Canning – Tomato Sauce

One of the reasons we planted so many tomatoes was in the hopes that we would be able to can lots of fresh tomato sauce to last us throughout the year. Last Saturday I was able to get about 20 cups of chopped tomatoes and sauce directly from our garden to come together and make 12 cups of  “Seasoned Tomato Sauce”. This recipe comes from the Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving that I got from my mom for my birthday. I ever so slightly edited the recipe by doubling it and adding basil and removing the bay leaves. We’ve already used 1 cup of this sauce for a pizza, and it is really good.

8 cups tomato puree (ie use a juicer, blender or a kitchen aid vegetable grinder)
12 cups chopped tomatoes unpeeled (I used a combination of roma, celebrity and better boy
2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 1/2 TBS minced garlic
4 TBS chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
4 TBS chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tsp white sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup red win vinegar
1 tsp salt

1. Combine tomato puree, tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano, basil, sugar and pepper in a large stainless steel saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat.
3. Once boiling lower the heat, but keep at a gentle boil. Boil uncovered for about 1 hour 15 minutes, or until very thick.
4. After 1 hour of the boiling bring a large pot (or canner) full of water to a boil.
5. Once water is boiling add jars. Boil for a few minutes.
6. Add lids to the boiling water, do not add the screw bands.
7.  When tomato sauce is thick, you have two options, 1 press the sauce through a food mill or coarse sieve and discard seeds and skins or, 2 blend up some of the sauce containing the bigger pieces of tomato. I chose option 2 because I didn’t know what option 1 meant.
8. Add vinegar and salt to the tomato sauce. Mix in well.
9. Remove hot jars and lids from pot. Leave water boiling.
10. Ladle sauce into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch at the top.
11. Put on lids and screw bands.
12. Place in the boiling water, put lid on pot, and boil for 35 minutes for 1 or 2 cup jars. (If the water begins to evaporate, add more. You want 1 inch of water over the tops of the jars.)
13. Turn heat off, remove lid or pot and leave jars in pot for 5 minutes.
14. Carefully lift jars out of the water and place on a heat safe counter top.
15. Allow to cool for 12 hours to 24 hours.
16. Label jars with month and year. Sauce should last for 1 year in jars.
17. Store in a cool, dark place.

* To make pizza sauce from this recipe, mix an additional 1/2 tsp of oregano, basil and parsley into the sauce just before putting it on the pizza.


  1. Catherine · · Reply

    Thanks Aimee! I did some research online and discovered that it takes 10 pounds of tomatoes to make one batch of your sauce. I just finished making a double batch :) Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    1. I’m so glad you figured it out! Hope the sauce turns out well for you!

  2. Catherine · · Reply

    Hi Aimee,
    This recipes looks delicious! Do you know roughly how many pounds of tomatoes you used for 20 cups of chopped tomatoes?

    1. I’m sorry Catherine, I haven’t made this in a while (unfortunately our tomato yield this year and last year have been low) so I’m not sure how many pounds it is. Sorry!

  3. Dennis · · Reply

    Been wanting to try my hand at homemade tomato sauce for a while now and this is the recipe I decided to try for my maiden attempt. A pot of it is brewing up now! I swapped out the onion for shallots. Also swapped the oregano and basil with Za’atar. Fingers crossed!

    1. Hope you like it Dennis! We love having cans of this on our shelf throughout the year, and it tastes great fresh too!

  4. This is great! I’ve been looking for a recipe to can tomatoes- and this looks like one that I can do! Thanks! Pinning this!

    1. Thanks Laura! I hope you’ll make it, I think the sauce turned out really great!

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