Thick & Rich Homemade Pizza Sauce With Fresh Tomatoes

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If you have a bounty of tomatoes in your garden, you need this homemade pizza sauce with fresh tomatoes canning safe recipe! Pizza sauce is the most important topping for pizzas and this recipe doesn’t disappoint!


Homemade Pizza Sauce With Fresh Tomatoes – Canning Safe Recipe

Making homemade pizza sauce with fresh tomatoes is a great way to preserve your tomato bounty and this roasted tomato pizza sauce will add the best flavor and depth to your next family pizza night!

This recipe will show you how to make delicious pizza sauce from scratch and then preserve it so that you have your own homemade tomato sauce available any time you want!

The finished product should be thick and rich with just enough saltiness and sweetness – not too tangy or sour. This makes it perfect for an easy, homemade pizza night!

Here are some tips on how to make the perfect sauce! This recipe is safe for water bath canning or can be frozen as well.

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What are the best tomatoes for homemade pizza sauce?

The best tomatoes for pizza sauce are the meaty paste tomatoes like Roma tomatoes, San Marzano, and Italian Plum tomatoes. They are the meatiest and have a low liquid content which means they won’t take as long to reduce down to a rich, thick sauce.

You can use any tomatoes in this recipe but I prefer to use paste tomatoes (like those listed above) for the best texture and flavor in my sauce. I always grow paste tomatoes in my garden for canning.

If you don’t have a garden, you can purchase them from a farmer’s market or a grocery store during the summer when they’re in season and most flavorful.

How do I thicken my pizza sauce for canning?

The key to a good pizza sauce is its thickness. Some like a very thick sauce, and others like it a bit thinner. The beauty of this recipe is you can cook it exactly as you want! Just vary the reducing time and stop when your sauce reaches the consistency you prefer.

Pizza sauce will thicken as it cooks. How long this process takes, depends on the type of tomatoes you use. Roma-type tomatoes will reduce and thicken faster than other types of tomatoes which is why I recommend these types of tomatoes. 

Even paste tomatoes can take 1-2 hours to reduce, though. Watery tomatoes can take upwards of 8 hours to thicken into a delicious homemade pizza sauce.

Why roast the tomatoes for pizza sauce?

Did you know that roasting tomatoes brings out some of the best flavors? In my personal experience, it helps them thicken up a little quicker too. 

Finally, roasting tomatoes actually makes them healthier according to some sources. Roasting tomatoes releases lycopene that can dissolve in fat, like olive oil, making this cancer-fighting antioxidant more easily absorbed into our bodies.

How long does homemade canned pizza sauce last?

This homemade canned tomato sauce recipe is best stored like any other canned goods: in a cool, dark place in the pantry. As long as the jars are properly sealed and stored, they should last for at least one year.

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What if I want to freeze the sauce instead?

Freezing this pizza sauce is also a great way to make it last longer. According to the Food Network, you can safely freeze sauce for up to 6 months. 

If you want to freeze this pizza sauce, I highly recommend using Souper Cubes. I received a set to test recently and they are fabulous! Souper Cubes come in an assortment of sizes and are an easy way to quickly and easily freeze liquids into cubes. 

freezing homemade pizza sauce in souper cubes (1)

After the liquids are frozen, simply pop them out of the cubes and store them in freezer bags! The 1 or 2 cup Souper Cube is the perfect size for frozen pizza sauce, tomato recipes that aren’t canning safe, homemade soups, homemade stock, and more!

How to Make this Delicious Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

  1. First you’ll need to roast the tomatoes and garlic in your oven.
  2. Then you’ll press the roasted tomatoes through a food mill to remove seeds and skin.
  3. Next, add remaining ingredients and reduce the sauce to the desired consistency.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
  5. Finally, can or freeze the pizza sauce to preserve it.
canning supplies

Canning Safety is Important!

Whenever you are canning your own homemade sauce, it is important to use only safe methods of food preservation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict guidelines for how to follow proper canning procedures .

The three most critical factors in making safe canned foods are: following safe recipes, cooking at the right temperature, and for the right amount of time. You also need quality supplies – jars, lids, and rings. Lids have been pretty hard to find since the pandemic, but I’ve used off-brand lids without issue with a 100% success rate. They all have sealed.

If you’re skeptical about off-brand lids, you can always use reusable Tattler lids. I have a few of these and always have great luck with them as well. The only downside is they are quite expensive.

pH of Tomatoes

The acidity of your sauce is very important. Foods with a pH over 4.6 can grow botulism and since tomatoes are very close to that acidity level, it’s important to follow a recipe that has been tested for pH, to add acid, and to can it for the entire time listed in the recipe.

You might also want to test recipes prior to canning! You can use pH strips to determine pH level. The acidity needs to be below 4.6 to be considered safe. Tomatoes are an acidic food and the pH level can vary among types of tomatoes and even their level of ripeness.

If you don’t add enough lemon juice, vinegar, or citric acid to insure the proper pH level in your final product, you can’t be sure that the food will be safe at room temperature for long term storage.

How Long to Can Tomatoes

The temperature of your canned goods is also important because bacteria like botulism can grow at room temperature. Cooking the food for the correct amount of time is critical, as it, along with pH level, will help ensure that all harmful bacteria are destroyed. For more information on acidifying tomatoes, read this.

What is the Best Method of Canning Tomatoes?

A common question people have is which method of canning tomatoes is the best. There are two different methods you can use to can tomatoes: water-bath canning and pressure canning.

Water-Bath Canning Tomatoes

The water-bath canning method is my personal preference for tomato preservation. I love my freshTech electric Ball canner. You definitely don’t need the electric canner; an old-school canning pot works just as well.

Water-bath canning is an easy and inexpensive way to preserve a bountiful harvest or bulk purchase of tomatoes and it works well for small batch canning. However, water-bath method takes longer than the pressure canner method.

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Pressure Canning Tomatoes

The other popular tomato canning choice is pressure canning. Pressure canning can be more intimidating with its scary gizmos and gadgets, but it is quicker than water-bath canning. It’s also more uniform and some people think it produces a safer canned product.

However, it is more expensive than the water-bath method and it requires that you invest in special equipment. It’s also hotter and some people think it cooks the food to mush. You might need to have the confidence to work the pressure canner.

Which method you choose is up to you – both are safe ways to preserve tomatoes as long as you follow the directions precisely.

Can I use an Instant Pot for Canning

One final question I get a lot about canning, is can I use my Instant Pot for canning? Yes, you can, and no you can’t. You CAN safely use an Instant Pot for water-bath canning, but you CANNOT use it for pressure canning.

Want more food preservation / canning safe recipes? You will like these as well!

Now that you know more than you ever wanted to know about canning pizza sauce, here’s the printable recipe for this delicious homemade pizza sauce with fresh tomatoes!

Yield: 8 cups

Delicious Homemade Pizza Sauce With Fresh Tomatoes

freezing homemade pizza sauce in souper cubes (1)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours



Pre-heat oven to 450 F degrees. Wash and remove tomato stems and any bad spots. Cut one or two small slits in each tomato, then place tomatoes in a single layer on shallow roasting pans.

Cut the top off the garlic bulb to expose the ends of each individual clove. Remove any loose, papery outer layers from the bulb. Put the bulb, cut end up in a custard cup and drizzle with oil. Cover it with foil.

Roast the tomatoes and garlic on separate oven racks for about 30 minutes, or until the tomato skins are blistered and the garlic is soft. Cool.

Once the tomatoes are cool, transfer them to a 6- 8-quart heavy nonstick or stainless steel pot. You can discard any skins and leave the extra, clear juice behind. Squeeze the garlic from the bottom of the clove to release them from the bulb.

Stir in the wine, sugar, and salt. Bring mixture to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Don’t forget to keep stirring every once in a while.

Press tomato mixture through a food mill. Discard seeds and skins. Then return the strained mixture to the pot. Stir in basil, oregano, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Return to boiling and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered until reduced to about 8 cups. This can take 40 minutes to 2+ hours depending on the tomatoes you used.

Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice.

Canning Instructions

Ladle hot tomato sauce into sterilized half-pint canning jars leaving a 1/2 " head space. Wipe jars, put on lids and rings, tighten rings well. Finish one jar completely and put it in the water-bath canner before starting next jar.

Process in water-bath canner for 35 minutes. Make sure the water covers the jars and don't start the timer until the water returns to boiling after adding the jars.

Carefully remove jars from canner and cool for 24 hours on a towel or a wire rack. Make sure the jars have sealed correctly. Then remove rings, wipe jars again, and store in a cool, dark spot.


If you don't have a food mill, you can also use a blender or a food processor and then strain out the seeds and skin.

This recipe is from the 2014 Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Canning Magazine.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 37Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g

Nutritional data is not always correct.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram tagging @simplifylivelove! I love to see your photos!

What’s your favorite way to preserve your garden bounty?

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. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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