My Family’s Favorite Spaghetti Recipe

I will forever cherish the time I’ve been able to spend with my mom and dad this month. This isn’t the house I grew up in, but wherever they are will always feel like home to me.

We’ve referred to our family kitchen as “Katie’s Kitchen” since I was a little kid, and my family’s favorite spaghetti recipe has been served up in the Palmer home for as long as I can remember.

You start by bringing 5 cups of water, with a package of Lipton onion soup in it, to a boil. After that, you throw in 8 ounces of spaghetti and let it cook uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s tender. (Note: Do not drain the spaghetti once it’s cooked.) At the same time, you can be browning 1 pound of ground chuck or turkey, and then draining and returning it to the skillet.

After that, sprinkle the meat generously with garlic salt, and add in 2 teaspoons of oregano, and 1 teaspoon of basil.

Next, purée 2 (14.5 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes in a blender, and then add them to the meat mixture. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

At this point my mom said, “Now I don’t know about y’all, but I’m a taster!

Apparently once everything is blended, she lets her taste buds decide whether to add more garlic salt or not. I’m still trying to perfect this part of the process, but my mom is definitely a master at it!

The last step is to add the meat sauce to the spaghetti and mix it all up.

I grew up eating spaghetti that was mixed together before it was served, so I was really confused the first time someone dumped a pile of noodles on my plate and poured spaghetti sauce all over it. I thought it was so strange that they expected me to mix it up myself- ha!

I didn’t realize how special these recipes and memories would be to me when I grew up. Here’s a printable recipe for you if you’d like to give my family’s favorite spaghetti recipe a try. I hope you love it as much as I do!

My Family’s Favorite Spaghetti Recipe


  • 5 c. water
  • 1 env. dry Lipton onion soup
  • 8 oz. package of spaghetti
  • 1 lb. ground chuck or turkey
  • garlic salt
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 2 - 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes


  1. Bring water with Lipton onion soup to a boil
  2. Add spaghetti and cook uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender
  3. Do not drain spaghetti
  4. Brown meat, drain, and return to skillet
  5. Sprinkle with garlic salt and add oregano and sweet basil
  6. Purée tomatoes in blender and add to meat mixture
  7. Simmer for about 30 minutes
  8. Add meat sauce to spaghetti and mix well

What about you? Do you have a favorite family recipe?

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  1. Tammy says

    Looks so good. But I too think that looks like whole wheat pasta, is it? Will the recipe taste as good using regular pasta?
    And I noticed it says only 8oz of pasta. I guess I would have to double the recipe if I do 16oz : )

  2. Jeni says

    Oh Kevin…so sweet to see a handome man and his beautiful mama cooking together in the kitchen….what a special memorie. Spagetti club member here…I grew up with spagetti mixed together and have cooked it that way in my 34 years of marriage. I think the spagetti takes on a better flavor as it asborbs the sauce when mixed together, leaving no noddle naked. A friend once asked me for my “special spagetti” recipe I served while her young daughter was visiting…she said her daughter said it was the best she ever had. I told her muellers spagetti, Prego sauce and ground beef all mixed together before serving. She said same ingredients as hers but not mixed together….she guessed the “special” her daughter was talking about was mixing it. Yep….out of the mouths of babes.

  3. says

    Thank you for sharing this special recipe. So fun reading the comments too!! I grew up on spaghetti (with the sauce mixed in — ha!) but have come to dislike it as I get older. My family, luckily, really likes it — I say “luckily” because it’s an easy dish — but this recipe makes *me* want to eat it too!! Maybe I’ve just missed eating it the way I did as a little girl. Will try this recipe out ASAP. THANK YOU. And what a testimony to your mother. . .having you in the kitchen with her, archiving these recipes and memories. . .what an inspiration to me as a mama of a couple boys :)

  4. says

    Thanks for sharing the recipe, Kevin – that looks pretty easy to make; I got my spaghetti recipe from my father-in-law – we didn’t have spaghetti much when I was growing up (maybe it’s an Australian thing? – my dad was a meat and 3 veggies kind of guy).

    It’s great that you’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with your parents while you and Layla wait to close on your home – I think sharing a home with parents when you are an adult can be a great bonding experience – they look at you differently than they did when you were a kid!

  5. says

    Thanks for sharing! Cherished family recipes always offer the best comfort, on top of the best taste. My family is alllll about desserts. OK, we’re about a lot of foods, but I seem to really enjoy the sweets!

    This cobbler recipe is one of our favorites. The original post was for peach cobbler, but you can easily sub apples for the peaches to make an ultimate fall treat. Thought I’d share, because it is so simple, so yummy, and would make a great finale to your fam’s spaghetti!

  6. Sandy says

    Tried this tonight & it was delicious!! Thanks for sharing! My mom also always mixed the sauce & noodles and that is how I’ve always done it. My husband thought it was odd at first but he’s used to it now.

  7. says

    oh yes! this looks easy enough for someone like me to attempt and tasty enough that everyone would enjoy. thanks for posting it!
    also, i HATE when someone else serves me spaghetti that isn’t mixed because they never give me enough sauce. drive me crazy because i wanna dip my garlic bread!

  8. says

    Looks so yummy. Can’t wait to try it! I also grew up in a home where the spaghetti was mixed in the pot before it went on your plate, lol. It always tastes better that way; especially as leftovers the next day! Thanks for the recipe. ~Kerri, A Pop of Pretty

  9. Rebecca says

    Made it this weekend, YUM!! and my 14-year old son LOVED it!!!

    Rebecca is Birmingham

  10. says

    I love this recipe–not just for the sweet story and the beautiful photographs to go with it, but because it represents the kind of good, uncomplicated, but DELICIOUS food my grandmother always made. So far as I know she never had fresh herbs or fancy ingredients of any kind, but her food was absolutely wonderful. Much as I love using fresh ingredients, sometimes I just want to cook plain old uncomplicated food that everyone will love, even if it’ll never be featured on a Food Network show. Thank you for sharing this!

  11. Christine says

    I made this today and my family LOVED it! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  12. Debbie says

    Thank you for this! I made it last night and my family loved it. I shared the recipe at work yesterday, ( I work at an elementary school – we talk food all day ) and they are all excited to try it as well. Please share more!

  13. Amy D says

    I tried this recipe last night…it was delicious! The only problem I had was that I sprinkled the meat TOO generously with garlic salt to start with…next time I’ll go easier on the garlic salt. Also, one thing I think would be helpful to know is that after mixing the two things together (the noodles/onion soup & sauce/meat) it is still a little bit thinner than most people are used to, just let it sit for about 5-10 minutes and it will thicken up ALOT. I was concerned about it looking too watery when I mixed the two together but I let it sit while I made sweet tea and garlic bread it was just fine.

  14. PeggyAnn says

    Thank you Kevin and Mom Katie for the spaghetti recipe. We made this tonight along with garlic bread and a salad…it was so yummy! We will be making this again for sure!

  15. Philicia Martin says

    I made this the night I read it. It was GREAT, and my husband hasn’t stopped talking about it! Also, the leftovers are just as good! Thank you Kevin!!

  16. Justine says

    Husband took care of the meat – I did the spaghetti – result: delicious!! and fun to cook dinner together!!! Because there’s only 2 of us, we had leftovers to enjoy AGAIN tonight. Thanks for the recipe & congrats on the new home. Can’t wait to see what you do with that blank canvas!!!

  17. Angie says

    Just wanted to thank you for sharing your family’s spaghetti recipe. I made it last week for my spaghetti loving husband and it was a BIG HIT! I was a little skeptical about not draining the spaghetti first, but it worked! Thanks again. Love your blog. Can’t wait to see the changes in the new house. The neighborhood is beautiful by the way.

  18. Debora Cadene says

    I’ve made this a couple of times and I have to say it was funny watching my husbands reaction when I added the onion soup mix to the water then never drained it. This was very good. I added a wee bit of diced onion and mushrooms to it, while I cooked the beef the first time. Its awesome reheated, and also really good when you drop a spoonful of sour cream to it…….it tastes like stroganoff. Thanks for sharing this with us!! Its definitely a keeper,

  19. judy says

    I have to say when I read this recipe I thought no way would I like this but then I was so curious I had to try it. omg Im so glad I did I absolutely, love this recipe!!! so does my family!! just goes to show you you never know until you try! so glad I did thankyou so much for sharing this.

  20. Joyce Hyder says

    I have been looking for this recipe for years! I used to fix it all the time and lost the copy of the recipe. Thanks for sharing!!