Low-Sodium Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

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There are just 57 milligrams of sodium in each cup of this thick fresh-tasting spaghetti sauce created by our Test Kitchen staff. Compare that to commercially prepared spaghetti sauces, which can contain as much as 900 milligrams per cup!
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 2 hours 10 min.
MAKES:10 servings
Healthy Diabetic Exchange Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 2 hours 10 min.
MAKES: 10 servings


  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 medium sweet red peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cans (29 ounces each) tomato puree
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup red wine or additional water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Nutritional Facts

One serving (1 cup) equals 143 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 12 mg cholesterol, 57 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 9 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 vegetable, 1/2 fat.


  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, saute mushrooms, peppers, onion and garlic in oil until softened.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, combine the next nine ingredients. Add beef and sauteed vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 hours.
  3. Stir in parsley and sugar. Discard bay leaves before serving. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
Originally published as Low-Sodium Spaghetti Sauce in Light & Tasty April/May 2002, p19

Full-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.

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Reviewed Oct. 8, 2013

"My sauce turned out thick and delicious. Sauce is best over rotini pasta rather than spaghetti. Smart taste pasta has only 15 mg salt per serving! if you are on weight watchers, this dish is only 11 points per serving (1 Cup sauce over 3/4 Cup cooked pasta)"

Reviewed Jul. 12, 2013

"I tried this recipe at home. I thought that it was good for a low sodium version of spaghetti sauce, but it was quite watery and would not stick to the spaghetti . If someone in my household were on a low sodium diet , I would definitely use this recipe again."

Reviewed Dec. 15, 2012

"Thank you so much for this recipe! I use it all the time, and its great every time. I have to eat low sodium food, or else my blood pressure gets high."

Reviewed Mar. 15, 2012

"whoa, is this great!! it is simmering on the stove as i write this. plan to put in jars and freeze in pints for the family to use when i am working, or as a fast and easy meal. this recipe is so open to adapting to your own fmaily preferences--i did not use as many bell peppers, but there are portabello and button mushrooms in the sauce, and i tossed in some leftover veg (carrots and diced tomatoes). try this recipe!!"

Reviewed Feb. 10, 2012

"very good taste, easy to make.will make it again."

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