Photo of Tomato sauce with ground beef by WW

Tomato sauce with ground beef

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
2 hr 45 min
15 min
2 hr 30 min
Make this Sunday sauce for your next family dinner. Make sure to let the tomato mixture cook on low heat for an hour before adding the ground beef. Then, once you add the browned beef, let the sauce cook for another hour to have all the flavors come together. What's great about this red sauce is how extremely versatile it is. It’s fabulous over pasta or veggie noodles, but also great with polenta, baked potatoes, or eggs. Feel free to swap lean ground turkey or chicken, or chicken or turkey sausage (in casings) for the ground beef. Or choose meatless crumbles to make it a vegetarian option.


Cooking spray

1 spray(s)

Olive oil

2 tsp

Uncooked onion(s)

2 large, thinly sliced

Garlic clove(s)

4 medium clove(s), minced, or to taste

Canned tomatoes

70 oz, plum variety with basil, partially mashed into big chunks

Canned tomato paste

6 oz


5 leaf/leaves, or to taste, plus extra for garnish

Table salt

1 tsp, or to taste

Red pepper flakes

½ tsp, or to taste


¼ tsp

Uncooked lean ground beef

1 pound(s)


  1. Coat a large heavy pot with cooking spray and warm over medium heat; add oil. When oil is hot, add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring a few times, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, salt, red pepper flakes and sugar; stir and bring to a boil, scraping down sides and bottom of pot.
  2. Reduce heat to low, partially cover pot and cook for one hour, scraping bottom and sides of pot halfway through cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, brown beef over medium-high heat, breaking up clumps with a spatula or wooden spoon as it cooks, about 7 to 10 minutes; set aside.
  4. After sauce cooks for 1 hour, stir beef into pot, lifting it out of skillet with a slotted spoon so any excess fat stays in skillet. Cook sauce for 1 hour more, scraping down sides and bottom of pot occasionally. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.