Quick & Thick Spaghetti Sauce With Meat

READY IN: 25mins
Recipe by Deb Wolf

This recipe saves time by making use of the excellent commercial spaghetti sauces that are available.

Top Review by Ransomed by Fire

I made this the alternate way (with not-so-lean beef). It was pretty good, but it seems to me like the sauce tasted better by itself than on the noodles. I thought it tasted a little watery on the noodles. My husband said it had a winey taste. Maybe it would taste better if I tried it using the lean beef version. I think next time I make this I will try adding a little beef bouillon to the water to give it more flavor. This recipe has been tagged for the Bargain Basement game.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb 96% extra lean ground beef (see hints at end of recipe if you can't get 96% lean beef)
  • 12 cup cold water
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian spices
  • 12 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (18 ounce) jartraditional style spaghetti sauce (not marinara sauce)
  • 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes (optional)


  1. Mix ground beef and cold water in a cold dutch oven. The beef will absorb the water like a sponge. As it cooks, the water will keep the ground beef from forming large clumps.
  2. Place over high heat.
  3. Add onion and spices. Stir occasionally.
  4. Allow meat to cook until all water evaporates.
  5. Cook a few minutes longer until the beef gets browned like the outside of a hamburger. The browning makes the sauce richer.
  6. Turn down the heat to simmer and add the jar of spaghetti sauce. Stir to combine.
  7. If you want a thinner sauce, add a 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes.
  8. Heat through.
  9. Hints: * If you can't get 96% lean ground beef, proceed with recipe, except don't allow the water to evaporate. Drain off the water and fat and return the meat mixture to the pot to brown.

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