Quick & Easy Pasta Sauce - Meat and Marinara


marinara sauce on food and lifestyle blog

I used this sauce in my "Faked Ziti" recipe.  It's super easy to make, very tasty, and quick when you use canned sauce as a base!  Obviously, the longer you let the pasta simmer, the better it will taste - but I often make this for dinner in only 10-15 minutes, without the meat or cheeses.

If you're looking for a marinara recipe, just leave out the meat. If you're in a hurry, you can replace the onion and minced garlic with onion powder and extra garlic powder.

My boyfriend gets heartburn easily, so to keep him comfortable, I add 1/4 cup whole milk or 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream to keep the acidity down.  It also gives it a creamier texture.

Serves 3-4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced and smashed
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground turkey or ground beef
2-3 Italian sausage links, removed from casings
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (optional)
1/4 cup chicken broth (optional)
1 15oz can tomato sauce 
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried or fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup whole milk or 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream (to taste) (optional)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese  (optional)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (optional)


1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet or sauce pan.  I prefer to use a deep skillet pan that comes with a lid, but anything works. 
2. Chop the onion and mince the garlic, smashing it after.  
3. Add the onion to the oil, letting it soften.  Add the garlic and the meat together to prevent the garlic from burning. 

ground turkey meat, food blog

4. Brown the meat.  If there is any grease, drain it. Add salt and pepper.
5. Add the white wine vinegar and let it cook for about a minute. 
6. Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, sugar, parsley, and basil.  Stir occasionally while you bring it to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally for 5 minutes, but preferably longer.

7. Stir in milk or cream and any cheeses you like, tasting as you go.  Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Let it simmer until you're ready to eat it. 

Serve with your favorite pasta and enjoy! 

Nutrition Info

Using Whole milk and all other ingredients
Not using any "optional" ingredients and with NO sausage

No "optional" ingredients but WITH sausage

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