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jars of home canned tomato sauce on a table
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5 from 15 votes

Seasoned Tomato Sauce Recipe

No store bought tomato sauce compares with the flavor of homemade. Capture summer in a jar with this seasoned tomato sauce recipe for home canning.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Canning Time40 mins
Total Time7 hrs 10 mins
Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: canning tomato sauce
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Grow a Good Life



Prepare the Ingredients

  • Weigh the tomatoes, rinse well under clean, running water, and air dry on a clean towel.
  • Remove the peelings from the onions. Chop and measure 3 cups of chopped onions. Peel the garlic and mince.

Make the Sauce:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, and sauté the onions until softened. Add the garlic and cook briefly until fragrant, then add the mixture to your saucepan.
  • Cut the tomatoes in half or quarters and add to the pot along with the bay leaves, oregano, sugar, black pepper, and red pepper flakes if using.
  • Bring the pot to a simmer over low heat, and continue simmering to thicken the sauce until reduced by one-half. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Once the volume is reduced by half, turn off the heat, and let the sauce cool slightly before straining.

Prepare the Canning Equipment:

  • Wash your jars, lids, screw bands, and canning tools in hot soapy water. Rinse thoroughly to remove all suds. Set aside to air dry on a clean kitchen towel.
  • Place the jar rack into water bath canner, place jars in the canner, and add water to cover. Bring the canner to a simmer (180˚F) for 10 minutes, and keep the jars hot until you are ready to fill them.

Can the Sauce:

  • Remove the bay leaves, and purée the tomato sauce using a food strainer or food mill to remove skins, seeds, and to smooth out the sauce. Return the strained tomato sauce to the saucepot, and bring back to a simmer (180˚F).
  • Use a clean spoon and taste the sauce. Add salt and stir in. Taste again. Add more salt if needed.
  • Spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Place the citric acid or lemon juice along with the measuring spoons next to the towel.
  • Use your jar lifter to remove a jar from the canner, drain, and place on the towel. Keep the remaining jars in the canner so they stay hot.
  • Add citric acid or lemon juice to the jar. For pints, add 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid, or 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice to each jar. For quarts, add 1/2 teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice to each jar.
  • Use your canning ladle and funnel and add the hot sauce to the warm jar leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Swirl your bubble popper through the jars to release air bubbles. Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp towel.
  • Center a lid on the jar, and screw on the band until it is fingertip tight. Use the jar lifter to place the jar back into the canner, and repeat with the remaining jars. Try to leave some space in between the jars.
  • Once all the jars are in canner, adjust the water level to two inches above the jar tops.
  • Cover the canner and bring to boil over high heat. Once water boils vigorously, set your timer, and process pints for 35 minutes and quarts for 40 minutes at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. Adjust processing time for your altitude if necessary (see notes).
  • When processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the canner to cool down and settle for about 5 minutes.
  • Spread a kitchen towel on the counter, and remove the cover by tilting lid away from you so that steam does not burn your face.
  • Use the jar lifter to lift jars carefully from canner and place on the towel. Keep the jars upright, and don't tighten bands or check the seals yet. Let the jars sit undisturbed for 12 to 24-hours to cool.
  • After the jars have cooled for at least 12 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 jar and use within a few days.
  • Remove the screw on bands and wash the jars. Label, date, and store your jars in a cool, dark place. Use within 12 to 18 months. Refrigerate the sauce once opened and consume within a few days. Yields about 6-7 pint jars or 3-4 quarts depending on how much the sauce reduces.


This is a tested safe canning recipe from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Altering the recipe may make it 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:
  • 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.
  • 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.
I am happy to answer any questions, but if you need immediate canning help or answers, please contact your local extension office.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 0.9g | Sodium: 200mg | Calcium: 102mg