{recipe} Go-To Spaghetti Sauce

Honey and balsamic vinegar lend a lightly sweet tang to this meaty spaghetti sauce that is a weekly staple at my house.

It’s not fancy and it’s not complicated–but it sure is nice for me to have a quick-and-easy, guaranteed-to-please recipe for a go-to family favorite that can be on the table within half an hour and without half a day’s planning!

dairy-free * egg-free * gluten-free * nut-free * soy-free


1 package ground beef, 1-2 lbs
1 jar 24-ounce pasta sauce *
1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce **
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon rosemary


  • In deep sauce pan or frying pan, brown meat. When nearly finished cooking, if desired, season to taste with garlic powder oregano.
  • Drain meat. Return to pan or to a stockpot or larger pot.
  • Add pasta sauce. Over medium-high heat, bring to low boil/simmer, stirring often.
  • Add tomato sauce. Bring back to low boil/simmer, stirring often.
  • Add balsamic vinegar and honey. Bring back to low boil/simmer, stirring often.
  • Stir in remaining spices.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer on low heat for at least 10 minutes. Sometimes I let it simmer for a couple of hours, depending on when I am able to make supper and then when we are able to eat it.

* Most jarred pasta sauces tend to be naturally allergy-free but be sure to read the label! Sometimes a dairy product can be part of a jarred sauce, so beware of sauces with “cheese” in the title and, again, read those labels! I typically use a tomato-and-basil flavor.

** The tomato sauce can be optional; I typically use it to stretch out the sauce to make it last longer for more servings. The amount of spices and other ingredients can remain the same even if the tomato sauce is not included.

 >> Notes

  • Serve with your favorite gluten-free pasta, which is also usually free of other allergens.
  • This sauce is also good to use with a baked dish. Stir into penne or rotini or spaghetti noodles for baked pasta. For some family members without dairy or egg intolerances, I have made up separate individual servings that layer the sauce with noodles and a cheese blend, which is typically a blend of plain yogurt, Monterrey Jack cheese, and Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese (and sometimes an egg!).
  • If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, be sure to carefully read the labels for condiments and spices. For example, some brands of ingredients (especially sauces, salsas, etc.) may contain gluten and/or soy and/or fish/shellfish and/or carrogeenan (a seaweed-derived food additive difficult for some people to tolerate).



cover photo courtesy of Pixabay.com