Rigatoni Meat Sauce With Bacon Recipe

Rigatoni Meat Sauce

Pasta is a staple meal in our home. And what makes pasta even better? Bacon sauce!

There are a million ways to make pasta meat sauce with bacon, from using fresh garden vegetables and herbs to simply buying jarred from the store. The sauce you choose may depend on the amount of time you have.

Of course, making your own sauce tastes the best, but sometimes it just takes much longer.

Many people prefer to cook their meatballs in the sauce either stovetop or in a crockpot slow and low for most of the day. If you’re making fresh sauce that makes for a long day!

For a faster sauce, you can jazz up some store-bought tomato sauce. That way, you get the best of both worlds – a time-saving sauce with a homemade flavor.

With this quicker, easier route choose your favorite brand of pasta sauce, add some additional spices and simmer. The secret is adding a pinch of extra nutmeg.

Ok now that we’ve covered the base of the pasta sauce, let’s talk about hearty meat that makes for the best rigatoni meat sauce!

Consider using a mix of meat for meatballs when you’re making it with a tomato-based sauce with bacon. The foundation of my meatballs are ground beef, but then I add about a half portion of either pork, veal or even buffalo. The end ratio is two parts ground beef to one part of another meat.

Then, use eggs and Italian bread crumbs as binding ingredients for the meatballs to help keep them together. Finally, Italian herbs like oregano and rosemary as well as salt and pepper round out the flavors.

Shape your meatballs into balls and drop them into the sauce to simmer for three to four hours.

The final touch is the bacon. You can partially precook some bacon, then chop it up and let it continue cooking with the meat sauce. This way, the sauce gets the added flavors of some bacon grease at it continues to cook.

Top your pasta with this beautiful rich sauce, and enjoy a family style dinner!

Rigatoni Meat Sauce Recipe

Meat sauce is the perfect pasta sauce for rigatoni. And it's even better with a bit of bacon.
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Bacon Pasta Sauce, Meat Sauce for Pasta with Bacon, Rigatoni Meat Sauce
Servings: 6
Author: Meredith Obert


  • Large pot
  • Large mixing bowl


Tomato Sauce

  • 2 Jars Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Basil
  • 1 lb Bacon
  • 1 White Onion


  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2 lb Pork
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Pepper


  • Heat tomato sauce with basil in large pot. When it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Chop onions into small pieces and add to tomato sauce.
  • Mix meats with egg, bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add in herbs.
  • Shape meat mixture into about 1 inch meatballs.
  • Pre-cook the bacon halfway by baking at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Then cut the bacon into smaller pieces.
    Bacon for Rigatoni Sauce
  • Add meatballs and partially cooked bacon pieces into sauce.
  • Simmer rigatoni meat sauce for about three hours on low heat.
    Easy Rigatoni Meat Sauce

Why Meat Sauce is Great with Rigatoni

Rigatoni is pasta shaped in fat little tubes. This type of pasta is excellent for thicker sauces like meat sauce or Bolognese. That’s because it can catch more of the chunks in the sauce for the perfect bite.

What Sauces Go with Rigatoni?

The best pasta sauces that go with rigatoni are tomato and meat sauces. Rigatoni has ridges that helps keep chunkier sauces on the pasta. It’s tubular shape is also ideal for meat sauces such as with sausage, ground beef or bacon, that have a tomato base. Rigatoni goes well with Bolognese, ragu, or a chunky vegetable pasta sauce.

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