Hearty Spaghetti Sauce

I love the Italian heritage that runs in my family and the immense flavors for delicious simple spaghetti sauce. It is perfect for a cozy fall night and a great means of concealing a lot of extra veggies in one place. Plus when you throw it all in the slow cooker or stove top and allow it to slowly simmer all day, the flavors mesh in amazing ways leaving you with a rich satisfying meal. You can add zucchini and carrots discreetly by simply finely chopping them before adding. I usually use a pound of ground beef or half ground beef and half sausage for a tasty addition. This last week I used stew meat and it was good. This is a family recipe that has been passed down through the years. You can’t go wrong.


1 onion, chopped
1 green or red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 carrots, finely chopped (for disguise purposes)
1 zucchini, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tablespoons oil
1-2 pounds ground beef, pork roast, italian sausage, stew meat, meatballs (your choice!)
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz) or 1 quart of homemade canned tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1/4 cup dried parsley
1 Tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-2 Tablespoons natural sweetener (honey, xylitol, rapadura), for balancing of flavors
2-3 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
Parmesan cheese, topping (optional)
16 oz package of spaghetti noodles (we love brown rice and quinoa noodles! Tip: wash in cold water to prevent sticky noodles!)


1. Saute onion, pepper, carrots, celery, and zucchini in oil until soft.
2. Add meat and cook until no longer pink.
3. Add remaining ingredients.
4. Cover and simmer for several hours, or transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally. If you use slow cooker, add more thickener as needed.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

20 Responses to Hearty Spaghetti Sauce

  1. Tammy November 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    I have found that by adding raw vegetables and garlic to water in my Vitamix (could use any blender, I think) on CHOP does an excellent job of “disguising” all those good vegies for my spagetti sauce; I cook the meat with Italian seasonings, add the blender contents to the pot, and simmer until done (it looks like soup instead of sauce). Then I add tomato PASTE until it’s the tomato-y thickness that I want, taste it and add more seasoning (salt, pepper, a touch of brown sugar), and olive oil. It’s fantastic! My favorite vegies are onions, garlic, peppers, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and zucchini. It’s so quick to make that I start it the same time I start the pot for pasta, and they’re usually done at the same time. All of my kids will eat it.

  2. Chelsea October 24, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    YUM! This sounds great, thanks! Been looking for a reliable recipe that I can keep in my back pocket, so I’ll definitely be trying this one out. :)

  3. Monica October 16, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    This is worth trying, especially since I can hide the vegetables in it. Very simple to make and seems tasty. Thank you for sharing! ;0)

  4. M October 14, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Yum! I’m going to try this with ground turkey! But I only have fresh parsley, not dried; how much should I use? And can you confirm the sauce it freezes well? I think I may use the food processor to mince the veges too, thoughts?

  5. Jamie D October 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    Lindsay, am I the only one noticing that this is posted under “news & giveaways”? I wasn’t going to say anything, but I’m afraid that when I want to find it later I won’t be able to if I click on “recipes & kitchen tips”! :)

    I’m planning to add mushrooms to mine!

    • Lindsay October 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Ha! My computer does weird things sometimes. Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, mushrooms is another good addition!

  6. Tina b October 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Thanks SO much for posting this! I have tons of tomatos and sauce canned from this sunmer’s tomato bounty. Can’t wait to use them in this!!!

  7. Rebecca October 10, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Mmmmm, this looks amazing. I love homemade spaghetti sauces.

    Rebecca, {My Nail Strengthener Blog}

  8. Kara October 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    This came at the perfect time :) I spent the last 2 days consolidating all my recipes to do menu planning, and realized I didn’t actually have a spaghetti sauce “recipe” I look foreword to trying it!

  9. Rebecca October 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    I made this today and it was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.:)

  10. Katie@ Mexican Wildflower October 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I like to bake my sauce in a dutch oven on 250 for about 6 hours. So amazing and you don’t have to worry about a pot bubbling over. I’ll have to try the tip for adding veggies next time.

    • Cath October 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      Totally agree with Katie. The longer it is cooked the better it is. Even better if left to cool and then reheated the next day.

      We add a cup of milk to ours and let it come to the boil after browning the meat and veg but before adding the tomatoes and that makes it super nice.

      I usually make double and have portions frozen for emergency dinners too.

      Thanks for sharing:-)

  11. Wanderdust October 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    I’d love it if you will add more healthy crockpot recipes now and again. I now have a crockpot and use it once a week, and would love for some recipes with meat (such as a roast in a crockpot). and making stews with beans and veggies is fairly simple, but I worry about meat burning even if I cook it all day on low with a little water. Experience?

    • Katie@ Mexican Wildflower October 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Lindsay had a nourishing crock pot carnval a few years ago. I’m sure you could find lots of ideas there.


    • Lindsay October 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      My goal this winter is to share one new crockpot recipe each month because I use mine frequently for convenience. I’ve adapted many of my recipes to make in the crock pot.

  12. Katy October 9, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Thanks for another great recipe! I have a question about the brown rice noodles. I have only ever used them effectively for something like macaroni and cheese, where they are re-baked after rinsing. How do you prevent the spaghetti from sticking together in the pot; and from getting cold when you rinse it in cold water? Thanks again for all your amazing work!

    • Lindsay October 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      When I top them with spaghetti sauce they heat right back up and you don’t even notice that they were rinsed with cold water. It works!

  13. Becci October 9, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Lindsay, I love adding extra veggies to my spaghetti sauce. It’s really good! Sometimes I will add a pinch of curry powder to the sauce as well. My husband likes spice, so I also add a dash of crushed red pepper. Love the idea of a pinch of cinnamon, too!

  14. Jeannie October 9, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    We add a pinch of cinnamon to ours – it adds a different flavor and we really like it too!

  15. Emily October 9, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    My mother in law used to make a delicious homemade spaghetti sauce. I need to be sure and get it so that I can continue the family tradition. Some family recipes make you feel like you are home.