My homemade spaghetti sauce recipe is actually a family recipe from my kids’ grandma on their dad’s side! It’s really amazing, and when she passed away they handed out recipe cards outlining this amazing recipe at her funeral. Kathy was such a wonderful woman, and it’s one of my favorite things to make, so I decided I’d try to make it from scratch using produce from my garden. 

If you follow me on social media, you know I’m obsessed with my garden! It’s my first year with my backyard garden, and I’m always looking for new ways to use everything I grow. Not only do I love growing my own food and sustaining my family with our own plants, but fresh food just tastes better. I’ve used grocery store tomatoes and canned tomatoes as well, but there’s nothing like the tomatoes you grow yourself. So I wanted to share this recipe with you! It’s also a great meal to make and freeze so you always have dinners ready in your freezer!

Step 1: Rinse your tomatoes. I used 22 medium sized tomatoes from my garden for one batch. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you can substitute 1 30oz can of diced tomatoes and 1 30oz can of tomato sauce. (I like Costco brand the best!) 

Step 2: Blanch your tomatoes by putting them in a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds

Step 3: Put tomatoes in a bowl of ice water and the skins will peel right off

Step 4: Pull skin off tomatoes and cut out green middle part (truthfully this step is a pain and I always think canned tomatoes would be so much easier lol but fresh tastes the best!) 

Step 5: Blend for about 5 seconds so sauce is still kind of chunky (this is about 64 ounces which is enough for a single batch. When I make this with canned tomatoes, I double or triple the recipe and freeze it in gallon Ziploc bags for easy dinners later.) 

Step 6: Over medium heat, saute medium sized chopped onion of any kind and 4-5 cloves of chopped garlic with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Saute until garlic is brown and onions are translucent. Whatever you do, DON’T burn these! It will ruin the whole batch. Stir constantly. 

Step 7: Add tomatoes to garlic and onions. 

Step 8: Add herbs. 1 tbsp basil (fresh or dried). 1 tbsp oregano (fresh or dried). 1 tbsp parsley (fresh or dried). 1 tbsp of sea salt. 1 tbsp of black pepper. 

Step 9: Add 1-3 teaspoons of honey (to taste – if it tastes acidic the honey will balance that out. You can also use regular sugar if you prefer.)

Step 10: Taste it an add more salt, pepper, or honey if desired. You can also add red pepper flakes for spice, but my kids don’t like it so I leave it out. 

Step 11: Bring to a full boil, then bring heat down to a very slow boil. You can eat it right away, but it tastes best if you let it simmer for 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally every 15, 20, 30 minutes. 

Step 12: You can also add shredded zucchini to your sauce to add some veggies without your kids noticing! 

Step 13: Brown your meat (you can use ground turkey or beef) and season with black pepper, sea salt, and garlic powder. You’ll use 1.5 pounds of meat per batch. 

Step 14: Stir the meat until brown and let simmer while you boil the noodles.

Step 15: Serve with “fake” noodles (I like the Healthy Noodle brand from Costco) or regular noodles. Bon appetit! 

There are a ton of variations you can do with this sauce depending on your own preferences. For instance, one of my followers told me you can use a carrot to add sweetness and counteract the acidity! If you make a variation of this recipe that you love, or you follow the recipe as is, I’d love to hear about it! 

I hope you enjoy!

xo Natalie

P.S. I have a ton more easy recipes in my crockpot cookbook, Cook Smarter, Not Harder if you’re interested!