Grandma's Meat Sauce Recipe -
Grandma's Meat Sauce Recipe
  • READY IN 3 hr

Grandma's Meat Sauce

Recipe by  

"This is a great meaty pasta sauce recipe passed down through the generations from my great great grandfather in Sicily. I also use this sauce when I make my lasagna. I don't like large chunks of meat in my sauce, so I put it all in the food processor when done and it comes out as a very thick meaty sauce."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 12 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    2 hrs 45 mins

    3 hrs


  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the sausage, round steak, and veal 10 minutes, until evenly browned. Remove meat from skillet and drain, reserving about 1 tablespoon drippings.
  2. Stir the garlic into the skillet with the reserved meat drippings, and cook about 3 minutes over medium heat. Place the crushed tomatoes into the skillet. Season with Italian seasoning, bay leaf, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, and parsley. Cook 15 minutes.
  3. Mix the tomato sauce into the skillet, and continue cooking 15 minutes.
  4. Return the meat to the skillet. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 20, 2005

This recipe is FABULOUS! I did make a few changes though. I substituted the veal and steak with ground turkey (less fat), I seasoned the meat and added chopped onion while browning and I added chopped mushrooms to the simmering sauce. Plus I was only patient enough to let it simmer for about 45 min. I used it as a lasagne sauce. The sauce was slightly runny when I assembled the lasagne, but thickened quite nicely in the oven. My husband said it was restaurant quality. I gave half the lasagne to my mom, and she asked for the recipe because she & her husband liked it so much! I will definitely make this again!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 21, 2009

I'm quite surprised at how high this recipe gets reviewed. I followed it exactly and was very disappointed. The meat in the dish was so overwhelming you can not really taste the tomatoes or any of the garlic, I even let it simmer for an extra hour to no avail. This was a bland and heavy sauce, I don't even want to eat the leftovers.

Sep 03, 2006

If your looking for the ultimate Meat Sauce, this is it!!! Its AWESOME !!!! I did make a few changes to it I used Hot Italian sausgaes instead of sweet, 1/2 tsp of thyme a dash of salt and used ground beef instead of the steak. I also like vegetables in my sauce so I added some onions, celery and mushrooms. I added 1/5 a cup of red wine near the last 15 minutes of cooking as well. Next time I might add a little sugar. It was great, this one is a keeper. Thank you!

Feb 21, 2005

My husband and I thought this recipe was definitely restaurant quality. I substituted turkey italian sausage for the regular italian sausage to save on fat and I used ground sirloin and ground pork instead of cubed veal and steak. If you are looking for a fresh gourmet tasting sauce this is the sauce for you!

May 08, 2007

WOW!! Instead of Veal and beef cubes I used a ground veal, beef and pork mix available in the meat section of your local grocery store. I followed the rest of the recipe exactly. This sauce was delicious!! It freezes well too :)

Sep 23, 2008

Delicious! I had never before made any kind of sauce from scratch and now my husband thinks I'm a gourmet chef. This was so easy - but I won't tell him that... I used ground beef, ground veal and sweet basil Italian sausages. I also added a splash of red wine about 15 minutes prior to serving but I only let the sauce simmer for 1 hour. My family was starving at the time and the aroma made it impossible to wait any longer. The recipe made enough sauce that I could freeze half. The sauce would be great for lasagna too so I'll try that next time. I will make this again and again and again! Thanks Grandma!!!

Mar 03, 2008

Absolutely wonderful. The only change I made was to add the wine which was suggested, fresh basil, dried thyme, & sliced fresh mushrooms, didn't cook first just added to sauce. I did use hot Italian sausage instead of sweet, I always use hot. Enjoy. The only change necessary would be the choice between the hot & sweet, everything else I am sure everyone would like.

Nov 09, 2006

Wow, my Italian boyfriend was impressed and said this was better than our favorite restaurant's sauce. I followed the recipe as is and it came out delicious. Thank you!


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  • Calories
  • 217 kcal
  • 11%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 10.6 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 53 mg
  • 18%
  • Fat
  • 12.4 g
  • 19%
  • Fiber
  • 2.5 g
  • 10%
  • Protein
  • 16.7 g
  • 33%
  • Sodium
  • 871 mg
  • 35%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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