Spaghetti Tomato Sauce Recipe for A Crowd

Nothing beats the flavor of homemade spaghetti sauce! Making it in a large batch and freezing or canning it is an easy way to have delicious, homemade meals ready when you need them. 

But, what is also does is give you another option to use this spaghetti tomato sauce recipe to feed a big group because it can be made ahead of time.

I like to add some red pepper flakes or a little cayenne powder to bring out the tomato flavor. This can also help reduce acidity. 

We always make sure to make enough leftovers so we can freeze them for quick and easy weeknight dinners.

This is one of the top five sauces when feeding a crowd with spaghetti.

Spaghetti Tomato Sauce For 12 to 50 People Infographic
Spaghetti Tomato Sauce For 12 to 100 People Infographic

Crowd-Size Tomato Spaghetti Sauce For 4 to 100 People

2 tbs vegetable or olive oil

1 big minced white onion

5 smashed garlic cloves

1 cup vegetable broth 

28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce

1 can tomato paste, 6 oz.

1 tsp of brown sugar

1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

1 tsp mixed Italian herbs

1 tsp of salt

1/4 tsp New York Style black pepper, ground

1/2 cup fresh basil, diced finely

1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Want Another Simple Pasta Recipe For a Crowd

Perfectly Cooked Spaghetti Aglio E Olio Recipe for A a Big Group of People

Garlic, Onions Ready For Simmering To Make Homestyle Spaghetti Sauce
Garlic, Onions Ready For Simmering To Make Homestyle Spaghetti Sauce


Preheat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and sauté the onion for approximately 6 minutes or until the onion is translucent and softened.

(not dis-similar to 20 people bolognese)

Then put in the diced garlic and cook for another 60 seconds.

Stir in the vegetable broth, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and sauce. Mix first and then add the sugar and herbs then season with salt and pepper. Stirring again.

Bring to a boil.
Reduce the temperature to low and let it simmer, and cook for 2  hours.

Take an immersion blender to blend the mixture until it attains the preferred consistency. Depending on your preference, it can range from somewhat chunky to totally smooth.

Chunky Style Homemade Tomato Spaghetti Sauce
Chunky Style Homemade Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

This is a great idea for a menu plan for feeding a big family easily and cheaply along with carbonara sauce which is also popular and easy to prepare for a group.

Table For Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce For 100

 8 People12 People20 People50 People100 People
olive oil1.0 oz1.5 oz2.5 oz6.3 oz12.5 oz
onion3.5 oz5.3 oz13.1 oz21.9 oz43.8 oz
garlic4.0 oz6.0 oz15.0 oz25.0 oz50.0 oz
vegetable broth8.0 oz12.0 oz30.0 oz50.0 oz100.0 oz
can Crushed Tomatoes28.0 oz42.0 oz105.0 oz175.0 oz350.0 oz
can tomato sauce15.0 oz22.5 oz56.3 oz93.8 oz187.5 oz
can tomato paste6.0 oz9.0 oz22.5 oz37.5 oz75.0 oz
brown sugar0.01 oz0.01 oz0.1 oz0.2 oz0.3 oz
Italian mixed herbs0.01  oz0.01 oz0.1 oz0.2 oz0.3 oz
salt0.01 oz0.01 oz0.2 oz0.4 oz0.8 oz
pepper0.01 oz0.01 oz0.1 oz0.1 oz0.3 oz
basil0.2 oz0.30.8 oz1.3 oz2.5 oz
parsley0.2 oz0.3 oz0.8 oz1.3 oz2.5 oz

Marinara vs Tomato Spaghetti Sauce?

Marinara and spaghetti sauce are two tomato-based spaghetti sauces that differ slightly in their additional ingredients. Marinara is made with simple flavorings like garlic, salt, and basil while real tomato spaghetti sauce features more elaborate spices such as cumin, parsley, paprika, fennel and oregano.

Spaghetti Tomato Sauce vs Pizza Sauce; What’s the Difference?

The difference between spaghetti tomato sauce and pizza sauce lies in their texture and acidity levels. Spaghetti sauce tends to be smoother with a thicker consistency while pizza sauce is chunkier and more acidic. This is because pizza sauce is meant to be applied sparingly, as too much acidity could overpower the other toppings.

On the other hand, spaghetti sauce is meant to be mixed with the pasta and eaten in larger quantities (2-100 people), so it has a milder flavor profile.

Typically, spaghetti sauce is made with basic ingredients such as tomato sauce, garlic, onion, and some herbs, while pizza sauce often has a more chunky texture with fewer herbs. You can make it in advance and freeze Spaghetti Bolognese

Chunky Style Homemade Tomato Spaghetti Sauce
Chunky Style Homemade Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

Tips for Making Ahead and Freezing Spaghetti Sauce

When cooking spaghetti with tomato sauce for a crowd, it’s always a great idea to plan ahead and make the sauce ahead of time.

Not only does this allow for more time to focus on other aspects of the meal, but it also allows the flavors to meld together for a more delicious taste.

Additionally, freezing the sauce is a convenient way to make a large batch and save some for later.

I always let the spaghetti sauce stand in the fridge for a few days before freezing, as this brings out the true flavor of the sauce.

My grandma taught me this and just the other week my sister asked me again how I get my true richness of taste in my tomatoes spaghetti sauce – Did I tell her the answer – Yes because she really knows- she is just being nice as she is always too rushed to make hers properly.

However, if you are in a hurry like my sister, to ensure your spaghetti sauce freezes well, make sure to cool it completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container.

Label the container and the date it was stored, and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.

When ready to eat, simply thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight and heat it up before serving.

How long can spaghetti be left out.

What Are the Best Side Dishes for A Crowd when Serving Spaghetti Sauce

If you’re serving spaghetti with tomato sauce for a crowd, you need some side dishes that can complement the meal. Garlic bread is an easy and delicious option; just toast some sliced bread in the oven with garlic butter spread on top!

Another great option is a simple salad with vinaigrette dressing. The lightness of the salad will balance out the richness of the spaghetti sauce, while the tangy dressing will add brightness to the entire meal.

For those who want something more substantial, consider offering a bowl of meatballs or sausage alongside the spaghetti. This will provide protein and texture variation to your guests’ plates.

If you want to keep things vegetarian, why not serve roasted vegetables? Roasting brings out a natural sweetness in vegetables which makes them perfect as a side dish as they counteract the acidity a little.

Which Tomato Variety Is Recommended for Preparing Spaghetti Sauce with Tomato?

When it comes to making spaghetti sauce, the type of tomatoes you use can make a big difference in flavor. For a rich and flavorful tomato sauce, San Marzano tomatoes are the gold standard.

These Italian plum tomatoes are known for their sweet taste and low acidity, which means less bitterness in your sauce. Roma tomatoes are another popular option for making spaghetti sauce, with a meaty texture and mild flavor that complement other ingredients well.

Can Spaghetti Sauce Be Made from Whole Tomatoes?

Yes, spaghetti sauce can be made from whole tomatoes. It’s actually a great way to ensure that your sauce is really fresh and free from any artificial additives.

Plus, using whole tomatoes allows you to control the flavor more closely and season the sauce to your preferences. Simply blanch the tomatoes, remove their skins, and use them as a base for your homemade spaghetti sauce.

Slow Cooker Tomato Spaghetti Sauce Method

If you’re looking to feed a crowd with some delicious spaghetti, try making tomato sauce in a slow cooker! Using a slow cooker allows the flavors to meld together and create a rich and hearty sauce.

Start by browning ground beef or Italian sausage in a skillet, then add it to the slow cooker along with crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, diced onions, and your choice of herbs such as basil or oregano.

Let the sauce simmer on low for 6-8 hours, allowing all the flavors to meld together. Before serving, give the sauce a taste test and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve over spaghetti noodles and enjoy your delicious homemade slow cooker tomato spaghetti sauce!

See how to cook spaghetti for a crowd – read more.

Spaghetti Tomato Sauce For A Crowd

Delicious and Easy Homemade Tomato Spaghetti Sauce Recipe - An Easy Scaleable Recipe for 1 to 100 People
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Amercian, Italian
Servings: 8 People
Calories: 124kcal


  • 1 oz olive oil
  • 3.5 oz onion
  • 4 oz garlic
  • 8 oz vegetable broth
  • 28 oz tomatoes crushed
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 0.1 oz brown sugar
  • 0.1 oz italian mixed herbs
  • 0.05 oz salt
  • 0.05 oz pepper
  • .2 oz basil
  • 0.2 oz parsley


  • Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, put in the olive oil
  • Sautee the onion (diced finely) and pan fry until soft. Then add the garlic (diced finely) and cook for one more minute.
    Cooking in a Pan Diced Vegetables For Tomato Spaghetti Sauce
  • Then mix in the vegie broth, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and sauce. Mix first and then add the sugar and herbs.
    Season with salt and pepper. Stirring again and taste.
  • Bring to boiling and then simmer for up to two hours
    Slowly Simmering Tomato Sauce Base For Spaghetti
  • Finally if you want to make the sauce smooth use a stick blender to homogenize.
    Finely Blended Homemade Tomato Spaghetti Sauce


Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 737mg | Potassium: 753mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 934IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 3mg

What is spaghetti tomato sauce?

Spaghetti tomato sauce is a traditional Italian sauce that is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, onion, and other herbs and spices. The sauce is usually served over spaghetti noodles and is a popular dish worldwide. Here are the three most important pieces of information about spaghetti tomato sauce:

  • Spaghetti tomato sauce is a versatile and flavorful sauce that can be made in various ways.
  • The sauce is usually made from fresh tomatoes, although canned tomatoes can also be used.
  • The sauce can be made in vegetarian varieties easily.


Here are the three most important pieces of information about making spaghetti tomato sauce:

  • Spaghetti tomato sauce can be made with a few simple ingredients.
  • The sauce is typically simmered for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • The sauce can be adjusted to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.