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Canning Tomato Puree

Tomato puree is a smooth, unseasoned tomato sauce made from perfectly ripe tomatoes. Learn how to make tomato puree and preserve it into shelf-stable jars for your food storage shelves.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Canning Time40 mins
Servings: 56 servings
Calories: 70kcal
Author: Grow a Good Life


  • 46 pounds plum tomatoes
  • citric acid or bottled lemon juice


Prepare the Tomatoes

  • Wash the tomatoes well under clean, running water.
  • Place a large stainless steel saucepot on the stove. Cut about six tomatoes into quarters, place these in the pot, and begin heating over medium-high heat. Crush the tomatoes with the back of your spoon once they soften.
  • Cut the remaining tomatoes into half and add to the pot as your work. Stir frequently to cook evenly and prevent sticking.
  • When all tomatoes have been added, continue to cook, while stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let the tomatoes cool slightly before straining.
  • Puree the tomatoes using a food strainer, food mill, or sieve to remove skins and seeds.
  • Return the tomato puree to the saucepot and simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens and is reduced by half, about 15 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Prepare the Canning Equipment

  • While the tomato sauce is cooking, wash the jars, lids, and canning tools in warm, soapy water and rinse well.
  • Place the water bath canner on the stove. Place the jar rack into water bath canner, set the jars in the canner, and fill with enough water to cover the jars.
  • Bring the canner to a boil over high heat. Once the water boils vigorously, boil the jars for 10 minutes to sterilize, and then reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  • Warm your lids in a small pot over low heat (Follow the manufacturers directions). Keep everything warm until you are ready to can the tomatoes.

Can the Tomato Puree

  • Use the jar lifter to remove the warm jars from the canner, drain, and line up on a towel on the kitchen counter.
  • Add 1/2-teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoons lemon juice to each quart sized jar (1/4-teaspoon citric acid or 1 tablespoon lemon juice for pints).
  • Use the canning funnel and ladle to fill the jars with the tomato puree. Leave a 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Run the bubble popper through the jars to release any air. Wipe the rims of the jars clean with a damp paper towel.
  • Use the lid lifter to remove the lids from the warm water, add to the tops of the jars, apply bands, and screw on until fingertip tight.
  • Use the jar lifter to place the jars back into the canner leaving space in between them.
  • Once all the jars are in canner, adjust the water level so it is at least one inch above the jar tops. If you need to add water, use the hot water from the small pot your lids were in. Pour the water around the jars and not directly on them.
  • Cover the canner and bring to boil over high heat. Once water boils vigorously, continue boiling quart size jars for 40 minutes (35 minutes for pint jars) at altitudes of less than 1,000 feet (Adjust processing time for your altitude if necessary. See note below.).
  • When processing time is complete, turn off the heat, remove the cover, and let the canner settle for about 5 minutes.
  • Spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Use the jar lifter to lift the jars from canner and place on the towel.
  • Don't tighten bands or check the seals yet. Let the jars sit undisturbed for 12 to 24-hours to cool. You will hear the satisfactory "ping" of the jar lids sealing as they cool.
  • After 12 to 24-hours, check to be sure jar lids have sealed by pushing on the center of the lid. The lid should not pop up. If the lid flexes up and down, it did not seal. Refrigerate the unsealed jar and use in a week.
  • Remove the ring bands, wash, label, date the jars, and store the canned tomato puree in a cool, dark location for 12 to 18 months. Once the jar is open, refrigerate and use up within a week. Yields about 7 quarts of tomato puree.


This is a tested safe canning recipe from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Changing the recipe may make the product unsafe for canning.
All times are at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. Adjustments must be made for altitudes greater than 1,000 ft. Processing time for quarts at altitudes of 1,001 - 3,000 ft. is 45 minutes, 3,001 - 6,000 ft. is 50 minutes, and above 6,000 feet is 55 minutes. Processing time for pints at altitudes of 1,001 - 3,000 ft. is 40 minutes, 3,001 - 6,000 ft. is 45 minutes, and above 6,000 feet is 50 minutes.
If you need immediate canning help or answers, please contact your local extension office.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3.3g | Fat: 0.8g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 787mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 7g | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg