Freezer Friendly Spaghetti Meat Sauce

Posted 22 March, 2014 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 23 Comments

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Every once in a while recipe magic happens. And by recipe magic I mean your entire family absolutely loves what you’ve put in front of them for dinner. By entire family I mean Scott and Elle. Honestly, I’ll eat anything, especially if I cook it.

The recipe magic in this case is for a meaty spaghetti sauce that produces enough to feed an army. If you were here for my Operation Crock Pot or 10 Things in my Freezer posts then you’ve heard me mention our love for this spaghetti sauce. The original recipe is from Betty Crocker. The original is very good but I’ve made some changes over the dozen or so times I’ve made it.

Before you continue, note that this makes a TON of sauce. Depending on how much we eat the first night of cooking, I usually have enough leftover for FOUR 24 oz jars. 24 oz jar is comparable to a regular store-bought jar of sauce.

Freezer Friendly Spaghetti Meat Sauce

2 lb ground beef (I like 93/7%)
12 oz ground Italian sausage*
1 onion, chopped (usually just a medium one)
6 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
3 cans (15 oz each) tomato sauce
2 cans (6 oz) tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves**
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1. In the biggest skillet you have (seriously), brown the meat with the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. I use a little bit of olive oil and saute up the onion and garlic first, but proceed how you normally like. Drain thoroughly.

2. Add meat mixture to Slow Cooker and add remaining ingredients.*** Stir to combine.

3. Cook on low setting for 8-9 hours.

*We use mild Italian sausage for Elle but I prefer spicier. Usually I’ll add a bit more spice when reheating the sauce after I’ve already dished up Elle’s portion.

**And sometimes a few shakes of the Italian herbs bottle. You can always add more seasoning next time you reheat the sauce.

To Freeze the Sauce:
1. Cool the sauce and refrigerate overnight.
2. Ladle into freezable containers (I use Ball Pint and a Half jars with plastic storage caps) but you could also do gallon size bags and freeze the bags flat to stack them). I use a large mouth funnel for pouring.
3. Tap out/smooth out as many of the air bubbles as possible
4. Freeze!

There is nothing better than being able to pull out a jar of sauce from the freezer, defrost it, and have homemade dinner on the table with only having to cook noodles and heat up the sauce. This meal is requested so frequently at our house that I have to be careful how quickly my stock dwindles!

What’s your favorite thing to make in bulk and freeze?

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23 Responses to “Freezer Friendly Spaghetti Meat Sauce”

  1. As you know, I love stocking my freezer. I usually have cooked ground meat in the freezer — 2-cup packs of cooked ground and packs of cooked meat balls, in particular. With the ground meat, I make tacos, chili, spaghetti sauce, burritos, and so on.

  2. Wow, this post brought back so many memories for me. My dad has always made his own sauce, and he used to make it in this HUGE pot so he could freeze a bunch of it. He always used plastic bags, but I really like the containers you used.

    • (Definitely good memories–helping make the sauce and feeling really important about it, the house smelling wonderfully saucy for two days, etc.)

  3. Love recipes that make enough to freeze for later enjoyment.
    Just defrosted some spaghetti sauce I made a month ago for dinner last night. Still yummy. :)

  4. One thing we always have in the freezer are begedil (here’s a recipe It’s a panfried potato patty, in which I add either some fish or minced pork and some finely chopped vegetables like green beans. Easy to pop in the microwave in the mornings to pack for preschool lunch!

    I am intrigued by your use of the slow cooker. I’ll give it a try when I next make spaghetti sauce!

  5. I happen to love spaghetti and meatballs. If I’m really into it, I’ll add onions and green peppers. That sauce of yours really looks chunky and delicious.

  6. Yes! I love freezing sauce and then having it available to grab when I’m too lazy to cook. The recipe sounds very rich and tasty. Thanks!

  7. Joy

    That sounds yummy! I don’t have a big freezer (yet) so my freezing energies go to pesto which I freeze in ice cube containers and the dump in ziploc bags for longer storage.

  8. I love how easily spaghetti sauce freezes! Seriously! There are only two of us in my family and so when I have to make a big pot of something I make sure it freezes. I’ll be trying this one for sure!

  9. This sounds absolutely awesome. I’ve been cooking a lot more over the past – wow, it’s been eight months. I still haven’t forayed into freezing yet, but that does sound wonderfully convenient.

  10. This is basically identical to our spaghetti bolognese except we don’t have a slow cooker. We simply let the sauce simmer for 45-60 minutes to make sure the tomatoes aren’t sharp and all the flavours mix together. It’s one of the recipes I make in a big batch every so often to stock our freezer. So easy and delicious!

  11. Yeah, spaghetti sauce is my ‘freezer’ food, too. The recipe I make is pretty simplistic compared to this one, but it works, so I go for it… Although, I might sneak sausage into my next batch because I believe we have some in the freezer. hm…

  12. I love making fresh spaghetti sauce like this! My recipe is a little different – I like to play with it every time – but I think I’ll try yours next. It looks really good and I love the addition of sausage.

  13. Les

    I’m going to have to try this, since I’m pretty lazy when it comes to sauce and use Prego’s Traditional. I know. Shame on me. I do, however, make my own meatball. Does that count? ;) I put them in my sauce or crumbled them on top of homemade pizzas. Next time, I’ll give your sauce a try. Looks fabulous!