Garden Series: Canning Fresh Marinara Sauce

Summer tomatoes. Is there anything better?

Tomatoes. Tomatoes. Tomatoes.

I came home from Montana, and found about 25 lbs of tomatoes to use.

Salsa is always a go to. Last year I did Tomato Jam. Which is awesome.

But why not try something new? A marinara perhaps? I love a great bowl of fresh sauce and pasta. Don’t you? And because P A S T A.

A few minutes of research on fresh marinara and canning and I was off. Why not? If I fail? We just eat lots of pasta for the next few weeks. This recipe could be used for canning or the freezer. Easy.

Fresh Marinara Sauce

12 lbs tomatoes

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 1/2 tbsp. each Dried basil, oregano, thyme and garlic powder

1 tbsp. Kosher salt

3 bay leaves

Let the party start!

Blanch the tomatoes in hot water for 1-3 minutes to remove the skin. Cut out the stem, and remove the skin if desired. You can also cut out the seeds. I just left mine in.

Simmer the tomatoes and seasonings for 2 hours, maybe 2 1/2 hours. Until the sauce is reduced by about 1/3. Puree the hot sauce using an immersion blender, or your stand blender, being careful because the liquid it really hot.

Add 3 tbsp. sliced fresh basil or basil paste to the sauce at the end.

Taste test. One of my batches needed a bit more salt. The other a little sugar. Each tomato ripens differently. So make sure you like what you are going to eat.

You can freeze the sauce in freezer gallon bags, labeling them and placing them flat on a freezer shelf.

Canning your own food is so rewarding.


Prepare your quart jars. Wash and dry them. Have your rims and lids ready.

Place 1/2 tsp. citric acid powder in the bottom of each jar. Use a funnel to transfer the hot marinara sauce into the cleaned jars, wiping the top of glass jar clean and dry, and then placing a clean lid and metal rim on. Leave about 1/2″ clearance from the top of the jar to the top of the sauce. Screw the rim on tightly, as this will form your seal.

I live in high altitude. So I added 5 more minutes to my processing time.

Canning method- 35-40 minutes in a steam bath, once it reaches the correct temperature. For high altitude, I processed mine for 45 minutes. Remove from the steam canner. And carefully set them on a towel right side up to cool. Don’t mess with them until they are room temp and the lids have “popped” tight. Label and store up to 1 year. If the lids don’t seal, store them in the fridge until ready to use.

Happy canning!!!

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