Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you're serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2010


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.

  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.

  • Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to high. Stir in tomatoes and cook until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt.

  • Serve the sauce over the pasta, sprinkled with cheese.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts

389 calories; protein 27.2g 54% DV; carbohydrates 53.8g 17% DV; exchange other carbs 3.5; dietary fiber 9.4g 38% DV; sugars 7.8g; fat 9g 14% DV; saturated fat 3.1g 16% DV; cholesterol 47.7mg 16% DV; vitamin a iu 1946.5IU 39% DV; vitamin c 14.2mg 24% DV; folate 55.5mcg 14% DV; calcium 119.7mg 12% DV; iron 5.1mg 28% DV; magnesium 119.9mg 43% DV; potassium 711.3mg 20% DV; sodium 483.6mg 19% DV; thiamin 0.4mg 37% DV.

Reviews (15)

Read More Reviews
15 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
I made this last night. I didn't have parsley onion or carrots but I added coarsely chopped bell peppers (all colors) onion powder black pepper and mushrooms. I was very surprised at the consistency of it. I didn't drain the meat but I will next time. It was good but we refrigerated it to use tonight - I'm betting it will taste even better after sitting for 24 hours. Thank you! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
As with the first time making a recipe I try to follow as close as possible. The only thing I did different was added a little black pepper to meat and drained the fat from the meat once cooked. This just didn t have a very good flavor at all. My family loves spaghetti but they wouldn t hardly eat this. I m sad because the reviews were pretty good......but I won t add this to my recipe box at all. Yuck! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Followed this recipe pretty much to a T. Husband liked it. Toddler loved it. I liked how it even hid some veggies in there. I just needed a bigger skillet for the sauce as it was almost too much. A tiny bit more time consuming than my typical spaghetti meat and sauce but worth it. The Italian seasoning was the main flavor. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great meal We thought it was great added red bell peppers to it and used ground chicken instead of beef. Definitely will be making it more often. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
My substitution of ingredients I substituted some pork sausage for some of the ground beef. and a bell pepper for the carrots. Also added some of my spices and a little red pepper to jazz it up a little. Will do this one again. Pros: added flavor Cons: spices needed Read More
Rating: 5 stars
DELICIOUS! This meal is delicious! I made the sauce exactly as the recipe calls for except I used salt-free Mrs. Dash table blend instead of salt to cut back on sodium. I used Hunt's no salt added tomatoes. I picked the perfect wheat pasta - Healthy Harvest. It was quick and easy to make perfect for a weeknight. And with a salad perfect for company! Pros: Healthier than a jar health wheat pasta easy to make Cons: NULL Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Not for us Ate a serving..husband ate one bite refused more. Lots left over so I will turn it into chili. Pros: Healthier than a jar Cons: Not very good Read More
Rating: 5 stars
make it even more healthy! Every time I use ground beef to cook I always cook it first and then drain the fat out of it (even though I buy 93% lean)! I did that with the recipe as well and it was just as good! I simmered it a little longer towards the end so the flavors had more time to mix! Yummy! Pros: easy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious Easy and Extra Veggies! I love this recipe! I've been using this one for a few months now and people keep telling me how good it is. I've put in onions instead of the celery if I don't have celery on hand and it works just as well. First of all the addition of the veggies is healthier you eat a little more of them and a little less meat. Secondly it makes it cheaper too because you can use less meat to feed more people! It's very easy to make and very tasty... if you simmer it for longer the taste becomes a bit richer. Or if you're in a hurry or you like a lighter flavored sauce you can just stop when the recipe says. You can add in anything you like obviously but this is a really good basic recipe! Highly recommended! Pros: easy cheap and healthy Cons: None really Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Rating: 4 stars
sauce was amazing i need to be more picky with my pasta though we loved how meaty the sauce was and how bright and colorful the food was however don't be stingy when you buy your wheat pasta the flavor of the pasta was overpowering the sauce and brought down the fun. Pros: sauce was amazing tasty and surprisingly good Cons: would have been better with regular pasta Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I never make my own pasta sauce (canned is so easy) but this was a nice change from "the usual" and still very easy. Loved the flavor. Will definitely make again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made this meat sauce following the recipe to the letter and it was delicious but seemed to be lacking a little something. The second time I made it I substituted ground bison for the beef added another stalk of celery and some 'seasoning peppers' (a small mildly piquant pepper grown in the Caribbean) chopped up a box of shitake mushrooms and added those at the last minute with the parsley. A little extra kosher salt and some fresh ground black pepper -- and the meat sauce sang to my taste buds! I would like to know what the nutritional results of these changes were but this is the way I will make it from now on. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great Taste & Super Simple My husband wasn't sure about eating the carrots and celery in this recipe but the sauce turned out great! We always make our own pasta sauce because the pre-made sauces have too much sodium and not enough taste. So this was a nice change from our usual pasta sauce we make. It was nice to add some other veggies in the sauce. We will make this recipe again soon. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
So easy! So flavorful! My better half LOVES meat sauce but canned meat sauce never does the trick. So I came across this recipe and it was very delicious. Perfect for a weeknight meal when there's not a lot of time. Read More