Homemade meat sauce served over freshly cooked pasta, topped with grated parmesan and basil.
Print Recipe
5 from 9 votes

Homemade Meat Sauce

This flavorful homemade meat sauce is perfect over pasta or in your favorite lasagna recipe!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Condiments, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: meat sauce
Servings: 10 (approximately)
Calories: 338kcal
Author: Jennifer Farley


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 pounds mild or Spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (approximately 2 cups)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste


  • Place a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom saucepan over medium-low heat. Render some fat from the ground beef and sausage, allowing a thin layer to form on the bottom of the pan while using a spatula to break the meat into small pieces, 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium and brown the meat until it’s no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Drain through a colander and discard the fat. Set the meat aside.
  • Wipe down the pot briefly to remove any excess fat, but don’t clean it. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion along with a pinch of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute while stirring.
  • Return the meat to the pan. Add the tomato paste, crushed and diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, and brown sugar, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar to let steam escape. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 60-90 minutes (longer will give the flavors more time to mingle, but 60 minutes will do the trick).
  • Stir in the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes if using. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
  • Serve over freshly cooked pasta (I like topping with some sliced basil and freshly grated parmesan).
  • Sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 929mg | Potassium: 417mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 2.2mg