30-Minute Weeknight Pasta Sauce

Simmer this scrumptious, meaty pasta sauce for just 30 minutes, scoot a salad alongside, and dinner is served! From me to you, here’s my all-time favorite, tried and true pasta sauce recipe…

30-Minute Weeknight Pasta Sauce – Simmer this scrumptious, meaty pasta sauce for just 30 minutes, serve a salad alongside, and dinner is done! | thecomfortofcooking.com

I’ve thrown more white sweaters in the bin than I can count, thanks to pasta sauce. Sitting on a stockpile of a dozen aprons, you’d think I’d have the sense to suit up before getting cookin’, but it never occurs to me! One by one, my soft and cozy sweaters all end up splattered with sauce and tossed aside. I guess that’s why I feel the need to treat myself to a few new ones every fall!


30-Minute Weeknight Pasta Sauce – Simmer this scrumptious, meaty pasta sauce for just 30 minutes, serve a salad alongside, and dinner is done! | thecomfortofcooking.com

Thing is, this doesn’t happen anymore. Ya see, I used to let my sauces simmer for hours so that they’d achieve just the right chunky, tender pasta-coating consistency. I thought that’s what it took. What was I gonna do, strap on an apron every time I went to stir the sauce?! Pssh. Sweater protection is for the birds!

Lately, I’ve been throwing together this quick and easy 30-minute pasta sauce. Minimal effort, minimal time, and minimal stirring/splattering. I keep my little apron on for half an hour while I boil the pasta and make a salad, no big deal, bada-boom. Dinner is done!

30-Minute Weeknight Pasta Sauce – Simmer this scrumptious, meaty pasta sauce for just 30 minutes, serve a salad alongside, and dinner is done! | thecomfortofcooking.com

Now, let’s get to the pasta. Of course, use what you like… With a thick and chunky sauce, I love a good rotini and fettuccine. But, do you know about pappardelle? Ohhh, wait ‘til you discover this stuff!

As part of H-E-B’s Primo Picks program, I was lucky enough to receive the mother of all yummy Italian gift baskets recently! We’re talkin’ truffle salt, imported pasta sauces, gourmet olive oils and this incredible pappardelle. Thick, soft ribbons of pasta just begging to be swirled around a luscious, meaty pasta sauce and sloshed down with a glass of red wine!

30-Minute Weeknight Pasta Sauce – Simmer this scrumptious, meaty pasta sauce for just 30 minutes, serve a salad alongside, and dinner is done! | thecomfortofcooking.com

THIS is what I immediately envisioned after I opened up the box of goodies. I could hardly wait to twirl my fork around the simple, scrumptious combination of pappardelle and my favorite weeknight sauce!

So, here I share with you something new (my latest pasta love) and something not-so-new, my absolute favorite, go-to recipe for the perfect pasta sauce. Born out of years spent trying it 101 different ways with different combinations of ingredients, piles of dirty dishes, and full bellies, now it’s my turn to share it with you.

30-Minute Weeknight Pasta Sauce – Simmer this scrumptious, meaty pasta sauce for just 30 minutes, serve a salad alongside, and dinner is done! | thecomfortofcooking.com

Served with a light salad and a sprinkling of fluffy grated Parmesan, this pasta makes for an easy, affordable and scrumptious weeknight meal! Even if you have your tried-and-true methods, give this one a go and I guarantee you’ll agree. It’s pretty much the best comfort food in the world.

Just don’t forget your apron!

30-Minute Weeknight Pasta Sauce

30-Minute Weeknight Pasta Sauce

Yield: 4 cups / 4 servings with cooked pasta


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 16 oz. 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine, optional
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1/2 lb. cooked pasta, I used pappardelle


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet or pot set to medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook for 5 minutes, crumbling with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain excess fat and discard. Return pot to heat and add onion and garlic, cooking until soft, 4-5 minutes. Pour in a splash of red wine, if desired; simmer an additional minute.
  2. Add crushed and diced tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar to cut acidity. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. Serve over hot cooked pasta or as desired. To store sauce (without pasta), refrigerate in a re-sealable container up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
  4. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

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Join the Conversation

  1. I’m all about quick and easy meals at our house! And this meaty, hearty sauce must make an appearance on our dinner table!

  2. I love the sound of this pasta sauce Georgia! I totally agree, there are days you don’t want to be slaving over the stove for hours :) Pinning, looks sensational and can’t wait to try it :)

  3. Ahh! This looks totally doable and so good.

  4. Quick and delicious! The sauce looks terrific!

  5. This is gorgeous!! So pretty and kind of the perfect dinner for Halloween night! Everyone needs quick and easy!

  6. EVERY cook needs to have this recipe in her back pocket. And I am obsessed (obsessed!) with pappardelle. Your sweaters were not sacrificed in vain :)

  7. omg soooooooooooooooo good! I’m so jealous of your box of Italian goodies too!

  8. Sounds like you got both a beautiful basket and a delicious dinner. A perfect win, win Georgia!

  9. This pasta would be very dangerous to have around Georgia. It looks so good, I would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  10. I had to throw my 2-cents in and say pappardelle is my all-time favorite in a sauce like this…any kind of ragu or bolognese. There is something magical and satisfying about it.

  11. Delicious and easy! That is the best!

  12. This looks very cosy and warming and just perfect for these autumn evenings.

  13. Georgia this is the most heavenly looking sauce!! I’ve been on a serious pasta kick with the leaves falling all around. How cozy is this!

  14. Wahoo for 30 minute meal! This looks awesome and I could see myself fitting this on a weeknight. :)

  15. Quick and delicious – my kind of recipe!

  16. This looks amazing and it’s perfect for me because, oh well, I hate putting my apron on every single time I have to stir the sauce ooops. And mum won’t buy me new white tees *sighs*. So next time I need to make pasta sauce, I’ll try this recipe! I love quick and easy dinners :D

  17. You had me at “30 minute meal”. Love this idea!

  18. This is SO me, Georgia! Sadly, I’m not the neatest person in the kitchen and I LOVE tomato sauces, not necessarily the best combo! Love your pics here, and the whole concept. Great post!!

  19. On those busy weeknights, this pasta sauce is ideal! Plus it looks super delicious.

  20. Pasta is my ultimate comfort food and I can definitely appreciate a 30-minute meal like this! Just looking at it is making me hungry!

  21. I would love to curl up with a bowl of this right now! LOVE that it only takes 30 minutes too.

  22. Well it looks like this is going to be dinner tonight!

  23. I have a large collection of cool aprons, but they’re for decoration, and I’d hate to get them dirty. For cooking, I have a designated wardrobe of ruined shirts. My friends think this is a little weird, but they continue to give me aprons as gifts!

  24. I am all for a flavorful and fast pasta sauce, such a great recipe!

  25. Oh my, Oh my, Oh my… that sauce looks thick and authentically Italian and made in 30 minutes? I wouldn’t mind if this sauce bubbled all over the stove!

  26. How delicious is that? Love it!

  27. Girl, this looks insanely delish! And has me craving pasta like whoa!

  28. Hi, is there a place to print on your site? I can’t seem to find it! Thanks – love the recipes! The pumpkin brownies were a hit and so easy!

  29. Never mind, I just found it :)

  30. pappardelle is so underrated! this sauce looks great :)

  31. That is a gorgeous looking sauce with yummy looking pasta. A perfect dish for the cooler months.

  32. I do the same thing! Forget to put on the ol’ apron. Usually it’s just flour, but occasionally I do get those sauce splatters. Your pasta looks like a crowd pleaser…and who doesn’t love a shortcut that still provides delectable sauce??? YUM!

  33. I have the same problem — I have a million aprons and never think to put them on until after I’m covered in food. Love that this is a 30 minutes sauce! Such beautiful pictures too!

  34. 5 stars
    Perfect weeknight meal! From the sauce to those perfect noodles!

  35. Everyone needs this quick pasta in their cooking arsenal! Looks great. :)

  36. Oh I’ve lost many a sweater to a tomato sauce attack also. It’s always sad. But also worth it.

    I love that you paired this hearty sauce with pappardelle!! One of my favorite pasta shapes.

  37. I don’t eat even eat beef, but man that looks good. So good! I love papardelle pasta… I need to buy it more often, just never find it easily, probably need to hit up TJs or WFs next time. :-)

  38. Haha. I’ve done the same. I need to get rid of all my white sweaters now that i have a baby! This sauce looks delicious Georgia. Thank you for sharing it!

  39. Looks so good!! That pappardelle is dreamy ;)

  40. I’ve learned to never wear white when I’m cooking! Particularly since I never use an apron (silly not to, I know). Anyway, great looking pasta. And in 30 minutes? Sounds wonderful! I love pappardelle, too – such a great shape. Good stuff – thanks.

  41. This pasta looks very appetizing. Am I right that this sauce is just like Bolognese? My family adores it but I cook it not very often because it contains a lot of calories. Are there any differences between this sauce and the Bolognese one?

  42. Traditional bolognese includes veal or pork in addition to beef, lots of chopped vegetables, and cream or milk. Definitely delicious but a little more indulgent than this sauce!

  43. I own only a million (okay, five) aprons, and I never put one on before I start cooking. I have ruined more than my fair share of clothes. I am all about quick sauce and fat noodles coated with quick sauce. Love! Pinned.

  44. This pasta sauce looks perfect! Italian food is basically thee best ever!

  45. Love the heartiness in this pasta sauce. Perfect for autumn weather :)

  46. 5 stars
    I love this pasta sauce. Thank you very much

  47. Thank you, all your recipes look nice

  48. Those ribbons of pasta look so happy and heavenly in that pasta sauce! This 30-minute recipe is excellent for any time of year, not just fall and winter in my humble opinion. Beautiful styling and photography as always. So inspiring! Thanks for sharing, girl. Pinning!

  49. With the homework and activities in the evening, quick dinner preparation is necessary in my house. This is awesome! I love trying different pasta sauce to improve mine. I look forward to trying this!

  50. To cut acidity just add schredded carrots. It tastes better & then you get more vegetables! I was taught that from a russian friend!

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