Homemade Italian-style tomato sauce is used in lots of food (pizza, spaghetti, etc.). Learn how to make this classic sauce, and can it for long term storage!Homemade Italian-style tomato sauce is used in lots of food (pizza, spaghetti, etc.). Learn how to make this classic sauce, and can it for long term storage!
Last summer I canned lots of food to store in our pantry, including green beans, ranch-style beans, and this wonderful tasting Italian-Style Tomato Sauce. I was fortunate to be able to use a lot of Roma tomatoes from our backyard garden!

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Some of the tomatoes we grew in our garden, used to make Italian-style tomato sauce.

This Italian-Style Tomato Sauce Is Canned Using a Water Bath Method!

The sauce was fairly easy to can, using a water bath canner.  I thought this sauce would have to be pressure canned, but I was wrong. I used my trusty Ball Canning cookbook for this recipe, and the rest is history! Perfect Italian-style tomato sauce!

The recipe from my “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving” was tested scientifically so that this Italian-style tomato sauce can be safely processed in a water bath (as opposed to a pressure canner).   As long as you don’t alter the ingredients or quantities of ingredients used (because that might end up with an unsafe product), it is safe to water bath process this Italian-style tomato sauce.

Jars are processed in a water bath canner for 35 minutes

It’s been great to have extra jars of this delicious Italian-style tomato sauce in my pantry for last minute pasta sauces, soup recipes, etc. I’ve used them a lot recently!

Tip For Using The Sauce After Storage

When using the sauce from the pantry to use in your favorite recipes, add a bit of olive oil to the sauce to give it additional flavor. Olive oil is a great addition, because no olive oil is added to the sauce before canning (because it could go rancid during long term storage).

Jars of homemade Italian tomato sauce are canned and ready for pantry!

Lots Of Flavor

The finished sauce has a nice Italian flavor, due to the flavorful Roma tomatoes, minced garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and hot pepper flakes. Italian-style tomato sauce can be used in a variety of recipes. I’ve used it to make spaghetti sauce, some homemade pizza sauce, and have added it to soup, all with great results!

How Many Jars Will the Recipe Yield?

The recipe (as written below) will yield 3 pint sized jars. I easily doubled the recipe using exact measurements and ended up with 7 pints of sauce (as seen below). I am thrilled to have a few extra jars of this delicious Italian-style tomato sauce in our pantry to use in a variety of recipes!

It’s so convenient to know this Italian-style Tomato Sauce is in our pantry, which saves me a trip to the grocery store!

Homemade jars of Italian-style tomato sauce ready to go into pantry.

Have a fantastic day.. I hope you will consider making this recipe of Italian-style tomato sauce, if you enjoy canning as much as I do! Follow the recipe directions exactly. Prepare your jars and canner according to manufacturer’s instructions, and USDA canning guidelines.

Looking For More CANNING Recipes?

You can find ALL my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have some wonderful canning recipes (for pressure canning OR water bath canning), including:

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Recipe Source: “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving”, page 365, Jarden Corporation, copyright 2006 and 2012. Published by Robert Rose, Inc.

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Italian-Style Tomato Sauce (and how to can it!)
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Homemade Italian-style tomato sauce is used in lots of food (pizza, spaghetti, etc.). Learn how to make this classic sauce, and can it for long term storage!
Category: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian style tomato sauce
Servings: 12 3 pints
Calories Per Serving: 39 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 8 cups fresh plum (Roma) tomato purée (approx. 4.5 pounds) (see Notes section)
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 4 Tablespoons BOTTLED lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili pepper flakes
  1. Prepare your water bath canner, jars and canning lids per manufacturer and USDA canning guidelines.

  2. In a big stainless steel saucepan, combine the onion, celery, carrot and garlic with ONE CUP of the tomato purée. Cook on medium-high heat (stirring frequently) until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the saucepan, and cook this mixture for about 5 minutes (boiling gently). The vegetables should be tender at the end of this cooking time. While the liquid is still boiling steadily, add the rest of the tomato purée to the pan (one cup at a time), stirring well.
  3. Add the bottled lemon juice, salt, black pepper and the dried red chili pepper flakes.
  4. Turn the heat up to High. Bring the sauce to a rolling boil. Continue to boil the sauce hard, making sure you stir the sauce quite frequently. Continue boiling sauce until the mixture has been reduced by one-third (this will take about 15 minutes or so to reduce).
  5. Ladle the tomato sauce (very hot) into the hot canning jars. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. Remove the air bubbles, and adjust the headspace in jars, if needed, by adding more sauce. Clean off the rim. Place the lid on the jar, and add the screw band; tighten screw band until fingertip tight.
  6. Carefully place jars into simmering water in the canner. Make sure that hot water completely covers the jars and goes about an inch OVER the lids. Place lid on canner. Bring water to a full boil, then process jars for 35 minutes. When time is up, turn off heat and remove the lid from the canner. Wait for 5 minutes, then carefully remove hot jars of sauce (without tilting jars) to a dish towel on the countertop (do NOT place jars directly on countertop or they might crack). Let jars cool completely (24 hours), without disturbing them. Water on jar lids will evaporate naturally. After a few minutes, you should hear them make a "pinging" sound, indicating they have sealed properly. After jars have cooled for 24 hours and before storing in pantry, check to ensure lids have properly sealed, per USDA canning guidelines.
Recipe Notes

To puree tomatoes: Blanch, peel, core, and seed tomatoes. Put them into a colander and let them sit for 15 minutes. Discard the liquid. Put the tomatoes into a food processor. Purée with metal blade.

Nutrition Facts
Italian-Style Tomato Sauce (and how to can it!)
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 39
% Daily Value*
Sodium 404mg18%
Potassium 456mg13%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 2390IU48%
Vitamin C 26.6mg32%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Italian-Style Tomato Sauce (and how to can it!)

7 Comments on Italian-Style Tomato Sauce (and how to can it!)

  1. I am now 76 years old and have done a tremendous amount of canning in my life. I originally learned from my farmer mother, who always did things right. I, though, through the years, have continually looked to simplify any effort, to include canning tomato sauce, pasta sauce and the like. Here is a tip that is good for anybody wanting to simplify canning of such… Forget about the boiling of tomatoes to remove skins. Forget about coring and deseeding. Wash the tomatoes, remove any marks, blemishes, etc. that you desire…and throw your raw tomatoes into a good blender and whiz the tomatoes ‘silly’ until all is liquid… it doesn’t take long. Then, cook, season and can as required. I have been doing this for years with only perfect results!!!

    • It’s so refreshing to hear that others use this method as well!!!!! Saves sooo much time! However, when I try to make spaghetti or pizza sauce with just plain pureed tomatoes like this, it ends up tasting so bitter. So I’ve tried peeling, deseeding, etc… and still not much better. Any secrets?

    • Hi, Donna… Sorry. but I honestly do not know. I have only used the ingredients in this recipe as written. Hopefully someone else can comment if they have tried that. Have a great day.

  2. I made this! My goodness this was so delcious even before it was finished. I am canning it now. I cannot wait to cook with it later!

    • Good morning, Maria. Thanks so much for writing.So glad to hear you like the sauce. I do too.Still have some in our pantry from the last time I canned some. Take care, and have a great day.

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