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How to Can Roasted Tomato Sauce #foodpreservation #prepping

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**Quick disclaimer – Water bath canning is NOT recommended as a safe way to preserve this recipe. The recipe has not been tested for acidity level, and it not officially approved for water bath canning. If you want to preserve this long term, I recommend freezing the sauce instead of water bath canning. 

One of my new favorite home canned foods is Roasted Tomato Sauce. This tomato sauce is an easy, delicious, and versatile sauce. It’s great for quick pasta night meals – fabulous in lasagna, spaghetti, over ravioli or tortellini.  I came up with the idea for this sauce last year thanks to many other awesome bloggers, but this is the first year I have canned it. Last year I froze the extra I had and it was really nice to pull a bit of this out of the freezer for a quick meal. We loved it so much, that I decided I must can it this year. Even though I liked it frozen just fine, I just don’t have the freezer space for as much as I need. I have a lot of shelf space though!  So far, I have canned 26 quarts of this delicious roasted tomato sauce. Here’s how you can to!

How to can roasted tomato sauce

How to Can Roasted Tomato Sauce

tomatoesFirst, make the sauce. Start with a good amount of tomatoes. I grew San Marzano tomatoes this year from seeds I purchased at Baker Creek. This is the first year I have grown them, and I am very impressed! I will grow them again next year for sure. I also throw in any cherry or grape tomatoes I have, as well. First, wash tomatoes thoroughly. Cut off any bad spots and the stem and bottom end if you want. You do not need to peel them. Scandalous, I know. I never peel tomatoes I can – it takes too much time and I am a lazy canner. 🙂 I have to find ways to reduce my time commitment.

roasted tomato sauceCut tomatoes in half and put on a cookie sheet or in a 9 x 13 pan. I recommend the 9×13 because they become quite juicy and can overflow into your oven and make a big mess. {ask me how I know this…} Add garlic and fresh basil, top with good quality olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Then roast at 425 degrees for an hour. You can read more detailed directions on this process here.

roasted tomatoesAfter an hour, pull them out of the oven and they will look ugly, like this. But your kitchen will smell heavenly! I promise.

puree roasted tomatoesLet the tomatoes cool for 15-20 minutes and then put them in a blender. I use my Vitamix.
roasted tomato sauceBlend on high for 30 seconds or so, and VOILA! Roasted Tomato Sauce!

At this point, you can stop. You can freeze, you can eat, you can hide it. 🙂 If you would like to can this delicious sauce to eat in December, though,  read on.

roasted tomato sauceMake all of your sauce and put it in a great big stock pot. Simmer it to keep warm.
water bath cannerGet the water heating up in your water bath canner. Once it’s boiling, sterilize your clean jars by boiling them for 10 minutes. Don’t you love my plywood back splash? Living in a barn is just swell… 😉
prepare canning lidsPrepare your canning lids by submersing them in steaming, but not boiling, water for a few minutes. I use both BPA free Tattler Reusable Canning Lids blank and the normal Ball Canning Lids blank which are now also supposed to be BPA Free now!! YAY!!
roasted tomato sauce Fill up your jars- you want at least 1/4 in headroom left AFTER you add 2 TBS lemon juice concentrate (VERY IMPORTANT STEP!!) per jar, wipe the lid to remove any food — you want your jars to seal, after all. As you finish each jar, place it in the water bath canner to keep it hot. It is recommended that you completely finish one jar at a time for optimal results – not the batch method I display here… Do as I say, not as I do. 🙂
roasted tomato saucePut your lids on and tighten securely.how to can roasted tomato sauce.Once your canner is full, boil the jars for 45 minutes. Add 5 minutes per 1,000 feet to compensate for the altitude. I live at just under 1,000 feet. So if you live at 2,000 feet, process for 50 minutes instead. And so on. If you don’t know your altitude, just google it.

canned roasted tomato sauceCarefully remove the jars and put them on a clean towel. Let them cool for a full 24 hours before you move them. Sit back and listen to the wonderful pings of the sealing jars! After 24 hours, make sure all of your jars have sealed. Wipe them down, remove the rings, and put them on a shelf to admire. If any jars didn’t seal, you can heat the sauce back up and try again.

And that’s how you can roasted tomato sauce. I’d love to hear if you’ve made this recipe and what you thought! Enjoy!!

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankSusan G says

    Thanks for posting this! I have never canned anything my entire life but I am going to give it a try by using the instructions above with the tomatoes that I will have from my garden in the summertime..

    • blankMichelle Marine says

      Hi Penny – I use the sauce just like I’d use a jar of Ragu, if I used it. It’s great in spaghetti, lasagna, or any other way you would use spaghetti sauce! Hope you like it!!

  2. blankTina Harting says

    Can you leave the tomatoes chunky once they are roasted, or do you have to turn it into sauce? First time gardener and have a ton of tomatoes!!!!

  3. blankTina Harting says

    Can you leave the tomatoes chunky once they are roasted and can them that way or do you have to make sauce?

    • blankMichelle Marine says

      Tina, I think you can leave the tomatoes however you would like them! I prefer to can them pureed because it’s more like Ragu sauce and that’s how we like to eat it, plus they are pretty squishy after roasting anyway. But you can certainly omit the blending step if you want. 🙂 Good luck and let me know what you do and how it turns out!

  4. blankLori R-M says

    I made this exactly like you said the first time. It was very good. Now it’s in the oven, on the second batch, and I added a large sweet green pepper and a red jalapeño. I’ve made spicy tomatoe sauce before to do something different with my regular spaghetti sauce recipe. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out and I might try canning it since I don’t have to use the pressure canner to do so. Thanks.

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