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Low-Sodium Spaghetti Sauce Meaty

This is a wonderful tasting and smelling Low-Sodium Spaghetti Sauce that blows out the amount of sodium in jar of store-bought sauce or traditional recipes. So you won’t miss out enjoying this classic Italian meal. This is an easy recipe that really doesn’t take much longer to make than to heat up jarred spaghetti sauce in a pan. One of the things I love about this meal is you can make single batch or just as easily make a large batch. Then freeze in portions and reheat them later for an even quicker meal.

Low sodium spaghetti sauce with sprinkle of parmesean
Low sodium spaghetti sauce with sprinkle of parmesean
Typical sodium amount per serving per 1/2 cup 500+ mg
Sodium per serving for this recipe per cup88 mg
Calories per serving230
*Note: My recipe is 88 mg of sodium per cup! Jarred sauces are 440+ per half cup.*

Sodium in spaghetti sauce

Spaghetti sauce is among the worst offenders of canned or jarred foods that we use, containing high amounts of sodium. Most name brands seem to average around 470 mg of sodium per 1/2 cup serving and some homemade recipes reach almost 900 mg! After having some form of spaghetti about once a week in the past I didn’t want to give up the mainstay of Italian spaghetti sauce and noodles. This is my version of spaghetti sauce that allows you to enjoy the Italian staple without all the sodium at just 88mg per 1 whole cup!

Typical spaghetti label
Typical spaghetti label

How to make low sodium spaghetti sauce

First start browning the beef and chop up the ground beef finely as it cooks. While that is initially cooking chop up the onion and add to the beef when it’s almost finished. I like to chop up my onion finely for this sauce and using this Slap Chopper from Amazon makes it quick and easy. Then while those both finish cooking you can measure out the rest of the ingredients. I personally like to let the hamburger and onion really brown up; it will soften when simmering in the sauce later. Then add the garlic in for about the last minute of cooking. Both things I think add even more flavor.

Spaghetti sauce simmering in pot
Spaghetti sauce simmering in pot

Then, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, seasonings, and sugar and bring the mixture to a light boil for a minute. Be careful of bubbling splatters! Add water, cover pot and turn heat down to a low simmer for 30 minutes or longer, to really bring out the flavor. The longer you simmer it, the more the flavors will blend together and intensify. Also the longer it simmers the thicker it will be. If it gets to thick just add a little more water.

My tips for the best low sodium pasta sauce

Since spaghetti is America’s and one of my favorite foods I’ve learned a few tips over time while continually trying to make the perfect sauce.  

  • Don’t initially cook the beef all in one thin layer and turn it constantly. Instead add it in large clumps, let the bottom really sear and brown. Then you can start to really chop it up and it breaks down more easily.
  • While any no salt added tomato sauce will work using no salt added Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes really makes it extra mouthwatering. Just puree in your food processor to make it into a low sodium tomato sauce.  Trust me it’s worth it!
  • Don’t be shy adding onion and garlic. These two really add to the majority of the flavor here.
  • Allow time to simmer and let the flavors come together and work its magic.  It will also allow time for the sauce to reduce and thicken a bit.  Just add a touch of water if it gets to thick.
  • This homemade low sodium spaghetti sauce recipe can be easily made ahead of time and in large batches. You can then separate into serving portions and freeze for a quick meal in the future. Before freezing spaghetti sauce, allow the mixture to cool completely. It can be stored frozen for up to 4-6 months. To use, simply place frozen sauce in a pot and reheat on the stove until warm. Highly recommended.
Meaty low sodium spaghetti sauce
Meaty low sodium spaghetti sauce
Close up of spaghetti sauce

Homemade Low Sodium Spaghetti Sauce

Thanks to this easy Homemade Low Sodium Spaghetti Sauce recipe you’ll by-pass the high sodium of a jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce. And it tastes so much better!
4.59 from 17 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 5 1 cup serving
Calories 230 kcal


  • 1 pound lean 90% ground beef Optional if you just want sauce
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp pre-minced garlic
  • 1 can 15 oz. no salt added tomato sauce Hunts
  • 1 can 6 oz. no salt added tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning salt free spice
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • spaghetti noodles as desired for when serving


  • In a large preheated skillet, add the beef and brown while chopping to crumbles. Drain any excess grease. Add chopped garlic and onion cooking 2-3 minutes more.
  • In a large pot add tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, black pepper, ground fennel, liquid smoke, brown sugar, water, oil, balsamic vinegar and stir well over low heat. Add beef, onions and garlic when finished to pot.
  • Stir well to combine and bring to a light boil for 1-2 minutes. Stir lightly to avoid excess spatter.
  • Reduce heat to low simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally taste and adjust as desired.


Recipe makes about 5 one cup servings
For extra great taste use Muir Glen no salt added Fire Roasted Tomatoes finely pureed.
This sauce also tastes great when used as pizza topping or in lasagna.
Note nutrition data reflects information for sauce only.  Spaghetti noodles typically have no measurable sodium.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 230kcalCarbohydrates: 13.4gProtein: 20.9gFat: 10.3gSaturated Fat: 3.3gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 88mgFiber: 2.7gSugar: 6.5g
Did you make this recipe?Leave a rating and let me know how it was!

Nutrition InformationThe information shown is provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be substituted for a doctors or nutritionist’s advice. Please understand that not everyone’s sodium requirements are the same, therefore some recipes may be higher than you’re allowed. Always consult with your doctor for your recommended daily sodium allowance.

Low sodium meaty spaghetti meal
Low sodium meaty spaghetti meal

As always, please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! I get motivated when I hear from you and am interested to learn about how you liked and served this Low Sodium Spaghetti Sauce recipe. And please leave a comment or rating and share any tips you might have.

11 thoughts on “Low-Sodium Spaghetti Sauce Meaty”

  1. 5 stars
    I made it exactly as it’s written and I LOVE IT!! Thank you for this recipe!

  2. 4 stars
    Do to recent events have had to change my diet some. With that being said, came across this recipe and gave it a try. We added a couple of things like some diced zucchini and chopped jalapeños, a little extra garlic and own
    Fresh tomatoes and it was absolutely amazing loved it Thank you for the recipe!

    • Thanks Eric,
      The additions sound fantastic!

  3. 5 stars
    Both my husband and I have recently shifted to a low sodium diet and I just found your website. Made the Italian meatballs and the spaghetti sauce last night and loved them! Cut way back on the crushed red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp) and will probably use less black pepper next time as the sauce was still a bit “hot” for my husband. Question about the liquid smoke in the spaghetti sauce recipe – do you mean 1/8 tablespoon, or should that be 1/8 teaspoon? It seems like an odd amount. Had to ask Siri to calculate how many teaspoons equal 1/8 tablespoon! (Answer was 0.38 teaspoons) Thanks for creating a great site for us to use as we change to healthier eating.

    • Hi Lorri, That should be 1 teaspoon. I will update the recipe.
      Glad you enjoyed the meatballs…I do tend to lean to spicy or hot in my own meals. I try to tone it down in my recipes..haha.
      Thanks for your comment

  4. 5 stars
    This sauce was fabulous! I used it in a low sodium lasagne. I have been trying to stay under 2,000 mg a day and it has been hard. This recipe was a real treat. Thank you!

    • Thank you Tracie, I am glad you enjoyed it!

  5. 4 stars
    The taste was good and the consistency was thick, just the way I like it. I plan to make it again, but with NO pepper flakes (sauce was too hot!), extra garlic and brown sugar.

  6. 5 stars
    I had a heart attack a month ago. My cardiologist told me i have to lower my sodium intake. i found your site after searching for recipes. I tried the SPAGHETTI sauce. very tasty. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. thank you so much!!

  7. 5 stars
    This was really good using the fire roasted tomatoes. I let mine simmer for a couple hours with a bit of water addition. The sodium savings is a huge difference and tastes great compare to store bought.


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