Best Meatball Sauce Recipe

Making your own meatball sauce has many benefits. Homemade meatball sauce tastes better than store-bought. You can season the recipe to your taste. You can customize your sauce by adding or substituting components. If you have most of the components, making your own sauce can save money. Making meatball sauce is simple.

It simmers and develops flavor in a few hours on the stovetop or slow cooker. Making your own meatball sauce is a delicious way to enjoy meatballs at home.

Meatball sauce refers to a specific style of sauce frequently served with meatballs. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, and other ingredients are simmered to develop the sauce’s flavor and texture.

Cooks have a lot of leeway in terms of what goes into their meatball sauce, although canned tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, beef broth, and herbs and spices are all staples. Cream, cheese, and even vegetables can be added to some versions of meatball sauce. Hot meatball sauce can be poured over meatball subs or served as a side with cooked meatballs.

Easy Meatball Sauce Recipe

Do you long for a dish that can satisfy your hunger no matter the occasion? Those in search of the perfect meatball sauce need to go no further than this tried and true recipe. This sauce will impress your family and friends with its delectable blend of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and various herbs and spices.

Also, the best thing is that It’s simple to put together, and you may adjust the ingredients to your taste. This is a fantastic recipe for everybody, from experienced chefs to kitchen novices. Okay, everybody get their ingredients together and we’ll start cooking!

Meatball Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How To Make The Best Meatball Sauce From Scratch?

In a large pot or Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is transparent about 5 minutes.

Put the beef broth, oregano, basil, and thyme in a large pot along with the smashed tomatoes. Combine ingredients by stirring.

When the sauce has come to a boil, decrease the heat to low and let it simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring regularly. The longer the sauce simmers, the deeper its flavor will develop.

After 2 hours, taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings as needed (salt and pepper). Various other herbs and spices, such as red pepper flakes for heat, can be added to the dish as desired.

In the time it takes for the sauce to simmer, you may get the meatballs ready. Beef, hog, chicken, or turkey ground meat would all work well for making meatballs.

Form the ground meat into balls, then set them on a baking pan and top with breadcrumbs, an egg, and any other seasonings you like. Cook the meatballs in a preheated oven at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until they are no longer pink in the center and have developed a nice crust.

When the meatballs have finished cooking, they may be added to the sauce and left to simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes to take on the flavors of the sauce. You may also make meatball subs by layering cooked spaghetti, sauce, and meatballs on hoagie bread and topped with melted cheese.

Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if wanted and serve the meatballs and sauce immediately.

Easy Sauce for Meatballs Tips

While simmering, add two tablespoons of cornstarch or flour to thicken the sauce. Stir the cornstarch or flour paste into the sauce.

During the last 20–30 minutes of cooking, add a cup of heavy cream or half-and-half for a creamier sauce.

A tablespoon of brown sugar or honey can sweeten your sauce.

Diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini can be added to the sauce in the last 20-30 minutes.

For a vegetarian sauce, skip the meatballs and add cooked lentils or beans for protein. For a vegan sauce, substitute vegetable broth for beef broth.

With these suggestions and patience, you can make a tasty and pleasant meal.

How To Store Homemade Meatball Sauce?

Refrigerate or freeze homemade meatball sauce. Sauce storage tips:

Store sauce at room temperature.

Put the sauce in a lidded jar. The sauce can be stored in tight-fitting glass jars.

Store the sauce in the coldest area of the fridge and use it within 4-5 days.

Pour sauce into a freezer bag or container with a tight lid to freeze. Label the bag or container with the date and contents and freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw frozen sauce overnight in the fridge. You may also thaw the frozen sauce in a pot on the stove over low heat.

Follow these storage methods to enjoy homemade meatball sauce for days or months.

Is meatball sauce the same as Bolognese sauce?

Meatball sauce and Bolognese sauce are similar in that they are both tomato-based sauces that are typically served with pasta, but they are not the same thing.

Bolognese sauce, also known as ragù alla bolognese, is a rich and flavorful sauce that originates from Bologna, Italy. It is typically made with a combination of ground meat (such as beef, pork, or veal), tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and red wine, and it is simmered for several hours to develop depth of flavor. Bolognese sauce is often served with pasta, such as spaghetti or lasagna, and it is a staple of Italian cuisine.

Meatball sauce, on the other hand, is a sauce that is typically served with meatballs. It is made by simmering tomatoes, onions, garlic, and other ingredients together to create a flavorful and savory sauce. Meatball sauce can be made with a variety of ingredients and seasonings, and it is often served over cooked spaghetti or used to make a meatball sub sandwich.

While both sauces are tomato-based and can be served with pasta, Bolognese sauce and meatball sauce are distinct dishes with their own unique flavors and ingredients.

Can I use frozen meatballs?

Meatball sauce can use frozen meatballs. If you don’t have time or ingredients to create meatballs, frozen ones are convenient. Frozen meatballs in the sauce:

First, defrost the meatballs. Put the frozen meatballs in the fridge overnight or in a pot of hot water to thaw them faster.

Add thawed meatballs to boiling sauce. Before adding meatballs, boil the sauce over medium heat.

Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for 20–30 minutes to cook and heat through. The meatballs should be fully cooked with no pink in the middle when cut in half.

If desired, serve the meatballs and sauce hot with fresh herbs or grated cheese.

When you’re short on time or ingredients, adding frozen meatballs to your sauce adds protein quickly. Just follow the package instructions for thawing and testing the meatballs for doneness before serving.

Meatball Sauce Recipe

Best Meatball Sauce Recipe

A popular and adaptable recipe, meatball sauce is perfect for topping everything from spaghetti and meatballs to meatball subs and more. Whether you're a seasoned chef or have never lifted a spatula before, this recipe is foolproof. Discover the secrets to making a mouthwatering meatball sauce from scratch.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 390 kcal


  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cans 28 ounces each crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine optional
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine (if using), beef broth, oregano, basil, and thyme to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer you simmer the sauce, the more flavorful it will become.
  • After 2 hours, taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed. You can also add additional herbs or spices to taste, such as red pepper flakes for a little extra kick.
  • While the sauce is simmering, you can prepare your meatballs. You can use any type of ground meat for the meatballs, such as beef, pork, chicken, or turkey.
  • Mix the ground meat with breadcrumbs, an egg, and any desired seasonings, then roll the mixture into balls and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the meatballs in a 350°F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are cooked through and browned on the outside.
  • Once the meatballs are cooked, you can add them to the pot of sauce and let them simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Alternatively, you can serve the sauce over cooked spaghetti or use it to make meatball subs by placing the meatballs and sauce on a hoagie roll and topping with cheese.
  • Serve the meatballs and sauce hot, garnished with fresh basil or parsley if desired.
Keyword meatball sauce recipe

We trust you’ll agree that this meatball sauce recipe is one of the best you’ll ever try. We have no doubt that you liked every last morsel of it, whether it was served on spaghetti, stuffed into sub rolls, or simply dipped into a bowl with some crusty bread. We hope you’ll add this classic recipe to your regular menu rotation since it’s that good.

If you’re in the mood for some culinary adventure, try switching up the sauce’s flavor profile by adding new ingredients. What limits you is your own creativity and imagination.

We appreciate you sticking with us through this recipe, and we invite you to explore the rest of our tasty and straightforward offerings. Enjoy your meal!

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