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Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce

DIY canning spaghetti sauce recipes are a tomato grower's dream come true! Use up your garden bounty and enjoy it later in the year. —Tonya Branham, Mt. Olive, Alabama
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1-1/2 hours + simmering Process: 40 min.
  • Makes
    9 quarts

Ingredients

  • 25 pounds tomatoes (about 80 medium)
  • 4 large green peppers, seeded
  • 4 large onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 cans (12 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

Directions

  • In a Dutch oven, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, place tomatoes, one at a time, in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Remove each tomato and immediately plunge into ice water. Peel and quarter tomatoes; place in a stockpot.
  • Pulse green peppers and onions in batches in a food processor until finely chopped; transfer to stockpot. Stir in next 11 ingredients. Add water to cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Discard bay leaves. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to each of 9 hot 1-qt. jars. Ladle hot mixture into jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  • Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 40 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Go for freshly squeezed lemon juice when preparing this summery sipper. Bottled lemon juice, which is from concentrate, won’t provide the same bright, fresh flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce was originally considered a mistake. In 1835, an English lord commissioned two chemists to duplicate a sauce he had tried in India. The pungent batch was disappointing and wound up in their cellar. When the pair stumbled upon the aged concoction 2 years later, they were pleasantly surprised by its unique taste.
  • Layer this delicious sauce over our best pasta recipes ever.

  • Editor's Note
    The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.
    Nutrition Facts
    3/4 cup: 118 calories, 5g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 614mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 4g fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.

    Reviews

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    Average Rating:
    • Tony
      Oct 6, 2020

      Followed the recipe to a T... used 25lbs of Roma Tomatoes. By far the best spaghetti sauce I’ve ever had

    • Ashley
      Sep 20, 2020

      I’ve used this recipe 2 years in a row now. It’s simple and fantastic. I’ve also used it as a base recipe for pizza sauce adding a bit more tomato paste and fresh herbs- it’s wonderful!

    • Cindy
      Sep 9, 2020

      I made this sauce recipe but followed all the suggestions that Jim made in his comments, plus added 1/4 of brown sugar in addition to the sugar the original recipe called for. I left out the lemon juice because I was using a pressure canner. I added some browned hamburger to a jar of this sauce and served it over spaghetti for supper tonight. Oh my!!! Best homemade sauce I have ever made! Forget the spaghetti, I would be happy with just the meat sauce! Jim.....you are the "Sauce Master"! Thanks!!

    • Jade
      Sep 7, 2020

      This recipe is a good base, but it needs tweaking. Not enough seasonings by a long shot. Agree with Jim, increase all the seasonings as he stated, especially the garlic. Omit the worchestershire and lemon juice. We did not add water. We did add more veggies that added their own juices, no water necessary. We added: a bag of carrots, and 4 small zucchini; used fresh basil from the garden. I'm new to canning, my fiancé is not. Have never used lemon juice, never gotten sick. We have jars from 2017 in the pantry, they taste great and no one has gotten sick.

    • Cindy
      Sep 7, 2020

      Have a question for Jim. Do you add all that water to your recipe?

    • Brenda
      Aug 29, 2020

      This was a very good recipe And I also took advice from Jim and added carrots, celery and more garlic. Turned out Great!

    • Lisa
      Aug 25, 2020

      This is an excellent base recipe for a tomato sauce. You can get totally creative with it. This is my second time making it using a variety of tomatoes from our garden and fresh herbs. In a pinch I would use dried. I did need to cook it 6+ hours the first time due to adding all the water per the recipe. This go around I omitted all but 1/2 cup of water. And Jim's review comments below were very helpful regarding his suggestions on omitting the Worcestershire sauce (never heard of this in my family of Italian cooks), and sauteing the carrots and celery with onions and garlic, adding butter and increasing the amount of garlic and using olive oil. This adds so much flavor. I've canned several jars and its a huge hit! All in all its going to be a keeper for me! Many Thanks!

    • PattyLee
      Aug 25, 2020

      I have once again used a Taste of Home recipe. They are always among my favorites. I have been canning spaghetti sauce for several years and this was the best one yet. I did use olive oil instead of canola and added a couple tablespoons of an Italian seasoning blend along with all the other ingredients. This will be my go to recipe from now on!

    • MizMary
      Aug 21, 2020

      I found this recipe this year and prepared it just as the recipe describes. It was delicious! The best sauce I have ever tasted. We have our favorite Italian restaurant that we enjoy for their sauce - my husband said THIS sauce was even better!

    • Greycountygirl
      Aug 16, 2020

      I make this sauce every year since I found recipe. I do not add the oil. I use whatever tomatoes I have.. I like a combination of Roma and field tomatoes if I can. I use this as a marinara sauce for many recipes. I add the lemon juice and do a hot boil and it stores perfect. This year I even have my own grown spices. Enjoy