I’m a big fan of making my own homemade meat sauce, but there are times when I want to put a dish together quickly or I’m just too tired to do all of the work it takes to make a great sauce. This is my go to shortcut sauce. I have used it in many dishes that require a meat sauce. With some added love and ingredients, no one will know it came from a jar…… just make sure you get rid of the evidence before anyone enters the kitchen. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.
Here’s what you need:
*1 LB ground beef
*2 jars or your favorite spaghetti sauce
*1 Tbs olive oil
*1 small onion, diced
*2 cloves of garlic, minced
*2 tsp. onion powder, or more to taste
*2 tsp. garlic powder, or more to taste
*2 tsp. dried oregano, or more to taste
*2 tsp. dried basil, or more to taste
*2 tsp. sweet paprika, or more to taste
*1 bay leaf
*1 tsp. chili powder, or more to taste; yes you read right, chili powder in a small amount doesn’t really add the heat, but it adds another depth of flavor.
*salt, to taste
Heat a large sauce pan to medium high heat. When the pan becomes hot add olive oil and onion and cook about 2 minutes stirring frequently. Add in the garlic and saute until onions are softened, but do not let the garlic burn. Add the ground beef, and break into large pieces while mixing it with the onion and the garlic; let it brown for several minutes. As the beef continues to brown, break it up into even smaller pieces. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, but not too often so all of the meat can brown; drain if needed and add back to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add in the spices except for the bay leaf, cook for about 1 minute, stirring to mix spices into the beef. Carefully add both jars of sauce; stir to mix well and add in the bay leaf. Cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf. Use right away or refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. This also freezes nicely in an airtight container or zip top bag for 4 to 6 months.