Pioneer Woman’s Spaghetti Sauce


I love spaghetti. I love spaghetti sauce. It’s practically my favorite food group. Several years ago, I spent nearly a month in Italy eating spaghetti just about every evening, and oh man, do those Italians make-a some good-a sauce-a! My family and I have a few sauces that we like, but Sunday I decided to give Pioneer Woman’s recipe a try. I made a few changes to this sauce, and while the recipe feeds about 18 people, I fed 9 with it and froze the rest.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 5 lbs ground beef (I used ground round for this recipe)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • one green pepper (certainly optional, but I think green peppers are the devil so you will NEVER see me post any recipes with them!)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 jar regular marinara sauce (I used a jar of Prego for this)
  • 4 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth or white wine (I used broth)
  • 1 tbsp ground thyme
  • 1 tbsp ground oregano or 2 tbsp oregano flakes
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • Tony Chechere’s Cajun Seasoning
  • 4 whole bay leave
  • 1 block Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp fresh minced Parsley (or, if you’re cheap like me, dried Parsley flakes)
  • 2 lbs spaghetti noodles, cooked and tossed with olive oil

In a very large pot, brown the meat…I did this in two batches because there was so much of it!

Once it has been browned, I season it with my favorite cajun seasoning.  It’s a habit.

In the meantime, dice up your onion and mince your garlic.

Remove meat and set aside.  In the same pot, add some olive oil to loosen up all the crusty brown bits left from the meat.  Throw in your diced onion and cook for just a minute or two, or at least until softened.  Add the beef broth.

Allow the broth to just come to a boil, adding the garlic in the meantime, then reduce heat to low. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.

Give that a good stir, then add the jar of marinara sauce.  Once sauce is well-incorporated, it’s time to add the sugar, salt, oregano, and ground thyme.

Once all that has been stirred well, it’s time to add the meat back into the sauce, then stick a few bay leaves in there (I forgot to take a picture; they’re in there, I promise!)

Cover, and allow the sauce to simmer gently on low for about an hour. Then, remove lid and add parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Give it one last stir, and cover once more.  Allow to simmer for about another half hour.

In the meantime, prepare about 2 lbs of spaghetti noodles.

Drain noodle and toss with olive oil.  Remove lid from sauce and remove from heat, making sure to remove bay leaves. Sauce is best when it can rest for a few minutes. Then, prepare a large plate or bowl and stuff your face.  Or, if you’re with your husband’s grandmother, allow her to stick her hand in your food as you attempt to take a picture.

Then kindly give her that portion and make another for yourself.


I think this recipe deserves 5/5 herbs…my family said it’s the BEST sauce they’ve ever eaten, and trust me, they’ve eaten a lot of sauce! Next time, though, I am going to try making it with wine instead of broth. Happy eating!

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3 comments on “Pioneer Woman’s Spaghetti Sauce

  1. I’ve never made homemade spaghetti sauce before!!! Not sure what’s wrong with me exactly!

    • Mr. and Mrs. Herb like to make Rachael Ray’s sauce…this was our first time with this recipe, and my parents both think it’s the best they’ve ever had.

  2. Oh I just love the big chunks of Parmesan cheese thrown into the sauce… YUM!

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