How Many Calories in Spaghetti and Meat Sauce?

Growing up, Spaghetti and meat sauce was a fixture in my house. Thinking back, this was mostly because my mother worked long hours and it was one of the one things my dad knew how to make. But nonetheless, I sure loved my spaghetti and it's probably having it so much growing up that's made me such a carb queen today (thanks, Dad. Thanks alot.)

It's my guess that while spaghetti and meat sauce is more nutritious than, say, fettuccine Alfredo, since it's made with a tomato-based sauce, but it still is probably not all that healthy, at least for the calorie-conscious anyway. What do you think? How many calories are in a serving of spaghetti and meat sauce?

A) 320 cals
B) 510 cals
C) 620 cals
D) 850 cals

The correct answer is C) 620 cals. So you're looking at eating the same amount of calories as in, say, a Big Mac (but a big plate of spaghetti and meat sauce is much more satisfying.) The total fat is a bit on the high side too -- 20g, 7 of which are saturated. And carb counters, you're looking at a whopping 92 g of carbs. And while this isn't the worst number we've seen by far, keep in mind that not only do people usually take more than one serving, this number doesn't account for the cheese which I tend to pile on without abandon.

Still, I will love this dish forever, if only because it takes me back to family dinners with my dad in the home I grew up in. But I might tweak his recipe a bit to make it more healthy. Whole wheat pasta is a start, along with a veggie sauce. And of course, some reduced-fat cheese.

Easy Spaghetti Sauce with Meat Recipe

Quick Meat Sauce for Lasagna, Macaroni and other Pasta Dishes

Pasta sauce does not have to simmer all day to be delicious. This hearty sauce is easy to prepare and takes less than an hour from start to finish.

A steaming plate of spaghetti or any pasta topped with homemade sauce is a perfect meal for family, friends or a romantic dinner for two.

It is not necessary to simmer sauce for hours to blend the flavors. Thirty minutes is all that is necessary for this sauce although it is equally as good when simmered longer. The time can be adjusted by adding more water in the preparation step.

Easy Spaghetti and Meat Sauce Recipe

  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 pounds lean hamburger
  • 1 12 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons beef bouillon granules
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil

  1. Spray large pot with a non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Add cooking oil. Adjust cooking oil amount to the amount of fat in the hamburger.
  3. Dice onion and cook until clear
  4. Crumble hamburger, add to sauce pan and cook until all pink is gone, stirring frequently
  5. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste
  6. Use about 1/3 can of water to rinse each can and add that water to the sauce.
  7. Add spices and simmer 30 minutes or longer if desired and until desired consistency
  8. The cooking time can be adjusted by adding more water and letting the sauce simmer longer
  9. Serve over spaghetti or use in other pasta dishes.

Freeze Pasta Sauce with Meat for Quick Easy-to-make Meals

This sauce freezes well for a quick meal anytime. Thaw in the refrigerator and heat for a quick topping to any pasta for lunch or dinner. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese for added flavor.

When reheating the sauce, it is best to use a very low heat and stir often or use a low setting on the microwave.

Use Sauce for Lasagna, Ziti, Ravioli or Macaroni Dishes
Make extra sauce for quickly assembling a pan or lasagna, ziti or a macaroni dish. This sauce works equally well in most pasta dishes including whole wheat pasta, ravioli and tortellini.

Assemble lasagna by layering sauce, cooked noodles, and ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. Begin and end with sauce and bake according to directions on the lasagna package. This lasagna can be prepared ahead of serving time and baked fresh for dinner.

Serving Suggestions for Pasta Dishes
Serve pasta dishes with a crisp garden salad, garlic bread, and grilled or steamed vegetables for a nutritious and tasty meal. Pasta also works well as quick a side dish for chicken, hot dogs or hamburgers.

Plan a "pick your pasta" night for the kids and let them choose the type of pasta they want to eat. Children like to be involved in meal planning.

Enjoying a home cooked meal is a family tradition that is worth preserving.

Chicken Can Be Substituted for Beef in Easy Spaghetti Sauce

Ground chicken can be substituted for the beef, if desired. The amount of ground beef can also be cut from two pounds to one pound for those who desire less beef in the recipe.

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