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Best Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe

Once you make this homemade pasta sauce recipe, you'll never go store-bought again! Goes great on spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli and more!
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Course: sauces
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 18
Calories: 195kcal
Author: Megan


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground sausage
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 56 oz crushed tomatoes substitution: 6-8 cups frozen tomatoes, thawed and chopped (juices included) – this equals about 30-40 Roma tomatoes
  • 28 oz marinara sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-3 tbsp granulated sugar cater this amount to your liking
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a Dutch oven or large heavy-duty saucepan/skillet, cook the beef and sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the grease and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until veggies are soft and fragrant.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes (or thawed tomatoes, if using frozen), marinara, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, Bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well and increase to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching on the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove Bay leaves and allow sauce to cool before pouring into quart-size mason jars. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If freezing, store in airtight containers or sealable bags for up to 6 months.


  • I love the combination of Italian sausage and ground beef in this sauce, but feel free to use one of the two instead. Or swap out both for ground chicken or turkey!
  • The marinara sauce in the recipe adds a boldness that I absolutely adore. Feel free to replace it with two cans of tomato sauce, if desired.
  • If you are searching for a sauce with even more flavor, try adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine!
  • In place of the crushed tomatoes, you can use 6-8 cups fresh tomatoes or frozen tomatoes, thawed and chopped (juices included) – this equals about 30-40 Roma tomatoes.


Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 600mg | Potassium: 652mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 3mg
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