Crowd Pleasing Spaghetti Sauce

By Emily Carver, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student 

Spaghetti is a staple in many American homes and growing up, mine was no exception. As a family of six, my mom had it on a regular dinner rotation. If not for its affordability, then for the sheer amount it would yield, feeding all of us with plenty leftover.

Leftovers equal happiness, or at least in my home they did. Leftovers meant one less meal my mom had to cook that week, and as anyone who has to cook dinner nightly knows: that’s a thing to celebrate!

There’s many wonderful things to note about this recipe:

1. It’s easy.
2. Prep is done in 10 minutes (or sooner if you have ninja chopping skills).
3. Italian sausage. The flavor of both hot and mild (or sweet) sausage in the sauce takes it to another level.

4. You dictate the spice. Omit or increase the red pepper flakes if you’re feeling daring that night.
5. Everyone will rave about the sauce. They won’t be able to stop praising you for your amazing cooking skills.

The first time I made this sauce, it was a huge hit despite my initial fears everyone would hate it. Four adults gobbled it up and still there were leftovers to be had. For me, this recipe is a keeper, and I’m not just saying that because it’s my mom’s. It really is delicious, and I hope you add it to your next meal rotation, so you too can enjoy all the accolades.


Your New Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

Prep time
10 minutes
Cook time
2-6 hours
12+ servings

1 Package Hot Italian Sausage

1 Package Mild or Sweet Italian Sausage

1 lg can (28-29oz) Diced Tomatoes

1 lg can (15oz) Tomato Puree

1 12oz can Tomato Paste

1 8oz can Tomato Sauce

1 lg onion, chopped

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 ½ tsp salt

4 tsp oregano

1 Tbsp basil

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp sugar

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Grated Parmesan for topping

*for a family of six, 1 ½ packages of spaghetti is needed. Adapt to your family size.


Take sausage out of package and pierce each one a few times on each side. Place on a microwave safe plate, with a paper towel on top. Microwave for 3 minutes. Drain off any grease, turn sausages, and repeat for 4 minutes. They won’t be cooked all the way, just enough to remove the excess grease from the sausages. When cooled, cut sausages into thick slices, and set aside.


Chop one large onion and combine all ingredients in a crockpot and add sausage. Stirring well. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. (Optional: On stovetop for 2-3 hours on medium-low heat)


If sauce looks too thick, add more tomato sauce.

Add cooked spaghetti noodles to finished sauce for “family style” dinner, or serve sauce over plated noodles for “individual style” dinner.

Optional sides: garlic bread and garden salad

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