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The Best Meat Sauce

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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 Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings 3 ½ quarts
Calories 877
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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stir in the red wine and let simmer for about 1 minute, until mostly evaporated.
  • 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.



  • 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


Calories: 877kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 944mg | Potassium: 3685mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 2525IU | Vitamin C: 80.9mg | Calcium: 390mg | Iron: 19.8mg