How to make Mama’s Red Sauce

If you were to ask my six year old what he wanted for dinner, he would tell you, without even taking time to think, “Noodles and sauce!” He would also be quick to tell you that it is his FAVORITE food. He will pretty much eat it any time and will often ask to have it for breakfast. (And I’ll tell you another one of my secrets, I let him! It’s far better than sugar laden cereal.)

How to make Mama's Red Sauce

I’m part Italian by heritage so you know I have to live up to that and have a good sauce up my sleeve. Since I’ve gotten several requests for a recipe I realized I don’t really have a recipe. So, I’ll call this a tutorial or a guideline.

** After enough requests, I finally measured and can write a RECIPE for the sauce. Ask and you shall receive.

The amount for this recipe is enough for more than one meal and it freezes nicely. You’ll love have a stash of homemade sauce in the store.

(Product links in this section are affiliate links. While it does not cost you anything, I make a small profit that helps keep the information on the blog free. Any product I link is a product that I use in my house and recommend.)

How to make Mama's Red Sauce
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 6-10 cloves of chopped garlic
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 pounds of ground beef
  • 2 small cans of tomato paste
  • 2-32 ounce jars of tomato juice (Or 1 can of juice and 1 can of whole tomatoes for chunky style)
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 2-4 tbsp. of oregano
  • 2-4 tbsp. of basil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place butter and oil in a large pan with the onions and garlic
  2. Cook on low until the onions and garlic are a nice golden brown
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until brown. (Salt and pepper as you like)
  4. Once the meat is cooked, add the tomato paste and stir until the meat and onions are covered
  5. Add tomato juice and stir until the paste is mixed in.
  6. Add the seasonings and let simmer on low.
  7. Taste and salt and pepper as needed

To make life a little easier, I use this  handy dandy gadget as it chops everything up to the same size. I put the garlic through twice and it’s perfect! (It can be a tab bit of a pain to clean but it comes with a little comb that helps!) For onions, I like to slice before I put them through.

I don’t add sweetener to my sauce because I use home canned tomatoes and the flavor is perfect. If you are using store bought juice and tomatoes they some times are not as sweet, so add a touch of sweetener. (If you are not on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, I suggest using maple syrup. You won’t taste it but it deepens the flavor)

How to make Mama's Red Sauce

We serve our sauce over gluten free pasta or for me, spaghetti  squash. If you get tired of a meat sauce, trying adding this yummy gluten-free meatballs to the dish.

Top this sauce with Parmesan cheese and it will be perfect. If you have never tried it, please go get a brick of real parm and grate it yourself. It is so worth it over that green can. :) I know it seems pricey but you use so much less.

I hope you enjoy the sauce. Even if it isn’t something you do all the time, it’s always good to have a good, homemade sauce recipe up your sleeve.

Need more Trim Healthy Mama meal ideas? Come follow my Pinterest board.  I also have one just for gluten free dinners for those not doing THM.

This post is linked at Gwen’s Nest and Stacy Makes Cents for Trim Healthy Tuesdays.



*For the record, my thoughts and advice are only my experiences or what others have allowed me to share. We don’t claim to diagnose, treat or cure.*


      • rhonda says

        uh. me. I need a recipe. like a printable list of ingredients or something? :) otherwise, I will have to pull up your blog every time I want to make this…

        • Jessica says

          I don’t mind if you pull up my blog every time, you’ll be thinking about me! :) I’ll work on a printable for you though. 😉

  1. Dianne McKinney says

    Hi, Jessica….was very excited about your Mama’s Red Sauce recipe and was hand copying it down. I was “shaken” to see that the amounts of salt, pepper, oregano, basil were left up to me to guess at. I am NOT a “cook” and rely heavily on exact written amounts. Sadly, if I didn’t like the taste, I wouldn’t know where to start. Sooooo…could you give at least an approximate measurement for each spice, please. Also, what size tomato paste can?…from the photo, it looks like you must have used two small cans.
    Thanks, Dianne

    • says

      Oh Diana. Sigh. I am totally the opposite of you. <3 But, if I were to guess, I would do a 2-3 tbsp of oregano and basil to start with…I like those flavors strong but know others don’t. As far as a salt and pepper…sigh….that is a hard one. I would start low on the salt and then just add, stir simmer, taste.
      The tomato paste can are 6 ounces cans.

      The next time I make a batch, I will try really hard to measure and update here. :) Thanks for stopping by.

  2. says

    Yummy! I’m with your little guy – spaghetti squash and red sauce is my favorite meal and I have eaten it breakfast once or twice :) Great post!

  3. says

    My mom’s spaghetti sauce was my favorite when I was little. If I could have any meal, it would be spaghetti with her tomato sauce. Since I cut out nightshades two years ago, I’ve really missed it. This looks like a lovely recipe as well!

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