Preserve the Taste of Summer: 8 Great Ideas for Canning Tomatoes for Long-term Storage

  • By: Linda Simpson
  • Date: January 13, 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.

with all the tomatoes you have harvested from your backyard.

Canning is a great way to preserve the tomatoes you have harvested from your backyard and enjoy them all year round. Here are a few ideas for canning tomatoes to get you started:

Tomato sauce:

One of the most popular ways to can tomatoes is to make a homemade tomato sauce. This can be used as a base for pasta sauce, pizza sauce, or as a seasoning for soups and stews. You can make a basic tomato sauce by cooking down tomatoes with garlic, onion, and herbs, then canning the sauce in sterilized jars.

Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 pint-sized canning jars, lids, and rings

Directions:

  1. Start by heating a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add the diced onions and minced garlic, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Next, add the diced tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, sterilize your canning jars, lids, and rings by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes.
  4. Once the sauce has thickened, use an immersion blender or a food processor to blend the sauce until it is smooth.
  5. Carefully ladle the hot sauce into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Use a bubble remover tool to remove any air bubbles, then wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth.
  6. Place the lids on the jars and screw the rings on finger-tight.
  7. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the jars from the water bath and let them cool. You will hear a “pop” sound as the jars cool, this is the sound of the vacuum seal forming, and it means that the jars are properly sealed.
  8. Label the jars with the date and the contents, and store them in a cool dark place for up to a year. Once opened, store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to a week.

This recipe yields about 4 pint-sized jars of delicious and flavorful tomato sauce. You can adjust the recipe to your taste by adding more or less garlic, herbs, or sugar. You can also add other vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or carrots to the sauce for a different flavor.

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This recipe is a great way to preserve the freshness and flavor of your backyard tomatoes and enjoy them all year round. The sauce can be used as a base for pasta, pizza, soups, stews, and more. You can also add ground meat, sausage, or mushrooms to make a hearty and delicious meat sauce.

Canning is a great way to preserve the bounty of your garden, and this recipe for “Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce” is a perfect example of how easy and delicious it can be. You can use this recipe as a starting point, and experiment with different ingredients and flavors to make it your own.

Whole tomatoes:

Another popular canning method is to can whole tomatoes. This is a great way to preserve the texture and flavor of fresh tomatoes. You can can them in water, juice, or broth, and add herbs and spices for flavor.

Tomato paste:

If you have an abundance of tomatoes, you can also make tomato paste. This is a great way to use up overripe or damaged tomatoes, as the paste concentrates their flavors. You can make tomato paste by cooking down tomatoes until they are thick and then canning the paste in sterilized jars.

Concentrated Tomato Bliss: Canning Tomato Paste”

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 – 8 oz jars with lids, sterilized

Directions:

  1. Start by heating a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, thyme, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down and released their juice.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes from the pot and transfer them to a food mill or a strainer. Press the tomatoes through the mill or strainer to remove the seeds and skins.
  4. Return the pureed tomatoes to the pot and continue simmering for 1-2 hours or until the mixture has thickened and reduced by about 75%. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  5. While the paste is simmering, sterilize your jars by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes.
  6. Once the paste has thickened and reduced, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly. Carefully spoon the paste into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Use a bubble remover tool to remove any air bubbles, then wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth.
  7. Place the lids on the jars and screw the rings on finger-tight.
  8. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove the jars from the water bath and let them cool. You will hear a “pop” sound as the jars cool, this is the sound of the vacuum seal forming, and it means that the jars are properly sealed.
  9. Label the jars with the date and the contents, and store them in a cool dark place for up to a year. Once opened, store the paste in the refrigerator for up to a month.
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This recipe yields about 4 – 8 oz jars of concentrated and flavorful tomato paste. You can adjust the recipe to your taste by adding more or less garlic, herbs, or sugar. The paste can be used as a thickener and flavor enhancer in soups, stews, and sauces. It can also be used as a spread on sandwiches or as a base for pizza sauce. The possibilities are endless with homemade tomato paste.

One of the great things about canning tomato paste is that it’s a great way to use up overripe or damaged tomatoes that may not be suitable for canning whole or in sauce form. The long cooking process concentrates the flavors and makes a delicious, rich and thick paste.

Keep in mind that the recipe is a guide and you can tweak the recipe according to your taste preference. You can also use different varieties of tomatoes for this recipe and experiment with different herbs and spices to create different flavors.

Canning tomato paste is a great way to preserve the taste of summer and enjoy it all year round. It’s easy to make and it’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Enjoy the taste of homemade tomato paste in your favorite recipes.

Tomato Salsa:

Another great option is to make homemade salsa. This is a great way to use up a variety of tomatoes, peppers, and onions. You can make a basic salsa by blending together tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, and spices, then canning the salsa in sterilized jars.

“Garden Fresh Salsa: Canning Tomato Salsa”

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 pint-sized canning jars, lids, and rings
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Directions:

  1. Start by dicing the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeno peppers. In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced vegetables with the cilantro, lime juice, honey, cumin powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  2. While the salsa is marinating, sterilize your canning jars, lids, and rings by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes.
  3. Once the jars are sterilized, carefully ladle the hot salsa into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Use a bubble remover tool to remove any air bubbles, then wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth
  4. Keep the previous steps to finish and canning your tomato salsa.

Tomato jam:

Another unique way to use up your surplus tomatoes is to make tomato jam. This is a sweet and savory spread that can be used on toast, sandwiches, or as a glaze for meat. To make tomato jam, you’ll need to cook down tomatoes with sugar, lemon juice, and spices until the mixture thickens. Once the jam has cooled, you can can it in sterilized jars for long-term storage.

Tomato Juice:

You can also can tomato juice, this is a great way to use up overripe or damaged tomatoes, you can use them to make juice or you can add other ingredients to it, like herbs, garlic, and spices.

Sun-dried Tomatoes:

Another way to preserve tomatoes is to make sun-dried tomatoes. To make sun-dried tomatoes, you’ll need to slice tomatoes and lay them out on a rack to dry in the sun. Once they are dry, you can can them in oil with herbs and spices for flavor.

Pickled Tomatoes:

Another way to preserve tomatoes is to make pickled tomatoes. This can be done by canning tomatoes in vinegar and spice brine. This method is perfect for small cherry tomatoes or for the end of the season.

These are just a few ideas for canning tomatoes from your backyard. Canning is a great way to preserve the bounty of your garden and enjoy the flavors of fresh tomatoes all year round. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can enjoy the taste of summer tomatoes even in the middle of winter.

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