Canning Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

My tomatoes finally started producing enough fruit to make a batch of sauce…woo hoo! Unfortunately, the weather is cooling down so I will probably only have enough to make one or two more batches this fall. Homemade spaghetti sauce tastes so wonderful that I’m feeling just a little cheated.

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My brand spanking new Victorio Food Strainer! I get excited about weird things. :)
My brand spanking new Victorio Food Strainer! I get excited about weird things. 🙂

I recently purchased a Victorio food strainer and used it for the first time with these tomatoes and I must say that it worked much better than my food mill (also known as a Foley mill). It made pretty short work of my tomatoes, and it was on sale…bonus!

How to Make Your Own Tomato Sauce

  • Wash, core, and remove any bad spots from 40 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • Cook until soft and allow to cool until just slightly warm
  • Strain tomatoes through a food strainer to remove skins and seeds
  • Pour tomato juice into a large stainless steel pot with a heavy bottom
  • Cook on low heat until sauce is thickened
  • Add 1/2 tsp citric acid or 2 Tbs lemon juice to each quart of sauce
  • Process in quart jars in a boiling water bath for 40 minutes

For Spaghetti Sauce

Follow above directions, except add the following ingredients to strained juice in pot:

  • 5 or 6 green peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 5 or 6 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 3 or 4, onions, chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • small handful Italian seasoning

Remember to add 1/2 tsp citric acid or 2 tsp lemon juice to each quart jar of sauce to be sure that acid level is high enough for water bath canning. This recipe makes approximately 9 to 12 quarts of tomato or spaghetti sauce, depending on what variety of tomatoes you use and how long you cook it down.

Handy Tip: To reduce cooking time, you may add tomato paste to spaghetti sauce to thicken it. The more tomato paste you add, the shorter the cooking time and the larger the batch.

Tomatoes ripening in a box. I have about 60 pounds of tomatoes for my next batch of sauce.
Tomatoes ripening in a box. I have about 60 pounds of tomatoes for my next batch of sauce.

Canning Spaghetti or Tomato Sauce

A boiling water bath is the recommended canning method for preserving tomato and spaghetti sauce. Because many varieties of tomatoes are not high enough in natural acids, you should add citric acid or lemon juice to the sauce, as directed above.

spaghetti sauce

To Can Tomato and Spaghetti Sauce:

  • Bring water bath canner to a boil and sterilize glass canning jars
  • Bring sauce to a low boil
  • Sterilize screw bands for lids
  • Dip out a small amount of hot water into a bowl and place canning lids in water
  • Remove canning jars from boiling water
  • Fill with tomato sauce, leave 1/2″ head space
  • Wipe top of jar with clean cloth
  • Top with canning lid and screw band, finger tighten
  • Use jar lifter to place each filled jar into boiling water bath
  • Bring water back to a boil
  • Process jars of sauce for 40 minutes
  • Lift jars from canner and place on heavy cloth on counter
  • Allow jars to cool at room temperature
  • Jars are sealed when lid pops down with a pinging sound
  • Remove screw bands, clean and dry each jar
  • Label jars with contents and date and store in a cool, dark place

Notes: I didn’t use tomato paste to thicken my sauce. Instead, I cooked it for about 24 hours. Considering the cost of our electricity, we estimated that it cost around $1.30 to cook the sauce and can it. However, if your time is limited or you would like to get as much sauce as possible from your tomatoes, you may wish to add tomato paste and cook for a shorter time. I added peppers, onions, garlic, and basil from my garden and Pizza Seasoning from Frontier Herbs, as well as organic sugar. My large boiling water canner holds 9 quarts and I had about 2 extra quarts that I used to make dinner.

Spaghetti Dinner

  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green peppers, chopped and seeded
  • 2 eggplants, peeled and chopped
  • 2 quarts tomato or spaghetti sauce
  • 16 oz package spaghetti or other pasta, or homemade egg noodles

Brown turkey and add vegetables. Cook until veggies are tender. Add tomato or spaghetti sauce. (If using plain tomato sauce, add 3 Tbs sugar and 3 Tbs Italian seasoning, or to taste.) Turn burner to low and cook and stir for about an hour.  In separate pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Spoon pasta onto plate and top with spaghetti sauce and grated cheese.

Do you make your own homemade tomato and spaghetti sauce? Do you freeze or can your sauce?

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