Sandra Lee's Make-Ahead Meaty Spaghetti Sauce
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(5 rated)
Cook time:
Prep time:
6 to 8

My simple yet totally savory beef spaghetti sauce comes together in just 35 minutes. It's easy to serve it right away but this is also an easy-to-freeze, make-ahead recipe that one of my family's all-time favorites. With a combo of the right seasonings and a little red wine, no one will ever know you used the store-bought jarred stuff as the base! 


    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
    • 1 ½ cups chopped mushrooms (any fresh variety)
    • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
    • One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
    • 1/2 jar red wine (you can use the empty jar or measure 1 ½ cups)
    • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon garlic, crushed or finely chopped
    • 1 handful fresh basil leaves


1. Cook olive oil and butter in a large skillet on medium heat until melted and hot (not smoking). 

2. Add onion and sauté until translucent, then add the mushrooms and cook until softened. 

3. Crumble in the ground beef, breaking it up into bits with your spatula and cook until browned. 

4. Add wine, marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic and fresh basil. Mix to combine thoroughly. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

5. Serve on top of pasta or with crusty bread. If storing for later, let sauce cool completely and store in the freezer in an airtight container until you're ready to reheat and enjoy for dinner.