I think we can all agree homemade is best, but not always possible! Homemade spaghetti sauce from scratch is actually one of those things that’s really not hard to make, but it can take a little time to simmer before all the flavors really come together. So, as a result, I do still buy store bought spaghetti sauce to have on hand. It’s one of my go-to weeknight meals when I don’t have something planned or am short on time.
But just because you’re using a jarred sauce doesn’t mean you can’t kick things up a notch by adding some of your own fresh veggies and flavors (as pictured below). So I thought I’d share exactly how I do just that almost every time I pull out a pre-made jar of sauce for a quick weeknight meal! And as with anything packaged you want to look for a brand that only uses ingredients you would cook with at home and ideally one that doesn’t contain any added, refined sugar (which sadly is not always easy to do).
Semi-Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion - diced
- 1 or 2 carrots - cut into small dice
- 1 or 2 celery ribs - cut into small dice
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- salt - to taste
- 1/2 cup red wine - optional
- 1 26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
- basil - fresh, for serving
- oregano - fresh, for serving
- Parmesan cheese - freshly grated, for serving
- whole-wheat pasta - cooked, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook while stirring until soft but not brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the ground beef to the pan and turn the heat up to medium high. Brown the meat while breaking it up with a spatula.
Drain off the fat and discard (I do this by putting the lid over top then tilting it to empty the grease through a small crack into a coffee mug or other heat-proof container). Season with salt and pepper.
Add the red wine to the pan (if using) and cook until almost completely boiled off.
Pour in the sauce and bring to a light simmer.
Serve over noodles and garnish with fresh basil or oregano and Parmesan cheese.
* Dairy-free if Parmesan cheese is omitted.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.