Give your traditional spaghetti sauce a makeover with this Chunky Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce!
Before marrying an Italian over 12 years ago, I don’t ever remember eating Italian Sausage. I’m not saying that I absolutely did not, I just don’t remember. My dad was (and still is) very much a meat and potatoes kind of guy. And since he did the cooking most nights at home (unless it was time for mom’s fried chicken), we ate meat and potatoes.
And it was good. My dad is a phenomenal cook.
But since I’ve been married and have had to learn my way around the kitchen to feed all the mouths that live with me, I have to cook foods that are familiar and foods they like. For my husband, Italian Sausage is very familiar. He doesn’t care how it’s cooked, he just loves Italian Sausage. And I can’t blame him — it’s good, y’all!
We don’t eat spaghetti all that often, maybe once or twice a month, but when we do, I want to make it good. We always use a meat sauce (I can’t remember the last time I had spaghetti without a meat sauce) because for a family of five it seems to stretch further.
By using Italian Sausage, it completely changes the depth of flavor and makes it more exciting for your taste buds. If you like things a bit more spicy, you could use Hot Italian Sausage, too.
Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Vegetable Spiral Slicer
And if you really wanted to be adventurous and try something different, try Zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead of pasta. A spiralizer makes it easy to turn your favorite vegetables or fruits into gorgeous spirals! I have this particular spiralizer and I absolutely love it. Not only is it great for making zoodles, but think curly fries and spiral apple strands — YUM! This one comes with three different blades that can easily be stored in the compartment underneath. The shredder blade creates long, spaghetti-like spiral strands, the chipper blade creates long, thick spiral strands, and the straight blade creates long, ribbon-like strands. If you’re like me, you’ll be looking for things to spiralize!
Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-QuartTramontina Enameled Cast Iron 6.5 Qt Covered Dutch OvenLe Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven 7-1/4-Quart
Here’s a tip y’all – Do not start this recipe without a Dutch Oven. I think the Dutch Oven is one of the most essential pieces of cookware in the kitchen. If you don’t already have one, I recommend getting one immediately. It’s perfect for cooking long braises and stews, and also perfect for this spaghetti sauce. I recommend one with thick walls and an equally thick bottom. They range in price greatly, from around $40 to upwards of $300, but I recommend the three pictured above. I’ve included options for all budgets.
Chunky Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce
Chunky Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce
The depth of flavor that the Italian Sausage brings to this Chunky Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce will have you running back for a second bowl. Between the spices, fennel and tomatoes, this spaghetti sauce is a must have on spaghetti night.
- 1 lb Johnsonville All Natural Fresh Italian Mild Ground Sausage
- 1 large orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic (or 2 cloves garlic, minced)
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 3 (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1.5 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups chicken broth (or water)
- In a large dutch oven, brown meat with bell pepper, onion, and garlic until vegetables are tender. Carefully drain fat in a colander with a bowl underneath to catch the fat. Return meat mixture to dutch oven.
- Carefully stir in tomato paste, tomatoes with their juices, brown sugar, salt, all spices, and bay leaf. Stir in broth and bring to boil. Once it has come to a boil, reduce the heat and continue to simmer uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- When you are ready to serve, remove bay leaf and serve over hot pasta or zoodles.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 839mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
The key here is to let the spaghetti sauce simmer away on the stove as long as you can. If you like your sauce thicker, cook it longer and use less broth. Since I usually only have a few hours between the time I start cooking and the family is ready to eat, two hours simmering on the stove works well for us. Don’t be tempted to put the lid on while simmering. Leave it uncovered and allow the flavors to mingle with each other to create a wonderfully delicious spaghetti sauce.
This recipe makes a lot of Chunky Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce, so save the leftovers and freeze for next time. I like using mason jars instead of plastic containers.
Ball Pint Regular Mouth Jars and Lids BPA Free, 16 oz, Set of 12
Here’s another tip, y’all – Don’t let your leftovers go to waste. Have some mason jars on hand to store your leftovers in the freezer. I like making multiple batches at once and having several meals stored away in the freezer for those busy nights. Please note: When using glass mason jars, make sure you leave some room at the top of the jar for expansion. About an inch will do. I would hate for you to break one of your pretty mason jars and ruin a batch of this spaghetti sauce. When you’re ready to use it, set it out in the refrigerator to thaw.
If you like this spaghetti sauce recipe using Italian Sausage, here are more recipes on my site that also use it:
Italian Sausage, Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Stuffed Shells
How do you like your spaghetti sauce? Smooth or chunky? Obviously, you can see I’m a chunky spaghetti sauce kind of girl.
Rebecca Orr says
It’s 10:42 in the morning and my mouth is watering and I am now craving spaghetti…with this sauce! Thanks! LOL Anyway, this looks delicious and easy enough to make! I can’t wait to try it.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
That looks amazing! My favorite kind of spaghetti sauce is chunky. I like to call smooth spaghetti sauce “fancy ketchup”. =D
Myrah - Coupon Mamacita says
I love this! I always find chunky spaghetti sauce to be much more flavorful that the standard variety. Thanks!
I’ve never used italian sausage in spaghetti, we always use ground turkey. I’m adding this to my weekly meal plan, it looks so good!
Oh goodness with the amount of pasta I eat, I could have been born Italian! So I’m going to try Italian sausage for my next pasta dish instead of hamburger. It looks great!
Jenny Temcio says
That spaghetti sauce looks so good! I always prefer home made sauces.
I have never tried Italian sausage in spaghetti sauce! I bet it is delicious!
Michelle F. says
That looks so good! I love my sauce chunky with meat. I have to try this one with sausage.
Yum, this sounds so good and my hubby is crazy about italian sausage! I’ll have to surprise him with this recipe this weekend. I’m sure he will love it.
This sounds so yummy. My husband won’t eat spaghetti unless I include some type of meat with it. I’m sure he’d love this. Adding it to my list of recipes to try. 🙂
This looks really good! I love using Italian sausage in my spaghetti sauce.
Valerie Remy-Milora says
I have never had Johnsonville All Natural Fresh Italian Ground Sausage but it looks delicious! I have a few recipes that would work beautifully with it and can’t wait to give it a try. Saving your recipe 🙂
This looks so delicious with all the chunkiness!
Sandra - The Foodie Affair says
Your sauce looks delicious! Italian sausage adds so much flavor. Great recipe!
Jess C says
YUMMY! This looks absolutely delicious… I know what I’ll be making for dinner!!!:)
Lindsey @ Redhead Baby Mama says
Delish! Sausage in the spaghetti is my FAVORITE way to cook it!
Megan @mnmspecial says
I grew up eating spaghetti twice a week because my dad loved it. It’s probably my least favorite meal and I didn’t make it for the first 10 years I was married, haha. Now I make it with a beef and sausage mix, but I’ve never tried making my own sauce like this. It looks so easy. Can’t wait to try it.
Debbie L. says
This looks delicious – pinned to my Pasta Board. I know my family will love this.
Estelle Erasmus says
I love sausage in anything. I think it’s a natural to be added to spaghetti sauce. Will try it out.
This looks fabulous, Crystal!! Okay, had me drooling! I know what I’m making for supper tomorrow night!!
Marcie W. says
Chunky sauce is a MUST for me with Italian food and this recipe looks absolutely perfect. It has bell pepper, garlic, and all the staples!
Chrystal @ YUM eating says
We grow a few varieties of tomatoes in our garden. One of my favorite things to do is can tomatoes so I can use it for homemade sauces and such.
Sausage and sauce always go good together! I love how it’s thick too!
Yum! Looks delicious. We love Italian sausage so this would be perfect! My while family would love this!
I just love Italian sausage in spaghetti sauce. This looks absolutely delicious.
This looks amazing! I’ll have to try your spaghetti sauce recipe!
Aimee Smith says
I love adding meat to my sauce, makes it so much more filling and hearty!
Debbie Denny says
That does look amazing. I will have to try it.
Ooh, yum. I prefer my sauce with chunks in it, and this looks perfect!
That looks so delicious. Thanks for the great recipe.
Melanie S. says
Pasta is pretty much my favorite thing to eat (aside from pizza). Thanks for the recipe!
Mama to 5 BLessings says
Love spaghetti! I like that you made it nice and chunky, looks great!
While I usually use my grandmother’s recipe for marinara sauce, I’m always on the hunt for other good ones to try out. This looks like one I should try.
Danielle @ We Have It All says
Oohh! That looks delicious . I want some!!
I usually prefer smooth. Every now and then, however, I like to mix it up with a little chunk in my sauce!
Ellen ThatChicMom says
That is my kind of sauce, I love lots of meat in mine. Sausage is so good thanks for the recipe!
I can’t find the Johnsonville All Natural Fresh Italian Mild Ground Sausage, but I have the large links. Would that work?
I think if you removed it from the casing and made sure to break it down into really small pieces while cooking, that it would work just fine.
Ron Lay says
Just cut the caseings and remove the sausage, cook it like you would ground beef.
This is similar to an old family recipe we have for lasagna, but I also use it for everything else because I cant stand jar sauce! I take the sausage out of the casing in links and use that. This sounds really good too.
Can you make this without sugar?
Sure. It will change the flavor slightly but feel free to take out the sugar!
How long can you keep the chunky Italian Sausage sauce in a mason jar if it is sealed ? Thanks.
I’m not sure how long it will stay fresh in the refrigerator because of the acidity in the tomatoes, but I’ve kept mine frozen in the freezer with no issues.
Jay Cray says
My wife and I have been doing this for years. We use two pounds of Italian Sausage, two pounds ground turkey, three heaping tablespoons of garlic, three large containers of Prego, two large onions, four tablespoons Italian Seasoning and two large cans petite tomatoes. We put all the ingredients in two crock pots and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Then we can it in quart canning jars. It lasts for months in the pantry, and up to a week in the fridge. Last time we prepared this we canned eight quarts. I eat the sauce over toasted baguette for breakfast.
Joann vallez says
Once you’ve tried this sauce, you’ll never go back to your regular tomato/basil sauce again.