Homemade Pasta Sauce
This homemade sausage pasta sauce is rustic and flavorful. Perfect for lasagna, spaghetti or store-bought ravioli!
We’ve all got those old stand-bys in life, whether it’s that comfortable pair of shoes, jeans that somehow always fit the best, and that friend who never lets us down.
This sausage pasta sauce is your new kitchen staple when you want a delicious meal that leaves you feeling good….just like those jeans. 🙂
When I make this pasta sauce, it’s like liquid gold. I prepare a double batch and freeze it to make week nights so much easier to bear. While I love red sauce with ground beef or turkey, turkey sausage is my absolute favorite.
Of course, it simply wouldn’t be a pasta dish for me without mushrooms. Have I ever made one without them? I honestly don’t think so. Mushrooms are as important to me as the meat and the tomatoes.
This pasta sauce will be your stand-by for quick week nights, entertaining, or Sunday dinners. Everyone needs a good sauce in their repertoire, and this is it for me.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- This homemade red pasta sauce is rustic and comforting, and is a great base for almost any pasta dish.
- I made this recipe as a sausage pasta sauce, but you can easily swap in your favorite protein (ground beef, ground turkey, etc.).
- You can make a big batch of sauce and freeze some of it for later. It thaws and reheats like a dream!
The ingredients list in the recipe card below may look lengthy, but that’s because I flavored the sauce with quite a few dried herbs and spices. Don’t worry, I only used spices I was confident you’d have in your pantry!
- Italian sausage. I used mild Italian turkey sausage, but you may use any type of sausage you’d like.
- Mushrooms. I chose cremini mushrooms for their meaty, hearty flavor. They’re just the best!
- Canned tomatoes. You can use either crushed tomatoes, or whole tomatoes that you first puree in the food processor. I recommend buying San Marzano tomatoes (I’ve explained why in the FAQ section below).
- Sugar. Just 1 tablespoon of sugar helps balance out the acidity in the tomatoes. Don’t worry, this isn’t a sweet red sauce!
- Spices. Like I said, I was generous when adding the herbs and spices to this sausage red sauce. I used a mixture of dried basil, parsley, thyme, and oregano, as well as a little chili powder, cayenne, and smoked paprika.
How to make this recipe
This is an incredibly easy homemade pasta sauce recipe, and everything can be cooked in the same pot, if desired.
- In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the turkey sausage to pan and break up with a wooden spoon.
- Add the onion and garlic, and saute until the meat is browned and the onion is translucent. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
- In the same skillet, heat additional olive oil. Add the mushrooms, and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Saute until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms have softened.
- Place the pureed tomatoes, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices in a large pot. Add the turkey sausage mixture and mushrooms, and stir to combine.
- Simmer over medium low heat for 20 – 30 minutes.
For this easy homemade pasta sauce, I used San Marzano tomatoes. You can find large cans of San Marzano crushed tomatoes, but I happened to find the whole tomatoes at Trader Joe’s and opted to buy them there and puree them in my food processor.
What’s the difference between San Marzano tomatoes and regular old cans of tomato sauce, you may ask? Think of a tomato that you buy at the farmer’s market compared to one at Safeway. The freshness is unmatched, and I really noticed a difference.
San Marzano tomatoes are pricier, but you get what you pay for. 🙂
You can keep this sauce in the fridge for up to five days. After that, I recommend freezing it.
Yes, this homemade red pasta sauce freezes very well. I normally freeze pasta sauce in zip-top freezer bags. The sauce will last up to three months in the freezer and can be thawed overnight in the fridge.
- Italian sausage. You may use any kind of Italian sausage you’d like (mild or spicy). You may also substitute another protein, such as ground beef or ground turkey.
- Cremini mushrooms. Any type of mushroom may be used to make the sauce.
- Canned tomatoes. I used whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes that I pureed in my food processor. You may substitute canned crushed tomatoes, if that’s easier for you.
- I made this sausage sauce using a skillet and a large pot, but you may cook everything in a single pot if desired. Just make sure to remove the Italian sausage once it’s browned and return it to the pot later, as directed in the recipe card below.
- For a spicier sauce, you can use hot Italian sausage or add extra cayenne (a little goes a long way, though!).
- This sauce pairs well with boiled pasta, but it can also be used in homemade lasagna or spooned over ravioli.
More pasta sauce recipes:
- Basil pesto sauce
- Chimichurri sauce by Bon Appetit
- Marinara sauce
- Meat sauce
- Homemade pesto (with any greens!)
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!
Homemade Sausage Pasta Sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 lb. mild Italian turkey sausage (such as Diestel or Jennie-O brand)
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms washed and sliced
- 2 28 ounce cans whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes pureed in food processor till smooth
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the turkey sausage to pan and break up with a wooden spoon. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until the meat is browned and the onion is translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Discard the grease.
- In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms , and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Saute until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Place the pureed tomatoes, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, basil, parsley, chili powder, thyme, paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper in a large pot. Add the turkey sausage mixture and mushrooms, and stir to combine.
- Simmer over medium low heat for 20 – 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve with boiled pasta, ravioli, or make lasagna. Enjoy!
- Sauce freezes well for quick week night suppers!
- Customize this sauce with your favorite protein, herbs and spices
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.