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+ servings

The Best Meat Sauce

This amazing meat sauce recipe hails from my father-in-law's kitchen and is everyone's favorite. It's thick, hearty, and has phenomenal flavor thanks to a combination of beef, veal, and pork.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 3 hours
Total 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 3 ½ quarts
Calories 877 kcal
Author Michelle


  • 2 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 8 ounces ground veal
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato puree


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When it is shimmering, add the ground beef, pork and veal, and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the meat mixture and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the dried basil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir in the red wine and let simmer for about 1 minute, until mostly evaporated.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and add the crushed tomatoes and tomato puree to the pot, stirring to incorporate. Reduce the heat to the lowest simmer possible, and place a lid on the pot slightly ajar. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • I have adjusted the amount of olive oil called for in this recipe. Many readers have commented that they found the sauce too oily (it originally called for 1/2 cup); after speaking with my father-in-law, I did a couple of batches with less olive oil and am now recommending 2 tablespoons (reflected in the recipe above).

Nutritional values are based on half a quart of sauce

Nutrition Facts
The Best Meat Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 877 Calories from Fat 378
% Daily Value*
Fat 42g65%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 163mg54%
Sodium 944mg41%
Potassium 3685mg105%
Carbohydrates 70g23%
Fiber 17g71%
Sugar 37g41%
Protein 58g116%
Vitamin A 2525IU51%
Vitamin C 80.9mg98%
Calcium 390mg39%
Iron 19.8mg110%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.