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Basic Tomato Sauce

Print Makes about 2 (490 mL) jars of sauce

Turn your tomato harvest into freshmade tomato sauce that you can use in your favourite dishes throughout the year. Step-by-step instructions are here.

Level of Ease:


Preserving Method:

Waterbath Preserving

You Will Need:

  • 2.3 kg Tomatoes 5 lbs 
  • 30 mL, divided Bottled 2 Tbsp, divided lemon juice 
  • 5 g, divided Salt, optional 1 tsp, divided 
  • 5 g, divided Dried herbs, 1 tsp, divided optional 


1. PREPARE water bath preserving pot or stockpot and jars as directed in the Getting Started section.

2. WASH and sort tomatoes, removing any bruised or discoloured product. Quarter 6 tomatoes and place in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a potato masher, crush tomatoes to release juices, stirring constantly. While maintaining a boil and stirring to prevent burning, quarter additional tomatoes, adding them to the saucepan as you work. Make sure the mixture continues to boil vigorously while you add, stir and crush the remaining tomatoes. When all tomatoes have been added, boil, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. PRESS tomatoes through a fine sieve or food mill, working in batches, to remove skins and seeds. Discard skins and seeds.

4. RETURN mixture to saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil until volume is reduced by at least one-third for a thin sauce.

5. ADD 15 mL (1 Tbsp) bottled lemon juice to each hot jar. Add 2.5 g (1/2 tsp) salt and 2.5 g (1/2 tsp) dried herbs, if using, to each hot jar.

6. LADLE hot tomato sauce into hot jars, leaving 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding sauce. Wipe rims. Centre lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.

7. PROCESS filled pint jars in boiling water for 35 minutes. Remove pot lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store up to 1 year.

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