Recipes

Spicy Meat Sauce

Anytime someone requests a particular recipe, it makes me feel really good. I’m sure any cook would agree that having a certain dish requested is such a nice thing. A special request is validation that others are enjoying your kitchen experiments, too! This spicy meat sauce is one of those recipes for me, and I hope if you try it, it will become one of those recipes for you! Spicy meat sauce can be served with plain ol’ pasta, you can layer it into a lasagna, or you can smother it in cheese and bake it.

This is a great recipe for when you want a hearty and fast weeknight meal. Veggies + hamburger + jar of spaghetti sauce. Speaking of veggies, I would like to put forward my husband’s endorsement of spinach in this spicy meat sauce. Though not normally a fan of spinach, he feels that it’s an innocuous addition to this sauce because you really can’t taste it. (I do like spinach and will agree that it’s not a strong flavor in this recipe.) So why add it in? Spinach packs a serious nutritional punch!

A quick note about spaghetti sauce. (Or marinara sauce, or tomato sauce, or whatever term you like.) Exact amounts of spices will depend on what particular sauce you’re using and, of course, your taste buds and tolerance for spiciness! Some need extra oregano, or garlic, or salt. Maybe you really like the taste of basil but don’t like things spicy. Just use this recipe as a guideline and adjust until yours tastes awesome.

This recipe only shows the final product instead of step-by-step photos. To be honest, it’s because dinner needed to be on the table ASAP and taking pictures did not fit that time frame. But! There’s nothing too tricky, so it’s not like you’re missing any big secrets or tips.

For the spicy meat sauce:

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound hamburger
Salt and pepper, to taste
¾ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried basil
½ tablespoon minced garlic
24 to 26 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
10 ounces chopped spinach (frozen is my preference for ease)

To accompany this I made 3 cups penne, measured dry.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook for two or three minutes until starting to become translucent.

Push the onions to one side and add the hamburger to the other. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil. Crumble the hamburger and let it brown and cook through.

When the hamburger is just cooked through, add the minced garlic and stir everything together. Turn the heat down to medium low.

After cooking the garlic for just a minute or two, add the jar of spaghetti sauce. When the sauce is warmed up and bubbling, add the frozen spinach*. Stir thoroughly and cook until you’re back to bubbling and heated through.

Pair up with pasta and enjoy!

"The" meat sauce with penne in a large saute pan.

 

*If you want your meal ready even faster, heat up the spinach while you’re starting the sauce. This is also a good option if you opt for the boxes of frozen spinach as they thaw and break apart much more slowly.

P.S. To stretch this meal even further, pour the combined spicy meat sauce and pasta into a lightly greased casserole dish. Smother with 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese and bake at 350°F until melted and bubby, about 15 to 20 minutes. This should give you 6 to 7 servings. (And this heats up so well as leftovers!)

Spicy Meat Sauce

Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 to 5
Julie at Baking and Other Important Matters

Ingredients

  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 24 to 26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 10 ounces (frozen) chopped spinach
  • 3 cups cooked penne, measured dry, or your choice of pasta

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook for two or three minutes until starting to become translucent.
  2. Push the onions to one side and add the hamburger to the other. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil. Crumble the hamburger and let it brown and cook through.
  3. When the hamburger is just cooked through, add the minced garlic and stir everything together. Turn the heat down to medium low.

  4. After cooking the garlic for just a minute or two, add the jar of spaghetti sauce. When the sauce is warmed up and bubbling, add the frozen spinach. Stir thoroughly and cook until you're back to bubbling and heated through.

  5. Pair up with pasta and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

To stretch this meal even further, pour the combined spicy meat sauce and pasta into a lightly greased casserole dish. Smother with 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese and bake at 350°F until melted and bubby, about 15 to 20 minutes. This should give you 6 to 7 servings. (And heats up so well as leftovers!)

2 thoughts on “Spicy Meat Sauce

  1. What a great recipe! It’s quick, has vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates! I really like the fact that these are items we all probably have on hand. Thank you for recipes we can ‘pull out-of-our-sleeve’ at the last minute! Can’t wait to make it!

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