Learn how to make home canned spaghetti sauce the easy way by following these simple steps. This delicious, savory pasta sauce is the perfect topping for many pasta dishes, not just spaghetti. Looking for a fabulous way to use a bountiful tomato crop? Want to know how to easily make good use of your harvest? You’re in the right place. Keep reading for the best, garden-fresh, home-canned spaghetti sauce recipe with fresh tomatoes. Update: This recipe is also an excellent way to use frozen tomatoes as well! Read on to get started.
Home Canned Spaghetti Sauce Equipment
If you want to learn how to pressure can spaghetti sauce, there are some things that will make it a lot easier. Just as when I make my easy home canned salsa recipe, I wouldn’t attempt this recipe without the following items, which are essential to a smooth canning process. The first item is my trusty 22-quart Pressure Canner and Cooker. With this, I can process up to 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce at one time.
The second essential item is my 5-Piece Home Canning Kit, which I have had for at least 20 years. I dreaded canning before I made this purchase because I made such a mess all over the kitchen. The tools in the set, especially the funnel, have cut down on the canning mess immensely. I am also able to safely handle the hot jars using the tongs, lid lifter, jar wrench, and jar lifter. I would have given up canning long ago were it not for these tools. They have made that much of a difference.
You’ll also need canning jars and lids, which you can buy together. I prefer to use the wide-mouth jars since my home canned spaghetti sauce recipe is so chunky.
If you already have jars and screw bands, you can also just buy more lids.
To make the spaghetti sauce smoother and thicker, use an immersion blender.
You will also need a large (at least 10 quart) stockpot.
Home Canned Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients
20 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 60 medium-sized)
2 cups butternut squash, yellow squash, or zucchini (optional)
5 green bell peppers
5 large onions
16-20 cloves of garlic (more or less to taste)
3 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 8-ounce cans tomato paste
7 tablespoons lemon juice
Home Canned Spaghetti Sauce Instructions
Chop tomatoes. I use unpeeled tomatoes, but if you prefer to peel your tomatoes, read further to get the simple tips about how to peel tomatoes easily. Add the tomatoes to the stockpot gradually as you chop them, heating on medium.
Peel, chop and remove the seeds from the squash, if using. Add to the stockpot. Chop the peppers and onions coarsely and add to the stockpot. If you like, you may process the onions and peppers in a food processor to chop even more finely. Peel and chop the garlic and add it to the stockpot. Add all of the other ingredients except the lemon juice and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer the mixture gently for about 30 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, get out the pressure canner and start heating the water. Place the quart jars in the water to warm them. Using a small sauce pan, heat water on low and warm the canning lids.
When the sauce has simmered for 30 minutes or more, the squash, peppers and onions should be cooked and softened. Using an immersion blender, puree the spaghetti sauce to a smooth consistency.
Using the tongs from your canning kit, if you have them, remove jars from hot water and place in a sink. Remove the spaghetti sauce from the heat and place on a cutting board next to the sink for ease of filling the jars. Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into each jar. Using a jar funnel (if you have one) and ladle, fill the quart jars with spaghetti sauce, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe each jar rim with a damp cloth and attach the warm lids with the screw bands. Place the jars in the pressure canner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to seal the canner, then process the jars for 15 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure.
Makes about 7 quarts.
Home Canned Spaghetti Sauce Recipe with Fresh Tomatoes
- Pressure Canner
- Canning set (optional)
- 7 quart-sized canning jars, lids, and bands
- Immersion Blender (optional)
- Large Stockpot
- 20 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 60 medium-sized)
- 2 cups butternut squash, yellow squash, or zucchini, seeded and chopped (optional)
- 5 green bell peppers
- 5 large onions
- 16-20 cloves of garlic, chopped (more or less to taste)
- 3 tablespoons dried basil
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1½ tablespoons salt (more or less to taste)
- 2 8 ounce cans tomato paste
- 7 tablespoons lemon juice
- Chop tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the stockpot gradually as you chop them, heating on medium.
- Peel, chop and remove the seeds from the squash, if using. Add to the stockpot
- Chop the peppers and onions coarsely and add to the stockpot.
- Peel and chop the garlic and add it to the stockpot.
- Add all of the other ingredients except the lemon juice and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer the mixture gently for about 30 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, get out the pressure canner and start heating the water. Place the quart jars in the water to warm them. Using a small sauce pan, heat water on low and warm the canning lids.
- When the sauce has simmered for 30 minutes or more, the squash, peppers and onions should be cooked and softened. Using an immersion blender, puree the spaghetti sauce to a smooth consistency.
- Using the tongs from your canning kit, if you have them, remove jars from hot water and place in a sink. Remove the spaghetti sauce from the heat and place on a cutting board next to the sink for ease of filling the jars.
- Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into each jar. Using a jar funnel (if you have one) and ladle, fill the quart jars with spaghetti sauce, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe each jar rim with a damp cloth and attach the warm lids with the screw bands.
- Place the jars in the pressure canner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to seal the caner, then process the jars for 15 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure.
Home Canned Spaghetti Sauce Uses
There are many ways to use this canned homemade spaghetti sauce. Of course, you can serve it the classic way with spaghetti noodles. You can create a gluten-free meal by serving the homemade spaghetti sauce over cooked spaghetti squash. For a meaty spaghetti sauce, just add some cooked ground beef. (I like to cook my ground beef ahead of time in large batches to save time and money.) If you like to make lasagna, this sauce would be the perfect substitute for marinara sauce. Just add ground beef, if you like, and use as the easy recipe directs. You could also use this homemade canned spaghetti sauce as a dipping sauce for breadsticks. The home-canned spaghetti sauce may be used in any recipe that calls for marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce.
Home Canned Spaghetti Sauce Variations
To make your canned spaghetti sauce even better, you can add different ingredients. If you want to increase the variety of chunky items, you could add canned mushrooms to your sauce. Cooked carrots might be another option. You could also change up the seasonings. Try adding a bit of thyme and rosemary or adjust the amount of oregano and basil. The possibilities for canned spaghetti sauce additions are many. Be creative and see what happens. The best canned spaghetti sauce you ever make might happen by accident. These ideas also work well if you are wondering how to doctor up canned spaghetti sauce you purchase from the store.
To Peel or Not to Peel
In this recipe for home canned spaghetti sauce, I choose not to peel the fresh tomatoes to save time. If you wish to peel your tomatoes, just wash them and place in boiling water for about one minute. When you remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon, immediately plunge them into ice water. The skins should split and remove easily. I don’t mind keeping the tomato skins in my homemade canned spaghetti sauce recipe. After using the immersion blender to thicken and smooth the sauce, the peels aren’t very noticeable. Also, I usually opt for the quickest cooking method that will give me good results. No one seems to mind the tomato peels in my home, but your situation may be different. Whatever you do will be fine. Just remember to add the tomato paste when you are cooking if you want to thicken the canned tomato spaghetti sauce. Using the immersion blender will thicken the sauce as well.
Can You Use Canned Tomatoes?
Canning spaghetti sauce with canned tomatoes works the same way as using fresh tomatoes. It’s definitely faster, because you don’t have to spend as much time chopping. Also, if you are not a fan of leaving the peels on the tomatoes, the canned tomatoes are already peeled.
How Long Does Canned Spaghetti Sauce Last?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, canned tomato products such as spaghetti sauce will keep well on a shelf for about a year. The acidity of the tomatoes combined with the addition of lemon juice helps keep the homemade canned spaghetti sauce from going bad. In addition, also according to information on the website, pressure canning homemade spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes yields a more nutritious product than boiling water canning. The canned spaghetti sauce shelf life will be extended if the canning jars are stored in a cool, dry place like a pantry.
Are You Now Craving Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes?
Ready to try this easy homemade canned spaghetti sauce recipe? The fresh tomatoes really are the star of the show. If you try this home canned spaghetti sauce recipe, let me know and I’ll feature a photo on Instagram. I love it when people try the recipes I share.
More Meal Inspiration
It’s always nice to have a plan when it comes to meals. If you’re looking for a way to get more organized with your meal planning efforts, I’ve got something for you. Free, editable meal planners! The templates can be used over and over, as often as you need them. You can make as many duplicates as you like, and you’ll be able to save old meal plans for future reference. I hope it simplifies things for you.
Have fun making this homemade canned spaghetti sauce recipe with fresh tomatoes. May all of your healthy home canning endeavors meet with great success!