Canning Tomatoes: Homemade Pizza Sauce

homemade pizza sauce

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This has been an odd year for the garden in a number of ways. There have been very few zucchini and an overwhelming number of eggplant. But the biggest surprise has been the appearance of red tomatoes on the vine. I think it’s the first time we have gotten this heavy a volume of red tomatoes. I’m not complaining – I won’t have as big a push with canning them in October as usual. Our general habit has been to pull them in green with the warning of a first freeze and let them ripen in the basement. This works very well but it extends canning season very late. Although one year I did dehydrate tomatoes to try a different way of preserving them. When I am canning tomatoes I make ketchup, tomato soup, marinara, and pizza sauce. If I get them early like this year I will also can ratatouille.

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canning tomatoes, pizza sauce

Canning Tomatoes: Homemade Pizza Sauce

makes 12 – 13 4 oz jars

  • 20 lbs tomatoes – more than one type is best
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 2 TBS dried basil
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • citric acid or bottled lemon juice

add tomato chunks to pot

  • Core the tomatoes and cut into chunks. Put them in a large, heavy bottomed stock pot over medium heat.
  • Let the tomatoes come to a boil then reduce to a simmer.


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  • When the tomatoes are very soft and falling apart use an immersion blender to render the sauce smooth.
  • Add the sugar, baking soda, basil, oregano, garlic powder and salt.
  • Let the sauce simmer until it reduces by at least 2/3rds and gets very thick. This will take several hours and will depend on how juicy your tomatoes are.

thick pizza sauce

  • When you see that the sauce is close to ready prepare your jars and canner. I have found that with these 4 oz jars I can fit up to 14 in my canner with a separator between the layers.

To Can:

  • add 1/8 tsp of citric acid to each jar (or you can add 1/2 TBS bottled lemon juice) This needs to be added because the tomatoes don’t have enough acid for safe canning without the addition.

add pizza sauce to jars

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  • fill the hot jars with hot sauce leaving 1/2″ headspace
  • warm the lids
  • wipe the rims, add a lid and screw on the band fingertip tight.
  • process for 10 minutes or if over 3,000ft for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let sit in the water with the lid on for 5 minutes.

canning tomatoes

  • Take the jars from the canner and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours and then label and store.

How Was Canning Tomatoes for Pizza Sauce?

This is the third year I have done my pizza sauce this way and it just works so well for me. I used to can my pizza sauce in half pints but I found that I was only using half the jar on the pizza and the rest would sit in the ‘fridge and then get lost and I’d end up throwing it away when the mold starting growing. This was a big waste. Then I discovered these 4 oz jars!

homemade pizza

Now I have just what I need to cover my homemade pizza and there is no waste! I end up making a 12 – 14″ pizza so you know how much dough the sauce is covering. I also find this amount of sauce convenient for meals like meatball subs or calzones. Things where you just don’t need a lot of sauce.

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