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Easy Canned Tomato Sauce

Melissa Norris
Learn how to can tomato sauce at home with this easy recipe, safe for both water bath or pressure canning!
4.28 from 36 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr
Canning Time 35 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 14 cups
Calories 119 kcal

Equipment

  • Pressure Canner or Water Bath Canner
  • Canning Jars and Lids

Ingredients
  

  • 20 pounds tomatoes 20 pounds makes about 7 pints of sauce
  • 7 tbsp bottled lemon juice
  • 1.75 tsp salt
  • 3.5 tsp dried basil optional

Instructions
 

Prepare Tomatoes

  • Pick your fresh tomatoes, slice in half and remove seeds.
  • Place tomatoes, flesh side down (skin side up) on a cookie sheet and roast in a 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes (or until skins start to pull away from the tomatoes).
  • Carefully remove skins and set them aside in a bowl.
  • Add tomatoes to a food processor or high-powered blender. Pulse quickly to liquefy contents.
  • Add tomato sauce to a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and continue simmering until tomato sauce is reduced down to desired thickness. (This will vary based on tomato variety.)
  • Meanwhile, prepare your jars, gather your lids, and either your water bath canner or your pressure canner.
  • To each jar, add one scoop of tomato sauce, then add 1 Tablespoon bottled lemon juice to each pint jar (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to each quart jar).
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to each pint jar (or 1/2 teaspoon salt to each quart jar).
  • Add the optional 1/2 teaspoon dried basil to each pint jar (or 1 teaspoon dried basil to each quart jar).
  • Fill jars the rest of the way with tomato sauce leaving 1/2-inch headspace for water bath canning and 1-inch headspace for pressure canning.
  • Run a spatula around the jar circumference to remove air bubbles. Add more tomato sauce if needed to keep 1/2-inch or 1-inch headspace depending upon your method of canning.
  • With a damp clean cloth, wipe the rim of the jar clean. Place on lids and screw down the bands until resistance is met, then to fingertip tight.

Water Bath Canning Instructions

  • Place jars on a rack inside your water bath canner.
  • Make sure at least 1 inch of water is covering the tops of the jars.
  • Once you’ve got rolling boiling water, process pint jars for 35 minutes or quart jars for 40 minutes. (See notes for high altitude canning instructions.)
  • Turn off heat and remove the lid from the canner. Allow jars to rest inside the water bath for 5 minutes.
  • Using a jar lifter, carefully lift jars out of the canner and place them in a draft-free area on a kitchen towel folded in thirds. Never place hot jars on a cold countertop.
  • Allow jars to rest, untouched for at least 12 hours, 24 hours if you have the counter space.
  • Remove bands and check seals then move to the pantry for storage. (If any jars didn’t seal, store them in the refrigerator and use within a day or two.)

Pressure Canning Instructions

  • Add water to pressure canner, put in the rack, and load jars.
  • Lock the lid, bring to a boil, and allow the pressure canner to vent steam for 10 minutes.
  • Put the weight on and allow the canner to come up to 10 pounds of pressure (or use a weighted gauge, depending on your pressure canner). See notes for high-altitude canning instructions.
  • Start processing time after weight begins rocking and hissing, or dial gauge reads 10 pounds of pressure.
  • Process both pint and quart-size jars for 15 minutes.
  • Allow pressure canner to cool down naturally and for pressure to return to normal.
  • Carefully remove the hot lid and wait another 10 minutes before taking jars out of canner.
  • Using a jar lifter, carefully lift jars out of the canner and place them in a draft-free area on a kitchen towel folded in thirds. Never place hot jars on a cold countertop.
  • Allow jars to rest, untouched for at least 12 hours, 24 hours if you have the counter space.
  • Remove bands and check seals then move to the pantry for storage. (If any jars didn’t seal, store them in the refrigerator and use within a day or two.)

Notes

  • Keep track of how much tomato sauce you're blending as you go to have an idea of how many jars to prepare for canning.
  • You MUST use bottled lemon juice for this recipe in order for it to be considered safe (or citric acid, see free chart for differing types of acid and amounts right above recipe card).
  • Lemon juice, salt, and optional herbs should be added to each individual jar, not the pot of tomato sauce.
  • If you have enough tomato sauce to fill all the jars needed for a run in the pressure canner, I'd use the pressure canner. Food may reach a hotter temperature in the pressure canner, but because it's processed for less time, it retains more of the nutrients.
  • If you don't have enough jars to fill a pressure canner, or you don't have one, the water bath is completely fine with this recipe.
  • Even if you are pressure canning the tomato sauce, you still need to use the bottled lemon juice (or citric acid).
  • Allow jars to remain in the canner for the recommended time to prevent siphoning of liquid which can inhibit a proper seal.
If you're 1,001 feet above sea level, you must make processing adjustments.
  • For water bath canning 1,001 to 3,000 feet is 40 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts, 3,001 to 6,000 is 45 minutes for pints and 50 minutes for quarts. For altitudes above 6,001 feet increase by an additional 5 minutes.  
  • For pressure canning, 1,001 + feet use 15 pounds of pressure with a weighted gauge canner. For dial gauge, if 0 to 2,000 feet use 11 lbs PSI, for 2,001 to 4,000 feet use 12 lbs PSI, for 4,001 to 6,000 feet use 13 lbs PSI, for 6,001 to 8,000 feet use 14 lbs PSI.

Nutrition

Calories: 119kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 6gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 323mgPotassium: 1550mgFiber: 8gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 5398IUVitamin C: 92mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Canned Tomato Sauce, pressure canning, Tomato, Tomato Sauce, Water Bath Canning
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