This meatless Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe is a great basic sauce that you can use as a starting point to create your own unique sauces and recipes. This recipe is simple, easy and healthy!
Even though I am not Italian I grew up on Long Island, New York which is made up of over 26% Italians according to the all so knowledgeable Google. I spent a lot of time at friends houses and of course eating my fair share of pizza and pasta.
While I loved eating at their houses and truly appreciated the love that went into the making of their families sauces, I, however, do not have that same ambition so I created a delicious meatless sauce of my own which is done in under 2 hours.
You can certainly ADD ground beef to this in Step #1, however we do not, simply because we prefer to serve it with meatballs, and OF COURSE, New York Style Garlic Knots!
How to Make Meatless Spaghetti Sauce
- ANY great sauce begins with a really good quality olive oil. I purchase mine locally from The Olive Oil Company and I use a FULL-BODIED one for sauces.
- Sauté lots of onions and garlic (in your full bodied oil) until soft and translucent.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes (you can use whole if you wish). Tomatoes need salt and sugar to help bring the flavors out. I also take this opportunity to throw in any old parmesan cheese rinds that I have and a bay leaf.
- Let is simmer for 90 minutes – stirring every so often.
- Puree it using an emulsion blender.
- The final step is to add tomato paste, fresh herbs and black pepper. Give it a taste and add more salt or sugar if needed and again, let it simmer for another 30 minutes – and that’s it!
Is There a difference between Marinara and Spaghetti Sauce?
- Yes. Marinara can be considered a type of spaghetti sauce, but spaghetti sauce can not be considered marinara.
- Marinara sauce uses tomatoes, garlic, salt, onions, but it never contains meat or cheese. Once you add meat it then becomes a Bolognese or Spaghetti sauce.
So why is your sauce called ‘spaghetti sauce’?
- Marinara Sauce does not start with sautéing onions and garlic. Marinara is a quicker prepping process. All you need to do is simmer the ingredients with the tomato sauce. Marinara sauce is great for pizza.
- Spaghetti sauce, on the other hand, is made with sautéed onions and garlic and requires a much longer cooking time to combine the flavors.
What makes a great sauce?
- Tip #1 – Get Good Tomatoes. This is KEY for making a good sauce. San Marzano are the best tasting tomatoes on the market.
- Tip #2 – Use Fresh Herbs. Another component to a fresh tasting sauce are the herbs, especially basil. Tossing in strips of basil, a sprig of thyme or some oregano can take your sauce to the next level.
- Tip #3 – Use a Parmesan Rind – you know that hard part at the end of the parmesan block? That’s the rind. They can be frozen and used in soups and sauces. They add great flavor.
- Tip #4 – Time. A good sauce takes time. Lucky for us, this meatless spaghetti sauce is done in 2 hours.
Can you freeze spaghetti sauce?
- You can ABSOLUTELY freeze spaghetti sauce.
We hope you give our family recipe a try and please be sure to let others know what you think in the comments below.
Simple Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
A few staple pantry ingredients and some spices is all it takes to make a great classic meatless spaghetti sauce!
- ¾ – 1 Cup Onion, diced
- 5 Large Cloves Garlic, minced
- ¼ Cup Good Quality Olive Oil
- (2) 28 oz Cans Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 6 oz Can Tomato Paste
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- ½ tsp Fresh Black Pepper
- Parmesan Rind
- In a large stockpot saute the onion in olive oil over low/medium heat until translucent. You don’t want the onion to brown so keep the heat on low and stir often. Season with salt to help the onion sweat. You can also add a sprinkle of sugar as well. Add the garlic and stir another minute.
- Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar, bay leaf and rind.
- Partially cover and simmer for 90 min stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaf and rind and using a hand emulsifier, emulsify the sauce until smooth.
- Stir in tomato paste, basil, parsley and pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary
- Simmer for another 30 min
You can make this a meat sauce by simply browning 1 lb of ground beef (turkey or sausage) with the onion and garlic, then continue with recipe as stated in Step 2.
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Very nice flavor super simple and easy to make yet so smooth best sauce i have ever tasted 5 stars
Great recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. Easy, simple and delicious.
This is the most amazing marinara sauce– Easy and it freezes well too. I will not add sugar next time. I put in 1 Tablespoon for a double batch and I think that was too much, but that is for my taste. Thanks again for this amazing sauce– Did I mention that it is the Bomb Diggity? YUMMMMMMMY
Hi Stormi! Thanks so much for the great review. This is my tried and true spaghetti sauce. Now the Sept is right around the corner I will be making it weekly. LOL
My forever go to recipe! This spaghetti sauce comes out perfect every single time. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Can I use this as a marinara sauce for your ziti recipe – how many cups does this make ?
Yes this is the sauce I use. It does need to be watered down just a tad though. Thanks for your question!
Looks like a delicious recipe! About how many people will it serve?
I’ve never counted Lisa but every time I make it it serves my family of 4, leftovers always end up being meatballs subs (so I use a little of the sauce) and then I freeze what’s left and it makes another batch. So all in all, I would say at least 8. It also depends on if you are going to simmer meatballs in it, that soaks a little of it up or it you add ground beef/pork for a meat sauce.