Mama’s Spaghetti Recipe

| May 2, 2021 | 9 Comments

Mama’s Spaghetti

Follow our complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make spaghetti just like Mama made for our family. Super easy, super simple. Printable recipe included.


Mama's Spaghetti, enjoy.
Mama was all Southerner, so there is nothing Italian about the way she made spaghetti. It’s just very simple, very easy, and I loved it then and love it now. I hope you’ll agree should you try it.


Mama's Spaghetti, slider.

I always thought Mama made my favorite Spaghetti dish with tomato soup. I was wrong, and it took me many years to ever realize that.

Growing up, Mama made Spaghetti about once a week as I recall. I watched her make it many times, but my memory was always telling me that can of red stuff she poured in the pot was just plain tomato soup.

I tried for years to duplicate her Spaghetti. I used tomato soup with and without added water, with and without tomato paste added to it, and with and without tomato sauce, but it never came close to my memory of what she made. I was trying too hard it seems.

When I made the recipe for Macaroni and Tomatoes, and posted it here on Taste of Southern, I discovered one of the key ingredients to her Spaghetti. Mama always used Bacon Grease to cook her onions in. I was finally getting close. I even tried to make her Spaghetti with crushed tomatoes instead of soup, but it still wasn’t right.

When I finally made it using Bacon Grease, Onions, and Tomato SAUCE, I knew God had blessed me to finally figure it out. It still wasn’t as good as hers, but it sure was close. I’ll never make it exactly like she did as I’ve found with many of my kitchen attempts. She just added that special touch of LOVE in all of her dishes. Dishes I grew UP and OUT with. Smile.

I guess I really was trying too hard. The recipe had eluded me for years and I always wondered what I was missing.

Mama was a Southerner, so there is nothing you might consider Italian about this simple dish. I doubt she ever owned any of those familiar Italian spices you’d find in a Spaghetti sauce that cooked all day.

Sometimes, she would make meatballs to go along with the Spaghetti. Those were awesome as well.

I know it’s very simple, but this is the Spaghetti I remember growing up with. I hope you might like it should you decide to try it.

Ready to try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Mama's Spaghetti, ingredients.
Mama’s Spaghetti Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients.

That little container on the left is what I store my bacon grease in. I keep some in the refrigerator all the time, and BACON GREASE is the KEY ingredient to making this super simple spaghetti.


Mama's Spaghetti, dice the onion.
Let’s begin by chopping up the onion. I’m using one whole onion of about medium size.


Mama's Spaghetti, add to skillet.
Place 3 Tablespoons of Bacon Grease in your skillet and then add the chopped onions. Place this over Medium heat on your stove top.

I had just cooked up a batch of bacon in this skillet and drained most of the grease into a container for safe keeping. You do save your bacon grease don’t you? That stuff is liquid gold in the kitchen. Smile.


Mama's Spaghetti, prepare spaghetti.
Prepare your pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain your spaghetti while you sauté the onions.

I’m only using half of a box for this recipe. You can easily double the recipe if you need more.


Mama's Spaghetti,
Let the onions cook in the bacon grease until they are tender and translucent. The bacon grease will help them to brown as they cook, but just be careful with them and don’t let them burn. Stir often.


Mama's Spaghetti, add sauce.
Place the cooked onions back in the empty pot that you cooked your spaghetti in.

Add 1 can of Tomato Sauce (15oz) to the pot.

Stir this up and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes until the tomato sauce is nice and hot.


Mama's Spaghetti, add spaghetti.
Remove the pot from the stovetop and add the drained spaghetti.


Mama's Spaghetti, stir well.
Stir it well until all the noodles are coated with sauce.

That’s it… you’re done.


Mama's Spaghetti, enjoy.

You can serve this up with some toasted garlic bread if you like. Mama never got that fancy. She might have made some cornmeal hoe cakes, or just served some plain white bread with it.

This was definitely one of my childhood favorites and a dish Mama would have prepared about once a week.

PS: I debated calling this Ellie Spaghetti, to name it after my mom. Smile

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon
Mama's Spaghetti, printbox.

Mama’s Spaghetti Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


This very simple and basic recipe for homemade Spaghetti was one of my childhood favorites. Bacon grease is the key to make it taste like Mama’s.



8 oz. uncooked Spaghetti Pasta
1 can Tomato Sauce (15oz)
1 medium Onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons Bacon Grease
Salt and Pepper to taste


Chop the onion.
Place bacon grease in skillet over Medium heat on stove top. Let melt.
Add the chopped onions. Cook onions until translucent and tender, stirring often.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
Place cooked onions and tomato sauce in pot that you cooked pasta in.
Let cook for about 2 -3 minutes until the tomato sauce is hot.
Add the drained spaghetti and stir well to fully coat all the pasta noodles.
Serve warm.


Bacon grease really is the key to making this taste the way I enjoyed it growing up. You can add less onions if you like, but they are about as important as the bacon grease.

Keywords: spaghetti, bacon grease, onions, tomato sauce, mama's spaghetti, super easy, memories, quick


Your Comments:

Have you tried my Mama’s Spaghetti recipe? Share your thoughts on it with us.

It will only take a minute or two for you to leave your comments in the section below.

Just remember, all comments are moderated.  That just means that I personally read each and everyone before they are approved for viewing on our family friendly website. Thank you in advance for sharing.

Sign Up For Our Free Newsletter:

While you’re here, be sure to sign up for our totally FREE NEWSLETTER.  I’ll send you an Email every once in awhile to remind you when I post a new recipe, or when anything else of importance is going on around Taste of Southern.  It’s totally free, and super easy to sign up.  And, should you ever decide that you are no longer interested, it’s even quicker to unsubscribe.  How cool is that?  I’ll be looking forward to seeing you add your name to our list.  The signup box is below and you’ll also find one in the top right hand corner of each page. I hope you’ll do it today.

Be Blessed!!!


You might also like:  All-at-once Spaghetti, a one pot spaghetti with meat sauce.

Or, maybe this:  Macaroni and Tomatoes

How about this?  Crab Annie – a seafood pasta dish.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Main Dishes, Pasta

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Brian S says:

    Made this last night following the recipe exactly. I thought for sure that the sauce would be pretty blah tasting and that I’d have to doctor it up to make it more palatable. I was more than pleasantly surprised at how good it turned out! The bacon fat sure made it shine. Quick, easy and tasted really good. It’s a different taste than the all day sauce with loads of ingredients, but it’s very good. Definitely a keeper! Thanks Steve!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Brian, Thank you for trying the recipe and sharing your results with us. I’m glad it turned out well for you. I love it myself. Smile. I do appreciate your visits and hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Angela says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story about your Mother being able to eat again. All because of our wonderful Savior and His healing power. I am so thankful for Jesus our Savior and everything He has accomplished for us through His sacrifice on the cross. What a wonderful plan of Salvation! Thank you Father! I want to shout it to the roof tops! Help me Father to proclaim your message to all those who are lost. In the name of your wonderful Son, Jesus of Nazareth.

  3. Brenda says:

    OMG! I cannot believe someone else made spaghetti like my Grandmother! One change/she used a bottle of ketchup for the sauce. Then, she baked in the oven. So good!!

  4. Joyce Petrichek says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. And for giving the invitation to accept Christ. I pray that many will respond.
    How blessed you were, as I was, to have a Godly mother who was also a good cook. I was one of 7 kids, including two sets of twins, and I never heard my mother raise her voice. If we misbehaved, she would say, “I’m so disappointed in you.” I would have preferred a spanking.

    I’m praying you will be able to go fishing once again with your friend, and that you will be able to continue to share your recipes and stories with us, You are a blessing to all of us and we love you.

  5. Stephanie Lucas says:

    Steve thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes I will be getting me a cookbook. I sure do miss all our southern meals will use to have.

  6. Judi Goodrich says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for the heartwarming newsletter today.
    I was thinking my Mom made something that may have been about the same as your Mother’s spaghetti. It pretty much went together the same way except at the end she crumbled up some bacon, stirred it in, and the cut up some yellow cheese(?), put that on top and baked it. I remember it was rather sweet tasting. Wish I knew what that missing ingredient was?

  7. Josephine Green says:

    Loved your story of your mom. And yes there were tears. Memories. GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. Be blessed.

  8. Viv says:

    Oh My goodness,I make my spaghetti like your moms, except for I never used bacon grease. I will definitely try it… I can imagine the flavor… yummy!
    Thank you, for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *