The most delicious Italian Meat Sauce that’s so incredible, it can be eaten right out of the pan. Use it on top of your favorite pasta, in lasagna, or spaghetti squash or zoodles. It’s thick, rich, flavorful and it’s made from scratch. You’re gonna love this meat sauce.
Have you ever bought a jar of meat sauce? Come on! You’re better than that. When was that made and what kind of meat exactly is in that jar? Well, I have a sauce recipe that will rock your world and will make you never want to buy it again. The only problem with this sauce is that it’s hard to not eat it all right out of the pan!
You can make this with all ground hamburger or half ground beef and half ground veal which is the way my Uncle Tony made it. I’ll be honest, I use ground beef that’s at least 85% lean and 15% fat. I can tell you either way will taste delicious.
The trick to making this tasty meat sauce is to cook the onions until they’re soft, sweet and translucent, which should take about 8 minutes to get them to this consistency. I prefer using sweet onions when I cook, such as Vidalias.
After the onions are sautéed, the garlic is added and stirred until they’re fragrant. More garlic is added in granulated form to add extra flavor because we LOVE garlic.
The beef and veal (regardless of the meat you choose) are cooked until browned. I’ve found different grades of meat release more liquid than say Angus beef. You may mistake it for fat when it’s actually water in the pan. If you’re using 85% or 90% lean and liquid starts to pool in the pan, it’s probably water. Just cook that off.
Next I use three different types of tomatoes; each having their own purpose. The ground peeled tomatoes gives you some texture, while the puree and tomato paste make the sauce both thicker and richer.
You have enough sauce for lasagna or for a couple meals of your favorite pasta with Italian meat sauce. Any leftovers can be frozen and you have another great meal for another day.
Tools you’ll need to make this delicious Italian meat sauce:
For more delicious sauces try:
- The Most Delicious Mustard Sauce Ever
- Simple Authentic Chimichurri
- Perfect Italian Pesto
- Peruvian Pesto
- Spinach Pesto
- Quick BBQ Sauce
- Alabama White BBQ Sauce
- Quick Tomato Sauce
Life is too short for mediocre food. Mangia!
This post contains affiliate links for the products I use in my kitchen.
Italian Meat SaucePrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion diced
- 2 pounds at least 85% lean ground beef or 1 pound each of ground beef and ground veal
- 4 – 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28 ounce) can ground peeled tomatoes
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil or it can be torn
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until translucent. This should take 5 – 8 minutes. The longer you cook the onions, the sweeter they become.
- Add garlic and cook just until fragrant.
- Add the beef and veal (if using) and cook until it’s browned. I use lean meat which means there's little fat left in the pan. I don’t bother draining it. If you find a lot of fat you can remove it using a turkey baster or skim it off the top later. Don’t mistake water for fat. I’ve found lesser grades of meat release more liquid than say Angus. If that’s the case, cook and stir a few minutes and it will evaporate.
- Sprinkle in the granulated garlic, salt and pepper and stir.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it loses its bright red color.
- Add the ground peeled tomatoes and the tomato puree, sugar and basil.
- Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened about 1 hour. Taste and adjust for more salt and pepper.