Pizza Sauce for Canning: How to Make It

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Enjoy the freshness of seasonal herbs and tomatoes all year long with classic canned pizza sauce. Perfect for canning, this sauce captures the taste of summer. Use it on pizzas all year long.

This traditional sauce will make your homemade pizzas delicious. As a bonus, it will save you lots of money throughout the year.

jar of Garden Tomato Pizza Sauce

Classic Canned Pizza Sauce

From the kitchens of Italian grandmothers to your modern home, this timeless pizza sauce recipe is perfect for canning.
Serving Size 6 pints

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 10 pounds ripe tomatoes peeled and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon summer savory
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar optional, to taste
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

Instructions 

  • Prepare the tomatoes: Start by blanching your tomatoes to remove the skins. Cut a small "x" on the bottom of each tomato and immerse them in boiling water for about a minute until the skins begin to peel away. Transfer them to an ice bath to cool.
    cutting x in tomato skin and tomatoes in ice bath.
  • Crush the tomatoes: Once cooled, peel off the skins, remove the seeds, and crush the tomatoes by hand or with a food mill.
  • Cook the onions and garlic: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    sauteeing garlic and onion in pot.
  • Add tomatoes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix until the paste is evenly distributed.
  • Add seasonings. Add the basil, oregano, salt, pepper, sugar (if using), and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
    spices and sugar being added to crushed tomatoes.
  • Simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired consistency for pizza sauce.
  • Prepare for Canning: While the sauce simmers, heat your mason jars. Sterilize lids and bands by boiling them in water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice. When the sauce is ready, remove the bay leaves and stir in the lemon juice.

Canning Process

  • Fill jars. Ladle the hot pizza sauce into the sterilized mason jars using a funnel, leaving ½ inch of headspace.
  • Wipe jars and apply lids. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth to ensure a good seal. Place the sterilized lids on the jars and screw on the bands until they are fingertip tight.
    wiping jars clean and placing lid on top.
  • Process. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes (adjust time for altitudes above 1,000 feet).
    jars in waterbath canner.

Notes

Note: I have made this recipe many times and get anywhere between 5-7 pints.   It just depends on how long you cook it and how much water is in the tomatoes.  Prep enough jars so you are prepared either way!
Store your canned pizza sauce in a cool, dark place. Once opened, refrigerate and use within a week.
Unopened jars of canned pizza sauce typically last for up to a year.

Remember you can combine this with homemade pizza dough for a super-frugal pizza night. Or just keep things simple and use it as dipping saucr for mozzarella sticks.

🥣 What you need for home-canned pizza sauce

The spices are flexible in this recipe, but the lemon juice is not.

  • Ripe Tomatoes: The heart of the sauce, their quality is so important to your results. Choose tomatoes that are rich in color and aroma.
  • Dried Basil and Oregano add an essential Italian touch to the sauce, giving it depth and warmth.
  • Bottled Lemon Juice: A crucial ingredient for canning, ensuring both flavor and safety.
ingredients on white counter.

If you’d like to substitute the fresh garlic and onion for dried, that’s fine too.

  • Food Mill or Blender: For a smooth sauce texture.
  • Large Pot: Necessary for both cooking and canning.
  • Ladle and Funnel: These make jar-filling mess-free and accurate.
  • Mason Jars with Lids and Bands: The traditional choice for canning.
  • Water Bath Canner: Ensures safe and effective canning.
canning equipment laid out on counter.

If you’re a regular canner, you already have everything you need to make this recipe.

The Homestead Canning Cookbook: •Simple, Safe Instructions from a Certified Master Food Preserver •Over 150 Delicious, Homemade Recipes •Practical ... Lifestyle (The Homestead Essentials)The Homestead Canning Cookbook: •Simple, Safe Instructions from a Certified Master Food Preserver •Over 150 Delicious, Homemade Recipes •Practical … Lifestyle (The Homestead Essentials)Preboun Set of 4 Vintage Wildflower Dish Towels for Kitchen Decorative 16 x 24 Inch Floral Kitchen Towels Hand Floral Bath Towels Dish Cloth for Cooking Tea Bathroom Woman Guest Girl Housewarming GiftPreboun Set of 4 Vintage Wildflower Dish Towels for Kitchen Decorative 16 x 24 Inch Floral Kitchen Towels Hand Floral Bath Towels Dish Cloth for Cooking Tea Bathroom Woman Guest Girl Housewarming GiftLOVEJIA Red Tomatoes Sign Vintage Metal Tin Sign Locally Grown Vegetables Garden Farm Wall Decor Metal Signs Tin Signs for Bar Pub Club Man Cave 8 x12 inch (CTP-6)LOVEJIA Red Tomatoes Sign Vintage Metal Tin Sign Locally Grown Vegetables Garden Farm Wall Decor Metal Signs Tin Signs for Bar Pub Club Man Cave 8 x12 inch (CTP-6)

 

✨ Tips for making canned tomato sauce

Canning friends, you know it c an be. stressful and overwhelming. So I have list of general canning tips here. And below you’ll find ways to make this sauce the best ever.

  • Tomato Selection: For the best flavor, use a mix of tomato varieties. Combining different types can add complexity to the sauce.
  • Herb Infusion: For an aromatic boost, tie fresh herbs in a bundle and simmer them in the sauce, removing before canning.
  • Oil Quality: Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil for a richer flavor profile.
  • Spice It Up: Consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes for a subtle heat.
  • Acidity Check: If you’re unsure about the acidity for safe canning, use pH test strips. The sauce should be below pH 4.6.
  • Batch Size: Making larger batches can be more efficient, but ensure your pot is large enough to handle the volume for even cooking.
  • Consistency Control: For a thicker sauce, simmer it longer. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water.
  • Storage Check: After canning, check the seals of the jars by pressing the center of the lid. If it pops back, it’s not sealed properly and should be refrigerated and used first.
  • Label and Date: Always label your jars with the content and date of canning. It helps in tracking shelf life and organizing your pantry.

You can do this! It’s not hard. Remember, if you need immediately help, you can always ask your local coopertive extension. Find yours here.

🥫 Storage and make ahead instructions

You don’t have to can this if you don’t want to! You have options.

After Canning:

  1. Cooling: Allow the canned jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Do not tighten the bands during this period.
  2. Check Seals: After cooling, check that each jar is sealed properly. The lid should not flex up and down when pressed in the center.
  3. Storage Location: Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place like a pantry or a cellar. Avoid direct sunlight and extreme temperature changes.
  4. Shelf Life: Properly canned and stored sauce can last up to a year. Over time, the quality may diminish, but it will still be safe to consume if the seal is intact.

Freezing Instructions:

If you prefer to freeze some sauce, or if a jar didn’t seal properly, freezing is a viable option.

  1. Cooling: Allow the sauce to cool completely.
  2. Container Choice: Use freezer-safe containers or bags. Leave some headspace for expansion during freezing, about half an inch.
  3. Label and Date: Label each container with the content and date.
  4. Freezer Storage: Store in the freezer. The sauce can be frozen for up to 3-6 months for the best quality.
  5. Thawing: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before use.

Making Ahead + Refrigerating:

You can also make this sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator if you plan to use it soon.

  1. Cooling: After cooking, let the sauce cool.
  2. Refrigeration: Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
  3. Shelf Life: In the refrigerator, the sauce can last for up to a week.
jars cooling on counter on blue and white towel.

❤️ More tomato season recipes you’ll love

We love tomatoes around here! Growing them, preserving them, and eating them. Here are some of of our favorite ways to enjoy them:

I hope enjoy the satisfaction of getting through he big pile of tomatoes haunting you on your counter. Even more, I hope you love the delicious sauce you’ve created and feel proud of your hard work.

finished pizza sauce for canning with tomato in background.
Pizza Sauce for Canning:  How to Make It
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