Learning how to make tomato sauce is the perfect, easy way to use your garden fresh tomatoes! And canning tomato sauce is a wonderful way to put your tomatoes to good use through the whole year!
Whether or not you've ever made homemade tomato sauce before, this recipe is perfect for beginners! And if you've never canned anything before, this is a great way to get started by canning tomato sauce at home!
How to Make Tomato Sauce for Canning
While normally we just boil, salt, and puree our tomatoes before canning, I recently because intrigued by the idea of a more seasoned tomato sauce.
I wanted to keep this tomato sauce recipe simple, yet find a way to deepen the flavor of the sauce at the same time.
This process turned out to be an easy one and within just a few days I had an easy and delicious garlic roasted tomato sauce recipe that was perfected for canning!
First, take your tomatoes, whether fresh or frozen tomatoes, and wash them well. Then, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Set your oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, season your tomatoes with salt, pepper, and garlic. You can use fresh chopped garlic, or garlic powder. Both are delicious, so just use what you have on hand!
Bake the tomatoes for about 45 minutes, or until the skin is wrinkled but not starting to burn. Take your lemon juice out of the fridge at this point, so it can come to room temperature before use!
Puree the tomatoes in a large pot and bring mixture to a low boil. Boil for 5 minutes then add to your jars for canning!
Some people like a very smooth tomato sauce with no skins or seeds. This is easy to do with a common canning tool! Just run the mix through a food mill and it will remove all the skins and seeds.
I personally like to leave the skins and seeds in the mix for added bulk and nutrients. But it's up to you!
Prep your canning jars by washing and heating them as desired to 250°. I like to do this in oven, but others like to boil their jars instead.
Add ROOM TEMPERATURE lemon juice to each jar, then ladle hot tomato sauce on top of the lemon juice. Leave a 1/2 inch headspace.
Wipe the rims of each jar to ensure a good seal (use a clean rag dipped in boiling water), and adjust rings and lids to finger tightness. Process in a water bath canner for 35 minutes.
After processing is done, remove the jars from water bath canner and place on a fold dish rag on the counter. Allow to cool completely before moving - 12-24 hours.
Ways to Use Homemade Tomato Sauce
There are many ways to use homemade tomato sauce, but here are a few of our favorite ways!
- Add 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning to one quart of tomato sauce and use over fresh pasta. You can also add meat to the sauce for a hearty meal!
- Bring 1 pint to a boil and reduce by 30%, add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning and use as a delicious sauce for homemade pizza!
- Add 1 quart to this Irish roast beef and cabbage stew. Use in place of 4 cups of broth.
- Most often we use this roasted tomato sauce for homemade chili (just 3 ingredients, super easy!).
What are your favorite ways to use tomato sauce?
Homemade Tomato Sauce
- Large Pot
- 10 pounds Tomatoes any variety, can be fresh or frozen
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped OR 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 bottle lemon juice, room temperature important, must not be cold!
- Pre-heat oven to 425° F
- Place tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with spices as evenly as possible.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until skins are wrinkled and juices start to release. Avoid browning the skins if possible, but don't worry if a few brown.
- Remove tomatoes from oven and pour into a large pot or bowl, use an emersion blender or food processor to puree the tomatoes well.
- OPTIONAL: You can run your tomato sauce puree through a food mill, if desired, or not. I choose to leave the skins and seeds in the mix for added bulk and nutrients.
- Bring tomato sauce to a low boil for 5 minutes. Turn heat down until canning jars are ready.
- Prep canning jars and lids for canning and start a large pot of water heating. DO NOT BOIL. Make sure that the water is high enough to cover the jars by at least 2 inches.
- Add room temperature lemon juice to canning jars, 1 TBSP per pint and 2 TBSP per quart.
- Ladle sauce over lemon juice and leave 1/2 inch headspace.
- Use a canning knife to remove bubbles from jars, wipe rims, place lids and rings to finger tightness, then place into hot water bath.
- Bring water to a boil, then process jars for 35 minutes.
- Remove jars from water bath and place on a folded towel. Do not move for at least 12 hours, or until completely cool.
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER
Steven Sarg says
What size bottle of lemon juice did you use? They come in different sizes.
Hi Steven! The size bottle you need will vary based on how many jars you are planning to can. The amount per jar is listed in the recipe, that way you can plan accordingly.
We can dozen of jars at a time, so I usually get several bottles of lemon juice. However, if you were only planning on a few pints, then you would just need a few tablespoons.
I hope that helps!
Hi Victoria ! I was curious about the purpose of the Lemon juice. I make a similar recipe all the time but I freeze it. Does the lemon juice help to preserve?
Hi Jennifer! Great question – the lemon juice is to make it canning safe. It raises the ph level so that it’s safe on the shelf! Hope that helps!