Four-Ingredient Meat Ragù

Four-Ingredient Meat Ragù
Katie Workman /
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: Makes about 1 quart sauce

We're here to debunk the myth that homemade pasta sauce to be anything other than the super-simple cooking endeavor than it is. We promise, it really doesn't have to be complicated. And when you are in a really big rush, all you need are the following four ingredients: sausage, olive oil, onions, and crushed tomatoes.

The sausage has so much flavor built right in, not only salt and pepper, but other spices and seasonings, and this will work beautifully whether you use spicy sausage or sweet -- the difference will simply result in a more pungent vs. a milder sauce. For this recipe, we chose a pork sausage, but feel free to experiment with other proteins. Beef or veal sausage will result in a similar robust flavor as with the pork. While turkey or chicken sausage will provide healthier options. Experiment with different types or consider a unique blend. Just be sure to adjust your cooking time for proper doneness.

About 20 minutes from start to finish, it doubles or triples easily, it freezes beautifully, and it works fabulously in a lasagna.

This recipe is nearly fail-proof and truly a crowd-pleasing, comfort food. It really does triple easily, so when cooking for a crowd, consider a menu which includes a yummy garlic bread (perfect for dipping in the delicious sauce), a crisp green salad, or even throw together a homemade pizza featuring buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, and this delicious meaty sauce. 

If using leftovers pulled from the freezer, once thawed, this sauce would work beautifully as a chicken parmesan, meat-filled cannelloni, or a baked ziti casserole. The possibilities are endless. But having this sauce on hand will make most any dish a breeze and all the more delicious.   


  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage (sweet or spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup onions (chopped)
  • 1 (35-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat sauté the sausage until brown and crumbly, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks, until no pink remains. Transfer to a bowl.

  3. In the same pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until tender, add the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, return the cooked pork to the pan, and simmer for another 5 minutes. 

  4. Serve over pasta. 


  • Any pasta will do - feel free to use up whatever you have laying around. But also consider a noodle which has heartier characteristics to compliment such a hearty sauce. Pastas in this category include tagliatelle, pappardelle, fettuccine or any large shell or tube, like penne or rigatoni. 

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