My mother was not much of a cook, but she had some staples that were absolute hits. This spaghetti sauce was one of those recipes! As someone who loves to cook, I think it’s so important to embrace generational cooking. I love using my mother’s recipes to feel close to her and remember so many fond memories.

made in dutch oven with spaghetti sauce

How to make Grandma Pat’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce

This spaghetti is pretty simple to make, and just requires about an hour of time. The results are a truly luscious and delicious sauce for pasta. First, heat up olive oil in your Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add in the celery, onions, and garlic. Stir constantly to make sure nothing burns. Once the onions are translucent, add in your meat and begin browning. Stir from the bottom to help break up the meat.

meat cooking in a made in dutch oven

Once everything is combined, raise the heat. This will help reduce any liquid that was produced while cooking. After about 10 minutes, it’s time to add in your tomatoes! Add the tomato paste and then pour in the blended plum tomatoes. Once that’s all mixed, add in your spices. Finally, place the parsley in the pot and cover. Simmer for about an hour.

After the hour is up, remove the parsley, salt to taste, and enjoy this spaghetti sauce over your favorite pasta! It’s that simple, but feels like it could have been cooking all day.

made in dutch oven with a bowl of pasta with spaghetti sauce

If you make this Spaghetti Sauce, be sure to rate and review it below! If you’re looking for more inspiration, sign up for our Friday Favorites newsletter, and follow along on PinterestInstagram, and TikTok to join in all the fun!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
made in dutch oven with a bowl of pasta with spaghetti sauce

Grandma Pat’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Teri Turner
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This is a simple but delicious spaghetti sauce that you could make for a special occasion, or even for a weeknight dinner!


  •  2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  1 cup chopped onion
  •  ½ cup chopped celery
  •  1 whole garlic clove, smashed
  •  1 pound ground beef
  •  ½ pound ground pork
  •  1 ½ to 2 (28-ounce) cans whole plum tomatoes, blended
  •  1 to 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
  •  1 cup water
  •  1 tablespoon sugar
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  •  2 teaspoons dried oregano
  •  2 teaspoons dried basil
  •  ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  ½ bunch fresh parsley sprigs


  1. In a large Dutch Oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, cook, stirring constantly, the onion, celery, and garlic, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef and ground pork. Stir from the bottom to incorporate the onions and celery mixture into the beef and pork mixture. This technique helps to break the beef up into clumps. Once everything is combined, after about 3 minutes, raise the heat to medium high. The beef and onion mixture will naturally release some liquid. Reduce a bit of the liquid by simmering the liquid to half its amount, about 10 minutes.
  3. Still over medium-high heat, add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Pour the blended plum tomatoes into the pot.
  4. Add the water, sugar, salt, oregano, basil, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the fresh parsley and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and simmer for about an hour.
  6. Remove parsley sprigs prior to serving. Add more salt if needed. Serve over your favorite pasta or feel free to double the recipe to freeze for later.



Paleo/Whole30 version: There is a certain magic to doing this recipe exactly as it is, but to make a different version that is Whole30 compatible, remove the sugar and double the tomato paste. It won’t be the same, but it will still be a very good Paleo sauce.