In this post: A delicious homemade spaghetti sauce recipe that’s ready in under 30 minutes. Find out how to make this comfort-food staple any day of the week.


I’ve always loved to cook. Not gourmet meals by any stretch of the imagination, just simple yummy dishes. I’m no Ina Garten or Julia Child, after all. But I do love to spend time in the kitchen creating delicious food for my family and friends. Often though time is tight and it’s really tempting to heat up a frozen lasagna or make a box of mac and cheese. But wait! Why not try our Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe first?

homemade spaghetti sauce

Everyone should have a go-to spaghetti sauce for weekly meals or even last-minute company. This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe is super easy to prepare and it’s super versatile. Pair it with a salad made with our Caesar Salad Dressing and Gluten Free Croutons for a delicious meal!

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onions
  • 1-3 cloves of minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp crushed dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp crushed dried basil
  • 1 tbsp crushed dried parsley
  • 1 28 oz can, or bottle of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste, optional

Variations

You could swap out the dried herbs for fresh herbs. Or add:

  • thyme
  • bay leaf
  • Italian seasoning

You could also optionally add:

  • cooked ground beef, chicken, or turkey
  • cooked veggie ground round
  • cooked lentils
  • grated or finely chopped sauteed vegetables like zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, or cauliflower

How to Make this Easy Spaghetti Sauce Recipe: Step-by-Step Instructions

To make this easy homemade spaghetti sauce recipe:

01| Heat oil in the bottom of a medium saucepan.

02| Saute onions until translucent.

03| Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute.

04| Add herbs and stir.

05| Pour crushed tomatoes over onions, garlic, and herbs in a saucepan.

06| Add remaining ingredients: sugar, salt, black pepper, and optional red pepper flakes.

07| Simmer on low for 15 minutes.

08| Serve over hot pasta of choice (whole wheat, rice, Kamut, quinoa, etc).

Serving Suggestions

gluten free lasagna on fork

Tips

  • If you have time, simmer for an hour or longer for an even yummier sauce. Or put in a crockpot and let simmer on low for 4 hours. 
  • If you’re adding meat to your sauce, simmer it on medium-high heat in a large sauce pan until no longer pink. Then strain and rinse off any excess fat. Then add the other ingredients as directed. 

FAQs

What are the best tomatoes to use?

The best tomatoes to use for this quick spaghetti sauce recipe are San Marzano tomatoes. They’re a little on the sweet side and a little less acidic than some other tomatoes. You can find them canned at most local grocery stores. 

Can I make spaghetti sauce from whole tomatoes?

Yes! If you’re going to make your homemade spaghetti sauce entirely from scratch with fresh tomatoes, you’ll need to remove the stems and peel them first. 

What is the difference between marinara sauce and spaghetti sauce?

Marinara and spaghetti sauce are very similar but slightly different tomato-based sauces. Marinara is generally much simpler with fewer seasonings and spices, while spaghetti sauce has a fuller flavor profile with more spices. 

Why use sugar in spaghetti sauce?

While sugar tends to get a bad rap these days – and I’m not one for its overuse – it is necessary for this recipe to help cut the acidity in the tomatoes. 

Do I need to salt the pasta water?

Yes! Adding about a teaspoon of salt to the pasta water makes for tastier pasta! 

How to thicken spaghetti sauce?

There are several ways you can thicken homemade spaghetti sauce:

  • add grated or chopped veggies like carrots, zucchini, or mushrooms
  • include a tablespoon or two of tomato paste
  • simmer the sauce for a little longer 
  • add ground meat, veggie ground round, or lentils
  • mix 1 tablespoon of corn, tapioca, or arrowroot starch into the sauce liquid and simmer until the sauce thickens

How long does pasta sauce last in the fridge?

Homemade tomato sauce will last 3-5 days in the fridge. Cool thoroughly after cooking and place in a sealed container. 

Can you freeze spaghetti sauce?

Yes, absolutely. Simply let the homemade spaghetti sauce cool completely and then transfer to a freezer-safe dish or Ziploc. Make sure to leave enough room for the sauce to expand as it freezes. Then seal tightly and place in the freezer. 

To use, thaw overnight, remove the lid or pour into a microwave-safe dish and heat through, stirring carefully as needed. 

Dietary Considerations

This recipe is:

  • Dairy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan (if you don’t include the optional ground meat)
  • Plant-based
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Easy-peasy homemade spaghetti sauce paired with pasta for a quick meal!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onions
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp crushed dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp crushed dried basil
  • 1 tbsp crushed dried parsley
  • 1 28 oz can, or bottle crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in bottom of medium sauce pan.
  2. Saute onions until translucent.
  3. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute.
  4. Add herbs and stir.
  5. Pour crushed tomatoes over onions, garlic and herbs in sauce pan.
  6. Add sugar, salt, black pepper and optional red pepper flakes.
  7. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  8. Serve over hot pasta (whole wheat, rice, kamut, etc).

Notes

You could swap out the dried herbs for fresh herbs. Or add:

  • thyme
  • bay leaf
  • Italian seasoning

You could also optionally add:

  • cooked ground beef, chicken, or turkey
  • cooked veggie ground round
  • cooked lentils
  • grated or finely chopped sauteed vegetables like zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, or cauliflower
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 43Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 428mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Do you make your own homemade spaghetti sauce? Do you have any go-to healthy recipes for rushed dinners?

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7 Comments

  1. I make homemade gravy and it always takes 3 hours! LOL my grandmother taught me from a very young age. One thing that she always did was to cook the gravy (sauce) the day before, along with all of the meats. Then on Sunday, all you have to do is heat it up, cook the pasta, make a salad and you’re finished 🙂
    I’m going to give your recipe a try and see if my husband approves 🙂 if he does, that would be terrific!! I have MS and chronic back pain and “easier” would be better
    TFS

  2. Hi! I’m always happy to find another almost-homemade spaghetti sauce recipe. I have a question, though: what size can (or jar) of crushed tomatoes do I need? The regular (15 oz.) one, or the larger (28 oz.) one? Thanks so much!

  3. Will no longer buy packets to make spaghetti sauce. This recipe tastes better. Will make ahead and freeze. Thank you Shannon