School Spaghetti Sauce

This is the 1971 USDA School Spaghetti recipe, for all of you who have been looking for that perfect sauce to recreate all those school lunches from days gone by. Serve with pasta.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
40 servings


  • 8 pounds ground beef

  • 3 pounds onions, diced

  • 4 ½ teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 ½ quarts water

  • 1 (28 ounce) can canned chopped tomatoes, drained

  • 1 (14 ounce) can canned chopped tomatoes, drained

  • 7 ounces tomato paste

  • 11 teaspoons dried basil

  • 11 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 8 teaspoons dried marjoram

  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper


  1. Heat a very large pot over medium-high heat. Cook and stir ground beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and discard grease.

  2. Stir onions and garlic powder into the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add water, both cans of tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, and pepper. Let simmer for about 1 hour.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

191 Calories
11g Fat
6g Carbs
16g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 40
Calories 191
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 136mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 362mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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