In most of my friend circles I have a recipe that they always request “Kristi’s Famous Spaghetti”. My hearty spaghetti sauce is is packed with flavor, meat & veggies. The best part: it comes together quickly! My kids and husband can’t get enough of this dish!
I’d say a big struggle for me and food blogging is getting the recipe down so that others can recreate them at their home. I make almost everything to taste, meaning I season as I go along. This makes it extremely hard to know what measurements are in of each thing by the time it tastes perfect. This spaghetti sauce has taken me a LONG TIME to get the recipe measurements right so that it comes out perfectly every time.
For years my friends have begged me to give them the recipe and finally I can feel comfortable sharing it!
What is in this spaghetti sauce?
Ground Turkey/ Beef & Sausage
Most of the time I do not enjoy ground beef, unless it is SUPER high quality, so I always use ground turkey. I just think the texture turns out better. The nutritional values in this recipe are based on using ground turkey and pork Italian sausage. You can definitely exchange these items for things you like more. Sometimes I swap the pork sausage for turkey sausage and it tastes great too! I typically get the sausages in the links and squeeze them out of the casing and drop them into the pan. This makes little “meat balls” that my boys just LOVE. It wouldn’t be a hearty Spaghetti sauce without the nice chunks of ground turkey and sausage in it. What ever you pick, select the spice level on the sausage that’s appropriate for your crowd.
What makes my Hearty Spaghetti sauce so special is all the chunky veggies I pack in. I love to pack in the veggies and my kids don’t even notice most of the time. I leave them cut fairly chunky but if you need to disguise them more, feel free to mince them! We (really me) are HUGE mushroom fans, so i even DOUBLE the amount of mushrooms sometimes. I always add the bell peppers near the end because I like them to stay as green as possible and have a slight crisp to them
Sauces and Seasonings
This recipe calls for canned tomatoes, paste and sauce, feel free to swap that for homemade versions if you have them. I wrote the recipe more for those who don’t but it would be extra delicious if you used home canned products. When you have all these tomato components spaghetti sauce can get really acidic, so I always add brown sugar or honey to help balance that. Worcestershire Sauce also helps add umami to the dish. When I am making this dish for adults I add the cayenne pepper, but for my little family, i leave it out (they are 5, 3 & 1 years old). If you add some and it’s suddenly too spicy, throw in extra brown sugar.
What to serve the Hearty Spaghetti Sauce on?
Of course it is delicious on regular pasta noodles, that’s a no brainer! But in our family we all LOVE Zoodles (zucchini noodles) and spaghetti squash. We love the taste and the extra veggie boost. My kids don’t even know the difference and they just love them! If you haven’t tried them, be sure to make them NOW! I have used this sauce in my homemade lasagna too and it is incredibly delicious!
This Spaghetti Sauce is just a perfect family meal as the weather starts to turn cold and we are looking for more comforting foods for family dinner. Make sure to check out my other comfort food meals like:
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Turkey Noodle Soup For The Soul
- Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes
- Gut Healing & Immune Boosting Soup
My Favorite tools for this recipe
Hearty Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 lb Ground Turkey/ Beef
- 1 lb Itallian Sausage Sweet/ mild/ hot – depends on preference
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms sliced i like to double this for extra mushrooms
- 1 medium Red Onion
- 1 large Green Bell Pepper
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups Tomato Sauce
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 tb garlic minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tb italian seasonings
- 2 tsp basil dried
- 3 tb Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar or honey
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper optional
- In large skillet, heat oil/ fat and sauté onions until soft.
- Add garlic and mushrooms, sauté until tender.
- Add Ground meat and Italian sausage, salt, ½ itallian seasonings, ½ dried basil, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper.
- Cook 5-10 min, until meat is cooked through.
- Add Brown Sugar and canned diced tomatoes.
- Add diced Green Bell peppers, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and remaining half of seasonings.
- Bring to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 10 min. Taste and adjust seasonings to preference (read my tips in body or post on how to adjust seasonings to your preference).
- Serve over noodles, zoodles (zucchini noodles) or spaghetti sauce.
- You can use this sauce anyway you’d use a meat spaghetti sauce.