Grandma Carol’s Spaghetti Sauce

This is the only ground beef spaghetti sauce recipe I will probably ever make.  In my opinion, it is absolutely the best!  I was raised with it, and my children will be raised with it too.  Family recipes hold a very special place in my heart, and have a big stronghold on my tastes!


This sauce is very good right away, but I think it tastes even better the next day.  When I make it, I always hope there are leftovers that I can enjoy the next day for lunch!

Spaghetti sauce is so easy to put together, and tastes so much better than anything you can buy from the grocery store.  Do you have 30 minutes?  Then you’ve got time to make your own sauce!  Make the meal even more special by serving it with soft breadsticks or garlic bread.

The Lineup

Begin by browning the ground beef.  Once it’s all cooked, drain off the fat and return it to the pan.

Add the sauce, sugar, and spices and give it a good stir.

Put it Together

Bring it to a bubble, then turn it down and let it simmer with the lid off for at least 15 minutes.  If you leave the lid on, the sauce will get watery because the extra water from the tomato sauce will have nowhere to go.  If you leave the lid off, you will end up with a thick, flavorful sauce!

Stirred Up

Simmered Down

While it’s simmering, cook your pasta according to the package directions.  As soon as the pasta is done and drained, you’re ready to eat!

Grandma Carol’s Spaghetti Sauce

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 pound ground beef
2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 3/4 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Brown ground beef; drain. Add remaining ingredients and simmer all at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot over cooked spaghetti.

13 thoughts on “Grandma Carol’s Spaghetti Sauce”

  1. I like to cut up a carrot, celery, onion and green pepper if I have them and cook along with the ground beef. Anywhere I can get in a few more veggies. Plus, by adding the extra veggies it makes more sauce to go around.

  2. When you put any kind of ground meat in a red sauce, it becomes “Bolognese”. This is NOT a typical Italian grandmothers Sunday gravy.

    1. Hi Dee Bee! Thanks for letting me know. Being that no one in our family is of Italian descent (and I’m just a self-trained home cook!), I know it’s not an authentic Italian sauce. It’s just a special recipe to me because it’s from my grandmother. I’m sure you have some family recipes you love, too!

  3. I love this recipe. I added a few things though. I add some white wine while cooking the onions and use fresh garlic as well as a little pork sausage. Yummy

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