Southern-Style Meat Sauce Recipe -
Southern-Style Meat Sauce Recipe

Southern-Style Meat Sauce

Recipe by  

"This is my Mom's spaghetti recipe that has been my favorite since the age of three! Great for dinner parties! Serve over spaghetti and with a salad and garlic bread."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 9 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    40 mins
  • COOK

    2 hrs

    2 hrs 40 mins


  1. In a large pot heat olive oil. Add onions and simmer on medium heat until semi soft; stir in garlic. Be careful not to burn. Add ground beef and cook until all pink is gone; drain.
  2. In pot with drained beef, gently stir in tomato paste and tomato sauce. Mix in oregano, basil, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, bay leaves and salt; bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for about 2 hours.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 08, 2009

Wow! I have been searching for sauce like my Mom made. She past away in 1996, but I found her sauce with this recipe! I tripled the recipe so I could freeze some for a later date. The amount of spice is perfect, would not change one single thing! Thank you for bringing my Mom back to me with this sauce! Addition made to my review 11.08.09, why some reviewers make changes before trying the original recipe is beyond can you review and rate a recipe that you have not tried? Try the original recipe then review and rate it..give it a shot before you pass judgement, all recipes are to ones taste, if you do not like spicey sauce, than this one is not for you! You should not try this one and give it a bad review if you do not like spicy sauce is SPICY sauce, anyone can see that from the ingredients.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jun 07, 2010

Followed recipe to the letter. Was OK, but alittle to salty. Also to thick for my taste. Will be better with some minor changes

Nov 12, 2007

WOW this was good!!! I would give it 6 stars if I could. If your a lover of spicey things than this sauce will be your favorite of all time!! I made this last night for dinner, it was incredible! Here's the only things I changed up...I used 1 lb grass fed ground beef and 1 lb ground buffalo (great quality meat makes all the difference). Sauted the onions and garlic in a non stick pan with no oil then added to fully cooked meat. Instead of tomato paste I used 2 cans diced italian tomatoes, fresh mushrooms instead of canned and I was worried about adding the full 2 TBS red pepper flakes based on other reviewers adding 1 and saying that was more than enough so I added 1 1/2 TBS and it was great I think it would be delicious with the full 2 TBS but you do really have to like spicey which we do. Added a shake of garlic powder along with the other spices and I let it simmer for over 2 hrs just because that makes it so flavorful and the meat so tender. Served it on top of whole wheat spagetti with a side of whole wheat beer bread to sop up the sauce, PERFECT! This would also make an awesome lasagna sauce or if you keep the recipe as is with the tomato paste it would be a great pizza sauce. If you love a little kick to your food I HIGHLY recommend trying this recipe!!!!!! OOps almost forgot...I cut the salt by half.

Nov 28, 2006

I thought it was really good. I followed other people's suggestions on not adding salt and cutting back on spice. I added 1 can of beef broth to get a better consistancy. Also it didn't take me as long to make it as stated in the cooking time. It took me under an hour for sure.

Apr 30, 2013

I am trying really hard to cook out of my freezer/pantry for the next two weeks to save money. I did make a one substitution in this recipe to reflect that--I used half ground beef/half ground sausage as that was the meat I had in my deep freeze. I used brown sugar (the recipe did not specify which to use, I made a judgement call), I went light on the red pepper flake, I used fresh mushrooms and did not add the full amount of salt. I also added fresh ground black pepper. This simmered most of the afternoon and the liquid evaporated quickly. I did throw in one can (undrained) diced red tomatoes and a little red wine in an attempt to add more liquid which was just what it needed. Very good sauce--smells wonderful.

Dec 01, 2005

This is a definite 5 star recipe with the changes in the amount of salt and chili flakes that others have recommended. I didn't have chili flakes (not sure what they are,actually), so I used a mixture of ancho chili powder and crushed red pepper. I actually didn't add any salt at all. I also added a can of beef broth to make it less thick. I made it just spicy enough for my family and everyone loved it! Great as leftovers too.

May 09, 2005

Very good with a few modifications. I do not brown the meat in oil, the meat has enough fat in it to brown. I added two cans of diced tomatoes, drained, omitted Worc. sauce, mushrooms and red pepper flakes. Added ground pepper, some garlic powder and a dash of parsley. I thought that 2 TBS of salt seemed way too much, I just sprinkled some on top, not measuring. Sugar is added toward the end of the simmer period. We remove the bay leaves prior to serving.

Jan 18, 2005

This is the best sauce I have ever had...AFTER a few modifications. Other reviewers were right about too much salt and also it was VERY spicy! I too, will cut the salt at least in half next time and will leave out the red pepper. My 6 year old loved the flavor but after about 2 bites, couldn't eat anymore. This is after I added lots of Splenda to tone down the heat and it did add a nice sweet flavor. I also had to keep adding water because it was very thick. I will make this again and again with these modifications. Served over whole wheat rotini.


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  • Calories
  • 336 kcal
  • 17%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 21.4 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 61 mg
  • 20%
  • Fat
  • 19.4 g
  • 30%
  • Fiber
  • 5.6 g
  • 22%
  • Protein
  • 22 g
  • 44%
  • Sodium
  • 2562 mg
  • 102%

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

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