This is probably the easiest, and dare I say tastiest, spaghetti sauce you’ll have ever made. And the best part is, no mess to clean up! Try it, you’ll love it!
I must admit… this would be my dad’s spaghetti sauce recipe. Well, I say my dad, but in fact, I think it was more my mom’s… cuz back when I was a kid, she’d be the one making it all the time! As in really: all the time! She would make a fresh batch of this deliciousness Every.Single.Week. Yeah; my dad really loved his pasta! As for me, I remember being a tiny little toddler standing on a chair and helping my mom stir the sauce.
Needless to say I started making it on my own at a very young age and today, I could totally whip it up it with my eyes closed, even though nowadays I only will make a batch every now and then, since I don’t do pasta quite as much, anymore…
The only thing that I have changed from the original recipe would be the preparation method. Indeed, my mom used to do this on the stove top, and she’d let it simmer for hours in a large stock pot which she would partly cover, but even at that, the sauce would splatter all over the place and make a huge mess in the kitchen. By the time the sauce was done, the range was usually covered in all kinds of totally cooked to semi-cooked drops of tomato sauce. And that, would be a witch to clean!
Initially, when I moved out and started making my own, I would repeat the exact same steps and end up with the messy stove, too. Until I decided to throw everything in my trusted Dutch oven and send the whole operation to the oven. OH HEAVEN!!!!
Not only do you not need to attend to this beauty, except for maybe stir it once or twice during the 5 to 6 hours that it takes to cook, but the kitchen AND OVEN remain as clean as can be. Not a single drop splatters or spills anywhere.
Now if that doesn’t get you completely sold on the method, I don’t know what will! Seriously, just that much makes investing in a Dutch oven totally worth your while, if you ask me… If you don’t already own one, that is!
And if you do own one? I say you should take it out, right this minute, and whip up a batch of this deliciously robust, thick and hearty spaghetti sauce!
Since this will be cooking in the oven, start by preheating your oven to 375°F
Then, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil) in a 7 quart Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
I like to use green bell peppers because that’s what my dad used to use, and they also happen to be much more flavorful, but feel free to use any color that you like…
Add the ground beef and continue cooking, stirring from time to time and breaking the meat as you go, until the meat is brown and cooked through, which should take about 10 minutes.
Now add 3 cans of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of crushed tomatoes as well as all the whole bunch of herbs and spices, namely Italian seasoning, dried parsley, oregano and thyme, garlic powder and chili pepper flakes.
About those chili pepper flakes, of course you can adjust the amount in accordance with your own tolerance to heat. To be honest, my dad would add a lot more than that, but if I were to share his exact recipe with you, then you’d probably end up calling the cops on me for trying to kill your taste buds or something. My dad liked his really HOT, you see? So yeah… a teaspoon is a good place to start, but feel free to play with that!
Give the sauce a good stir, bring it to a slow simmer then kill the heat, cover and transfer your Dutch oven to the preheated oven.
Let your spaghetti sauce cook for 5 to 6 hours, stirring once or twice during that time, until it has reached the desired thickness and consistency.
Remove your now finished sauce from the oven, allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving over your favorite pasta, zoodles, or even spiralized rutabaga, why not?
Chances are you will be generating leftovers, unless you happen to be feeding an army that night! Keep those in the fridge for up to several days, or throw them in the freezer where they will keep for up to a few months.
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Dutch Oven Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions chopped
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp salt I use Himalayan salt
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 3 lb lean ground beef
- 3 cans 28oz diced tomatoes
- 2 cans 28oz crushed tomatoes
- 3 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried chili flakes (adjust or omit to suit your tolerance to heat)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Heat the oil in a 7qt Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and continue cooking, stirring and breaking the meat as you go, until the meat is brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Add the diced and crushed tomatoes as well as all the herbs and spices and stir well. Bring to a simmer then kill the heat, cover and transfer the Dutch oven to the preheated oven.
- Cook for 5 to 6 hours, stirring once or twice, until the sauce has reached the desired thickness and consistency.
- Remove from oven, allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before serving over your favorite pasta.
Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to several days, or in the freezer for up to a few months.