Quick And Healthy Spaghetti Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Privacy Policy.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

If a simple spaghetti dinner sounds like it’ll hit the spot for you or the whole family, nothing beats a simple homemade spaghetti recipe that comes together quickly and is easy to make.

The best spaghetti recipe is one you can make again and again with ease and never get tired of. This is the spaghetti recipe I’ve made for years for Mini Chef and I. It’s my stand-by dinner when nothing else sounds good or feels doable.

A white plate of Spaghetti on a white background.

Is Made-From-Scratch Spaghetti Easy To Make?

Definitely! But there are ways to make it even easier.

This is one of those recipes where mise en place is your most efficient approach. Start your pasta, then prep all your sauce ingredients before cooking the sauce.

Once you start on it, it comes together in a rapid-fire sequence. So, having everything ready is the best and fastest way to go.

Balance Acid In The Sauce

You can add extra sweetener if the sauce tastes too acidic.

Do You Need To Add Wine To Make Good Spaghetti Sauce?

No. In fact, the substitution for wine in spaghetti sauce is precisely what I’ve added to this recipe. Sweetener and balsamic vinegar. This is a classic substitute for wine in cooking.

Can I Make This Without Meat?

You can! Just skip adding it. You’ll have less sauce, though, so you might want to double up if you are feeding a crowd.

An overhead view of a white plate with a nest of of spaghetti and a fork standing up in the pasta.

Add Umami To The Sauce

Add more coconut aminos (or soy sauce) to deepen the umami in this dish. Simply add to taste, one tablespoon at a time.

Kid-Friendly Spaghetti

If you make this for kids, omit the crushed red pepper flakes. Most kids won’t appreciate the spicy kick this can add to the dish.

Tips For Making The Best Spaghetti

There are some ways to make sure spaghetti turns out fabulous each and every time.

  1. Salt The Pasta Water – This is a critical step for the final flavor of the dish. Salting water brings out good flavor in your pasta. This step is essential for any pasta dish unless you have a medical reason for avoiding salt.
  2. Adjust The Flavor – To adjust the overall flavor of this dish, you’ll want to play around with the sweetener/vinegar/coconut amino combination. Reducing this or adding more of this combination will quickly adjust the overall flavor of the sauce.
  3. Add Fresh Herbs – The best time to add fresh herbs is just before you turn off the heat on the stove. Add the in the last 30 seconds or so of cooking. You want to give them just enough time to wilt without being overcooked.
A white plate of spaghetti on a gray surface.

What Can I Add To Spaghetti? Easy Recipe Variations To Try

  1. Additional Vegetables – You can add more vegetables to the sauce. Try diced carrots, bell peppers, or mushrooms. Sauté these vegetables along with the onions.
  2. Tomato Varieties – Try using a combination of crushed, diced, or whole tomatoes for a chunkier texture. San Marino tomatoes are excellent in spaghetti sauce if you can find them.
  3. Spices and Seasonings – Experiment with the seasonings. Add extra basil leaf, oregano, or a bay leaf. Adjust or omit the amount of red pepper flakes for more, less, or no heat.
  4. Cream or Butter – For a creamier or richer sauce, add a splash of heavy cream or a tablespoon or two of butter towards the end of cooking.
  5. Different meats – Make the sauce without ground turkey and make meatballs instead. You can also shred a rotisserie chicken and stir that in after making the sauce.
  6. Cheese – While parmesan cheese is a classic addition to Italian spaghetti, you can also try mozzarella cheese for extra cheesy spaghetti.

How To Cook Spaghetti

An overhead view of a large pot filled with water.
Adding salt to pasta water.

Cook your package of spaghetti according to the package directions. However. you’ll need to add salt to the water for the best overall flavor.

Raw spaghetti added to a pot of salted, boiling water.
A wooden spoon pushing raw pasta down into salted pasta water.

DO NOT BREAK THE SPAGHETTI!
If your spaghetti is larger than your pot, put the pasta into the pot, and then, as it softens, use a wooden spoon to push the ends into the water. It doesn’t take long for the pasta to soften enough to be able to do this.

Gluten Pasta Vs. Gluten-Free Pasta

The type of pasta you use will require different treatment. Wheat pasta is treated slightly differently than gluten-free pasta.

Gluten-Free Pasta

Gluten-free pasta must be stirred occasionally during the cooking process. Once cooked, it needs to be rinsed.

Rinsing cooked, gluten-free pasta with water.

Wheat Pasta

Wheat pasta needs one stir after adding it to the water, but then no further stirring. Once cooked, drain, but do not rinse.

Cooked spaghetti pasta draining in a strainer.

About The Ingredients For This Spaghetti Recipe

Extra virgin olive oil – Avocado oil is also a great choice for this recipe.

Red onion – Chop small for the best overall texture.

Ground turkey – Or lean, ground beef.

Italian seasoning – You can use store-bought or homemade Italian seasoning.

Garlic granules – Or use 6 cloves of garlic. Mince them or press them. You can use garlic powder, too.

Canned tomato paste – No sugar added.

Canned crushed tomatoes – No sugar added.

Coconut aminos – Or soy sauce.

Balsamic vinegar – Use the regular stuff, nothing flavored.

Pure maple syrup – Use the real stuff. Not pancake syrup.

Red pepper flakes – Adjust to taste or omit to avoid spiciness.

Salt

Ground black pepper

Vegetable broth – Or chicken broth, no sugar added

Fresh, chopped basil leaves – Or use chopped, fresh parsley. Stir it in at the very end, or use fresh for garnish.

How To Make This Spaghetti Recipe

Raw spaghetti added to a pot of salted, boiling water.

Cook the noodles to package directions in salted water.

Adding oil to a skillet.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat.

Chopped red onions in oil in a skillet.

Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent and a bit caramelized, about 5-6 minutes.

Ground meat added to sautéd onions.

If you use fresh garlic, add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for another minute. Now add the ground turkey.

Spices added to ground meat and onions in a skillet.

Add the dried spices and stir well to combine as you brown the meat.

Tomato paste added to browned meat and onions in a skillet.

Quickly stir in the tomato paste, making sure to distribute it well through the meat.

Diced tomatoes added to a skillet with meat and onions in it.

Pour in the diced tomatoes and stir well.

Coconut aminos, vinegar, maple syrup and crushed red pepper flakes added to a skillet of pasta sauce.

Now add the coconut aminos, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and crushed pepper flakes (if using). Stir well.

Broth added to spaghetti sauce in a skillet.

Add the broth to the sauce. You can add more or less as needed to create the consistency you want in the finished sauce.

Salt and pepper added to spaghetti sauce in a skillet.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. If the tomatoes are too acidic, you can add another tablespoon of maple syrup to balance the flavors.

The finished spaghetti sauce in a skillet.

Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken.

If it starts to dry out too much, add a little extra broth as needed. If you are adding fresh herbs, stir them in in the last 30 seconds of cooking.

Pasta added to spaghetti sauce in a skillet.

Remove the sauce from the heat. Add the pasta to the skillet.

The finished spaghetti recipe in a skillet.

Toss well and serve with some parmesan cheese.

A side view of a white plate filled with spaghetti.

Storing Homemade Spaghetti

Store any leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to three days.

Freezing Spaghetti Sauce

You can freeze the sauce but not the pasta. Leftover sauce can be frozen in portions for easy future use.

How To Reheat Spaghetti

The best way to reheat spaghetti is in the microwave. But if you need to reheat it on the stovetop, put it into a pot and add a splash of broth to keep things from burning. Stir constantly until warmed through.

More Easy Spaghetti Recipes

SUBSCRIBE

Remember to subscribe to my free newsletter to receive all my latest recipes in your inbox. Click here to sign up!

Copyright Policy
An overhead view of a white plate with a nest of of spaghetti and a fork standing up in the pasta.

Easy And Healthy Spaghetti Recipe

Delicious, easy spaghetti, perfect for any night of the week.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 330kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large pasta pot
  • 1 Large Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • cups chopped red onion
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
  • 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. garlic granules (or garlic powder – or 6 cloves of fresh, minced or pressed garlic)
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste (no sugar added)
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional and adjustable)
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth – no sugar added)
  • fresh basil or Italian parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta to package directions in salted water.
    Raw spaghetti added to a pot of salted, boiling water.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat.
    Adding oil to a skillet.
  • Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent and a bit caramelized, about 5-6 minutes.
    Chopped red onions in oil in a skillet.
  • If you use fresh garlic, add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for another minute. Now add the ground turkey.
    Ground meat added to sautéd onions.
  • Add the dried spices and stir well to combine as you brown the meat.
    Spices added to ground meat and onions in a skillet.
  • Quickly stir in the tomato paste, making sure to distribute it well through the meat.
    Tomato paste added to browned meat and onions in a skillet.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes and stir well.
    Diced tomatoes added to a skillet with meat and onions in it.
  • Now add the coconut aminos, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and crushed pepper flakes (if using). Stir well.
    Coconut aminos, vinegar, maple syrup and crushed red pepper flakes added to a skillet of pasta sauce.
  • Add the broth to the sauce. You can add more or less as needed to create the consistency you want in the finished sauce.
    Broth added to spaghetti sauce in a skillet.
  • Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. If the tomatoes are too acidic, you can add another tablespoon of maple syrup to balance the flavors.
    Salt and pepper added to spaghetti sauce in a skillet.
  • Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken.
    If it starts to dry out too much, add a little extra broth as needed. If you are adding fresh herbs, stir them in in the last 30 seconds of cooking.
    The finished spaghetti sauce in a skillet.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat. Add the pasta to the skillet.
    Pasta added to spaghetti sauce in a skillet.
  • Toss well and serve with some parmesan cheese.
    A side view of a white plate filled with spaghetti.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25the recipe | Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 1673mg | Potassium: 1331mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1118IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 5mg

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel

Bio:

Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author. She is also a food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. She has helped thousands of people learn to cook simple, clean, and healthy foods in their own home kitchens. She lives in Maine and loves Elvis, sunflowers, and a good seafood chowder, as well as travel writing.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this spaghetti recipe! So quick and easy, and I love the sweetener and balsamic vinegar trick. It added a unique flavor to the dish. Even my son asked for seconds.

    1. Marybeth – Fantastic! Yes, I love the flavor that those two ingredients add. Kinda takes it to the next level. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. 5 stars
    I made the kid-friendly version and just skipped the red pepper flakes, and my niece really loved it (as for me, I was obsessed). Of course, I didn’t tell her I added some veggies to her spaghetti. So that’s a big win for my happy auntie heart!

    1. Mariel – That’s great! I love recipes where you can sneak in some veggies but still make the kids happy. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. 5 stars
    This spaghetti recipe is so simple and so delicious. The texture was just right, not too saucy or dry. And the sweet and tangy balance is spot-on. This is my new favorite!

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing a healthy option for spaghetti. I’m glad I saw this one. My kids love it. Adding to my list of favorites.

  5. 5 stars
    My husband and I love spaghetti, but my youngest son doesn’t like it (weird right?) so I never make it at home. But guess what…? He’s off to college and we can make spaghetti if we want to now ๐Ÿ˜‚ I tried your recipe last night and it was excellent! It’s going on the dinner rotation. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Holly – Oh wow! I’ve never heard of a kid that didn’t like spaghetti! Haha! Glad you can enjoy it now! ๐Ÿ˜€