Hesterberg Spaghetti Family Recipe


Are you looking for a quick and easy dinner dish? We’ve got you covered! This is a family recipe that’s been tweaked to perfection. And did I mention it’s quick and easy?!

When I search online for a recipe, I prefer to skip long introductions to get to the main part: the ingredients and preparation. For this family favorite, I’m going to post the ingredients and instructions first, and the history behind this meal (which is really fun!) last.


  • 1-1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I use lean*)
  • *1/2 or 1 whole onion (I use half)
  • 1 32 oz can Hunt’s tomato sauce (generic works fine)
  • *1 package of mushrooms
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 package spaghetti noodles
  • *Basil (preferably fresh)

*denotes ingredients we have added to the original Hesterberg spaghetti recipe. Serves about 4-6 with some leftovers.


  1. Prepare noodles according to package directions.  When done, pour some olive oil over them (so they don’t stick to the pot), and mix them up with chopped up fresh basil.
  2. Chop up onion and mushrooms, and brown them with the ground beef and garlic. Finely break them all up over low-medium heat. If you are not using lean ground beef, drain the fat.
  3. Add the oregano and tomato sauce and heat through.
  4. Serve over spaghetti noodles. Enjoy!
Hesterberg Spaghetti Recipe Noodles
Hesterberg Spaghetti Recipe Veggies
Hesterberg Spaghetti Recipe
Hesterberg Spaghetti Recipe

The Story Behind the Hesterberg Spaghetti Family Recipe

Though I never had the privilege of meeting her, my father-in-law’s mother, Cecilia (Jones) Hesterberg, was the first to make this spaghetti. She passed it on to my mother-in-law, Kathy (Reyna) Hesterberg, who then passed it on to me, Giana (Gallardo) Hesterberg.

Hesterberg Spaghetti Recipe
Grandma Ceil, the originator of Hesterberg Spaghetti

It is a favorite that we have made for family and friends here in South Texas as well as in Iowa, Washington State, and most recently, Colorado.

We have added to the recipe over the years. In 2011, when we last visited Iowa, we made it for a dear friend, Amanda, who is a vegetarian. Since we couldn’t use meat, we tried mushrooms. We liked it so much we decided to keep them in our version! A couple of years later, we were having supper at another sweet lady’s house, Lily, and saw that she added basil to her spaghetti noodles. Finally, our gardening mentor, Angela, inspired us to grow our own herbs.

We hope you enjoy Hesterberg Spaghetti Family Recipe, and we would love to hear about how you make it your own!

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Giana Gallardo Hesterberg is a native RGV (Brownsville) mom. After graduating from Central College in Pella, Iowa (2004) with a degree in Elementary Education, and residing in the midwest for 7 years, she returned to her roots and married her love. Happily married for 9 years (to Beau), with 3 children (Jack-7, Cecily-4, and Felicity-2) and 1 dog (Hershey, a Chocolate Lab), she is currently living the dream. She is a teacher for VIPKID, a company that trains American teachers to teach ESL to Chinese students online. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, gardening, baking, traveling, and dancing to 80’s music whenever and wherever it’s played! She has written for Woman’s World, The Mighty, Earnest and God-sized Dreams.


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