Bring out the garlic bread — it’s time for one of my favorite Italian dishes, spaghetti recipe with ground beef! While there’s no such thing as bad pasta recipes, this one is particularly delicious thanks to the sauce + meat concoction you make all in one simmering, savory pot. And you can top it off with your favorite Italian cheese! I love giving my spaghetti recipe with ground beef a good grate of fresh parmesan. Yum!
This is one of many spaghetti recipes you’ll be adding to your usual dinner roster! Let’s dive in.
The basics of every delicious Italian dish are all packed into my spaghetti recipe with ground beef– tomatoey sauce spiced up with oregano and basil, perfectly seasoned meat, tender noodles. But what makes it extra special?
- Only two pots: one for sauce, one for noodles!
- Easy clean-up
- Simmering flavor perfection
- Great for garlic bread dipping
- Crowd pleaser!
Italian dishes are often foolproof — but want to make sure you get the best flavor punch possible? I’ve rounded up some tidbits to help your spaghetti recipe with ground beef be a masterpiece!
Beef: This recipe calls for 80/20 ground beef. What this means is the meat will be 80% beef and 20% fat. Normally, I’d say you can swap it out for a lower fat percentage (90/10 for instance), but the high-fat content is important to make sure you have some leftover in the pan to sear your veggies and garlic. Trust me, that add beef flavor will really go a long way!
Spaghetti Meat Sauce: A good rule of thumb in cooking if you want to get the most fully rounded flavor of an ingredient is to add that ingredient prepared in three different ways. For this sauce, we’re using crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste, which will give you the fresh bite of tomato, the seasoned heartiness of tomato, and the thick, concentrated flavor of the tomato. Your tastebuds will sing!
Where’s the Oregano? I know I mentioned this spaghetti recipe with ground beef being flavored with oregano and basil — but where are they in the ingredients list? Hidden in the Italian Seasoning!
Italian Seasoning is in the same class as chili spice — it’s actually a combination of different herbs. A few shakes of Italian Seasoning, and you’ll get basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary — sometimes even marjoram!
No Spaghetti? No Problem! Forgot to get spaghetti noodles, or just don’t want to use that particular pasta? No worries! There are hundreds of types of noodles to try, and this dish is very variation-friendly. Or you could go gluten-free with zucchini noodles or my personal favorite, spaghetti squash!
Spaghetti Storing Tips
Never fails — no matter how carefully I measure my spaghetti, I always end up with enough to feed all of Rome! If you, like me, finish dinner with mounds of leftovers, I’ve got a nice line up of storage tips to make sure none of your spaghetti recipe with ground beef goes to waste!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! I recommend freezing the sauce + meat combination on its own, and making a new batch of noodles when you want to reheat your sauce. Why? You’ll get more than double the freezer life if you freeze only the meat sauce, sans noodles.
Freezing noodles rapidly breaks down the structure of the pasta. Typical frozen spaghetti will last for up to two months while just the meat sauce will be good in an airtight container for up to six months. Plus, when you thaw the frozen noodles + sauce, your pasta will often be mushy — while the flavor will still be good, the texture is definitely not.
So keep your meat sauce separate if you’re planning to freeze!
Make Ahead Tips
This recipe does have a nice one-hour simmering window, which can be intimidating for those crazy nights. To cut that time, you can always follow the recipe through step three and refrigerate your sauce for up to four days. When you’re ready, reheat on the stove, adjust seasoning as needed, and cook up some pasta. Dinner, done!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
I again recommend storing your sauce and noodles separately. This way, you avoid the pasta soaking up the liquid and turning too mushy.
Both your meat sauce and noodles will store just fine in individual airtight containers for up to four days in the fridge.
Spaghetti recipe with ground beef is only one of an endless array of Italian specialties! Looking for more? I got you, friend!
Can I Use Chicken Instead?
Chicken goes with everything — so it’s no wonder that chicken spaghetti is delicious! I particularly love chicken spaghetti with Rotel. There’s just something about that pop of savory flavor from the Rotel that sets this dish over the top! Or if you want to feed a crowd, try chicken spaghetti casserole, and serve up that oven-baked heartiness.
Can I Add Meatballs?
Yes, indeed! My spaghetti and meatballs recipe takes all the delicious flavors of this spaghetti recipe with ground beef and forms them into those perfectly pillowy little meatballs of goodness. Or you can opt for the faster dish — instant pot spaghetti and meatballs. There’s no wrong way to make it!
Can I Add Cream Cheese?
I like your thinking! Baked spaghetti with cream cheese is the way to go if you want that rich, bold creamy twist. The oven-baked magic plus cream cheese’s sturdy flavor and structure is nothing short of miraculous. You’ll be licking the plate!
Can This Be Made With A Mexican Twist?
Of course! Taco spaghetti is a favorite in my house, mostly because my kids loving customizing their bowls with various taco-fun toppings. Or you can go with Mexican spaghetti, harnessing all the delicious flavors of cumin, chili, and more!
Can I Cook This In A Crockpot?
The only thing that brings a heartier taste to spaghetti than oven-baking it is the Crockpot! Crockpot spaghetti intensifies the simmered flavors, really deepening all the best parts of the spices and tomatoes. Plus, something wondrous happens with the noodles in that sauce — it’s an Italian miracle!
Spaghetti Recipe With Ground Beef
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, 80/20
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 16 ounces spaghetti
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef to the pot, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and crumble into small chunks with a wooden spoon and cook until lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate.
- Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and set over medium-low heat (if you don't have enough fat in the pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil). Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes.
- Return beef to pot then stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and sugar. Bring sauce to a boil, then immediately reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 1 hour. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Meanwhile cook spaghetti in well-salted water, according to package instructions. Drain well and toss with sauce. Serve.
I always save a good chunk of my recipe book for Italian favorites! If you’re looking for more like this spaghetti recipe with ground beef, here’s what I recommend:
- Instant Pot Spaghetti – Save time without sacrificing flavor!
- Spaghetti Pie – Yes, pie! It’s as yummy as it sounds.
- Italian Spaghetti – Go full-on traditional.
- Chicken Spaghetti Bake – All of these words are magical, so the dish is too!
- Million Dollar Spaghetti – Million-dollar taste with a fraction of the cost!
Did my spaghetti recipe with ground beef live up to your Italian recipe dreams? I certainly hope so, because I got hungry just talking about it! Thankfully, it’s time to go heat up the pots and get ready for dinner. Italian feast, here I come!
What’s your favorite topping for spaghetti? Let me know in the comments!