Archive for May 12th, 2011

How to make 5 jars of spaghetti sauce in 5 minutes for around $3

I love a truly from scratch sauce with fresh tomatoes from my garden.  In fact, I’ll be posting my favorite garden fresh sauce recipe this summer. But this time of year, I am happy to compromise with this sauce.  It tastes way better than any store bought sauce I’ve tried.

Store bought spaghetti sauce contain ingredients like corn syrup and “natural flavors” which we all know can mean just about anything, including MSG.  It can also be difficult for those of us dealing with allergies to find a jar of sauce that does not contain cheese and soy.

I am thrilled to share with you my secret to making 5 jars of spaghetti sauce in 5 minutes for around $3! I buy the large can of tomato sauce at Sam’s (or Costco) for $2.33.  I also buy the spices in bulk at Sam’s or Costco.

The hardest part of this recipe is opening the large can!  A regular electric opener won’t work.  I use a manual can opener.  Once I have the can open, I add the spices directly to the can and mix with a cheap immersion blender (like this one).  That’s it! It’s ready to be added to cooked ground meat or frozen for later.

But, you ask, doesn’t spaghetti sauce need to simmer?  I used to simmer it before adding it to the jars but I find that cooking the sauce with ground meat is enough simmering time to combine the flavors.

Bella enjoys this sauce over Mrs. Leeper’s Rice Shapes For Kids.  I have enjoyed this sauce in spaghetti, ravioli and lasagna.  We are meat sauce people.  If you prefer to go vegetarian, you probably need to add olive oil. Becca wrote this in the comment section:

As a vegetarian, I have to say: Adding olive oil will not give you the good flavor of adding something cooked in the oil.  This is really easy to do with kale, even if it is frozen, because it cooks so fast–give it 3 minutes in olive oil in the bottom of the pot, maybe with a clove of crushed garlic or some bits of onion, and then add the sauce and heat it up.  Kale is crazily nutritious and cheap, too!

Thank you so much Becca!

As a side note, my family of six really needs two pounds of beef in their spaghetti sauce to fill them up.  I buy organic, grass-fed beef from a local farmer which is a little pricier than store bought beef.  I can’t stand to use two pounds of beef in one meal, so I add a can of rinsed black beans to stretch the beef.  At first my kids acted like I was torturing them with beans, but they have gotten used to it.  If you want to try adding beans, don’t blame me if your kids won’t eat their dinner!  🙂


  • Contadina Tomato Sauce – 105 oz. can  (I buy this from Sam’s for $2.33.)
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced or 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder or 1 Tbsp Dried Onion Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Pepper


1.  Open the can of tomato sauce.

2.  Add the seasonings directly to the can.

3.  Blend with an immersion blender or long spoon.

4.  Divide sauce between 5 recycled spaghetti sauce jars or storage baggies.

5.  Store sauce in the freezer.

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