This homemade meat sauce gets its rich, hearty flavor from the combination of ground beef and Italian sausage. Simmer and serve immediately, freeze for later, or layer up in lasagna for the ultimate comfort meal.
- Two types of meat - I love the rich, flavorful combination of ground beef and Italian sausage. For a touch of spice, use hot Italian sausage. For a leaner option, ground turkey and/or turkey sausage can be substituted.
- Two kinds of tomatoes - Canned crushed tomatoes are the base of the sauce. Use good quality tomatoes such as San Marzano. Tomato paste intensifies the tomato flavor.
- Two kinds of herbs - Dried herbs stand up well in the simmering sauce. Parsley and basil are my favorites. Oregano is also a great addition. For spice lovers, add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
See the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the beef and sausage and cook until no longer pink, breaking the meat apart as it cooks.
- Spoon off the excess fat.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and herbs. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Simmer for 30 minutes (or up to 1 ½ hours).
Storing and reheating
To refrigerate, store the sauce in an airtight container for 4-5 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
To freeze, cool the sauce and transfer it to a freezer-safe zipper top bag. Lay flat in the freezer until solid. Then store for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat.
Bolognese differs from traditional American meat sauce. Bolognese is thicker and creamier - often includes milk or cream, and usually has just a touch of tomato.
Sugar is often added to tomato-based sauces to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. I don't find it necessary to add sugar to this meat sauce. The rich meat balances out the flavors nicely. If you prefer to add sugar to taste, do so, adding a little bit at a time until you reach the desired result.
Classic Homemade Meat Sauce
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound Italian pork sausage
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ tablespoons dried basil
- 1 ½ tablespoons dried parsley
- In a heavy pot set over medium heat, brown the beef and sausage, breaking apart the meat while it cooks. When thoroughly cooked, drain the excess grease.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, and parsley. Simmer for 30 minutes or up to 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
- Refrigerate sauce in an airtight container for 4-5 days. Reheat on the stove top over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To freeze, cool the sauce and transfer to a freezer-safe zipper top bag. Lay flat in the freezer until solid. Then store for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.
This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated.