quick beef tomato sauce

growing up, one of my favorite meals was pasta with ground beef, tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. tons of the latter, of course. cheese, cheese, cheese with everything :)

now, bolognese sauce or “ragu alla bolognese” originally from Bologna, Italy, is a different type of sauce and commonly served with flat, long pasta such as pappardelle or fettuccine. this is also delicious but it’s very different from the one in this post. the bolognese recipe calls for celery, carrots, milk, wine, onions, pancetta or bacon, sometimes ground pork, ground veal, and tomato paste. no tomatoes at all.

my quick beef tomato sauce has tons of tomatoes, garlic, onions, basil, bay leaves, and so on.

i always make this sauce during the week for dinner and eat it throughout the week for lunch. this is a kid’s friendly meal and adults, of course, and i assure you they will devour it. the sauce tastes better the next day, so feel free to make it in advance.

when making lasagna i whip up this quick sauce and add it in as the “beef” since this sauce will account for the tomato sauce as well. two in one, nice, right?

oh, and the sauce can be stored in the freezer for up to one month. defrost, and dinner is ready.

set ingredients on your counter top so they are easy to grab.


brown ground beef.


crush tomato in a food processor or blender.


cook onions and garlic.


add ground beef back to the skillet along with crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves, salt and pepper.






after 30 minutes of simmering, here’s what it looks like.








quick beef tomato sauce

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef {only 10% fat}
1/2 medium red onion or any other onion you have, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp light butter {i used land of lakes}
2 tbsps tomato paste
1 28 oz. can organic crushed tomatoes with basil
1 ripped tomato, chopped in the food processor or blender
2 tbsps organic ketchup
2 tbsps granulated sugar {you can use agave instead}
1 tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
1/2 tsp ground fresh pepper
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 14.5 oz box elbow macaroni whole wheat pasta {i used barilla plus}
shredded parmesan cheese, for serving
chopped basil, for serving

serves six people


1. brown ground beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. drain fat with a strainer and set aside. wipe skillet with a paper towel.

2. in the same large skillet cook onions with butter over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. add garlic and mix well. season with a little bit of the salt and pepper. add ground beef, tomato paste, ketchup, chopped tomato, crushed tomatoes and mix well.

3. sprinkle sugar and season with the rest of salt and pepper. add bay leaves and stir well until everything is well combined. bring to a boil for 3 minutes.

4. turn down heat to simmer or very low. cover skillet and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. add olive oil and mix well.

6. serve pasta in individual bowls and follow with the beef tomato sauce.

7. sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and garnish with chopped basil. serve hot!

sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week in an airtight container. you can freeze it for up to one month. defrost overnight before serving.



Share This Post

Leave a Comment: