how long to cook ground beef for spaghetti

Combine ground beef, onion, garlic, and green pepper in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until meat is browned and crumbly and vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain grease.

Bring out the garlic bread — it’s time for one of my favorite Italian dishes, spaghetti recipe with ground beef! While there’s no such thing as bad pasta recipes, this one is particularly delicious thanks to the sauce + meat concoction you make all in one simmering, savory pot. And you can top it off with your favorite Italian cheese! I love giving my spaghetti recipe with ground beef a good grate of fresh parmesan. Yum!

This is one of many spaghetti recipes you’ll be adding to your usual dinner roster! Let’s dive in.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Yes! Definitely consider cooking your ground beef in the oven! It reduces mess and frees up the stovetop for other things.

Put your beef on a lined baking sheet. Break the beef up into small crumbles and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees.

Easy Spaghetti Recipe Notes

Italian dishes are often foolproof — but want to make sure you get the best flavor punch possible? I’ve rounded up some tidbits to help your spaghetti recipe with ground beef be a masterpiece!

  • Beef: This recipe calls for 80/20 ground beef. What this means is the meat will be 80% beef and 20% fat. Normally, I’d say you can swap it out for a lower fat percentage (90/10 for instance), but the high-fat content is important to make sure you have some leftover in the pan to sear your veggies and garlic. Trust me, that add beef flavor will really go a long way!
  • Spaghetti Meat Sauce: A good rule of thumb in cooking if you want to get the most fully rounded flavor of an ingredient is to add that ingredient prepared in three different ways. For this sauce, we’re using crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste, which will give you the fresh bite of tomato, the seasoned heartiness of tomato, and the thick, concentrated flavor of the tomato. Your tastebuds will sing!
  • Where’s the Oregano? I know I mentioned this spaghetti recipe with ground beef being flavored with oregano and basil — but where are they in the ingredients list? Hidden in the Italian Seasoning!
  • Italian Seasoning is in the same class as chili spice — it’s actually a combination of different herbs. A few shakes of Italian Seasoning, and you’ll get basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemarysometimes even marjoram!
  • No Spaghetti? No Problem! Forgot to get spaghetti noodles, or just don’t want to use that particular pasta? No worries! There are hundreds of types of noodles to try, and this dish is very variation-friendly. Or you could go gluten-free with zucchini noodles or my personal favorite, spaghetti squash!

Never fails — no matter how carefully I measure my spaghetti, I always end up with enough to feed all of Rome! If you, like me, finish dinner with mounds of leftovers, I’ve got a nice line up of storage tips to make sure none of your spaghetti recipe with ground beef goes to waste!

Can You Freeze This?

Yes! I recommend freezing the sauce + meat combination on its own, and making a new batch of noodles when you want to reheat your sauce. Why? You’ll get more than double the freezer life if you freeze only the meat sauce, sans noodles.

Freezing noodles rapidly breaks down the structure of the pasta. Typical frozen spaghetti will last for up to two months while just the meat sauce will be good in an airtight container for up to six months. Plus, when you thaw the frozen noodles + sauce, your pasta will often be mushy — while the flavor will still be good, the texture is definitely not.

So keep your meat sauce separate if you’re planning to freeze!

This recipe does have a nice one-hour simmering window, which can be intimidating for those crazy nights. To cut that time, you can always follow the recipe through step three and refrigerate your sauce for up to four days. When you’re ready, reheat on the stove, adjust seasoning as needed, and cook up some pasta. Dinner, done!

Combine ground beef, onion, garlic, and green pepper in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until meat is browned and crumbly and vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain grease.


How long do you cook ground beef for?

(Remember, a bit of pink is okay if the meat registers 160°F.) On most stove tops, browning a pound of ground beef takes approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Remember, it’s important to continue stirring and breaking the pieces into the same size with the wooden spoon or heatproof spatula so the ground beef cooks evenly.

Should you cook ground beef before adding to spaghetti sauce?

Although vegetarian spaghetti sauce with tomatoes, mushrooms and green peppers might be perfectly adequate for many meals, make it even more satisfying with ground beef. Because of the fat content of ground beef, cook it separately, and then add the ground beef to the sauce.

Can you cook raw beef in spaghetti sauce?

Yes, you can cook raw meat in pasta sauce.

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