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One of our favorite staple meals is spaghetti. I think the best tasting spaghetti sauce comes from fresh tomatoes, garlic and herbs. There is something gratifying about making spaghetti sauce from scratch that elevates the flavor. Plus the aromatics that results from cooking with fresh ingredients certainly helps the overall experience. Your house will feel warm, fragrant and inviting, much like an Italian restaurant.
Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch
Spaghetti can be a delicious and simple meal to make, even if you do make it with jarred tomatoes from the store. But nothing beats the delicious taste of spaghetti sauce from scratch that is made with fresh, homegrown tomatoes.
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Tips for Making the Best Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch
- If you like a chunkier sauce, you can serve it as is and toss it with fresh pasta. If you like a smooth sauce, simply pour the mix into a blender and blend until smooth. As you can see in the pictures here, we prefer a smooth sauce so I placed it in the blender and pulsed it for a few seconds. BE CAREFUL. The sauce will be very hot.
- This spaghetti sauce from scratch will have a bolder, more flavorful taste than it’s store-bought counterpart, especially if you used homegrown tomatoes. You could also use Home Canned Tomatoes in this recipe if you don’t have fresh on hand in the winter. Either is a better option than canned tomato paste or tomato sauce from the store.
- If your family needs meat in the meal, simply cook up a pound of ground beef or turkey and add it into the sauce while it’s cooking on the stove. This will help to make a hearty meal that the whole family will enjoy!
- For an extra special kick of flavor to this sauce, add in a handful of Sun Dried Tomatoes. SO good!
- The longer you simmer this sauce, the more flavor it will have. If you have time, let it cook a while longer.
What’s the difference between marinara sauce, spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce?
While all of these sauces are similar and tomato based, they differ in a few ways. A marinara sauce is generally less complex and uses fewer herbs. Spaghetti Sauce is just like you see here, it can contain meat and is typically simmered for a while to help the flavors come together. A pizza sauce is made with a slightly different set of herbs and is used for topping a pizza but isn’t the star of the dish. Here’s our favorite Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe.
What do you serve with Spaghetti?
Here are some yummy sides to round out this meal!
- Make Ahead Breadsticks
- Fresh Green Bean Recipes
- Make Ahead Meatballs
- Salad with a Basic Salad Dressing
- Cheesy French Bread
Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch Recipe
Makes 4 servings
What You Need:
- 3 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, diced
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
If you do not have fresh herbs or cannot find any that look good at the store, dried herbs will work just fine. Just be sure to use about half of the amount that is recommended for fresh herbs in your sauce.
Remove the cores and roughly dice the tomatoes. I love using my Tomato Slicer for jobs like this! It makes quick work of any tomato or soft produce dicing. You don’t need to peel the tomatoes unless you absolutely want to.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, thyme and basil, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to let the spices permeate the flavor of the dish. Using a spatula, periodically press down on the tomatoes to help break them down. Add salt and pepper to taste.
15 minutes before serving, warm up your salted water and cook the pasta or spaghetti noodles according to package directions.
How to Preserve Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch
- Freeze this sauce by placing the portion your family uses for one meal in a freezer bag or freezer container. I love these!
- You can preserve this recipe by canning. Since it does not contain extra acid and is mostly tomatoes, you will need to add that first (vinegar or lemon juice, see the amounts per size of jar here). After adding the acid you can pressure can the sauce. Here are the guidelines for pressure canning spaghetti sauce without meat.
Need to print the Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch recipe? Get the printable version below:
Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch
- 3 pounds Tomatoes
- 1/8 cup Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion diced
- 6 cloves Garlic diced
- 3 tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped optional
- 1/4 cup Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Remove the cores and roughly dice the tomatoes.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, thyme and basil, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Using a spatula, periodically press down on the tomatoes to help break them down. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the sauce from heat and blend. BE CAREFUL, sauce will be very hot. Can use an immersion blender. Return the sauce to the pan on a low heat.
15 minutes before serving, warm up water and cook the pasta according to package directions.
Strain the pasta and place sauce on top. Serve warm and enjoy!
This sauce has a fresh, rich flavor that stands up on its own with pasta. It also pairs nicely with cooked ground beef or sausage, if your family likes a meat sauce.
To round out a full meal, we like to serve our Spaghetti Sauce and pasta with a salad and some olives.
Short on time? Try this Quick Spaghetti Sauce Recipe.
If you need more help with planning frugal, from-scratch meals for your family? Check out my ebook Meal Planning Made Simple to learn how to make the best meal plan for your family and lifestyle.
Some other homemade sauce recipes you might enjoy!
- Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe
- Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe
- Homemade Worcestershire Sauce Recipe
- Homemade Soy Sauce Recipe
- Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe
Have you ever made spaghetti sauce from scratch? What do you like to put spaghetti sauce on besides pasta?
This Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch recipe was originally posted on Little House Living in September 2013. It has been updated as of August 2022.