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How to Make Spaghetti Sauce for Canning: A Step by Step Guide

Making spaghetti sauce for canning is a great way to save money and preserve the flavors of summer. The following steps will help you get started on your spaghetti sauce preserving journey!

For other fresh from the garden tomato recipes, check out:

quart-sized mason jars of spaghetti sauce

Between spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan and scrambled with eggs, we go through a ton of spaghetti sauce in my family.

We also grow a massive tomato garden, so fresh tomatoes – both red and green – are a prominent staple for us on the homestead.

This spaghetti sauce recipe is super simple, even though the tomatoes do take some extra prep to make them suitable for canning.

If you’re not comfortable canning, this recipe works fresh as well as can be frozen in gallon sized zip lock bags.

If you’d like to learn more about how to can the right way, check out my friend Melissa’s Home Canning with Confidence course!

spaghetti sauce and spaghetti noodles in a bowl on a table

Fo For more info on growing your own tomatoes, check out my post: Beginner’s Guide to Growing Tomatoes.

If you can your tomato skins and seeds they can become rubbery and really ruin the sauce.

To remove the skins and seeds you’ll need a large pot of boiling water, a slotted spoon or ladle and an ice bath.

HINT: If you’re doing a large enough batch of spaghetti sauce, you may be better off creating an ice bath in your *clean* sink.

Cut a small “X” in the bottom of each tomato and throw them in batches in the boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

The goal here is not to cook the tomatoes, but to encourage the skin to peel off.

Once you see the skin begin to peel back, remove them with the slotted spoon and put them in the ice bath.

Allow your water to come back to a rolling boil before adding the next batch.

Once you have all of your tomatoes in your ice bath you can begin peeling the skin off (save this to dehydrate for tomato powder).

There’s a second way to de-peel and de-seed your tomatoes: you can simply follow the recipe below and instead of blending your spaghetti sauce with a blender, you can run it through a food mill.

I prefer more of a chunky spaghetti sauce and a food mill makes it too smooth. But if you’re running short on time, a food mill is a great options.

Then you’ll remove the blossom ends of your tomatoes, roughly quarter them, and squeeze out the seeds.

(Again, if you’re working with heirloom tomatoes, save the seeds for planting next year!)

a close up of homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs

Simple Spaghetti Sauce For Canning

Now that your tomatoes are prepped, it’s time to make the sauce!

Sauté your onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add your tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

Allow to simmer for roughly 20 minutes.

Puree your tomato mixture with a food processor or emersion blender. (I prefer emersion blender).

Combine tomato puree and basil in a large saucepot (or return to original saucepot after blending) and simmer until volume is reduced by half or you get the desired consistency.

Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice to each pint jar, or 2 Tbsp lemon juice to each quart jars.

Ladle hot sauce into sterilized canning hot jars and remove any air bubbles.

Wipe rims and affix the lids and rings.

Because tomatoes are high acid, you can process this by water bath canning instead of pressure canning.

Process in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes for pints and 40 minutes for quarts.

For more canning recipes check out:

This recipe comes straight from the Ball Blue Book of Canning – which I highly recommend if you’re interested at all in preserving food and stocking up.

They have thoroughly tested each recipe and processing time to ensure it is safe for home canning and human consumption.

Enjoy!

How to Make Spaghetti Sauce for Canning: A Step by Step Guide

How to Make Spaghetti Sauce for Canning: A Step by Step Guide

Yield: 7 pints or 3 quarts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 20 lbs of tomatoes (roughly 60 medium-sized tomatoes)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely minced, fresh basil
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (1 Tbsp per pint, 2 Tbsp per quart)

Instructions

  1. De-seed and de-skin your tomatoes (see above for instructions).
  2. Sauté your onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add your tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  3. Allow to simmer for roughly 20 minutes.
  4. Puree your tomato mixture with a food processor or emersion blender. (I prefer emersion blender).
  5. Combine tomato puree and basil in a large saucepot (or return to original saucepot after blending) and simmer until volume is reduced by half or you get the desired consistency.
  6. Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice to each pint jar, or 2 Tbsp lemon juice to each quart jar.
  7. Ladle hot sauce into sterilized canning jars and remove any air bubbles.
  8. Wipe the rim and affix the lids and rings.
  9. Process in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes for pints and 40 minutes for quarts.
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