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Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

This savory canned sauce is a tomato-grower's dream come true! Use up your garden bounty and enjoy it later in the year. —Tonya Branham, Mt. Olive, Alabama
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1-1/2 hours + simmering Process: 40 min. YIELD:48 servings


  • 25 pounds tomatoes
  • 4 large green peppers, seeded
  • 4 large onions, cut into wedges
  • 4 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice


  • 1. In a Dutch oven, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, place tomatoes, one at a time, in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Remove each tomato and immediately plunge in ice water. Peel and quarter tomatoes.
  • 2. In a food processor, cover and process green peppers and onions in batches until finely chopped.
  • 3. In a stockpot, combine the tomatoes, green pepper mixture, tomato paste, oil, sugar, salt, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves.
  • 4. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to each of nine hot 1-qt. jars. Ladle hot mixture into jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and adjust lids. Process for 40 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: 9 quarts.
Editor's Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.

Nutritional Facts

3/4 cup: 118 calories, 5g fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 614mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 4g fiber), 3g protein Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.

Reviews for Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce

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Reviewed Aug. 14, 2016

"Great basis for a pasta recipe. I have change a few things but nothing major...for example I used fresh spices instead of dried and cooking wine instead of worceshire sauce. I've never canned before but if you have the time is this recipe is definately worth it."

Reviewed Sep. 23, 2015 Edited Sep. 24, 2015

"I've made this recipe for the last 3 years. I added the oil and we were still enjoying the spaghetti sauce a year or more later and we are all just fine. This is a great recipe."

Reviewed Sep. 17, 2015

"I've been looking for a good home-canned spaghetti sauce recipe for years and I finally found it! Thank you!"

Reviewed Sep. 16, 2015 Edited Sep. 19, 2015

"I made this today. Normally I read reviewed and spend time searching for a great recipe. I trust Taste of Home recipes...but now after reading the reviews I'm torn about tossing this because of adding the oil ingredient. I added a half cup, and 1 tablespoon oil lemon juice to my 500 ml jar. I got 7 - 500 ml jars. I wondered if freezing in the jars is a safe route?

If oil in the recipe is an issue, I'd like that safety warning added or the recipe removed.
It does taste great and I will definitely make it again without the oil."

Reviewed Aug. 25, 2015

"Followed the recipe this weekend. A little nervous though b/c I followed it directly and added the oil. Did I just waste my time and tomatoes or is it safe? Anybody know what the shelf life would be with the oil?"

Reviewed Aug. 24, 2015

"I made this for the first time today and am super impressed. I read the reviews before starting and noticed a number of folks thought it lacked depth of flavor. To overcome that, I sauteed the onions and garlic in the oil until soft and then added it to the rest of the tomato sauce. This added some pop. Yummy!"

Reviewed Aug. 22, 2015

"I just finished this recipe and it didn't have enough spice in it. I experimented as it was cooking and just kept adding spices until it tasted the way I wanted it to taste. I'll be canning it in an hour."

Reviewed Aug. 9, 2015

"Good basic sauce. I worked with this over a 24-hour period. I may just like sauce with more flavor, but I think this one is lacking something. I'll tweak it more."

Reviewed Jun. 22, 2015

"This is my first year canning, this recipe's was awesome you explained everything so well for a beginner. Thank You for sharing. LeeAnn Treacher Elkhart, In"

Reviewed Oct. 20, 2014

"So this is my first time using this recipe and I made a half a recipe, since I didn't have enough tomatoes, It taste more like salsa to me. I think I will go back to my old recipe as it takes 2 less hours to cook and taste more like spaghetti sauce rather than salsa."

Reviewed Sep. 23, 2014

"A friend and I just made a batch of this spaghetti sauce. We adjusted the seasoning to our taste. Very tastey. We didn't omit the oil (should of read the previous reviews) How long is the shelf life w/the oil in it? Also, my friend mentioned that the sauce did not stick to the noodles. I wonder why not."

Reviewed Sep. 22, 2014

"I think if you are worried about the oil in this recipe, you can just leave it out. It doesn't instruct to cook the vegtables in the oil. So why would you need it. If you want, when you open the jars you can add oil when you heat it up."

Reviewed Sep. 14, 2014

"dwernis, instead of wasting all those tomatoes, just freeze the sauce."

Reviewed Sep. 11, 2014

"So, I am making this recipe, an I keep reading everyone say DO NOT ADD OIL. Well I followed the recipe and did add oil, only I added Olive Oil. How long will this last, or is it a total loss? With that said, my Ball canning book had a tomato sauce recipe and it also said add olive oil to a recipe for water boil canning? I am new to this and its making me a little nervous that I just wasted all those tomatos. Help!!"

Reviewed Sep. 7, 2014

"This a great recipe. I've made it the last couple of years. Except I use only 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive oil instead of a whole cup of canola. That's way too much oil for my taste."

Reviewed Sep. 3, 2014

"Very good sauce. I did not add the oil however, as it becomes rancid after canning. I used a pressure canner and followed the canners time and pressure for the onions in this recipe. I will make it again."

Reviewed Sep. 1, 2014

"Please help. I added the oil before I realized I should not have. Is this going to be a problem"

Reviewed Aug. 29, 2014

"Should the seeds be removed from the tomatoes?"

Reviewed Aug. 26, 2014

"Please help! Originally, I had planned to cut this recipe in half. Then when I started making it, I was thinking that I had enough tomatoes for the full batch, so switched back to the original recipe. After adding enough seasonings for a full batch, I realized that I only had 25 cups of tomatoes, not 25 pounds! Now I'm afraid that my sauce will be way too strong w/ all the seasonings. I thought about adding last year's canned tomatoes, but not sure I should do that. Any ideas?"

Reviewed Aug. 26, 2014

"This is my second year making this sauce. IT IS THE BEST!!! I follow the directions exactly BUT do not add the oil since it may affect shelve life. Otherwise, oh my gosh!! ;) I also make this in pints and use it as the sauce for my homemade pizza."

Reviewed Aug. 24, 2014

"Maggie35....the lemon juice is for the purpose of making sure the acidity of the sauce makes it safe for water bath canning. Most varieties of fresh tomatoes are acidic enough without the additional acid. Your sauce is fine. :)"

Reviewed Aug. 23, 2014

"The sauce is great but I forgot to add the lemon juice, will this be o.k.?"

Reviewed Aug. 23, 2014

"I made this sauce last year for the first time and it became a family favorite. This year I have made it 3 times for the winter use and to share with family. I do have a hint. Cook it in a large roaster. More cooking surface for evaporation and it Does not scorch on the bottom. So easy and good."

Reviewed Aug. 19, 2014

"I have made this sauce for two years now and everyone raves about it and enjoys when I treat them to a jar of it as a gift."

Reviewed Aug. 18, 2014

"This is my third year making this sauce. My husband loves it and my children don't leave my house without taking a jar. I also omit the oil as others have. Unfortunately while canning this the other day, I realized after filling four jars that I inadvertently used lime juice instead of lemon juice. I did use lemon juice for the rest of the jars but was wondering if the lime juice would be ok or do I need to empty out the four jars with lime in it."

Reviewed Aug. 16, 2014

"I am very glad to have a half decent recipe to can, however I am used to making fresh sauce with my own recipes, for canning purposes I can't do that. This is a decent sauce but it's rather lackluster. With all if the great reviews maybe my hopes were to high. Saying all that though, if you are used to eating store bought sauce this recipe is a HUGE step up."

Reviewed Aug. 12, 2014

"Yes, use your herbs from the garden. At least double the amount called for, then go according to taste."

Reviewed Aug. 10, 2014

"Just making this sauce now. Im wondering if anybody has used fresh spices. I have all of the spices growing in my garden and it would seem a waste not to use them."

Reviewed Aug. 5, 2014

"CiCiB, here is some info on pressure canning homemade spaghetti sauce...

and there are NO dumb questions."

Reviewed Aug. 5, 2014

"OK Really dumb question. What changes do I need to make to can this in a pressure canner? times and pounds pressure for canning please.

Thank you in advance for any help."

Reviewed Aug. 2, 2014

"Is it safe to substitute Olive oil for canola oil? How much is recommended - sounds like many people omitted oil?"

Reviewed May. 11, 2014

"This was my first attempt at making spaghetti sauce from tomatoes from the garden. It is wonderful! It has completely replaced store bought sauce for us. Very tasty and healthier for us. I will definitely be making this every year now!"

Reviewed Oct. 4, 2013

"Best ever... so impressed."

Reviewed Sep. 29, 2013

"I have been canning for over 37 years and this is the best spaghetti sauce recipe I have made. I have so many tomatoes this year from the garden that I was so thrilled to find this recipe. Thanks for having this available."

Reviewed Sep. 22, 2013

"Oh MY! I just canned this recipe today and it was delicious. I used the abundance of tomatoes from my garden - omitted the oil and added 5 ribs of celery chopped fine (just because i remember seeing my grandmother do that years ago when making sauce). I got 7 quartz and an extra pint that I will use for dinner tomorrow! Thank you for posting this."

Reviewed Sep. 20, 2013

"Excellent sauce! I used half beefsteak and half Roma tomatoes and really like the blend of the tomatoes for canning anything that is a sauce. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!"

Reviewed Sep. 19, 2013

"Excellent tasting sauce! I left out the oil as it's my understanding that oil in canning is not safe. Otherwise, I followed the recipe to a T except for adding a little extra garlic as my family loves it. This will be part of my canning every summer. :)"

Reviewed Sep. 17, 2013

"What a great tasting sauce. Very flavorful. Didnt read about the oil which I thought was too much anyway. Made 2 batches the same day and the sauce was perfect, not salty or greasy.l lI use the recipe as as a mainstay.

Used beefsteak and the next batch ill use Roma to see the difference."

Reviewed Sep. 16, 2013

"Tried this recipe in the summer, and then ended up making it again because it was such a hit. My boyfriend used to not like spaghetti but after having this canned recipe he thoroughly enjoys it!"

Reviewed Sep. 1, 2013

"Followed the recipe except for the oil after reading the other reviews. It turned out excellent. I have never canned spaghetti sauce before but had a lot of tomatoes from the garden this year. I used both roma and beefsteak tomatoes and it gave it a great flavor. I got 13 pint jars out of the first batch and am making a second batch now. Thanks for the great recipe!"

Reviewed Aug. 29, 2013

"This recipe is super easy to put together. And, my family LOVED it! The only comment my daughter had that was not favorable was, "it tasted a little salty". I'm making my second batch today - and will try it with about 1/8 C of salt. Otherwise - it's GREAT!"

Reviewed Aug. 18, 2013

"SO delicious and easy to make. My whole family was very impressed!!"

Reviewed Aug. 15, 2013


I would like to make this but not sure what kind of tomato to use? Any suggestions?
Thank you"

Reviewed Aug. 15, 2013

"I would like to make this but not sure what kind of tomatoes to use? Should they be Roma or something like Beefstake?"

Reviewed Aug. 15, 2013

"This was my first time canning my own spaghetti sauce & my family loved it. Just made a couple of changes. I omitted the oil & seeded the tomatoes & added 1 tblsp. of dried Italian seasoning for extra spice. We like our sauce smooth so I used an immersion blender. I cut the recipe in half & still got 10 pints of sauce. This is definitely a keeper."

Reviewed Nov. 24, 2012

"Easy enough, but was very weak. I was planning on giving these away as Christmas gifts, but will use my back up instead."

Reviewed Nov. 3, 2012

"I gave this recipe a 4 star not because of any flaw in the taste but because of the oil in the ingredient list. Ladies, please DO NOT add the oil to thei recipe unless you are planning on freezing it. Oil is not shelf stable in home canned products. If you want the oil in it, perhaps you can add it when you heat it up. Having said all that, the recipe is really good without the oil. I only added one can of the tomato paste because my sauce was plenty thick without it. I also used my emersion blender to smooth out the sauce because I do not like chunks in my sauce. Taste wise, this recipe is great and I wll definately make it again."

Reviewed Oct. 17, 2012

"This was awesome! I added cumin, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, and more basil. Already made a second batch since the first didn't get canned!"

Reviewed Oct. 2, 2012

"Made this and it worked out great. Tastes so good. I got 10 quarts worth.

What I changed was that I did NOT add the canola oil, as another reviewer suggested.
I used about 12 cloves of garlic and I crushed them in my garlic press.
& I used four fresh hot peppers instead of the crushed red pepper flakes because I had them from my garden. I could have added more since they didn't make the sauce hot at all.
AND I put the sauce into pints and half pints. So I put 1 Tbsp of lemon juice in the pint jars and 1/2 Tbsp in the half pints. I processed them for about 30-35 minutes in a boiling water bath.
I learned to not put the lemon juice into the hot jars first. I now know to put in some sauce, THEN the lemon juice. Two jars cracked before I changed my ways."

Reviewed Sep. 10, 2012

"I accidently added the lemon juice to the mixture to boil.....will it still cook up right?"

Reviewed Sep. 9, 2012

"I made half the recipe using San Marzano tomatoes and added extra garlic and herbs. I did not seed the tomatoes and only cooked it for 2 1/2 hrs. and it was thick and made 4 qts. A meatier tomato would probably yield less juice. You could also drain the tomatoes in a colander while peeling them."

Reviewed Sep. 6, 2012 Edited Aug. 11, 2015

"Certainly. It should freeze very well."

Reviewed Sep. 6, 2012

"Can I just make is as the recipe says and freeze it? I have never canned anything and not sure exactly how to do it."

Reviewed Aug. 19, 2012

"Great flavor!!! I saved calories by omitting the oil and still have a delicious tasting sauce. I also seeded my tomatoes and that made the sauce much thicker. But instead of cooking down the tomatoes first (as one reviewer had suggested), I quartered & seeded them and put them in a bowl. Once in the bowl, I mashed them with my hands and then strained them through a collander a couple times before adding them with the other ingredients. I ended up with 1 qt. and 4 pts. of tomato juice that I also heated and canned. Once I added the rest of the ingredients, I cooked it for about 5 hours in my crockpot before canning it. I only yielded 5 qts. and a little extra due to all the juice I extracted. I hope to make a few more batches with the rest of our bounty and give some as gifts at Christmas time with a box of pasta!"

Reviewed Jul. 31, 2012

"I have a comment re tomatoes being low acid & need to be canned in a pressure canner which is not true. Acid needs to be added to tomatoes & can be safely for boiling water bath canner. read this:"

Reviewed Jun. 29, 2012

"I didn't quite understand what the oil was for. I left it out and still had a good product. I seeded my tomatoes to make sure the sauce was thick, so this was more time consuming, but worth it I think. I also added diced celery. I followed the rest of the recipe. We loved the flavor of the spice combination. I plan on making another batch this weekend."

Reviewed Sep. 7, 2011

"I gave the recipe a 4 since it is delicious but we did have some issues along the way......

We followed the recipe except we added mushrooms and we used Olive oil in place of canola. The spices are an excellent mix and we really love the flavor. The problem we had is with the sauce thickening, after 5 hours we still have juice rather than sauce. We ended up adding 2 additional cans of tomato paste and we cooked the first batch for 7 hours. I took some advice from my mother-in-law for the second batch and added only the tomatoes to the kettle and boiled them down for an hour. We then removed 7 cups of the juice before adding all the remaining ingredients. We ended up adding 2 additional (so 6 total) jars of tomato paste but the second batch did only take 5 hours to cook. We only got 7 quarts from each of our batches, not sure how we ended up with 2 less than the original recipe poster.
We did love the flavors and are making a third batch tomorrow!"

Reviewed Sep. 6, 2011

"Connie, I agree, the standards for canning do not include canning with a cup of oil. Plus, I don't think two tablespoons of lemon juice is enough with all those low acid vegetables.

for the poster who forgot the lemon juice, I don't think I'd eat it. However, if I were inclined to use it, I'd be sure I boiled it hard for at least 10 minutes to be certain I destroyed any botulism spores."

Reviewed Sep. 5, 2011

"Easy to make and really good. I've got 14 quarts in my cabinet now. Thanks for the wonderful recipe."

Reviewed Sep. 3, 2011

"I just made spaghetti sauce for the first time. I have always made salsa with our tomatoes and this year decided to try making spaghetti sauce. So far I love this recipe!! I did however add a few more spices to the mix and I still tasted excellent! The only worry I have is, while pouring the spaghetti sauce into the jars to seal, I remembered that I'd forgot to put the lemon juice into the jars!! I know it's for the acid levels, but I want to know if the sauce is still going to be good or will it make you ill? I really hope I don't have to throw out the sauce."

Reviewed Sep. 2, 2011

"This sounds great! I have been making my own sauce for 40+ yrs & never though of canning it. I always freeze my sauce. I'm going to try this."

Reviewed Aug. 22, 2011

"I love this recipe. Great taste. To make my sauce thicker I de-seeded my tomatoes by cutting them in half horizontally after being peeled and sticking my finger in the seed cavity so that the seeds squirt out. We like our sauce chunky, so I used some tomatoes that weren't quite ripe. They don't cook down to mush. I also added some mushrooms to my sauce."

Reviewed Aug. 19, 2011

"My son and I canned a double batch today substituting a few ingredients and adding a few things. We Used a Kitchen Aid with a strainer attachment to save time with the seeds and skins. We also heated the oil in a frying pan to rid any chance of botulism. Cool before adding to the mixture. Very nice for the upcoming winter months, especially when pouring over our banana hot stuffed peppers. We start that tomorrow as soon as my wife brings home the cheese, sausage, barley, etc. I have a very good recipe so we can stock away for the winter months. Thank you for this great dish.

Semper Fi"

Reviewed Aug. 14, 2011

"This recipe is a bit worrisome for me with the addition of oil. Anything canned with oil or meat, needs to be processed in a pressure cooker to ensure higher heat to kill the botulism-producing spores that can survive boiling water temps. no matter how long they are boiled. The only safe way is to raise core temps to 240 - 250 degrees F.

Tomatoes are a low acid food already, and should really be process with a pressure cooker. I do see that you added alot of lemon juice to raise the acid level, but I wouldn't want to take the chance."

Reviewed Sep. 7, 2010

"Thanks for this recipe! We have been four batches total the last two weekends. We have always made salsa before with our tomatoes, and this year we decided to try spaghetti sauce. Love the spice combo in this recipe. The first week we followed the recipe as is (except for adding mushrooms) ;the second week, I drained the tomatoes and doubled the tomato paste as we like a thicker sauce. We also cooked the sauce in a roaster the second weekend, which cut the simmering time to around two hours. I cooked some Sunday night with hamburger and was very happy with the results. My husband ate it as sloppy joes, and my sons and I had it over penne. We may make another batch this weekend!"

Reviewed Jul. 23, 2010

"I can a lot , and grow different varieties of tomatoes in my garden. This recipe is what i have been waiting for. I think i can modify it into a garden variety by adding diced celery, carrots, and mushrooms to it when i make the sauce to can. I would have to split the sauce into 2 batches for that.

Before heating and serving the sauce for dinner, i could saute some sausage or ground turkey, hamburger, or even some chicken cubes to make it a meaty sauce."

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Wine Pairings

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.