Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Make this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe and have dinner on the table in an hour. Cooks in the microwave for an easy and fresh family dinner!

homemade spaghetti sauce on pasta1

This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe is one that is near and dear to my heart. My grandmother made this spaghetti sauce and then after her, my mom made it. Before my mom passed away, but after she stopped cooking, my dad asked if I would give it a try. Well…of course we all know the answer to that. So I took my mom’s recipe home and gave it my best shot. It took a few tries, but soon my dad told me that it tasted just like my mom’s. In my book, there is no higher compliment than that. This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe tastes like you cooked it all day, but it only takes an hour…and you cook it in the microwave!

homemade spaghetti sauce on pasta fi

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Make this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe and have dinner on the table in an hour. Cooks in the microwave for an easy and fresh family dinner!
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Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons minced onion I used dried
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or 1 pkg. sweetener
  • Pepper to taste
  • 12 oz. can Contadina Tomato Paste
  • 6 c. water
  • 1 lb. pasta


  • In a large covered casserole combine olive oil, onion, salt, garlic powder, sugar, and pepper.
  • Whisk to combine.
  • Add tomato paste and whisk again.
  • Add water in 2 cup increments, gently whisking to combine between additions.
  • Cook on high in the microwave for 1 hour, covered.
  • During last 20 minute cooking increment, boil 1 lb. pasta according to package directions.
  • When pasta and sauce are done, toss together. Garnish with basil if desired. Serve immediately with grated parmesan cheese.


When cooking, set the microwave for three 20 min. sessions and whisk sauce well between cooking increments.
You can, of course, use other brands of tomato paste. My dad swears by Contadina so that's what I use.
Cooked ground beef or cooked meatballs can be added to sauce during the last five minutes of cooking time. 
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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe Tips

  • I’m not sure when my mom started cooking this spaghetti sauce in the microwave. I know my grandmother used her stove top which is an option, but I don’t have any idea on the cooking time.
  • This makes the perfect amount of sauce for one pound of pasta.
  • I use a lidded 2 1/2 quart oval casserole dish.
  • Feel free to add cooked ground meat or cooked meatballs to the sauce when it’s finished. My kids like it that way, but my dad likes it meatless. One of the best things about making this spaghetti sauce is that about halfway through the cooking time, the house begins to smell like an Italian bistro!
  • This spaghetti sauce freezes extremely well. For smaller servings, make the full batch, but divide it in half before freezing. 
  • During the cooking time, condensation will appear in your microwave. I don’t worry about this until I’m finished cooking the spaghetti sauce. I wipe the microwave down well with a clean towel when the sauce is done and it shines like it’s new. 

homemade spaghetti sauce with paste on plate1

When I shared this recipe on Instagram, someone asked a question about the cooking time. The person thought an hour was a long time to have something in the microwave and asked if the sauce had ever blown up. Just in case you were wondering, no it hasn’t! Using the 20 minute increments allows the microwave to be opened and the casserole lid to be removed…so no worries.

Until next time…

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  1. I made your microwave sauce. I admit that I was a little skeptical. I added some grated cheese and chopped peppers. OMG, it might be the best sauce I have ever made! I will definitely make it again. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I’m so glad you liked it…it’s my dad’s favorite!

  2. Edna McKinley says:

    This Spaghetti Dish looks wonderfully scrumptious! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. I definitely pinned this one. Have a Pinterest board with your name on it and all your tips and recipes!!! Thank you for all you do!

  4. YumI will be trying this very soon. Luv your new look but have always enjoyed your blog.

  5. Nana Diana says:

    Well, WHO KNEW you could make sauce in the microwave? NOT ME! I usually simmer my own all day. This sounds delicious and I am saving the recipe over to my files. xo Diana

  6. I’m so excited! I used to have a recipe similar to this when my kids were little –20 years ago *cough*. I lost it somewhere over the years, but I remember it had sugar in it and it had to have Contadina tomato paste (so apparently your dad is not alone in this opinion!) Mine was a stove top recipe, so I am thrilled that this is new and improved. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Spaghetti with meatless sauce is one of my favorite meals. I’ll surely be trying your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  8. debbiedoos says:

    That is AMAZING! It takes me two days to make my sauce. It is such a process. This sounds delicious and I will be trying it.

  9. Your sauce recipe is in the microwave bubbling away! Timing is everything…Got home from work and reached for a jar of Trader Joe’s Marinara but the cupboard was bare. Opened email and there you were! Fortunately, I had all the ingredients for your recipe. Don’t you just love it when that happens? The house smells wonderfully Italian! Thanks for your perfect timing Ann! The blog looks great and I continue to enjoy your posts. Keep up the good work. Deb

  10. The new look is very clean and crisp!! This recipe looks like a winner and the nicest part is that you pleased your father!!

  11. Jeannie C says:

    I will certainly be trying the spaghetti sauce recipe! “Easy” is my motto in the kitchen! Would rather be sewing for the new grandbaby on the way! New site looks wonderful!

  12. Loving your website. Thank you Ann.

  13. Ann, I will try this sauce for my grandson who loves spaghetti. He could eat it every day. I miss my grandmother’s homemade sauce. I remember watching her make homemade gnocchi, spaghetti, and other pastas. Thanks for sharing. As you know, I read blogs, don’t write one. I had all the tech seminars as a long time teacher. Now my grandkids demonstrate activities on my IPad for me.