Grandma Carolyn's Spaghetti Sauce

Next month will mark my the start of my fifth year blogging.  And over the years I have posted several recipes that I really grew up on.  Recipes that always take me back to childhood in some fashion.  Cinnamon Rolls, French cookies, party mix, and onion pork chops.

I love the classics.  I love the basics.  I love the recipes that have been made in my family for years and years and even more, I love to share them here.  Which is why I can’t believe it’s taken me four full years to get this one posted here: Grandma Carolyn’s Spaghetti Sauce.  I have never really been able to perfect this one, until yesterday, that is.

Grandma Carolyn's Spaghetti Sauce

I’m really not sure what made it different this time.  It’s super basic – ground beef, tomato sauce, a little sugar, and the secret ingredient – chili seasoning.  My mom swears by William’s chili seasoning and as much as I prefer to make my own chili seasoning, when it comes to Grandma’s spaghetti sauce, William’s is where I turn too.  I think one of the things I love the most about this sauce is the smell it evokes in the house when it’s simmering all day long.  If I had to describe my mom’s house in a smell – this spaghetti sauce would be it!

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Grandma Carolyn's Spaghetti Sauce

Yield: Serves 4-6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2+ hours


1 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2-3 Tbs. chili seasoning (my mom only uses William’s or you can make your own)
1-2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water


Melt the butter in a large dutch oven. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic and stir. Cook the onions and garlic until they are softened and fragrant. Add the ground beef and break it up as it cooks. Add the salt and pepper. When cooked through, drain any excess grease if needed.

Add the 2 tablespoons of chili seasoning and 1 tablespoon of sugar, along with the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water and stir to combine well. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then cover and cook for at least 2 hours up to 6. The longer the better!

Serve with cooked spaghetti noodles of your choice.

Grandma Carolyn's Spaghetti Sauce