Nana's spaghetti sauce is thick, meaty, and hearty, and I love to make a big batch and stock my freezer with it!

Nana’s Spaghetti Sauce.

  • Author: Bet
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups


  • 1.5-2 lbs ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes (or more crushed if you prefer a less-chunky sauce)
  • 15-16 oz canned tomato sauce
  • 12 oz canned tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you want some heat!)


  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the ground beef and let it brown, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Remove it to a bowl and add the rest of the meat. After a minute of letting it begin to brown, add the onions and garlic, stirring and breaking up the meat until it is cooked through. Drain the fat if needed (I use lean beef and don’t find this necessary), and add the first half of the meat back to the pot.
  2. Add canned tomatoes and seasonings. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 1-1.5 hours, stirring occasionally (a piece of foil wrapped around the top of your pot is a helpful splatter-guard). It can stick and burn on the bottom if it’s turned up too high or you don’t stir enough, so err on the side of keeping the temperature low!


This recipe is from my Nana, who also brought us potato soup!

I typically divide the sauce into thirds and freeze two containers (so each time we eat it, it’s enough to feed our family for dinner plus leftovers for lunches).