As I'd mentioned in recent Twitter comments, I'm starting to get a feel for seeking out the healthier food choices e in my couponing adventures.  Way back when I changed the kinds of food my family ate, this recipe was one of my personal favorites.  At home, I added a little red wine to the recipe, my kids called this grown up food. It wasn't until I made the wine-free version for their peers at the Kids Cafe that my two finally came around.  I upped the number of veggies in the sauce to 10 for a community health fair.  I challenged kids in the audience to guess all 10 veggies.  We had one contest winner, but most of the kids came back for seconds,  and even thirds.

Yeah, this recipe makes a lot of sauce, but everyone knows that spaghetti tastes better on the second day.  For our family of four, this pot's enough for to provide leftovers for at least another day, my husband's lunch and and extra for freezing, if desired.

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey - both were close to the expiration date, so Harris Teeter reduced the prices. I got the beef for $1.34.  The ground turkey was .99 cents
  • 3 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp celery seed
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Lots of diced veggies - onions, squash, zucchini, stewed tomatoes, olives (I usually use the chopped olives), eggplant, spinach, cooked carrots, bell peppers, and celery
  • 1/4 cup red wine, optional
  • 3 cans large cans spaghetti sauce
  • 2 pounds whole wheat or whole grain pasta, cooked al dente and drained - I shelled out a few extra pennies for Mueller's whole wheat pasta that wasn't on sale, but it was cheaper than what I used to buy at Walmart.  It does have a distinctive texture that takes some getting used to, so try Barilla Plus or Ronzoni whole grain varieties for a more traditional pasta texture.
Brown ground beef and drain fat.  Stir in seasoning and then add chopped veggies and wine, if using.  Cook until veggies are softened. Add spaghetti sauce and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes. Serve over pasta.  I topped the sauce with a little shredded cheese, also on sale.

Super Duper Vegetarian Version: This recipe's easy to modify for vegans and vegetarians.  Just skip the meat and saute the veggies in 2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil.  Proceed with the remaining recipe but skip the cheese.  Try something new and replace pasta with spaghetti squash!

Minimize Waste: The veggie scraps ended up in our compost pile and I'm saving seeds from the red pepper for gardening.  Once they dry completely, I'll transfer them to a ziploc plastic bag for safe keeping.

Easy Recipes for Cheap Living
Last Updated November 26, 2010
Web Site Content by Mrs. Germaine Jenkins (
Easy Recipes for Living Well on a Budget