Enjoy a homemade spaghetti sauce with lean ground beef, fresh herbs and only a fraction of the sodium content of traditional spaghetti sauce.
Approximate sodium content: 65mg per serving
This recipe for low sodium spaghetti sauce is one of my favorites and is very easy to make. Being able to enjoy this classic comfort food, without all the massive amounts of sodium is a true joy.
We like to keep recipes as simple as possible and for this recipe we’ll make use of the no-salt added versions of canned tomato sauce, tomato paste and diced tomatoes. No-salt added canned tomatoes in all it’s varieties have become standard on supermarket shelves in recent years. I’m so thankful for that because it makes low-sodium cooking much easier to have easy access to these ingredients.
We’ll use a combination of fresh and dried herbs: dried Italian Blend Herbs are common in all spice racks and should be a staple in your pantry too. We’ll get a nice boost of flavor from that. Then, we use fresh oregano and fresh basil to really bring a bright flavor to the sauce. These fresh herbs will not only cook in the sauce, but are excellent to garnish in top of the dish when serving.
For the meat, we use lean ground beef. I like to get it as lean as possible – usually 97% lean or there abouts. While we brown the meat we’ll be adding chopped onion and fresh cloves of garlic.
Finally, we get an excellent flavor boost with red wine vinegar.
Sodium Notes By Alex G., Registered Dietitian
A typical grocery store brand of jarred spaghetti sauce can contain as much as 480 mg of sodium per ½ cup serving! Cooking your sauce from scratch with this Low Sodium Spaghetti Sauce recipe is a great choice for a lower sodium lifestyle, and you won’t sacrifice any flavor since the recipe starts with fresh onion and garlic and finishes with fresh basil and oregano. When shopping for your ingredients, be extra careful to choose the no-salted added versions of the tomato products to keep your sauce at 65 mg of sodium per ½ cup. As another bonus, if you’re choosing to use meat in this recipe, choosing 97% lean ground beef will keep saturated fat low and further support your heart health.
Start by using a large pot or Dutch oven. A 5-6 quart size is ideal. You’ll need a lid too. Over medium/high heat, brown the ground beef. When it’s about halfway browned, add the onion garlic and continue to stir until the meat is browned. Since we’re using very lean meat, it’s up to you if you want to drain off the little bit of fat. I usually leave it in since it’s so minimal.
Over low heat we then add all of the canned items, the dried Italian herb blend, pepper, fresh oregano, fresh basil and red wine vinegar. Stir to get everything well incorporated.
Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
You’re now ready to serve your spaghetti sauce! Prepare the spaghetti (of other favorite pasta) according to package directions. When boiling the pasta, leave the salt out. We certainly don’t need any extra sodium.
The standard serving size for spaghetti sauce is ½ cup. It may sound like a small amount, but it actually goes a long way. The dish in the picture below uses exactly ½ cup of sauce and I think you’ll see that it’s plenty.
Garnish the sauce with fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh Italian parsley or green onions for extra wholesome goodness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can this sauce be frozen?
Answer: Absolutely! Let sauce cool and place in airtight containers in freezer for up to 4 months.
Question: Can I substitute ground turkey for the ground beef?
Answer: You sure can. Ground turkey generally has a similar sodium content but be sure to check packaging for specific info.
Question: Can I leave the meat out altogether?
Answer: Yes. Simply leave out the meat and start by sautéing the onion over a low flame for about 5 minutes or until just becoming translucent. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 1 minute. Then continue at step 2.