Go Back
+ servings
brown bowl of spaghetti noodles with easy homemade sauce on top, garnished with basil and parmesan.
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Easy Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 494kcal
Author: Karen


For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed and minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage bulk (or remove casings)
  • 28 ounce can marinara sauce I like Rao's sauce, but any brand will do
  • 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Beef Base

To serve:

  • 1 pound dry spaghetti noodles
  • water to boil
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt to season water
  • fresh basil or parsley to garnish (optional)
  • parmesan cheese grated (optional)


  • In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 chopped onion and all the spices: 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  • Saute the onions and spices for about 5 minutes, until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  • Smash, peel, and mince 6 cloves of garlic. It should be 1-2 tablespoons. You can use pre chopped garlic from a jar for this recipe, if you need to make life easier (I do this probably half the time.)
  • Add the garlic to the pan with the onions, adding a bit more oil first if the pan is getting dry. You don't want scorched garlic. Saute for about 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add 1 pound Italian sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes until the sausage is fully cooked. (At this point, you can drain some of the grease if it is looking really fatty, but I usually don't if there is a moderate amount. Fat=flavor.)
  • Add the 28 ounce can of marinara sauce and a 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (or petite diced tomatoes works fine, don't drain, just dump it all in.) Turn the heat up to medium high to bring to a simmer.
  • Add 1 cup water to your empty jar of sauce and shake it around to clean the jar. Then pour the water into the can to clean that too. Then add it to the spaghetti sauce.
  • Add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and and 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Beef Base.
  • Once the sauce starts to bubble, lower the heat to medium or medium low, enough heat to keep a low simmer going. Continue simmering for about 10-30 minutes, whatever you have time for.
  • The longer you cook, the thicker your sauce will become as liquid is cooked off. Add water (1/4 cup at a time) every half hour or so if you want to simmer longer. The longer you cook, the more flavorful your sauce will become! But it is also super delicious with just a 10 minute simmer. That's what I usually have time for!

To serve:

  • About 10 minutes before you want to eat, make your spaghetti. In a different large pot, add a few quarts of water. Add salt until it tastes like the ocean (taste it!) I usually do about 2 tablespoons. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then add 16 ounces dry spaghetti noodles, and stir well. Stir every little while to make sure the noodles aren't sticking, for about 8-9 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Don't over cook it!
  • Drain the pasta and toss with a little olive oil. Plate the pasta and top with the spaghetti sauce. Garnish with fresh basil or parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. (You can also add the pasta right into the pot with the sauce if you want to serve it mixed. I usually let guests (my children😂) choose their own sauce amount.)
  • Serve this with One Hour French Bread! Or bread from the store, toasted with lots of butter and sprinkled with salt and garlic powder. Yum! One more serving suggestion: a Caesar salad kit, from Costco preferably. The perfect easy meal!

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Follow recipe as stated through cooking the sausage. Add all the onions and sausage to a crock pot, along with the rest of the ingredients (marinara sauce, can of tomatoes, water, balsamic vinegar, beef base) stir, and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5-7 hours as needed. Cook the noodles in a pot on the stove when ready to serve.


Nutrition facts info includes the pasta :) But NOT the 4 slices of garlic bread you may or may not eat, I can't be responsible for that bro. 


Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 3000mg | Potassium: 770mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 572IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 3mg