facebook pinterest twitter google instagram rss

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Canning Crushed Tomatoes

If you’d like to learn how to can crushed tomatoes quickly and easily, this tutorial is for you! Canning doesn’t have to take forever. Learn how to can crushed tomatoes in record time. No blanching or de-seeding required!

How to Can Crushed Tomatoes quickly!

canning crushed tomatoes quickly

In past years, I have had tomatoes coming out of my ears and have to find an easy way to can the bounty from my garden. I love canning crushed tomatoes primarily for Taco Soup, but these tomatoes are also a great base for all kinds of sauces. Taco Soup is one of my go-to recipes for busy fall nights.  Canning crushed tomatoes can be such a pain in the butt, though.

When I first started canning tomatoes, it was a long and drawn out process. First, I washed all the tomatoes and cut off the blossom end and stem end. Then I blanched the tomatoes in boiling water and removed the skin. Then I removed the seeds (and half the tomato). Then I boiled what was left. And finally, I canned the crushed tomatoes in my water-bath canner. I thought I was supposed to do all of this because I was directed to in the Blue Book Guide to Conserving. Does the process sound familiar to you?

Since I’m short on time,  I developed a new procedure for canning crushed tomatoes; a process that takes about half the time and is a heck of a lot easier. I call it, The Lazy Person’s Guide to Canning Crushed Tomatoes, even though a really lazy person would probably just go to the store and  buy them. 😉 Here’s how you can cut your tomato processing time in half too!

Short on time, but still want to can your own crushed tomatoes? Here's a guide on how to quickly can crushed tomatoes and not give up on quality!

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Canning Crushed Tomatoes

First, wash the tomatoes and cut off the bad spots.

Give your tomatoes a bath! Make sure to wash and rinse the tomatoes thoroughly before cooking.

Dice up the tomatoes before cooking.

Then, skip two of the most time consuming steps – blanching and removing seeds. Instead, just put the tomatoes in the food processor and puree them – skin, seeds, and all! It yields a lot more this way because half the tomato is not thrown out.

Next step in canning crushed tomatoes is puree! Dump your diced tomatoes into a food processor and puree away.

I have to tell you, I LOVE my mother’s Braun Food Processor! It’s awesome because there’s no hole in that pitcher. I have a 14 cup Cuisinart and hate that tomato juice spills out of the pitcher if I over fill. My mother’s Braun can’t spill! Another awesome German invention. But I digress…

Next, boil the tomatoes in a big pot on the stove for 2-3 hours, until they reduced and thickened.
Boil your pureed tomatoes in a large pot for 2-3 hours, or until they thicken to a sauce.

After you’re happy with consistency of your tomatoes, ladle them into sanitized jars, added 2 TBS bottled lemon juice per quart to protect against botulism. My mom uses a pressure canner and processes her quarts for 15 minutes. I use a water-bath canner and it takes quite a lot longer – 45 minutes for quarts according to my Ball Blue Book of Preserving – my “Bible” for home food preserving!!

In my experience, Romas and San Marzanos produce the best stewed tomatoes because they are less watery than other varieties. This year I planted primarily Roma tomatoes and am excited by all the green little tomatoes I see growing in my garden!

Do you grow tomatoes? What do you do with the bounty?

How to quickly and easily water bath can crushed tomatoes

If you liked this guide to canning crushed tomatoes quickly, you might like these posts too:

Grandma’s Secret Dill Pickle Recipe

Preserve your own flavored vinegars with herbs from your garden!

Strawberry Syrup Canning Guide



  1. I just cut the end out and then cut them in half and put them in a huge pot and cook away. Slowly the skin comes off most of them and I just pick them out of the pot. I don't get all crazy about this because after I add some spices and let it cook for about an hour and a half or so I use my immersion blender and mix it all up. The first time I made tomato sauce I squeezed out the seeds but I realized that was a huge waste! I love that you mix it up first.
  2. I have been doing lots of crushed tomatoes and some sauce, both regular sauce and spaghetti sauce. I usually do salsa but I still have some left from last year so I haven't gotten to it yet. Hopefully, I will get some done in the next few weeks because I have several recipes that call for some in it and I don't really like to make fresh for the recipes. The heat earlier in the summer, really did a number on my tomatoes, so after one round, I have had to buy them at the farmer's market.
  3. My kitchen would simply get too hot doing all that canning now so I freeze my tomato bounty. Simple slow cooker sauce: 1 onion 2-3 garlic cloves 2 peel carrots stem-end removed tomatoes cut in quarters to fill a large crockpot olive oil poured over the veggies (.25 cup?) Cook on low until your husband says "What is that wonderful smell?" (8 hours or so) and then remove the cover to cover for another hour or two. Cool, puree with an immersion blender and freeze.
  4. I have done the same too! I have a Vita Mix, so it really blends them up well. The last few years I haven't been able to grow nearly as many tomatoes, so I have canned them whole, (skins off) so I can use them for whatever we need. They seem to taste fresher that way. I may just can some with the skins on and then puree them in my Vita Mix before cooking. That would be a time saver as well. Good post! It's great to see so many people canning! :)
  5. Okay if you are truly lazy you will buy a stick blender aka immersion blender and then you won't even have to do batches in the food processor, you can just do it all in one pot! That's what I do! However, then I add the step of running it through the food mill to get out any seeds and skin. Although now you are making me question whether I should bother doing that... Foy
    • Well, I guess the truly lazy person will just buy Ragu... ;-) I don't have an immersion blender but if I did, I would try it that way! I don't mind the seeds and the skin gets shredded when I run my tomatoes in the food processor! So if the immersion blender does as good a job as the food processor, I probably wouldn't run it through my food mill. Win-win!
  6. Looks great! I like to take off the skins... though it does take time. Tomato skin holds elements that can aggravate arthritis.... plus they end up stuck in my teeth somehow, even after pureeing. ;) To save even MORE time: buy an immersion blender! you wn't have to dirty a separate device and you can combine the pureeing and boiling to the same step. Ah, look like Foy beat me to that recommendation. You can get an immersion blender pretty cheaply, and you'll wonder how you ever lived and made soup, mashed potatoes or sauce without one! Thanks for linking up to the hop!
  7. I do mine just like you only I use one of those high powered blender, similar to the Vitamix. It makes doing tomatoes a snap. Sometimes we puree a little celery also, add a dash of S&P, to make tomato juice and of course the lemon juice in the bottom of the jar to be sure it is acidic enough for the water bath canner. Don't let the tomato puree and celery puree boil, just simmer until it cooks down a bit..about 20 minutes. Put in jars and proceed as you said.
    • Interesting! I put my lemon juice on the top. And I do boil my sauce. Seems to make it less watery. Not as big a deal when I'm working romas, but other tomatoes cause me problems sometimes. :-) Thanks for commenting!
  8. Okay - question!!! I've never canned. There I said it. But I do a LOT of freezing sauces and the like. Can I do this whole process, but at the end just freeze in jars or containers? I have a 5 gallon buckets of tomatoes sitting on the counter staring at me.
  9. When I used to have too many tomatoes I would freeze them whole until I was ready to make sauce. Then run them under hot water and the skins popped off. Chop them up, usually in a food processed, and boil for 1-2 minutes. Let cool and the liquid separates from the pulp. Put in a muslin bag or jelly bag to drain and the almost clear watery liquid drains out leaving rather thick tomato sauce or paste which you can season and simmer for sauce or just can or freeze. It has a fresh tomato flavor without the long simmering. Use the liquid to adjust the thickness. If you rather not have the seeds use a food mill to avoid loosing the pulp. In this hot weather the less cooking heat in the house the better.
  10. If you were to use citric acid and pint jars instead of the "2 TBS bottled lemon juice per quart" how much citric acid would you use? New to canning.
  11. Thank You SO much! This worked so slick! I was canning the chopped tomatoes and they just had too much space in the jar once they cooled. I also LOVED skipping the skinning process! Thank You!
  12. Looks so good. I keep telling my husband that we should buy a bushel of tomatoes (not enough sun or land in my yard) at the farmers market and can some tomatoes or better yet can his spaghetti sauce which is soooo good. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.
  13. Hi, I was happy to see that I'm not the only one that cans like that. You might like a recipe I posted on youtube...another tomato hack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kHFasUTUgk
  14. If one cooks the crushed tomatoes for two to three hours, why the need to process them for another 45 minutes? Couldn't one process them for fifteen minutes or so for sealing the jars?
  15. If one cooks the crushed tomatoes for two to three hours in a pot, why the need to also process them for another 45 minutes? Couldn't one process them for about fifteen minutes to seal the jars?
    • Hi Jeanette, You don't have to cook them in the pot for that long if you don't want to. I do, because it makes my sauce less watery. You do need to cook them that long in the water-bath canner because that's what the experts recommend to kill botulism - and you don't want botulism, for sure!!
  16. I do just about everything you said, only I cook my tomatoes in a large stock pot first , then fill up just a cheap $5 blender and blend them up real good, pour in jars (with a tsp of canning salt and a squirt of lemon juice on the bottom of the jar) then put my flats and rings on and normally if you work fast they seal themselves, if not I hot water bath for 10 min. Been making them this way for 8 years now :-)
  17. Last Summer I made salsa that was out of this world delish! I could have sworn the link to the recipe was on your page. Did you have a link for a Salsa recipe to can?
    • Hi Lori, I don't have a canning safe salsa recipe, sadly. I need to get one though! Maybe you tried Jami from An Oregon Cottage's recipe: http://anoregoncottage.com/my-favorite-salsa-for-canning/? Good luck!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *