Jazz up your typical spaghetti recipe with my weeknight spaghetti and delicious meat sauce that the whole family enjoys. With a couple simple tips, you’ll have spaghetti dinner that tastes like the sauce has been simmering all day.
Quick Weeknight Spaghetti
Spaghetti is on repeat often at our home as it is such a quick fix dinner that the whole family enjoys. My simple spaghetti recipe has a meat sauce that will have you making it time and time again. The ground beef is precisely seasoned and sauteed with onion and garlic making a flavorful meat before adding your sauce. When the sauce is simmering, I add artichoke hearts (optional) for an even added flavor bonus.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This dinner is done in under 30 minutes!
- The whole family loves spaghetti night!
- My spaghetti recipe makes the best leftovers!
What You’ll Need
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make my quick spaghetti recipe at home. See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full details and instructions.
- extra virgin olive oil– The olive oil is used to saute the onion and garlic before adding the ground beef. I prefer olive oil for the taste over canola or vegetable oil.
- white onion– Finely chop the white onion for the meat sauce. Small pieces are preferred.
- garlic– Use fresh garlic and mince yourself, or use the can of minced garlic that you can find in the produce section of the grocery store. I use this version often.
- lean ground beef– 80-90% lean meat is preferred. You can substitute with ground sausage as well.
- kosher salt- Kosher salt is a coarse salt commonly used in cooking and baking. I prefer using it over table salt.
- garlic salt– My favorite garlic salt brand is Lawry’s if you can find it.
- freshly ground black pepper– For best tasting results use freshly ground black pepper.
- favorite pasta sauce- Use your favorite jarred pasta sauce or try my simple homemade pasta sauce recipe. For prepared pasta sauce, I love Trader Joe’s 4 Cheese Pasta Sauce.
- artichoke hearts– Near the pasta section, you can find marinated artichoke hearts in jars. Drain and pour artichoke hearts in your meat sauce before serving. Optional, but such a delicious addition!
- dry spaghetti noodles– Barilla has great pasta options. I used a whole wheat pasta today. Use what your family prefers.
- Parmesan cheese– Top each plate of hot spaghetti with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese. Adds the perfect salty cheesy bite.
How To Make Weeknight Spaghetti Recipe
Saute Vegetables. Place olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
Brown Ground Beef. Add ground beef, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Cook until browned, about 5-8 minutes.
Add Pasta Sauce. Stir in pasta sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through. Season to taste if needs more seasonings. Add drained artichoke hearts if desired.
Cook Pasta according to package directions (making sure pasta is al dente.)
Serve Pasta on individual serving plates, top with spoonfuls of meat sauce and top with Parmesan cheese and serve with garlic bread and side salad if desired.
How To Cook Al Dente Pasta
- Add the pasta of your choice to a pot of salted boiling water.
- Start tasting pasta one to two minutes before the package instructions suggests.
- Once the pasta is tender and chewy but no longer crunchy, drain the pasta in a colander for serving.
When cooking pasta, one of the biggest recommendations I can give you, is make sure the pasta does not get overcooked. Use the three tips above to ensure your pasta stays al dente.
What Substitutions Can I Use?
- Try substituting the ground beef for ground sausage or even cooked shredded chicken breast. All great options to switch up according to your preferences.
- If your family prefers other pasta shapes, try using bowtie pasta, penne, rigatoni, etc. Use any pasta shape with this simple meat sauce recipe.
- If your family doesn’t enjoy artichoke hearts leave them out. Not everyone will love artichoke, but those who do will go crazy for this sauce. Sauteed zucchini is another fantastic addition or substitution for the artichoke. Pitted kalamata olives are another delicious addition to the meat sauce.
- Parmesan Cheese can be optional as well. If you’ve never tried crumbled Feta over your spaghetti, give it a try. It’s one of my favorites.
How To Serve Spaghetti
Serve your weeknight spaghetti with garlic bread and a side salad if you’d like. Your favorite roasted vegetables are another great side option. Honestly, spaghetti is great on its own as well.
Refrigerate. One of my favorite things about making spaghetti is the LEFTOVERS. How good are spaghetti leftovers?! Arguably better than the day of. Store any leftover spaghetti in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Reheating Instructions. Reheat as needed on/in a heatproof plate or bowl. Cover and microwave for 60-90 seconds, until hot.
Freezing Instructions. Freeze any leftover spaghetti in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw before reheating as instructed above.
Try More Pasta Recipes
- Dutch Oven or large pot
- Large Skillet/Fry Pan
- mixing spoon
- cutting board
- chef knife
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup white onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt Lawry's is good
- 26 ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce I prefer Trader Joe's 4 Cheese Pasta Sauce
- 1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts optional, but they are delicious in the sauce
- 1 pound spaghetti dry noodles
- Place olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add ground beef, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Cook until browned. Stir in pasta sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through. Season to taste if needs more seasonings. Add drained artichoke hearts if desired.
- Cook pasta according to package directions (making sure pasta is al dente.) Serve pasta on individual serving plates, top with spoonfuls of meat sauce and top with Parmesan cheese and serve with garlic bread and side salad if desired.