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Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce

by Jane Windham on July 11, 2013

Homemade Canned Spaghetti SauceHi everyone! I wanted to share with you my homemade spaghetti sauce recipe that I have canned this week, and it is so GOOD! You know, there is no store bought sauce that will even come close to the flavor of this homemade sauce. But to get that flavor, you must use tomatoes that you’ve grown yourself or purchased from a farmer’s market or a pick your own field.

I always can my spaghetti sauce, but you could just make up a batch of fresh sauce and take advantage of homegrown tomatoes that are so readily available right now. And you could easily freeze the sauce instead of canning it. But I always can mine because once you make your initial investment in your equipment and jars then it is very economical to do so.

Homemade Canned Spaghetti SauceBut what makes it even more economical for us is that we have about 75-80 tomato plants! And you can betcha that I’m going to preserve those tomatoes!

Homemade Canned Spaghetti SauceOur tomato plants have been especially productive for us this year with each bush giving us at least 20 or so tomatoes. The steady rain along with the dead fish and crushed eggshells that we added to each hole have certainly paid off in a bountiful crop. You can read more about that in the post called Our Tomato Planting Tips.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce We have sooooooo many tomatoes right now. These are just a few that we picked yesterday and they just keep coming. So I’ve been doing a lot of canning this week, but I’m going to stop long enough to give you my spaghetti sauce recipe.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti SauceYou will need about 25 pounds of fresh tomatoes, and the first thing you will need to do is to get the skins off those babies! Wash your tomatoes and dip them into a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute. Don’t leave them in any longer because you don’t want to cook your tomatoes, you just want their skins to split.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti SauceImmediately plunge them into ice cold water. You can see that the skin will slip off easily.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce 009Before you know it, you will have a sink full of split-skinned tomatoes!

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce The next step is to remove the skins and the core. If the tomatoes are large, cut them into quarters. By the way, the yellow tomatoes are called Lemon Boys. Although they look like lemons, they are really sweet tasting tomatoes!

Bring the tomatoes to boil over medium high heat. Be sure to keep stirring the tomatoes because you do not want them to burn on the bottom!

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce To quickly break down the tomatoes, I use a flat metal spatula to chop them as they are cooking. Turn down the heat and allow the tomatoes to cook for 20 minutes or so but remember to keep stirring!

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Meanwhile, peel and cut 4 onions into quarters.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce I put mine in the food processor, but if you don’t have one, finely chop them.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Add the chopped onions to the sauce and stir. I’ve found that a long-handled wooden spoon is very useful for all this stirring!

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Wash four green peppers. Here you see 5, but mine came out of the garden and they were on the small side.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce I cut my peppers into chunks and then threw them in the food processor.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Add the chopped peppers to the sauce and stir some more!

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Now we like our spaghetti sauce nice and garlicky, so I use a whole head of garlic. But you may want to adjust the amount of garlic to your taste.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Finely mince the garlic and add it to the sauce. Don’t forget to stir!

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce To thicken the sauce, I add 2 cans of tomato paste. You could omit this step, but you’d have to let your sauce cook for a few hours to reduce the amount of water in the tomatoes. Besides, I think the paste gives the sauce a richer taste.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes while stirring constantly. Then add your spices. I use 2 tablespoons dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon dried rosemary,  and 2 tablespoons dried basil. Now this is a real secret ingredient: 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce! Gives it a real depth of flavor! Simmer the sauce for an additional 10 minutes while you get out all of your canning gear. Sterilize 8 quart sized jars in hot water and place new lids in a pan of simmering water. Screw bands need to be washed but not warm.To be on the safe side, add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice to each jar to raise the acidity of the sauce.  Using a wide mouth funnel, add the sauce to each jar, wipe the rim of each jar with a clean, damp towel and add the lids. Screw the bands on with your fingertips.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti SauceMeanwhile, fill a water bath canner half full of water. Lower the jars into the canner and bring the water to a boil. Process the jars for 40 minutes, beginning the timing when the water starts to boil.

How to Can Homemade Spaghetti Sauce At the end of the 40 minutes, remove the jars from the canner using a jar lifter and place them on a clean, kitchen towel on the counter. Allow them to cool for 12-24 hour. Check to make sure each jar has sealed properly.

In the middle of the winter, you’ll still be able to taste the summer flavor of fresh tomatoes in your homemade sauce!

For a printable version of this recipe, click HERE.

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{ 129 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon July 11, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Sounds divine! I’m definitely pinning this recipe.


Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage July 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Sounds amazing Jane! We make our own sauce too but don’t jar it. We use canned tomatoes – the squirrels gobble up all of our fresh tomatoes so we don’t stand a chance!


MJ July 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm

You can foil the squirrels! A shame to feed them ALL to the critters. Check out this site for some suggestions –


Kim July 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Wow, Jane that is a lot of tomato plants and tomatoes. We have had way too much rain and our tomatoes were doing so good and then the plants started dying and the tomatoes are just falling off. I told hubby we need to add dead fish and egg shells next year.


Debora Cadene July 12, 2013 at 8:13 am

Thank you for sharing this with us. Can you taste the lemon juice in the final product once its done? I’ve added lemon to other things before, because the recipie asked for it, and even though it was a small amount, I could taste it.
just wondering.


Jane Windham July 12, 2013 at 9:39 am

Debora, I can’t really detect the taste of the lemon juice in the sauce but that’s probably because I always add a little sugar to the sauce when I’m ready to use it. If you are sensitive to the taste of the lemon juice, you could substitute vinegar that has a 5% acidity level.You really want to be on the safe side by increasing the acidity.


priscilla July 12, 2013 at 8:19 am

Oh my …you have a ton of tomatoes ! Thanks for the recipe !


Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. July 12, 2013 at 9:59 am

Wow, look at all those gorgeous tomatoes! Your sauce looks amazing!


Barbara F. July 12, 2013 at 10:17 am

Your tomatoes in the yard look so fabulous,so does your tomato sauce! xo


Carlene@Organized Clutter July 12, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Homemade sauce is so much healthier too! Looks great!


Jane Windham July 20, 2013 at 8:23 am

Yes, you’re right Carlene! There are no preservatives or extra salt in homemade sauce!


SheilaG @ Plum Doodles July 12, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Yummm, I’m glad you reminded me that I want to do some canning this year. I don’t have a garden, though, so it’s off to find a farmers market! If I lived closer, I’d be sorely tempted to pilfer some of your tomatoes. :)


Joy2Journey July 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

I just shared your blog on my Joy 2 Journey FB page and of course this recipe! I pinned it too :) It looks so yummy and I am excited to try it with my tomatoes this summer.


Kathleen July 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Wow, you have been busy! Tomatoes here have just started to ripen. I have never had sauce with peppers in it. Maybe be a regional thing?
It all look good, and how you will enjoy those when the cold weather comes!


Susan in SC July 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Maybe next summer I can do this. Hard to can with a broken leg!


Mary July 15, 2013 at 5:55 am

Jane, Your sauce sounds and looks amazing! I can’t imagine that many tomato plants, you need to set up a roadside stand :)


MJ July 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Lots of ‘maters! Your recipe sounds excellent and I really like the idea of canning sauce. Thanks.


Don in Michigan July 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Some thoughts on this sauce. I have been making homemade sauces for many years, and is this recipe designed to make 6 large jars of sauce? If so, the spices seem a little low for this size batch. Such as the Worcestershire sauce, only 2 Tbs?

I plan to try it, however I am just wondering is there a mistype someplace.


Jane Windham July 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I only add 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and I tend to go easy on the spices, too. Dried spices tend to intensity the longer they are in the canned sauce. I don’t add any salt or sugar when I can the sauce. I wait until I’m ready to use the sauce and adjust the seasonings to our tastes. I’ve found that it’s much easier to add later than to add too much when canning!

When I get ready to use the sauce, I do saute more onion, garlic, celery, and ground beef and add all that to the sauce.

Hope you enjoy the spaghetti sauce!


janice July 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm

How many quarts does this recipe make?


Jane Windham July 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Janice, this recipe should yield at least 6 to 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce depending on the number and size of tomatoes that you use. Honestly, I don’t count my tomatoes. I cut up enough to fill a large pot about 2/3 full of cutup tomatoes and then start cooking them down.


Carla July 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Can’t wait to get busy and use those tomatoes.


Jane Windham July 16, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Thanks Carla! Canning is hard work but it is so rewarding to open those jars during the winter time!


Angie Cox July 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Wonderful recipe that I will be trying. Quick question, I have always brought my water to boil while I was cooking then put the bottles into the water and started timing as soon as it was boiling again. Do the bottles need to slowly come up to temp? and I live at 6,000 feet so I normally have to add 10 min, is this the same for this one?

Thank you.


Jane Windham July 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Angie, I’ve done it both ways so I don’t think it matters. I think the most important thing is to start timing as soon as the water comes to a boil. And yes, I would add 10 more minutes due to your higher elevation. I am almost at sea level!


rachel July 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe. We have just started getting our tomatoes in as well, and I’d definitely like to try doing this sauce instead of just canning all of them like I usually do. Thanks again!


Debra @ Homespun July 17, 2013 at 6:52 am

Last year I made a alot of fresh sauce but did not can it. I planted more tomato plants this year with the intention to can. It makes sense to do some sauce ahead, though…I shall try your Worcestershire sauce tip next round I know that! : )


Daphne July 19, 2013 at 4:04 am

Good Morning Jane, I normally make up my tomato sauce as I need it, but I love this idea of bottling (canning) tomato sauce so that it is ready to use when I need it.
I do not grow tomatoes in my garden, as I tried last year, but our weather here in the North of England was so awful, that the tomatoes were just the size of pennies, so I am going to visit my farmer’s market to buy lovely fresh tomatoes and try bottling my own sauce.
Thank you for the detailed instructions, as I feel I can attempt bottling now. Jane I have really enjoyed my visit and so I have signed up to receive your blog posts by email. I looked to become a follower, but I could not find anywhere…. apart from Facebook.
I would like to invite you to visit me at Ivy, Phyllis and Me! when you have a moment, as the door will always be open.
Best Wishes


Jane Windham July 20, 2013 at 8:26 am

I’m so glad you found our blog and thanks for becoming an email subscriber. I will definitely come visit you as well.


laurie July 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Jane, how wonderful to have homemade spaghetti sauce available any time you want to use it. Wow! You have so many tomatoes, and your plants look beautiful. I buy mine at the Farmer’s Mkt, and we eat them too fast for me to use them for anything else. I’ll have to go buy some extras and make your sauce. Thank you for sharing this recipe and great directions. laurie


amanda July 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm

New to making homemade spaghetti sauce… how much sugar do you add when you are ready to use it?


Jane Windham July 20, 2013 at 8:30 am

Amanda, I adjust all the seasonings when I get ready to use it. I usually start with 2 tablespoons of sugar to counteract the acidity and then I taste to see what else I need to add. We don’t like our sauce too sweet so it really is a matter of taste. Good luck with your spaghetti sauce making!


Sarah July 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm

How long will the jarred sauce last in the pantry?


Jane Windham July 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm

The canned sauce should last at least 2 years, perhaps more, Sarah. I found a few jars left from last year when I was cleaning out the pantry, so I’ll use those first.


Kara Kinsey July 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm

I am so glad I found this recipe! We eat a ton of spaghetti, so this will save time and money! The reason I was looking for a home made version is because the store-bought has so much sodium! Thanks for sharing!!! :]


Heather August 1, 2013 at 12:42 am

I used your recipe for canned spaghetti sauce tonight. I made my husband taste it since he is the picky one in our household. Judging by his expression and the fact that he actually sighed after taking it, I am going to guess it was heavenly lol. Thank you for posting your recipe, it has helped me, along with the few others I have tried, to begin canning foods for my family to start saving money on groceries. I appreciate it!!!


Sherry Barr August 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Love your recipe! We are retired now & don’t have a huge garden anymore. I also don’t can anymore. I freeze sauce in freezer bags on a baking sheet. They stack so nicely! Would this recipe freeze well? I love how there are no preservatives. Thanks!


JoEllen August 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Is this a really runny recipe or is it thick like store bought?


Jane Windham August 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm

JoEllen, the tomato paste makes the sauce fairly thick. If you’d like it even thicker, you can cook it uncovered for a while before you use it.


Kara Kinsey August 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Would you mind if I shared your recipe on my blog? I will add the link to your website along with it. But I wanted to check with you first :]


Jane Windham August 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Thanks so much for checking in advance, but you’re more than welcome to share it, Kara!


Brit August 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Not to be a downer, but that seems like a lot of work and a LOT of tomatoes for only a few jars of sauce (that my fam would probably go through in a month–we use it for everything). I’ve boiled/skinned tomatoes before and it takes quite awhile. Plus, most people do not have that many tomato plants and even in season, tomatoes at the store tend to be pricey. Any tips on getting good deals on tomatoes? What’s the cheapest you could get 25lbs of tomatoes for to make doing it this way worth it cost wise? Thanks! And, your sauce does look delicious.


Jane Windham August 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Brit, the process of making your own sauce and then canning it is quite time consuming. But it’s also a better quality product because there are no preservatives or salt in it. Not to mention that it tastes so fresh when you open it later. Before we had a garden, I have gone to a pick-it-yourself tomato farm and gotten a better deal than what you’d pay at a farmer’s market. Even if you don’t want to can the sauce, you can make it to eat now and freeze the rest for later.


Lis West August 4, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Canning is a great way to preserve food, but mixing low and high acid foods can cause problems with warm water bath canning. Even though you are using tomatoes and adding lemon juice (makes it more acidic), the moment you added peppers and/or onions, you changed the acid content of your food which required pressure canning. According to, to ensure safety and reduce the chance of botulism, it would be safer to use pressure canning than warm water bath canning for this recipe.


Jane Windham August 4, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Lis, I’m sure that using a pressure canner would remove all chances of any botulism forming, but I have never had a problem with this recipe using the water bath method.


Kareen Lively August 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Can you use a pressure canner?


Jane Windham August 12, 2013 at 8:44 am

Kareen, you most definitely can use a pressure canner. I cannot wait to get one because it speeds up the processing time and allows you to can more things safely.


Cheryl August 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm

How much time in a pressure canner and at what pound pressure?


Jane Windham August 16, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Cheryl, I do not use a pressure canner to process my spaghetti sauce. I use a water bath canner so I cannot advise you about the time and pressure. If you are going to process your sauce in a pressure canner, you will not need to add the lemon juice.


janel August 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm

how freezing this? I’m not much of a canner but love to throw things in the freezer


Jane Windham August 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Janel, I would think that this sauce would freeze beautifully.


Danielle August 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Am I right in guessing this recipe makes seven quarts of sauce?

Thank you!


Jane Windham August 18, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Danielle, you should be able to get at least 6-7 quarts of sauce from this recipe. It really depends on how many tomatoes you add. Good luck with your sauce making!


A. Watson August 19, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I make spaghetti sauce every year for 30 plus years and ALWAYS use a pressure canner because of the low acid in the peppers and onions. You can buy a Ball canning book (my canning bible). Boiling only gets the temp. to 212 degrees and pressure canning gets it to 240. Just being safe.
I am going to try this but will adapt it to can and keep the ph lever safer for my family and grandkids.


Jane Windham August 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Here is a similar recipe on the Ball site that contains vegetables, and it recommends a waterbath for processing so I feel that this recipe is safe as long as lemon juice or vinegar is added to raise the acidity.
I have indeed read the Ball Book of Home Preserving as well as several other books on the topic. But if using a pressure canner gives you peace of mind about the safety, then by all means use it.


Doug August 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Thanks so much for sharing.. I’ve never canned before but I want to start.. Doesn’t sound nearly as difficult as I thought..


Jane Windham August 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm

No, it’s not really hard Doug. Just read up on the safety tips before you begin and get all of your equipment ready. It’ s like anything else-the more you do it the more comfortable you get with it.


Jackie August 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Sounds great, I’m going to make it tomorrow with all of my fresh tomatoes.
As far as the question above about whether you can taste the lemon juice; you cannot omit the added acidity! Can. Not. If you’re only going to give the sauce a water bath it is imparative that you add enough acid for good preservation. If it was only tomatoes you might be able to get away with no lemon juice but when you add other ingredients you change the acid levels. Lemon juice or 5% acid vinegar is an absolute must for the safety of your sauce!


Jane Windham August 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Jackie, thanks for suggesting vinegar instead of lemon juice and I have amended my response to that person. I am certainly no expert on canning and we can all learn from one another.


kristy August 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

Wow! I made this today and skipped peeling them. Used an immersion blender instead. It made 14 quarts! I guess maybe from the addition of the skins??


Jane Windham August 23, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Kristy, I’m sure I lose a lot of the tomato by skinning and coring. The skins must really increase the volume.


Samantha August 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Do you HAVE to peel the tomatoes?


Jane Windham August 23, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Samantha, I have always skinned the tomatoes so I’m not sure how this sauce would be if you didn’t. But in the comment above, a reader named Kristy did not peel hers.


kristy August 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm

It turned out really tastey. And not many chunks for my young kiddos. We’ve used it for mini pizzas and spaghetti already.


Jane Windham August 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Thanks for letting us know how the sauce turns out if you leave the skins on, Kristy!


Cheryl Wolfe August 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Can you add fresh mushrooms to the sauce before you water bath your sauce?


Jane Windham August 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I would not add the mushrooms, Cheryl. Adding the onions and peppers already reduces the acidity of the tomatoes. That’s why you need to add the lemon juice to be safe. If you added the mushrooms, you would need to process the sauce using a pressure canner.


kristy August 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Another question. Does it have to process that long? My great aunt makes tomato soup in quarts and on processes 15 minutes.


Jane Windham August 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Kristy, I always process the sauce for 40 minutes and I’ve never had an issue with spoilage. I’d rather err on the side of safety!


VillBlomst August 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Thank you for a healthy recipe without oil and sugar. I can’t wait to try it.


Monica August 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm

What size cans of tomato paste are you using in the recipe?


Jane Windham August 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Monica, I used 2 (12 ounce) size cans of tomato paste. Here is the link to a printable version of the recipe.


Susie August 26, 2013 at 11:17 am

Thank you!!

Going FRESH and LOCAL is awesome!!

For anyone you know who has Lyme Disease or might have!


Beth S. August 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with great pictures! After reading through several recipes I chose yours because it was easy to follow! I canned all day & my husband, a fireman, took a jar to work the next day. As most know, firemen are usually great cooks (because they have to cook during their 24 hr work days) & they’re tough food critics. The results: SUCCESS!!! After a school fire four very hungry firemen were very content. My husband loves Prego & thought this was very similar, but of course, much better. The only change I made was omitting the green peppers & using celery instead. I have tons of tomatoes coming on in the garden… can’t wait to make more!


sue August 31, 2013 at 10:00 am

thank you so much for sharing !! will make tomarrow …


Jeff & Patty Lamb August 31, 2013 at 3:02 pm

My husband and I have been blessed with a bumper crop of tomatoes along with many other goodies. At this very moment we are following each and every step to make your spaghetti sauce. Can’t wait to try this out.
Thank you so much for the pictures and detailed instructions as well, much appreciated.
Btw we’ll be sure to let you know how are spaghetti sauce turned out. Can’t wait to eat it. We are both spaghetti lovers :)
Jeff & Patty


alyssa kenning September 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

This was my first time making sauce. I have a two 1/2 yr old so I threw in some diced zuccini and grated carrots. Turned out beautiful.


Lynn Stamm September 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm

How much lemon juice do you use – there are different size bottles


Tracy Sexton September 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I am allergic to lemons of any kind can you suggest something different for someone who can’t use lemon as an extra for the acidity? Thank you for sharing.


Jane Windham September 19, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Tracy, you can substitute vinegar for the lemon juice.


Heather September 8, 2013 at 10:53 am


I just canned this recipe for spaghetti sauce because it sounded so good :) I am new to canning and am sticking to water-bath canning for now… Grabbed 25 lbs of tomatoes from a local farm stand and followed your directions (which were very easy!). The only thing I changed were the herbs. I used fresh herbs out of my garden (times four the amount called for with your dried herbs) and the whole house smelled heavenly while I was following your canning recipe. I ended up with 11 quarts (your recipe says 6-7 quarts) and I am now having newbie fears. I peeled and cored but did not seed since it didn’t say to (and your pictures showed that you left the seeds) and I am supposing that the farmer who sold the tomatoes to me could have weighed them incorrectly. My biggest fear is that I only put the amount of herbs called for but then I ended up with much more than I thought I would. How much do you think this might affect the taste? Any thoughts? Thanks for your feedback! I am having so much fun canning :)


Cortney Storey January 4, 2014 at 7:05 pm

well from making salsa, before I put them into the jars I taste it and if i think it needs more onions or peppers or herbs i just add till I get the taste I like. Did you taste it before you canned it?


Shirley Savage September 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Hi! I am new to canning, actually I’ve NEVER CANNED, I’m a virgin! I’ve been searching for days for recipes that look delicious and I just keep coming back to yours! Wish me luck. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions you’ve provided. I have to make a pit stop to the grocery store for a few items but all in all I have most ingredients. My hubby bought me all of the canning necessities for my birthday (3 months ago) So, I better get to it! I’ve read so my “ways of canning spaghetti sauce” my head is about ready to explode! But yours looks simple and yummy. Here’s to my first canning experience!


Miki September 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

Thanks for sharing. This is the first year I have canned spaghetti sauce I usually do just tomatoes and I am so glad to have looked at your site to see that I could take this one step further. I have already made one batch and am on my second batch. I am making for 3 families so I plan on doing another batch next week. There is a pick your own farm close to our house that sells them for $10 for a large grocery bag full. Nothing better than homemade. I “can” say I absolutely love canning:)


Teri September 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm

I tried to skim through the comments as my tomatoes are simmering. I couldn’t find where you said what size the tomato paste cans were? Thanks so much for sharing.


Jane Windham September 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Teri, I used 2 (12 ounce) cans of tomato paste. Here is a link to a printable version of the recipe.


Sandy September 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I’ll be trying the recipe today. Thanks for posting it. It sounds really good.


Ann-Marie October 19, 2013 at 9:41 am

I know you are not suppose to mess with canning recipes, but I was wondering if you have substituted fresh herbs?


Erica October 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Can I use freezer bags instead of canning?


Beth October 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I made this, only a much smaller batch. It was a lot of hard work, but it turned out pretty good. I haven’t actually tasted it after being canned YET though. Can’t wait to taste it!


Kendra at New Life on a Homestead October 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I’m always on the lookout for new canning recipes to try. This looks like a great one! I never would have thought to add Worcestershire sauce to it. Thank you for sharing! Printing now :)


Brandi December 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Do you do anything to ensure the acidity level in the sauce is high enough to prevent botulism?


Cortney Storey January 4, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Hi, I was wondering, i like mushrooms in my sauce, is there anyway i can add it to the sauce when making it? or should i just add them when i cook my meat? (i would prefer to add to sauce if i can) Thanks and will give this a try Cortney


Tonya May 13, 2014 at 4:51 pm

I’m new to canning. After canning home made past sauce, does it need to be refrigerated or is it safe in a cupboard?


Judi June 27, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Just wondering….

Rather than spending the time and energy (gas/electric) cooking down the tomatoes, have you ever tried this?:

Wash tomatoes, scald in hot water to loosen the skins; plunge into ice water; remove any bad spots; put through a food mill using a piece of good quality cheese cloth in a strainer sitting over a pot to catch the pulp (while the juice drips into the pot); then scraping the pulp into another pot (adding back in some of the juice); seasoning with the herbs and veggies and simmering for a little bit; then processing both the sauce and the saved juice?

I prefer to process in a pressure canner. It takes less time/energy, I don’t have to add lemon juice (or vinegar), and I know that everything is safe. Also, the tomatoes/juice/sauce seem to have a fresher taste rather than a “cooked” taste.

Doing it that way saves not only time and energy, but you also end up with both sauce and drinkable tomato juice, albeit the juice isn’t as thick and pulpy as store-bought (but it can be used as the base for homemade veggie soup or just drink it chilled!)

I don’t like to waste things, and it seems to me that you can get more out of your efforts that way.

Just a suggestion. ;)

Will try your recipe tomorrow night. It sounds delicious! Thanks! (I was going to can tonight, but I’m exhausted – old age, ya know? LOL)

p.s. I use San Marzano tomatoes because they have more “meat” and less liquid in them. I love them!


Dolly Sarrio July 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Sounds delicious!


Stacey July 18, 2014 at 7:20 pm

This sounds delicious, I’m looking forward to making it very soon!! Just a quick question though: Can you use fresh herbs & spices instead of dried?


Jane Windham August 14, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Yes, you can use fresh herbs but just remember to triple the amount called for in this recipe. Hope you enjoy the sauce!


Keldy July 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Hi – I’m a newbie canner and I am so excited to try this recipe! But I have a quick Q for you… can I use fresh herbs as I have all of the herbs you call for in this recipe. I actually don’t even buy dried herbs anymore (I simply dry them myself). Thanks so much and I look forward to enjoy this yummy sounding recipe!!!


Maureen Kuntzmann August 4, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Love the recipe, and I have the same steel paring knife, that belonged to my mother, and probably her mother before…….how can I possibly go wrong?



Jane Windham August 14, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Maureen, it was my mother-in-law who introduced me to those knives. They are the best!


Nicolette August 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Hi, I came across your recipe for spaghetti sauce when I was searching for one I can do in a water bath method. Most of the spaghetti sauce ones I have come across calls to be processed in a pressure cooker, I was wondering how long they stay good when you use the water bath method? I know that tomatoes are acidic and it depends on the acidity of what you’re canning what method you’re supposed to use and etc, so I guess my question is why can your sauce be used in the water bath method and others have to be pressure cookered?
I want to use yours because of the water bath but I don’t want it going rancid or serve up a nice helping of botulism either.


Jane Windham August 14, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Nicolette, the only way you can use the water bath to can this recipe is by adding the lemon juice to each jar to raise the acidity to a safe level. That’s extremely important so don’t skip that step!


Maj August 13, 2014 at 6:34 am

Thank you so much for a well organized and documented process. Very helpful. I was wondering if I could cool the sauce and place it in freezer bags and pop them into the freezer instead? I am sort of afraid of the bottling process.

Thanks for your help.



Jane Windham August 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Of course you can freeze the sauce, Maj! I don’t freeze much because my freezer is not very large, but my sister-in-law freezes hers.


Rhonda August 14, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I made this the day after I found your recipe. …. first time canning or making spaghetti sauce. … it is delicious as well as rewarding. !


Jane Windham August 14, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Rhonda, thanks for coming back to let me know. I have always found canning to be extremely rewarding, too.


Heather C August 17, 2014 at 9:05 am

I don’t see where you are adding any type of acid or pressure canning the sauce. Isn’t this dangerous?


Jane Windham August 19, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Heather, you must add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each jar to raise the acidity. Otherwise, the sauce would need to be pressure canned.


J August 22, 2014 at 5:48 pm

You’re right about home canned sauce being much tastier than store bought sauce! I started canning last year with some friends and have been hooked ever since. If you can’t manage to grow enough of your own at home, pick your own farms are a great alternative (or supplement to what you can grow). I picked 40lbs of paste tomatoes just yesterday and paid only .75¢ a pound. Last year alone I processed about 100lbs and canned in pint in a half jars using the boiling water-bath method. This year I splurged and bought a 25 quart All American pressure canner and it is worth every penny. They are a bit on the pricey side but if you can with friends you could always share equipment. One thing I have to stress is the importance of ensuring safe acidity levels Even if you pressure can, you STILL need to add either lemon juice or citric acid.
Last year when I water bathed the sauce I used citric acid. I hate the stuff! Ball’s website says to prepare/process the pint and a half jars the same as quart jars, which could account for my ability to detect the citric acid. This year, I’ll pressure can the sauce with lemon juice (which can be offset with sugar later on.) I love green peppers and mushrooms in my sauce but adding low acid foods would mess with the ph too much and to be honest I think it’s easier to can a plain sauce and then add whatever you like when you open it. Just makes the sauce that much fresher too! Happy Canning :)


Jane Windham August 22, 2014 at 6:58 pm

That is a really large pressure canner, and canning with friends would certainly speed up the whole process! I always add meat, mushrooms, and sugar to my sauce when I’m getting ready to use it.


J August 22, 2014 at 9:50 pm

It is rather large, but to be honest I wish I had gotten the even larger 30 quart one because it has room for stacking quart jars. Now that’s a lot of room! An added bonus of the larger pressure canners is that the unit is much taller than the basic water bath canner, so you can process taller bottles for juices and syrups! Yum :)


Vicki August 25, 2014 at 8:06 am

the tomato paste is 2-8 ounce cans or larger?


Alison August 31, 2014 at 6:51 am

I just made this yesterday afternoon. Everyone in the house raved that it was better than anything you could ever buy! 12 hours after the water bath one jar did not seal, can it be eaten in the next few days if I put it in the fridge?


Jane Windham August 31, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Yes, put the jar that didn’t seal in the refrigerator and use it with a few days. So glad your family liked the sauce, too! :)


Alison August 31, 2014 at 7:38 am

one of my jars did not seal, can I eat this jar in the next few days if it is in the fridge?


Jane Windham August 31, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Alison, you can keep the jar in the fridge, but be sure to use the sauce within a few days. One way you can use it is in making eggplant Parmesan!


Salem September 30, 2014 at 11:19 am

Do you have a recipe for eggplant Parmesan? My mother just dropped me off three or four and I have NO idea how to use them! I would love a good recipe for it so I dont have to scour the Internet! And I made your spaghetti sauce last night, kept the peels on, made two batches and ended up with 21 quarts! I’ll let you know how it tastes when I get around to making spaghetti. :)


Jo Fogt August 31, 2014 at 8:04 pm

This is just what I was looking for!!! Making it as I type (between stirring)!!
Thanks so much!! :)


Bette I September 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I have spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove now. Looks like we will have a good crop of tomatoes–my husband carried in a 5-gallon bucket full of tomatoes this morning and it weighed over 30 pounds! Using that as an estimate, he has picked over 120 pounds of tomatoes with more to come. I am running low on canning jars and will freeze the spaghetti sauce. My plans are to cook another batch tomorrow. I asked my husband how much money he had spent on seeds and started plants for our entire garden and he estimated $35-40. So if you have the space and want to save money, start gardening! Thank you for sharing your recipe!


Patty September 4, 2014 at 1:43 am

Thank you for the step by step instructions. This is my first attempt at making any spaghetti so I only made half a batch. If it tastes as good as it looks I will be making quite a few batches.


Tammy September 4, 2014 at 7:19 am

Love your site. Thanks for sharing! :)


mike September 5, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Nice! Thanks for sharing your tomato sauce recipe.


robert September 13, 2014 at 8:17 am

can I run the tomatoes threw a food mill instead of boiling and peeling them


Jennifer September 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Going to try this recipe!!! Jane, do you have a glass cooktop? I can never seem to get my grandmother’s canner up to boiling on my glass cooktop? The canner has a big indentation in the bottom. Any tips?


David September 18, 2014 at 7:58 am

Great post. I am new to long term food storage. Did you refrigerate after canning? Or put it on the shelf? What can be put on the shelf and what has to be frozen?


Jacqui September 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Hi Jane, we are like u, our tomatoes are really coming on! Is it okay to use a pressure cooker method instead of the canner water bath? You recipe looks wonderful and we want to try it…love your sweet pets !! We also have one dog and two cats!


Jacqui September 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Oops, I read your reviews and got the answer to my question re: pressure cooking canning! Thanks again!! My hubby wants to go that route, but I will tell him about the water bath and adding extr acidity….yum!


Terri October 4, 2014 at 10:21 am

Just made your sauce, only thing I did different was to put it in electric roaster and cook @ 150 for 7 hrs. Sauce is very good. Thanks for sharing


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