Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

NEVER under estimate the power of pasta. This recipe is another one of my “emergency meals” because it is so insanely satisfying, under $10 and I can eat off of it for almost a week! Now, all of my foodie friends always get on my back for buying marinara in a jar but sometimes you need a quick fix, okay? I have made marinara from scratch many a time and yes, it is wonderful. BUT until I can cost out the recipe, i have a free afternoon AND I have room in my freezer for a gallon of marinara left overs, it’s all about the jar! Granted, I do doctor up the jar stuff to my liking :)

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

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Total Recipe cost: $8.12
Servings Per Recipe: about 7 (2 oz. pasta, .75 cup sauce)
Cost per serving: $1.32
Prep time: 5 min. Cook time: 25 min. Total: 30 min.

14.5 oz. box thin spaghetti $1.98
1 lb. lean ground beef $3.38
26 oz. jar marinara sauce $2.08
1/2 yellow onion $0.34
1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes $0.05
1 Tbsp olive oil $0.19
TOTAL $8.12

STEP 1: In a large pot, cook the entire box of pasta according to the directions on the box. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain well in a colander.

STEP 2: While the pasta cooks, chop the onion (and a clove of garlic if you’d like) and cook them over medium heat in a sauce pot with the olive oil.

STEP 3: When the onions (and maybe garlic) are transparent and tender, add your ground beef. Stir and cook the beef, breaking up any large chunks until it is thoroughly browned.

STEP 4: Add the jar of sauce, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes to the ground beef mixture. Heat the sauce until it is warmed through. The pasta should finish up cooking at about the same time as the sauce.

STEP 5: Heap some pasta onto a plate, top it with the thick meaty sauce, dig in and be happy! You just got yourself a hearty dinner for under $1.50! Take that, Olive Garden!

NOTE: I used extra lean ground beef and fancy whole grain pasta with omega-3’s added to it. If you were to use fattier beef (drain it after browning, of course) and regular old pasta this recipe would be even more inexpensive!

Someday I’ll cost out making marinara from scratch and we’ll finally have a show down.

Summer Squash Saute or Sauteed Kale would be a nice side dish to round out this meal!