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This quick and simple Homemade Meat Sauce recipe is an absolute staple! It is healthy, quick and always a hit! There are so many ways to use it, too! Serve it over zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or make it classic by serving it over pasta! It’s quick enough to make on a weeknight but also works well as meal prep.

A homemade meat sauce in a pot.Homemade Meat Sauce Recipe

This easy Italian meat sauce recipe is my probably my all-time favorite pasta sauce recipe! It’s an easy homemade meat sauce recipe that is hearty and flavorful, and perfect for a weeknight meal. It’s versatile and customizable. Make it with ground turkey or ground beef, and then let it cook nice and slow! It’s gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, Whole30 compliant, and so yummy! Serve it over pasta, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash!

How do you make meat sauce
Healthy Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients

  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic + Onion + Carrots
  • Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • Canned Tomato Sauce
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Red Pepper Flakes + Salt
  • Fresh Basil

How to Make It

There is nothing complicated here! While we are all about letting a sauce simmer all day on the stove, this recipe focuses on making a quick and healthy meat sauce. To make it, start by:

  1. Heating the oil and cook the garlic. Then add in the onions and carrots and cook until they are softened.
  2. Add the meat to the pot and let it cook until no pink remains.
  3. Then add in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, spices, and fresh basil to the pan and mix well.
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. The longer you can let simmer, the better, but 15 minutes will do just fine! Taste and adjust spices as desired and then remove from heat.

How to Serve It

The options are endless here! Make it classic by serving over pasta. Use it in a Baked Ziti recipe, or in Lasagna. Serve it over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti squash with homemade meat sauce.

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Lexi's Meat Sauce

5 from 3 votes
Servings 6
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 large organic carrot stalks chopped
  • 1 lb. organic grass-fed beef or ground turkey
  • 1 15 oz. can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can organic tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil more for garnish
  • Optional: Serve with fresh parmesan
  • Optional: Garnish with fresh Basil


  • In a medium sized saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add onion, carrots, and peppers to saucepan. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until onions are translucent and the carrots begin to soften.
  • Add meat to saucepan and let cook until brown and no pink remains.
  • Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, spices, and 1 tablespoon fresh basil to the pan and mix well.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and remove from heat.
  • In a large skillet, heat remaining tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in zucchini noodles and red pepper flakes and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.


Calories: 331kcalCarbohydrates: 18.2gProtein: 34.2gFat: 16.4gSaturated Fat: 2.6gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 722mgFiber: 4.8gSugar: 11.2g

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this sauce! Easy to adjust seasonings for personal preference and a perfect meal prep recipe in our house!

  2. I made this in my Instant Pot and was asked to leave a comment regarding how I did so. I used the Saute function to follow the directions and then let it simmer on Saute for roughly 10 minutes. Since I decided to cook my pasta in the pot (I used regular old pasta noodles-no gluten-free), I added a bit of water and my noodles, making sure to press the noodles down into the sauce. I did high pressure for 5 minutes.

    The only change I will make next time I do this in the Instant Pot is to add more water, probably close to a cup, because my sauce became very “dry” for lack of better terminology. But it was still very good!

  3. I LOVE this sauce! Whenever I make it, people think I actually have culinary skills 😉 I add chopped green pepper right after the meat for a bit of extra veggies!

  4. Hi just a quick question, how many servings is this recipe. I am always looking to make stuff in bulk as i don’t have time during the week to really cook and this looks amazing. Thank you for all your awesome recipes. It makes my life so much easier.