Shortcut Spaghetti

Yes, sometimes I just grab a big ole jar or two of spaghetti sauce at the grocery store instead of making a big batch of homemade. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I don’t just heat it up and toss it over cooked pasta. Nope, I gotta make my shortcut spaghetti. It’s a dish I started making in my bachelor years, and have perfected over time.
Shortcut Spaghetti
You can use ground beef instead of Italian sausage, but I wouldn’t. The first years I made shortcut spaghetti I used beef. Sausage is better. Much better. And my homemade Italian sausage is fantastic. I make a batch and freeze it in one pound packages. Perfect for a shortcut dish.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Instead of pasta, serve the meat sauce mixture on a hoagie or sub roll as a sandwich and top with tons of shredded mozzarella. It’s the perfect messy Sloppy Italian Joe sandwich. Or substitute meatballs for the sausage.

Shortcut Spaghetti

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author Mike


  • 2 14 ounce packages Jacksonville Italian sausage links, casings removed or ground sausage OR my homemade Italian sausage
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 2 24 ounce jars your favorite spaghetti sauce (I used Prego Fresh Mushroom)
  • Pasta cooked per package instructions
  • Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


  • Crumble the sausage into a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • When the sausage is almost browned add the mushrooms and onion and continue sauteeing until the onion starts to soften. Remove from heat and drain.
  • Add sauce to a large pot over low heat.
  • Add in the meat mixture.
  • Cover and let simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve over cooked pasta (or mix the pasta in with the sauce first) garnished with parsley and Parmesan.