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Southern Spaghetti Sauce

Southern Spaghetti Sauce is a thick, flavorful sauce with lots of ground beef, onion, and bell pepper. It has a hint of sweetness to it which really brings out the tomato flavor. Freezes well.

Southern Spaghetti Sauce

This spaghetti sauce is one of my favorite comfort foods to make and it reminds me of the sauce my grandmother used to make. It was always a treat when we got it because my grandmother only knew how to cook two things that I’m aware of- spaghetti sauce and shrimp salad. It’s very thick and full of ground beef, onions, and bell peppers. A hefty spoonful of sugar adds some sweetness and cuts any bitterness in the tomatoes. Two whole cans of tomato paste give it an extra intense flavor.

Sothern Spaghetti Sauce

I like this sauce so much, I have been known to skip the pasta and just eat a bowl full of sauce with a spoon. With lots of Parmesan cheese on top- the kind in the green can. Usually I prefer fresh Parmesan on things, but maybe since I grew up eating spaghetti sauce like this one with grated Parmesan out of a can, it’s just what I crave.

Childhood food memories are the best aren’t they?

This sauce freezes really well and I’ll often make a double batch of it and freeze half for a second meal.

Southern Spaghetti Sauce

Watch the short video below to see how easy this sauce is to make.

Southern Spaghetti Sauce

Southern Spaghetti Sauce

Thick and meaty spaghetti sauce flavored with onions, green peppers, and a little sweetness.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, the original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons, but I just add one
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water


  • Brown beef in a large heavy bottomed pot. Drain fat.
  • Add onion and green pepper and saute until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds.
  • Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, seasonings, and water.
  • Simmer 30 minutes.


Note: If you're nervous about the amount of sugar, start with 1/2 tablespoon and add more if desired.
This recipe freezes well.


Calories: 335kcal
Course: Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: spaghetti sauce

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Recipe Source: adapted from Paula Deen

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104 thoughts on “Southern Spaghetti Sauce”

  1. Best recipe I’ve made for spaghetti!! Taste like my mom and grandmother !
    Thank you for sharing.

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