An easy, basic 30-minute homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, plus a few flavor variations to try. Just 10 minutes to prep and plenty of extra sauce to freeze for another night!
It doesn’t get much better than spaghetti night. 🍝
I get a little woozy and weak in the knees when contemplating a steamy plate of spaghetti.
The noodles, the sauce, the meat, the cheese sprinkled on top… swoon fest!
And if you want to really send your spaghetti over the top? Make your own sauce.
Homemade sauce for spaghetti sounds so indulgent — I’m thinking the younger brother stirring the sauce all.day.long. in Good Fellas — and I mean, who’s got time for that?
Not me, not you.
That’s why this is such a fast and easy homemade spaghetti sauce. And it’s oh so delicious!
You just can’t find this in the store.
Plus, I’ve got suggestions below of how you can customize it so you get exactly what you want. We like pretty much every version of this I’ve ever tried. You can’t go wrong here!
I always make a big batch. (The recipe below is the big batch.)
I figure while you’re at it, go ahead and make a bunch. It freezes great and that way you have some on hand for the next spaghetti night. Which I hope is soon.
Plus, this is great to use as a homemade marinara sauce for pizza or as a sub for marinara in any recipe.
Now, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up for this recipe. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making homemade spaghetti sauce:
- I like using a small sweet onion (Vidalia or otherwise) but a small white onion is fine too.
- You can reduce or add to the amount of crushed red pepper to adjust the spiciness. As is, it’s a mild sauce with not much heat.
- While your sauce is simmering, it helps to cover the pot with a lid partway. You want the steam to be able to escape so the pot thickens, but you don’t want hot splatters all over your kitchen. (Been there, no fun.)
Oh, and a note about the tomatoes…
What kind of tomatoes should I use for homemade spaghetti sauce?
I prefer canned crushed tomatoes. They make a velvety smooth sauce that incorporates so well with the spices.
However, you can also use a can of diced tomatoes (to make it chunkier). You can even use a fire-roasted diced tomato or a flavored one if you want to change up the flavor a bit. (More on that below.)
Stewed tomatoes can work too, but they start off with a more cooked flavor, so keep that in mind.
And if all you have is diced tomatoes abut you want a smoother sauce, just puree them up in a blender! 👍
For the recipe below, you’ll need about 56 oz. total of crushed/diced/pureed tomatoes, which is 7 cups.
And now, I almost always make this as a simple spaghetti sauce, but sometimes I want to change it up a bit.
I’ve got a few different flavor ideas. You can pick one and make the whole batch that way or you can divide the sauce into two pots and do two different flavors.
(Just be sure to label your containers so you know what’s what after you’ve stored it.)
And now, let’s get creative!
Spaghetti sauce flavor variations:
– Garlic lover? Add an extra clove of garlic and/or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder to the sauce.
– Sprinkle on 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme with the other seasonings.
– Stir in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste for a deeper tomato flavor.
– Like it chunky? Use half diced tomatoes and half crushed tomatoes.
– Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce or a few splashes of red wine for a little oomph.
– Add some fresh basil at the end to give it a really fresh, bright taste. 🌱
And finally, since we’re making a ton, here’s some storage tips.
How do I store homemade spaghetti sauce?
– Extra sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
– You can also freeze extra sauce (in a freezer safe container or heavy duty freezer bag) for up to 3-4 months.
– Be sure to label and date your containers.
Or, you know, use a fork. Whatever works 😉
I prefer crushed tomatoes for a smooth, well-integrated sauce. You can also use half diced tomatoes for a chunkier sauce. (Or you can puree diced tomatoes in a blender to make your own crushed tomatoes.) Stewed tomatoes will work too, but they have a different flavor. Extra sauce keeps for 5-7 days in the fridge. It also freezes great. Let it cool then store in a freezer-safe container or heavy duty freezer safe bag for up to 3-4 months. See notes in the post above for different flavor variations for this spaghetti sauce, including more garlic, some Worcestershire or red wine, and fresh basil.
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 30Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
I prefer crushed tomatoes for a smooth, well-integrated sauce. You can also use half diced tomatoes for a chunkier sauce. (Or you can puree diced tomatoes in a blender to make your own crushed tomatoes.) Stewed tomatoes will work too, but they have a different flavor.
Extra sauce keeps for 5-7 days in the fridge. It also freezes great. Let it cool then store in a freezer-safe container or heavy duty freezer safe bag for up to 3-4 months.
See notes in the post above for different flavor variations for this spaghetti sauce, including more garlic, some Worcestershire or red wine, and fresh basil.
(This post was originally published in April 2015. It has been updated with new photos, a video and some additional notes about the recipe.)