also keep well in your freezer for up to 3 months.

 Alicia Rooker, RDN, Taste of Home Senior Recipe Editor/Recipe Tester

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 286 calories, 17g fat (6g saturated fat), 58mg cholesterol, 767mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 18g protein.