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Tangy Meat Sauce Recipe

Tangy Meat Sauce Recipe

This is the best meat sauce I’ve ever tried. It’s economical, timely and absolutely delicious. I often prepare batches for new moms because it can be kept in the freezer for future meals. Try it with ground chicken instead of beef, if you prefer. –Adalia Schweitzer, Hamilton, Ontario
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min. YIELD:3 servings


  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Hot cooked spaghetti


  • 1. Crumble beef into a 2-qt. microwave-safe dish. Add the onion, green pepper and garlic. Cover and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, stirring frequently; drain.
  • 2. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, salt, basil and oregano. Cover and microwave at 70% power for 6-8 minutes or until heated through, stirring once. Serve with spaghetti. Yield: 3 cups.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 235 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 37mg cholesterol, 1138mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 6g fiber), 19g protein .

Reviews for Tangy Meat Sauce

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Reviewed Jan. 4, 2015

"This is my go to all time favorite spaghetti sauce. I always double or even triple it so we have extra to freeze. My girls are quite picky and this is their FAVE!!!!"

Reviewed May. 25, 2010

"I have made this meat sauce for years. Just today I couldn't find my tattered copy ripped from the magazine and went online in search of it. I'm very glad to have found it. This sauce is a bit on the sweet side, but my family and day care kids love it. I usually have to make a triple batch if I want to have any leftovers. This one's a keeper!"

Reviewed May. 14, 2010

"Very good. Nice and thick. Easy to make."

Reviewed May. 7, 2010

"I used ground turkey and cider vinegar (just what I had) and made it on the stove and it was really good. My boyfriend and I both liked it. It has a bit of a different flavor than regular sauce (I guess that's the tangy), but we'd definitely have it again."

Reviewed May. 4, 2010

"I cannot wait to try this recipe, minus the green peppers."

Reviewed May. 1, 2010

"I haven't made the receipe yet, but it looks like something we would like; however, I will prepare it on the stovetop rather than microwave."

Reviewed Apr. 29, 2010

"This recipe is one of the best I have tried. The flavors blend together wonderfully. I made a few batches and froze them."

Reviewed Apr. 29, 2010

"This is a very good recipe. for anyone who knows anything about cooking at all, the sugar will cut the acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar rounding out the flavours. If you want to use fresh herbs double the quantities of the dried herbs and for those of you who "don't like green pepper" - trust me, it rounds the flavour and you don't taste it as such! My son hates garlic and peppers. If he ever finds out how much of both he eats he's going to be very upset!

I honestly think that the TOH team should take reviews where people change everything and then say they didn't like the recipe off a page as it's very misleading and gives an unfair rating to a recipe. Please don't be put off trying this by erroneous reviews. It's a super recipe."

Reviewed Apr. 29, 2010

"TxVee - do not feed your dog onions or galic in any form or kind. It can damage their red blood cells and cause anemia."

Reviewed Apr. 29, 2010

"I don't understand the people (like TxVee) who completely change the recipe and then complain about it not being any good. Maybe you should have followed the recipe!"

Reviewed Apr. 29, 2010

"I don't understand the people who coompletely change the recipe (like TxV"

Reviewed Jan. 21, 2010

"I like to try something a little different, and this sounded interesting. But I have to say it was the worst meat sauce I've ever tasted. I had a pound of meat that I needed to use, so I doubled everything except the vinegar and sugar, because they were the 'new' ingredients, and it seemed ike too much. I used only half a small onion because the ones I had were pretty hot. We don't eat green pepper, so didn't have any on hand. I added diced tomatoes, and a little water because it was so thick. Also, I was using the microwave for something else, so made it on top of the stove. My finicky husband ate his, but made me promise never to make it again, he thought it was too sweet. I didn't care at all for the vinegary taste and thought it was too salty. My Great Pyrenees approved."

Reviewed Dec. 6, 2009

"I left out the green pepper because I'm not a fan but it still tasted really good. my boyfriend said he liked it better than my own recipe! i served it with whole grain spaghetti and it was great. the vinegar was a nice touch."

Reviewed May. 15, 2009

"I love this recipe. It's so easy and it's so nice to know what actually is in it as opposed to premade sauces."

Reviewed Feb. 25, 2009

"This is great, I substituted Splenda for the sugar and crushed tomatoes for the tomato sauce and we love it. I use it over spaghetti squash instead of the pasta because I am diabetic and it is really great. Thanks for sharing."

Kelli F.
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2008

"This is really good, so much better than plain spagetti sauce. I used a can of crushed tomatoes, because I didn't have tomato sauce. It worked well, but I had to add a little water. I will definately be making this again."

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Wine Pairings

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

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