EASY Italian Sausage Spaghetti

Everyone has their favorite way of making spaghetti sauce. Ours is incredibly easy and crazy good, especially considering how easy it is to make.

There’s no special formula or hours of simmering. You just cook some chopped onions and garlic, brown some Italian sausage, and add some puréed canned tomatoes.

My parents and I have been making spaghetti this way for years. They first heard about it on a Martha Stewart show, where Martha had picked it up from a chef in New York City. (Thank you Martha!)

The beauty of this spaghetti recipe is that it is very easy to make and you don’t have to add any seasoning to achieve wonderful flavor. The sauce gets all of its seasoning from two Italian sausages—one sweet, one spicy.

Italian Sausage Spaghetti

Updated from the recipe archive. First posted in 2006.

EASY Italian Sausage Spaghetti Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4

This spaghetti recipe is light on the sauce, which is more typical of how spaghetti is actually served in Italy. If you would like more sauce, you may want to thin it with water, or add more canned tomatoes to the sauce.



  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 4 ounces (110 g) Italian sweet sausage (or one 7 to 8 inch link)
  • 4 ounces (110 g)  Italian hot and spicy sausage (or one 7 to 8 inch link)
  • 1 large (28 oz, 794 g) can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 lb (16 oz, 450 g) spaghetti pasta
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


The Sauce:

1 Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium or medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

2 While the onions are cooking, put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta (4 quarts water, 2 Tbsp salt).

3 Remove the cooked onion and garlic from the pan and set aside. Remove the sausage meat from the casings (if your sausage is in links) and add to the pan, breaking up the meat with your fingers as you add it to the pan. Cook on medium to medium high heat until lightly browned.

4 Lightly purée the whole peeled canned tomatoes (and juices) in a blender, and add to the skillet with the sausage meat. Add the cooked onions and garlic.

Once the pasta water has come to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti pasta. Allow the water to return to a rolling boil. Cook, uncovered, with a vigorous boil, for as long as the directions on the pasta package say, usually about 10-12 minutes. When pasta is al dente (cooked but still a little firm), remove the pot from the heat. Drain the pasta and place it in a serving bowl.

Serve immediately. Toss with the sauce and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.


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Italian Sausage Spaghetti

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Showing 4 of 41 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Can you make this recipe with turkey sausage?

    Note from Elise: Perhaps. We’ve never done it. I think turkey sausage tends to be leaner than Italian sausage, so you might need to add a little fat (olive oil) back in to have this work well.

  • Richard

    I do mine a little different. I only use hot sausage, leave the casings on, cut the sausage into largish chunks, pour a bottle of hard cider (such as Woodchuck or Hornsby’s)in the pan, and brown the sausage in the cider until it cooks off pretty much entirely. This gives the sausage pieces a wonderful sweet glaze so that it both sweet and hot with each bite.

  • Joel Varley

    I’m sure you can use turkey or whatever kind of sausage you like. On a separate note from the pasta, I grilled a spicy turkey sausage the other day and it was just as flavorful as regular sausage, and a bit leaner too…so it should work perfectly fine, either cooked in sausage form or perhaps decased and crumbled like in the recipe.

  • Kristi

    I have made sauce for pasta/lasagna using this technique but substituting hot and sweet Italian turkey sausage for standard sausage. The results were fantastic – go for it!

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