Our Greek spaghetti with meat sauce – makaronia me kima, is comforting and delicious. Slowly cooked with red wine, lots of aromatics, and good tomatoes, all flavors develop and shine.

This post is an updated version previously published in March 2021. New photos and clearer recipe instructions now accompany the post

If you love this Greek Spaghetti With Meat Sauce – Makaronia me Kima, you will also love Pastitsio-Greek Beef Pasta BakeMoussaka-Greek Eggplant Potato Casserole or Eggplant Lasagna With Béchamel!

A yellow pasta bowl with Greek spaghetti with meat sauce over a napkin on a table.

Why this recipe sings

  • Few meals are as satisfying as good pasta with meat sauce. This is an authentic makaronia me kima recipe (Greek spaghetti with meat sauce).
  • Combining the hearty meat sauce with the tender spaghetti is a classic and comforting pairing. However, feel free to use your favorite pasta shape.
  • Using herbs and spices, such as dried oregano, cinnamon and nutmeg, adds depth of flavor to the dish.
  • Makaronia me kima is a crowd-pleasing economical meal perfect for a family dinner or entertaining guests.

Here is what you need

Ingredients to make Greek spaghetti meat sauce, makaronia me kima.
  • Ground meat. My favorite is grass-fed organic ground beef. I simmer the veggies for a while and start browning the ground beef, and instead of milk that classic Italian bolognese has, I add a glass of red wine.
  • Seasonings and herbs. My beloved Greek oregano, bay leaf, cloves, nutmeg, a cinnamon stick, and fresh thyme when available.
  • Red wine. I always use a wine that I would enjoy drinking. There are many reasonably priced cabernets or chiantis that are perfectly good for both drinking and cooking.
  • Good-quality canned tomatoes. Being Greek, born and raised, I am spoiled with the amazing tomatoes available in Greece. Since I can’t find the same in Hoboken, I always get San Marzano tomatoes D.O.P. for excellent flavor. If you can’t find Italian tomatoes, don’t despair! Use what is available. Because supermarket-canned tomatoes can be acidic, I add a little sugar to the sauce; a teaspoon should be enough to bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes and transform it.
  • Spaghetti. Or your favorite pasta. This sauce is great with short-cut pasta as well as linguini and pappardelle.

How to make Greek spaghetti meat sauce

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Browned ground meat, spices, a cinnamon stick, tomato paste and cloves in a skillet.

Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat. Break the meat with a wooden spoon to avoid large chunks. Brown the ground meat all over.

Add the diced onion and garlic—season with a pinch of salt. Stir and sauté for a couple of minutes.

Add 2 tbsp of tomato paste, season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and a generous pinch of dry oregano. Add the bay leaf, cloves, and nutmeg.

Browned ground meat, in a skillet.

Keep sautéing while stirring for 2-3 min and let flavors develop.

Browned ground meat, in a skillet.

Add the wine. Increase heat to high to let the alcohol evaporate for 1-2 minutes.

Whole tomatoes over browned ground meat, in a skillet.

Add the tomatoes. Fill one of the tomato cans with water or chicken broth and add it to the sauce. Lower heat and simmer meat sauce for 2 hours, occasionally breaking down the tomatoes and stirring. When the sauce is ready, adjust sea salt and pepper to taste.

A yellow pasta bowl with Greek spaghetti with meat sauce over a napkin on a table.

Tips and tricks

  • My favorite way to enjoy this sauce is tossed with thin spaghetti.
  • Occasionally, I will use fat macaroni pasta, usually used for the traditional pastitsio dish, the famous baked pasta casserole.
  • Pappardelle and fettuccine would be excellent to capture the delicious sauce.
  • For cheese choices, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is always an excellent option.
  • In Greece, kefalotyri cheese is the most commonly grated over spaghetti. Its flavor resembles pecorino romano. Dry mizithra, a cheese similar to ricotta salata, is also common over pasta, especially in Crete.
  • You can use equal parts of ground beef and pork, just ground pork, or mix ground beef with ground hot Italian sausage. If you like ground lamb, you are welcome to use it. A nice variation is to saute some pancetta pieces or bacon with the onions for a zesty flavor to the sauce.

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A yellow pasta bowl with Greek spaghetti with meat sauce over a napkin on a table.

Greek Spaghetti With Meat Sauce – Makaronia me Kima

by Jenny | The Greek Foodie
A Greek spaghetti with meat sauce – makaronia me kima is comforting and delicious. Slowly cooked, with red wine, lots of aromatics, and good tomatoes all flavors develop and really shine.
4.84 from 25 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Course Main
Cuisine Greek
Servings 6
Calories 840 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 cloves
  • cup red wine
  • 28 oz San Marzano tomatoes like Gustarosso.
  • 1 cup chicken broth optional, you can use water instead
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 16 oz spaghetti or pappardelle, linguine, or your favorite pasta

Instructions
 

  • Add 2–3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
    Add the ground meat. Brown meat all over while breaking up any chunks with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the diced onion and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
    Stir and add two tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir again and season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and one tablespoon of dried oregano. Add the bay leaf and 3-4 cloves. Keep sautéing for 2-3 min and let flavors develop. 
  • Add the red wine. Increase heat to high and let the alcohol evaporate for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes. Fill one of the tomato cans with water or chicken broth and add it to the sauce.
    Break up the tomatoes with your spoon.
    Lower heat and simmer the sauce for 2 hours, occasionally stirring and breaking up the tomatoes.
  • Adjust sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve over your favorite pasta with plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Notes

  • You can substitute 1 lb ground beef with 1 lb ground pork or 1 lb ground sausage. If you like some heat, use hot Italian ground sausage.
  • When good tomatoes are abundant in the summer, use 32 oz of grated fresh tomatoes.
  • If you are not using authentic San Marzano, use Cento canned tomatoes or similar. Add a teaspoon of sugar to the canned tomatoes to cut the acidity and bring out their sweetness.
 
Nutritional Info – Please remember that the nutritional information provided is only an estimate and can vary based on the products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 840kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 39gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 472mgPotassium: 1144mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 386IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 121mgIron: 7mg
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Greek Spaghetti with Meat Sauce-Makaronia me Kima

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Recipe Rating




21 Comments

  1. Well…who know all this time I was making Greek style Ragu?! That’s good to know. I need to find me some of that great looking macaroni too…we love all kinds of pasta in this house.

  2. 5 stars
    Wow, now this is a dish to serve for a comforting Sunday dinner! The cinnamon is an interesting flavour, I have never had that before in a pasta dish. I love that all ingredients are a staple in my house, I can make this anytime I like!

  3. 5 stars
    Oh boy, does that look good. I’ve never heard of Greek beef ragu before. I know I need to eat it, though. Yum.

  4. 5 stars
    This is such a simple but hearty dish! I love the different influences and flavors coming together to create something wonderful!

  5. 5 stars
    This is one of those sauces that would be great the next day or even better! I love this dish! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. 5 stars
    This Greek beef ragu pasta looks so excellent! I love the cinnamon stick that you’ve added to this. It sounds like it warms this pasta sauce up the perfect amount!

  7. 5 stars
    You can never go wrong with a delicious pasta recipe any day of the week. This sounds like a wonderful dinner option. My family would devour this in no time.

  8. 5 stars
    Yum! This will definitely enough to satisfy my cravings! You Greek Pasta recipe looks absolutely scrumptious.

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for recipes to replace traditional spaghetti sauce due to some recent dietary restrictions and this is perfect! Thank you!

  10. 5 stars
    Drooling over the spaghetti sauce. Amazingly delicious and flavorful. Making this for dinner soon. Thanks for sharing.

  11. 5 stars
    I’m always on the lookout for new pasta recipes for my personal chef clients. I can’t wait to make this one for them. Thanks for posting the recipe 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    What a lovely dinner idea. I bet my boys would love this. I can’t wait to make and give it a try. Lovely recipe. Thnaks!

  13. How much red wine? It’s not listed in the ingredients, but twice mentioned in recipe.
    Anxious to try this, but need to know how much red wine.

    1. Hi Cordell,

      So sorry, we updated the recipe post and the wine quantity was left out by mistake. I put it back in. I add about a cup of red wine. I try to use a wine I would drink, not necessarily expensive but good quality.

      Hope you like the sauce!

      Thanks so much,

      x Jenny

  14. 1 star
    This meat sauce was not good at all, & no one in my family liked it. The flavors of the spices & herbs were very strong and off-putting. Unfortunately, it all went to waste. This meat sauce does not taste like the Greek “kima” I grew up with.

    1. Hi AMPM,

      I am sorry you didn’t like the meat sauce. I am surprised as it is a favorite in our house and we make it often. But I know it happens, we all have different palettes and preferences. Thank you for trying it.
      Jenny

  15. 5 stars
    Wow! This Greek Beef Ragu Pasta looks incredibly delicious and very tasty! Looks like a comfort food by many! Plus we can never go wrong with pasta! Loved it!