This gluten-free spaghetti sauce recipe is has all the classic flavor you crave. Perfect for feeding a crowd or freezing some for another day!
Maybe it’s just a product of growing up in the 90s, where TV commercials were everywhere, but it felt like there were a MILLION brands of dueling pasta sauce growing up. I had friends whose families ONLY used Ragu, for instance, where others were strictly a Prego family.
While my family didn’t stick to one specific brand that I can remember, I know that spaghetti was always one of my favorite dinners. Now that we’ve been gluten-free for almost a decade, I can say that it still is.
Gluten-free spaghetti is EASY, relatively inexpensive, and a reliable family favorite that just about everyone likes. Especially when we make homemade gluten-free spaghetti sauce! There’s so much to love about it:
- It’s made from pantry staple ingredients with a few fresh flavor boosts
- It’s budget friendly, so it works when you’re trying to save $$$
- It doesn’t take a lot of time (so it’s perfect for a weeknight!)
- It tastes amazing, cozy, and classic!
- It scales easily, so you can make a double batch and freeze some for later!
Ready to make a batch? Here’s what you need to make our easy gluten-free spaghetti sauce recipe…
Our Gluten-Free Spaghetti Sauce Recipe, At A Glance:
Here’s What You need To Make This Pasta Sauce
- Olive Oil. A little olive oil helps you cook the beef, sausage, and onion, and also adds a velvety note to the sauce.
- Onion. This adds a solid foundation for building the flavor in this sauce. I prefer a fine dice or mince rather than a large dice for a more uniform sauce.
- Ground Beef. I usually stick with lean ground beef here. I like 90% lean (sometimes labeled 90/10), but you can go with 93% lean or as high in fat as 85% lean, depending on your preference and dietary needs.
- Sausage. Using a mix of lean beef and sausage helps cut down on the fat a bit, but doesn’t compromise on flavor. Use bulk-style sausage rather than pre-cooked sausage for making spaghetti sauce.
- Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce & Tomato Paste. This combination brings out amazing flavor and thickness. Our favorite brand of canned tomato products is Muir Glen, which often tastes less acidic. The NY Times just did a taste comparison of different brands that’s worth checking out!
- Dried Herbs & Seasonings. To keep things simple, I use a blend of dried seasonings so this sauce is pantry friendly. You’ll need Italian seasoning, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
- Balsamic Vinegar or Worcestershire Sauce. This adds a bit of umami and really brightens up the sauce. If you’re using Worcestershire, be sure yours is gluten-free! We usually use Lea & Perrins.
- A Tiny Pinch Of Sugar (Or Not). Depending on your dietary needs and the acidity of your tomatoes, you may prefer to add a small pinch of sugar. I recommend starting small with just 1/4 teapoon at a time until you reach the right balance of flavor.
- Fresh Basil. This adds vibrance, depth, and freshness to a more heavy pasta sauce.
- Salt & Pepper. A must for great spaghetti sauce!
How To MAke Homemade Gluten-Free Spaghetti Sauce, Step By Step:
- Soften The Onion. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 4-5 minutes or until slightly softened.
- Add Beef & Sausage. Then, add the ground beef and sausage. Stir to cook the meat, breaking it up with your spoon as you cook. Cook the meat through for 8-20 minutes or until there’s no more pink. Drain almost all the fat. I like to leave 1-2 Tablespoons for flavor.
- Stir In Seasonings. Add the minced garlic, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes, some salt and pepper, and 2 Tablespoons of fresh basil. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add Tomatoes & Water. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Then, pour in the water and stir to combine until there aren’t any large clumps of tomato paste.
- Simmer 30 Minutes. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce to medium-low or low heat. Simmer the sauce for at least 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes to avoid burning.
- Stir In Balsamic Or Worcestershire. Add 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or 1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.
- Finish With Basil. Stir in the rest of the fresh basil and serve warm! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator 3-4 days, or freeze up to 3 months.
Delicious Ways To Use This Sauce
- On Pasta! Obviously, my favorite way to eat gluten-free spaghetti sauce is with gluten-free spaghetti! It’s also yummy with other pasta shapes, such as penne, fettuccini, linguini, etc. Hearty, larger shapes tend to work better than more delicate or small shapes (like elbow macaroni). Check out the FAQ for our favorite GF pasta brands!
- Over Spaghetti Squash. If I’m not having it on pasta, I usually spoon this sauce over spaghetti squash. Roasted spaghetti squash (my favorite!), air-frier spaghetti squash, slow-cooker spaghetti squash… whatever you like!
- For Chicken. Skip the beef & sausage and use this as the sauce for gluten-free chicken parmesan.
- For Spaghetti And Meatballs! Or, skip the ground beef and tuck in some meatballs for an extra hearty dinner!
- With Veggie Noodles. If you’re in the middle of a Whole30, avoid grains, or simply want to fit in more vegetables, try this gluten-free pasta sauce over veggie noodles! Use a spiralizer to make your own at home from zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, and more. Or, pick up some pre-cit vegetable noodles in the chilled produce section at your grocery store!
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Spaghetti Sauce:
What Are The Best Gluten-Free Spaghetti Noodes?
We’ve got a full taste-test coming for you later this week, but my go-to is Jovial brown rice spaghetti. It’s got neutral flavor & great texture!
Yummy Spaghetti Sauce Variations To Try
- Make It Meatless! Prefer your spaghetti sauce without meat? Skip the beef here and make it meatless. (This also works well if you’d like to add meatballs, use the sauce to make chicken parmesan, and more.) You may want to add some extra spices & seasonings to boost the flavor.
- Use All Sausage. Boost the flavor even more by using all sausage for a sausage spaghetti sauce. Bulk ground pork sausage or Italian sausage works best.
- Use Ground Turkey. Prefer turkey to beef? This also works with ground turkey & turkey sausage. It just won’t be quite as rich-tasting.
- Add Mushrooms. Or, slice or mince some mushrooms to add along with the meat or for part of the meat. I love their hearty texture and flavor. (I add them with the onions)
- Add A Parmesan Rind. You can also infuse the sauce by adding a Parmesan cheese rind along with the tomatoes and water. It’ll infuse as the sauce simmers!
What Spaghetti Sauces Are Gluten-Free?
Don’t have time to make your own or just need an easy shortcut for busy nights? I get it! Reach for one of these gluten-free brands of spaghetti sauce instead:
- Rao’s (my all-time favorite)
- Prego – Many of their sauces including their classic Marinara are certified gluten-free!
- Ragu – Their red sauces are gluten-free!
- Primal Kitchen – made from paleo-approved ingredients! (no dairy, gluten, sugar, or grains)
- Newman’s Own – Their sockarooni sauce is yummy!
Can You Freeze Homemade Spaghetti Sauce?
You bet! I often do this to save time down the road! Cool the spaghetti sauce to at least room temperature, then scoop into freezer-safe jars, airtight containers, or freezer bags. Frozen spaghetti sauce will keep 4-6 weeks in the freezer.
- USE JARS OR CONTAINERS: Remember to save at least 1-inch of room at the top of any jars or containers to leave room for expansion. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.
- USE FREEZER BAGS. Remove any excess air from the bags, and freeze bags flat (place on a cutting board or plate to help you, if needed). Thaw on a plate in the refrigerator before using.
⭐ Don’t forget to leave a star review and comment below when you make our gluten-free meatloaf recipe. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!Print