This recipe came about after 6 years of making my family suffer through a thin, watery, homemade Weight Watcher's spaghetti meat sauce; hence, the words "cheater" and "thick" in the recipe title. Maybe my husband and son just don't have much to compare it against, but they really enjoyed this sauce. It made me actually enjoy the whole wheat pasta that I usually just endure! This recipe appears to be high in fat, but you will drain off the oil after browning the ground beef, if that's any consolation. I didn't add salt because there's usually enough sodium in the bottled sauce to preserve a small side of beef.