Savory Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
Savory Spaghetti Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Savory Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

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4.5 58 67
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This fresh-tasting spaghetti sauce is a real crowd-pleaser. I rely on this flavorful recipe often. It tastes especially good in the summer made with fresh garden herbs. —Anne Heinonen, Howell, Michigan
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 70 min.
MAKES:4-6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Cook: 70 min.
MAKES: 4-6 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked spaghetti
  • Fresh oregano, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 182 calories, 9g fat (4g saturated fat), 50mg cholesterol, 559mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 17g protein.


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook ground beef and onion until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender; drain. Add the next eight ingredients; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf. Serve with spaghetti. Garnish with oregano if desired. Yield: 4-6 servings (about 1 quart).
Originally published as Savory Spaghetti Sauce in Taste of Home June/July 1994, p31

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

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

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2124arizona User ID: 845443 268371
Reviewed Jun. 24, 2017

"The savory spaghetti sauce make an excellent meal."

snogle81 User ID: 6298091 243257
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2016

"I echo the compliments for this recipe. Since I was aiming for a thick and spicy sauce, I added a little more seasoning than the recipe called for (3-4 garlic cloves, 1.5 tsp. dried basil, 1.25 tsp. dried oregano, 3/4 tsp. ground black pepper; I kept the measurements for salt, sugar and bay leaf the same as listed above), added a variety of meats (1/2 lb. ground hamburger, 2/3 lb. boneless chicken breasts, 2 mild Italian sausages, 24 pepperoni slices, cut into quarters), and reduced the amount of tomato sauce (one 15 oz. and one 8 oz. can). The spaghetti sauce turned out exactly as I had hoped."

dzz1qy User ID: 6636475 232194
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2015

"Good and very easy"

rllewis7 User ID: 7124309 228343
Reviewed Jun. 22, 2015

"Loved the simplicity of this recipe! It's really flavorful, but also really easy to prepare."

Remenec User ID: 6059530 2280
Reviewed May. 19, 2014

"This is a very good spaghetti sauce recipe. I went a little heavier, however, with the spices to add some additional flavor. I couldn't find fresh oregano at my grocery store so I opted for fresh basil. The recipe calls for just a teaspoon of fresh basil, however, I added approximately 3/4 of a cup. I like my sauces extra sweet, so I added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, rather than the 2 teaspoons of sugar called for in the recipe. All in all, it was a spicy, delicious sauce that was enjoyed by the whole family."

Aestira User ID: 7757248 5043
Reviewed Apr. 10, 2014 Edited Sep. 16, 2015


debuhrs1 User ID: 7470971 7431
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2013

"Excellent! Didn't change a thing and it was perfect! Even better the 2nd day so try to double the batch."

krucook User ID: 517980 5887
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2013

"I've been making this meat sauce ever since it appeared in the TOH in '94. My family really enjoys the flavors of the meat sauce. We love to dip the garlic bread in the sauce."

dsuddeth User ID: 6570954 5809
Reviewed Aug. 7, 2013

"Its a great sauce! I'll definatly make it again but double the batch. I made it adding 1/3 cup of sugar as suggested but will probably only add 1/4 cup next time."

Kath710 User ID: 7361718 199098
Reviewed Aug. 6, 2013

"Great basic recipe, I do like my spaghetti savory. However it seemed to be lacking, as we like our spaghetti bold and chunky. So I added extra garlic, a bell pepper, and a sprinkle of Montreal, and sautéed those with the beef. Then I threw in a freshly diced tomato, some chopped portobello mushroom, a few olives, and a 1/4 cup of dry white wine. It really jazzed up the dish, and it tastes wonderful."

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