Meat Sauce with Red Wine and Mushrooms is a simple, flavorful pasta sauce with ground beef simmered in crushed San Marzano tomatoes with red wine, mushrooms, and spices.  This is the only sauce recipe you’ll ever need.

Meat sauce with red wine and mushrooms in dutch oven


One of my favorite ever pasta sauces is my Pasta Sauce with Turkey Sausage and Mushrooms, and it was always my go-to until January of this year.  After the holidays, I had a hankering for a good pasta dinner, and I was ready to whip up a batch of my mainstay.  My husband had other plans.  While he loves that sauce, too, he grew up on a meat sauce his grandmother and mother made.  While I never got to taste his grandmother’s sauce, my mother-in-law’s sauce is truly special, and I knew I would have to figure out something good to make one remotely as tasty.  This sauce turned out better than I could have imagined, and got rave reviews from my husband, which made me very happy.  I’ve made it countless times since, and I’m sorry I haven’t posted it until now.  It’s been in the coughers way too long. 😉

Meat sauce with red wine and mushrooms in dutch oven with wooden spoon

The makings of a delicious pasta sauce always start with crushed San Marzano tomatoes for me.  They’re the most flavorful tomatoes, and it’s worth the extra couple of dollars.  The red wine was my added touch to get another layer of flavor in there, along with some tomato paste.  Even though the San Marzano tomatoes are so flavorful, the tomato paste adds a concentrated flavor that boosts the entire sauce.  I added Worcestershire for some salty umami, and sugar to cut the acidity.  Add some basil, a bay leaf, garlic, and parsley to the mix, and you’ve got yourself one perfect sauce.

I can never, ever make a pasta sauce without mushrooms, so I sautéed some baby bellas and tossed those in for an even meatier flavored pasta sauce.  Lots of ground beef, red wine, San Marzanos, and mushrooms — what else is there?  Pasta sauces are a personal thing in the end, and they’re generally passed down through the family from generation to generation.  While this isn’t  my mother-in-law’s sauce, it’s my contribution to a long line of pasta sauces that we’ll be happy to eat any time.  This sauce is definitely worthy of any family pasta dinner.  Did I mention that it tastes phenomenal over spaghetti squash?  It most definitely does!  My next post, however, will involve this sauce, penne, and some cheese.  Stay tuned. 🙂

Meat sauce with red wine and mushrooms in dutch oven

Homemade meat sauce in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon

Homemade Meat Sauce

Homemade meat sauce is a simple, flavorful pasta sauce with ground beef simmered in crushed San Marzano tomatoes with red wine, mushrooms, and spices. This is the only sauce recipe you'll ever need!

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  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef (I used organic, grass-fed)
  • 1 large onion peeled, and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (I used pinot noir)
  • 16 ounces baby bella mushrooms stems removed and sliced
  • 2- 28 ounce cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • salt to taste


  • In a large Dutch oven or saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper, to taste, and break up the beef into small pieces. Continue to cook until the meat has browned, and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
  • Degrease the pan, reserving 1 tablespoon to cook the onions. Add the onions and cook until transparent and softened, about 8 minutes, being careful not to burn. If the pan gets too dry, add more of the grease or olive oil.
  • Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Add the red wine, and reduce down to half.
  • Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, to taste, and sauté until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Once the wine has reduced, add the San Marzano tomatoes, basil, parsley, bay leaf, Worcestershire, sugar, and tomato paste. Add salt, to taste, then stir in the ground beef and mushrooms.
  • Simmer over medium low heat for 30 minutes to 1 hour, and enjoy with pasta or spaghetti squash!


  • This makes a large batch of sauce. I like to use half and freeze the other for busy week nights.


Calories: 146kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 99mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

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