All-Purpose Meat Sauce Recipe
All-Purpose Meat Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home

All-Purpose Meat Sauce Recipe

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4.5 9 21
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Meet the Cook: Experimenting with different herbs and spices led to this husband does not like bland food! I now make it for him and our three children - 5, 3 and 22 months - at least once a week. Marc says it's even better the next day. -Sonja Fontaine, Winnipeg, Manitoba
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 30 min.
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 30 min.
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pinch each dried thyme, tarragon and ground cinnamon
  • Hot pepper sauce and cayenne pepper to taste

Nutritional Facts

1/2 cup: 142 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 721mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 13g protein


  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, cook the beef and garlic until beef is browned; drain. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until sauce is as thick as desired, stirring occasionally. Serve over pasta or rice, or use for making lasagna, pizza, chili dogs, tacos or sloppy joes. Yield: 4 cups.
Originally published as All-Purpose Meat Sauce in Country Woman September/October 1995, p33

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.

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Reviewed Nov. 15, 2014

"We found this recipe a couple of years ago and have used it many times. My daughter just asked for it again tonight. We use about 1 tsp of cayenne pepper. The cinnamon really adds a great flavor. Thank you for one of our favorite recipes!"

Reviewed Nov. 2, 2012

"I have made this several times. One of our faves. I ALWAYS double the recipe because it very versatile. The cinnamon and hot sauce give it a unique flavor. Love this!"

Reviewed Sep. 21, 2012

"My husband is Italian and doesn't like bland food either. I also created my own meat sauce based on one that his Italian Aunt had made from Italy. It's almost identical to this one! It's FABULOUS! With our 5 children there are never any leftovers at the end of the night. I'll have to try it with cinnamon and hot peppers too."

Reviewed Jul. 10, 2012

"Added molasses and red pepper."

Reviewed Apr. 26, 2012

"I made this for my family, I'm vegetarian they aren't. My nine year old Son ask for extra sauce. Tonight everyone had seconds. Thanks for a great recipe, I will make this again."

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