Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe


Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe

Turn your tomato harvest into fresh homemade tomato sauce that you can use in your favorite dishes throughout the year. Experience the pure delight of our easy-to-follow homemade tomato sauce recipe and method for how to can tomato sauce. Dive into the process of transforming ripe, juicy tomatoes into a rich and flavorful sauce that will elevate your dishes to new heights. Learn the art of canning tomato sauce as we walk you through the sealing and processing techniques, ensuring a perfect, vacuum-sealed mason jar every time. Discover tips and tricks for achieving the desired consistency and preventing siphoning, guaranteeing a tomato sauce that stays true to its vibrant taste and texture. Get ready to savor the essence of homemade goodness with this tantalizing tomato sauce that captures the essence of summer in every bite. Recommended quantities and yields are in the “Tips for making homemade tomato sauce" section below.


about one to multiple jars


30 minutes

Processing Time:

Pint jars for 35 minutes and quart jars for 40 minutes


Tomatoes, cored

Ball® Citric Acid or bottled lemon juice

Salt (optional)

Dried herbs (optional)

Ball® Pints (16 oz) or Quart (32 oz) jars


Optional: Ball® freshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner + Multicooker



Icon Text List Image

Prepare canner, mason jars for canning, and lids.


Icon Text List Image

Wash and sort tomatoes, removing any bruised or discolored product. Quarter 6 tomatoes and place in a large stainless steel sauce 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 canning tomatoes. When all tomatoes have been added, boil, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Icon Text List Image

Working in batches, press tomatoes through a fine sieve, food mill or Victorio strainer to remove skins and seeds. Discard skins and seeds.

Icon Text List Image

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. For a thicker sauce, cook until reduced by half.


Icon Text List Image

Before filing each jar with tomato sauce, add lemon juice or citric acid to the hot jar in the quantity specified below:


• ¼ tsp Ball® Citric Acid or 1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice


• ½ tsp Ball® Citric Acid or 2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice

Icon Text List Image

Add salt (optional) in the quantity specified below:

• Pint: ½ tsp

• Quart: 1 tsp

Icon Text List Image

Add dried herbs (optional) to each jar.

Icon Text List Image

Ladle hot sauce into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot sauce. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Icon Text List Image

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process pint jars for 35 minutes and quart jars for 40 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store. For each quart jar of thin sauce, you'll need about 5 lbs of tomatoes.

Tips for making homemade tomato sauce recipe

For a thin sauce, you'll need an average of 35 lbs of tomatoes to produce 7 quart jars of sauce. For a thick sauce, you'll need an average of 46 lbs to yield 7 quart jars. For the best-quality product and vacuum seal, pack tomato sauce one jar at a time. For each jar, add the lemon juice or citric acid, then the salt and dried herbs, if using. Then ladle in hot sauce as indicated in Step 8 and place the jar in the canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.

Dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and Italian seasoning mixes are excellent seasonings for this sauce. Use those preferred by your family. Add the dried herbs to each jar, rather than trying to season the entire batch of tomatoes. Start with 1/2 tsp per pint jar - you can always add more when using the sauce. Many families like to add a fresh basil leaf to each jar. This is acceptable, but remember to use only unblemished leaves that have been thoroughly rinsed.

Preventing Siphoning - Considerable pressure builds up inside jars of tomatoes and other home-canned foods while they are being heat-processed. Improper packing and processing procedures can lead to liquid loss, or siphoning, which, in turn, can lead to seal failure for canned tomato sauce. Seal failure is caused when food particles pass between the sealing compound and the rim of the jar, preventing formation of a secure seal. Siphoning is a greater danger when you are processing jars with larger volumes. To prevent siphoning, first make sure to follow headspace guidelines precisely. When packing whole foods such as tomatoes, peaches and pickles into jars, pack them firmly, but not too tightly. Food expands when heated and can "boil over" if too tightly packed, causing siphoning.

Finally, be careful to follow the correct heating and cooling procedures associated with processing. To prevent siphoning in a boiling-water canner, when the processing time has been completed, turn the heat off, remove the canner lid and wait 5 minutes, then remove jars. To prevent siphoning in a pressure canner, monitor the pressure closely during processing, making only gradual adjustments to the heat level. Allow the pressure canner to cool completely and naturally before releasing the lid. Once the lid is removed, let the jars cool inside the pressure canner for a further 10 minutes. In either case, when removing jars, be sure to lift them straight up, without tilting, and cool them upright, undisturbed, for 24 hours.

From tomato sauce preparation to the final step of canning tomatoes, every detail contributes to creating a homemade tomato sauce that bursts with authenticity and homemade goodness. By following the step-by-step process, you will whip up a tasty recipe from our Ball® Sauce recipes that suits you and the whole family, whether your tomato sauce has a thin or thick consistency, seasoned with aromatic herbs or adorned with a basil leaf. Remember to maintain the proper headspace and avoid siphoning during the tomato canning process to achieve a secure seal that preserves the quality of your sauce. If you're still unsure where to begin cooking, check out our How to Can Beginner's Guide to gain confidence! Before long, you will relish in the satisfaction of each jar of tomato sauce filled and stored. So, grab a fresh bunch of tomatoes and savor the spice of your very own homemade tomato sauce recipe. Don't be afraid to customize your sauce with optional additions of tangy lemon juice, additional herbs, and a pinch of salt, giving each batch a unique flavor.

Icon Text List Image


To guarantee the most delicious preserved foods, always begin with the best-quality produce at its peak of ripeness.