As fall kicks off, I’ve been trying to find ways to use up the last of the tomatoes in our garden. My husband is a huge fan of spaghetti so it seemed like a natural fit. He also happens to be a huge fan of meat, so I knew any spaghetti sauce I made needed to be meaty.
It helps when things are simple too, because I don’t have time to let sauce simmer all day long. Enter this quick and easy meat sauce.
We typically like a really hearty sauce, so this recipe ended up being very thick. I added onions, olives, and mushrooms to the tomato sauce. I usually chop up the onions pretty small so they kind of melt into the sauce – this also helps if you have a kid who’s picky about onions. Thankfully mine usually aren’t, but as with anything with kids, that could change on any given day.
A couple of notes about this quick and easy meat sauce:
– On that note, if you don’t like olives or mushrooms (or both), you can just leave them out! I would recommend cutting back the amount of sauce though by at least 8 oz (unless you like a thinner sauce).
That’s it! This meat sauce comes together really easily and is perfect for a weeknight meal. It’s great with any type of noodle, including veggie noodles! I like to eat mine with raw zucchini noodles as I’ve found cooked zucchini noodles tend to be too watery.
My kids of course prefer the standard spaghetti noodle, because it’s fun to play with. I’ve learned that spaghetti noodles with tomato sauce + my kids = a big ol’ mess. At least they enjoy it!
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Recipe for Quick and Easy Meat Sauce.
Quick & Easy Meat Sauce
This meat sauce comes together really easily and is perfect for a weeknight meal. Hearty & thick, with onions, mushrooms, and olives, it's a crowd pleaser!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion finely chopped (1.5-2 cups total)
- 2 garlic cloves pressed
- 4 cups plain tomato sauce (32 ounces)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large sprig thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper plus more to taste
- 8 oz canned sliced mushrooms
- 6 oz olives
- Large pan
- Wooden spoon
- Large sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Garlic press
Using the knife and cutting board, finely dice the onion. Set aside.
Place the pan on the stove top, turn the burner to medium heat and place the ground beef in the pan. Start to break it up with the wooden spoon as it cooks.
Combine the onion with the ground beef and cook until the ground beef is no longer pink and the onion is cooked through.
Add the pressed garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add the tomato sauce, spices, and salt and pepper and bring to a light boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, drain the canned mushrooms and olives. Use the knife and cutting board to cut each olive into quarters.
After the sauce is done simmering, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Add the quartered olives and drained canned mushrooms, stirring to heat through.
Taste to see if more salt and pepper is preferred. If so, add in 1/2 teaspoon at a time until sauce tastes as desired.
Serve over any type of pasta, or veggie noodles!