Meat Sauce

5 from 8 reviews

My dream Homemade Meat Sauce is hearty, thick and easy to make with simple ingredients. And you are looking at it right now! It tastes delicious in zucchini lasagna, spaghetti or zoodles. Better and cheaper than any Italian restaurant.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 58 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: DInner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 1.5 lbs mix of ground beef and turkey*
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tbsp basil, dried
  • 1 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, low sodium
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce, low sodium
  • 6 oz can tomato paste, low sodium
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Whole grain pasta, for serving


  1. Preheat large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on high heat and add ground beef and turkey. Cook breaking into small pieces and stirring with spatula constantly, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add onion, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes , stirring a few times. Please note onion doesn’t need to brown but herbs benefit from high heat to release maximum flavors.
  3. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and bay leaves. Stir, cover and cook on low-medium heat for about 30 minutes. Covering the pot prevents red splatters all over the stove.
  4. Open the lid a little bit to the side and cook for another 15 minutes. Moisture will evaporate making perfect hearty and thick meat sauce.
  5. Stir and serve hot over whole grain spaghetti or any tubular pasta, garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight or on a stovetop covered on low.


You can use all ground beef or all ground turkey if you wish.

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