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side close up shot of meat sauce in a braiser with a wooden spoon in it and garnished with parsley
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4.44 from 62 votes

The Best Meat Sauce

This is the Best Meat Sauce recipe! Never go back to a store-bought jar again. Once you discover how simple it is to make your own and how much better it tastes, your pasta making world will never be the same! Chop, sauté, simmer, and you'll be rewarded with incredible, rich, deep, homemade flavors.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dinner, Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: meat sauce, meat sauce recipe
Servings: 12
Calories: 173kcal


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 28 ounce crushed tomatoes (1 can)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 3 minutes, breaking it as you go, until no longer pink.
  • Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for another 3 minutes until the onion softens. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, pepper, and red wine. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the wine cooked off.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and bay leaves to the pot, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium-low. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. If your sauce is too thick add some of the beef or chicken broth to thin it out, or even pasta water.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Garnish with fresh parsley or basil and serve over pasta and garnished with Parmesan cheese.


  1. If you find that your meat sauce is too thick, feel free to add a bit of beef or chicken broth to it to thin it out to your desired consistency.
  2. Nutritional information does not include pasta or parmesan cheese.
  3. Once fully cooled down to room temperature, transfer leftovers to an airtight container. They will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat in the microwave, stirring the sauce every 30 seconds or so.
  4. Your homemade meat sauce will last 4-6 months frozen. Make sure it's fully cooled down to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container and storing in the freezer.


Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 372mg | Potassium: 611mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 529IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg