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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce is so full of flavor and it’s easy to make it in large batches for freezing or canning for easy homemade meals that are prepared ahead. 

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce ladled from a pot

My family loves it when I make homemade spaghetti sauce. Whenever I make it, I make a huge double or triple batch so that I can easily freeze the leftovers. Spaghetti and meatballs is such a family favorite, I almost always have frozen spaghetti sauce and meatballs in my freezer. It makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal and let me tell you, it’s pretty amazing.

FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS: It’s really easy to freeze leftovers of this sauce for future use. Simply let the sauce cool and then ladle it into gallon sized ziploc bags. My family of four requires four scoops so I only ladle four scoops into each of my bags. If you pay attention to how much your family eats, you can estimate what you’ll need pretty closely. Then I lay all of the bags on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer. Once they are frozen solid, I can rearrange them in my freezer however they fit best. When you are ready to eat, simply thaw and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce served over a plate of spaghetti, garnished with a sprig of fresh basil

How do you make a good spaghetti sauce?

The best spaghetti sauce is made using San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzano is a variety of plum tomatoes. These tomatoes have a stronger flavor and are sweeter and less acidic. You can find canned San Marzano tomatoes at your grocery store. The label should make it very obvious that the tomatoes are this variety.

How do you make spaghetti sauce from scratch?

If you want to make spaghetti sauce completely from scratch using whole tomatoes rather than canned, you’ll need to peel your tomatoes and remove the stems. The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to blanch them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes and then immediately place them into an ice bath. The skins can then be easily removed.


What is the difference between marinara and spaghetti sauce?

Marinara and spaghetti sauce are slightly different things. Both are tomato based sauces. Marinara has very simple additional flavorings added to it like garlic, salt, and basil. Spaghetti sauce usually has additional ingredients and spices like onion, fennel, parsley, and oregano.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce served over a plate of spaghetti, garnished with a sprig of fresh basil

PRO TIP: Simmering a spaghetti sauce for a long time allows it to develop a lot of flavor. This recipe calls for 1-4 hours of simmering. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving it on the stove, simply transfer it all to a slow cooker and let it do all the simmering. Place it on high for 4-5 hours and you’ll have a well developed spaghetti sauce.

I serve this spaghetti sauce up with my Homemade Baked Meatballs. These meatballs are full of flavor and make the perfect companion to this sauce. They also freeze quite well so you can have a complete, from scratch homemade freezer meal waiting for those hectic nights.

Watch the video below where I walk you through every step of this recipe. You can find my full collection of video recipes on YouTube or right here on my website with their corresponding recipes.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce ladled from a pot
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce is so full of flavor and it's easy to make it in large batches for freezing or canning for easy homemade meals that are prepared ahead.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion minced
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Heat a large pot on the stove over medium high heat. Add in olive oil and saute onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add in 5 cloves and saute another 30-60 seconds.
  • Pour in chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, fennel, oregano, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley. Bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1-4 hours. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until the desired consistency is achieved, leaving it slightly chunky, or making it completely smooth.
This recipe can be used in canning.
For easy long term storage, cool and then place into several gallon sized resealable freezer bags. Lay flat on a pan and place in the freezer until solid. Thaw and reheat in the microwave or on the stove to serve.


Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 74mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 5.5mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 0.6mg
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Spaghetti Sauce
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March 23, 2020 4:57 pm

My favorite sauce recipe! I made meatballs and just cook them directly in the sauce for extra flavor.

April 7, 2020 8:15 am
Reply to  Tracy

That’s what I’m making for tonight’s dinner. Can’t wait

Annette Peebles
March 2, 2020 5:57 pm

This was delicious!! It was so easy to make. I added ground beef to mine and put half of it in the freezer.
I fixed mine up this morning and let it cook in the crock pot on low all day.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

February 23, 2020 2:23 pm

I added about a 1/4 cup of red wine, hamburger meat, meatballs and pepperoni. Had to double receipe as it didnt seem like enough for dinner and to freeze

August 14, 2020 8:13 am

5 stars
I decided last minute to do this one evening so I didn’t have the 4 hours to simmer. I found an instant pot time conversion online and made in my instant pot. Sautéed the ingredients as directed and when it said to “simmer” I put on high pressure for 12 minutes. AHHHMAZING quick and easy. Made with GF noodles and GF meatballs for our food allergy family.

September 11, 2020 1:35 pm
Reply to  Ashley

Thank you for the conversion to IP time!! You rock!!!

November 12, 2020 3:55 pm
Reply to  Ashley

Was just asking if you could use an instant pot! Ty!!

March 17, 2020 6:28 pm

5 stars
I’ll never buy jars of sauce again! This was sooooo good! Rich, thick, and flavorful.

August 21, 2020 4:11 pm

5 stars
I found the spices really worked well together. I added sautéed peppers and celery as well.

Robert DeCuir
June 3, 2020 8:52 am

4 stars
Made the spaghetti sauce in a crock pot and left to simmer for 8 hours. I must admit this is the first time I have ever made this type of sauce without hamburger and sausage mixed in to start with the flavor turning out very well. Oh I did leave out the chicken stock. Nice and thick end result! A keeper!

Jeff Guarino
May 2, 2020 5:14 am

5 stars
This was my first ever attempt at homemade spaghetti sauce. It was easy to make and delicious. My kids didn’t love it as much. I believe because the flavors were so intense compared to sauce from a jar. I really enjoyed the process and how fresh it was. I do tend to like marinara a bit more but this was fantastic.

rosemary a schoemer
March 28, 2020 3:38 pm

For a little extra flavor I add a beef bone.

August 8, 2020 2:08 am

Rachel, Have you ever combined or substituted between this recipe and your fire roasted one? Using the spices from this recipe using the grill blackened tomatoes from fire roasted recipe. Adjusting the ingredients volume for the larger amount of tomatoes. Roughly adding 50% ? Keeping roasted garlic volume from fire roasted recipe. Looking at both recipes I know I would have had to try it so I figured you might have. If so anything conkers about flavor,how it turned out, tweaks? I really love roasted garlic and fresh sweet basil in many of my tomato based recipes but also oregano… Read more »

October 1, 2020 10:39 pm
Reply to  Tim

Miss post

August 7, 2020 9:05 am

I use the almost the same recipe I leave out the fennel..
So Delicious 😋
I am a huge fan.
THANKS for sharing your fabulous recipes..

Carly Perez
March 21, 2020 4:43 pm

5 stars
Loved this recipe. So easy and delicious. Glad I took the chance and doubled it.

December 10, 2019 9:20 pm

5 stars
This spaghetti sauce recipe is delicious! The instructions were really easy to follow. Thank you Rachel for sharing =)

May 4, 2018 10:17 am

No water, just all these ingredients and simmer 4 hours?

August 13, 2020 2:20 pm

This sauce is absolutely amazing and full of flavor loved it very much

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