This flavorful, delicious old-fashioned Southern Meat Sauce has been floating around for years; a thick, rich, hearty, and filled to the brim with sweet organic tomatoes, peppers, and onions that lend the perfect layer of flavor to any pasta you choose.
What I love about this Southern Meat Sauce is the fact that it has so many unique layers flavors and is a nice change-up from the ordinary Italian Ragu; which is also a meat-based sauce (beef, veal, lamb, pork, or poultry) with a small amount of tomato sauce added to it. This has a sweet flavor to it, and Southerners love a good sweet sauce on their pasta.
Southern Belle’s have their version of Southern-style Meat Sauce and how they make and even serve it. Of course, we aren’t claiming the recipe. It’s really just spin-off of an Italian meat sauce. We aren’t the only ones in the world who make a meat sauce; however, we fondly refer to it as Southern Meat Sauce due to the other ingredients we add to it. Believe you, me, and I know a good deal of Northerners that make something pretty similar to this meat sauce.
However, I have to tell Y’all something, none of us Southerners or Northerners own a recipe- someplace down the line; someone created the same thing years ago. I noticed a good deal of Southern Bloggers cooking up close to the same formula as my Step Grannie and Step Mom, and I always think to myself, how cool, I’m not the only one who loves a sweet-tasting meat sauce! Have you seen some of their versions? They look amazing!
Heck, I have even noticed delicious versions of this recipe from Paula Dean, Grandbabycakes.com, Southernladycooks.com, Soulfullymade.com, Southyourmouth.com, SpicySouthernkitchen, so forth and so on. What can I say, this hybrid recipe has been around a good deal of time here in the South. We sure do love it.
Mind you, if you are looking for Authentic Traditional Italian Meat Sauce, this recipe isn’t it. This is an All-American sauce that some may even scuff at or make a bit of fun at it. That’s OK, and I don’t mind one bit. Bless their little hearts. I am forgiving.
Right now, I bet you are sitting there thinking, what makes this Southern Meat Sauce? I bet you may even say that you make something similar, right? That’s probably pretty close to being the truth; I bet it’s incredible too. I believe you. Trust me when I say that. So let’s see what makes this hybrid a bit slightly different.
What’s so Southern about this Meat Sauce?
Organic Stewed tomatoes are used instead of plain diced tomatoes or fire-roasted tomatoes.
Worcestershire Sauce is added as a flavoring
A touch of Cajun seasoning is added to kick up the taste of the Meat Sauce.
A Pinch of sugar is added to sweeten the sauce further.
Shopping List for Southern Meat Sauce
One and 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
Freshly cracked black pepper
One large sweet onion
One green bell pepper
Three cloves of garlic minced
Two-14.5-ounce cans of organic stewed tomatoes
2-8-ounce can of organic tomato sauce
Two tablespoons of organic tomato paste
Two teaspoons of Italian herbs mixture
One teaspoon onion powder
1-2 Tablespoons of sugar
Sixteen-ounces of dry pasta
Chopped flat-leaf parsley for the garnish
Southern Meat Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1½ pounds Lean Ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning or more
- Kosher salt to own taste
- Ground black pepper to own taste
- 1 large Sweet onion chopped
- 1 large Green bell pepper chopped
- 3-4 cloves Garlic minced
- 2-14.5- ounce cans of organic stewed tomatoes chopped
- 2-8- ounce cans of organic tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons Organic tomato paste
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar optional
- 2 teaspoons Italian herb mixture dried herbs
- 1 teaspoon Dried onion powder
- 16 ounces Dried pasta cooked al dente
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese topping
- 6 Basil leaves torn for garnish, if desired may use fresh parsley in place of.
- Place a large Dutch oven on medium heat, add a splash of oil to the Dutch oven before placing the ground beef mixture in skillet. Season with the Worcestershire Sauce, Cajun seasoning, kosher salt, and ground pepper. Brown the lean ground beef lightly breaking it up in small chunks and cooking until completely done. Drain off the excess oils.
- Add the chopped sweet onion and chopped green bell pepper to the empty Dutch oven; cook on medium heat until slightly softened and then add minced garlic; cook about 3 minutes before adding the cooked lean ground beef back in the Dutch oven.
- Next, add the chopped organic stewed tomatoes, organic tomato sauce, and the organic tomato paste to Dutch oven. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low. Season sauce with sugar, Italian herbs, and dried onion powder. Place a lid on the sauce and cook on low stirring frequently. Cook the sauce for about 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot filled with salted water to a full boil before adding dried pasta to pot. Be sure to follow package instructions for al dente method. About 8 minutes or so.
- Drain the cooked pasta, but do not rinse as the meat sauce will stick to the pasta much better when you do not rinse pasta.
- Serve the meat sauce over pasta immediately.
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