Marinara sauce is made with a few simple pantry ingredients. This marinara sauce for canning is made with diced onion, garlic, tomato puree, and spices.
Homemade spaghetti sauce is full of flavor, easy to make in large batches and perfect for home canning or freezing. This tomato sauce recipe is great for meals that are prepared ahead.
Homemade pasta sauce is made with simple ingredients in about 20-minutes and jars will last on pantry shelves for up to 18-months. Canning marinara sauce is so easy you’ll never want to buy store-bought sauce again!
Home canned marinara sauce is easier to make than you think! It gives you fresh, preservative free sauce all-year long. You’ll love this marinara sauce with Sausage and Peppers too!
Water bath canning is a safe and effective canning method for this marinara sauce recipe. This marinara sauce recipe has been well-tested for pH levels to ensure it is properly home canned.
Since the exact acid levels in tomatoes can vary quite a bit depending on whether they’re fresh or canned, the tomato variety, where you live and the time of year we highly recommend starting with canned tomato sauce. Brown sugar cuts the acidity of the tomatoes and creates an overall more balanced pasta sauce.
Why this recipe works
- Simple to make with easy to find ingredients
- Stock your shelves with your own homemade pasta sauce, saving money and less trips to the grocery store.
- No preservatives or unnecessary additives. All-natural ingredients.
- Home canned marinara sauce will last for up to 18-months in a cool, dry space.
What you’ll need
- Extra virgin olive oil – Cook the onions to in hot oil over medium heat. The olive oil gives this sauce a great flavor.
- Yellow or sweet onions – chopped
- Garlic – Use minced garlic to add a pop of garlic flavor. You can either mince your own or save time and buy minced garlic in the refrigerator in the produce section.
- Water – Use warm water and whisk with the tomato paste to create the base for this sauce.
- Tomato puree (canned) – Canned tomato puree is recommended by the USDA because the pH is controlled and citric acid is added as a natural preservative.
- Tomato paste – Gives you a burst of rich tomato flavor.
- Brown sugar – Helps get rid of the acidity of the tomato sauce.
Not everyone waits for perfectly ripe tomatoes to make homemade spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce. Quality canned tomato puree, onions, garlic, brown sugar, water, and spices will achieve the perfect consistency for this tomato sauce.
Are you growing a vegetable garden like we are? Check out our vegetable garden and raised beds along with tips on how to grow summer produce. We use many of our tomatoes in homemade pasta sauce and even make homemade BBQ sauce.
How to make Marinara Sauce with fresh tomatoes
Nearly each day we harvested tomatoes from our vegetable garden. They were washed with cold water, stems removed, and most finished ripening on our kitchen counter near the window. When they were perfectly ripe, cut into quarters, and placed into freezer zip-style bags.
Freeze the bags of tomatoes until you have enough to process. With this many tomatoes to process, we want to work smarter- not harder.
For processing all of the fresh tomatoes, we used a Squeezo food mill and an outdoor burner to cook them in a large stockpot. Cook the tomatoes until softened and it’s easier for them to go through the food mill.
With the Squeezo food mill, tomato juice and pulp comes down the drip tray and collected in a large pot. While, skins and seeds get discarded.
We grew about 15 tomato plants this year in our vegetable garden. The two varieties we planted were Beef Steak and Better Boy. Both varieties are heirlooms our grandparents planted and make great homemade pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes!
Sealed Mason jars of homemade pasta sauce will last 18 to 24 months in a cool and dry environment.
Can spaghetti sauce be water bathed?
Yes! Fill the sterilized jars, leaving proper head space, wipe rims clean, twist on lids and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. This spaghetti sauce recipe does not need to be pressure canned, since the pH has been tested.
How to make marinara sauce
Step 1: In a 12 to 14-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are softened. Stir occasionally with a spoon. Add the garlic, stir and cook for a few minutes.
Step 2: Add the water, tomato puree, tomato paste, brown sugar, oregano, fennel, basil, salt, and black pepper. Use a metal whisk to mix well and remove any lumps.
Step 3: Adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Simmer over low to medium heat until desired thickness is reached, stirring occasionally to keep it from scorching.
Step 1: Steam fresh tomato slices in a large pot with a few inches of water. Cook until softened.
Step 2: Process the softened tomatoes through a Squeezo or food mill.
Step 3: Collect the tomato juice and puree in a large pot. Discard the skins and seeds.
Homemade pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes
Step 1: Follow the sauce recipe below.
Step 2: In addition to those ingredients, add 8 cups fresh tomato juice/puree mixture. Add 2 additional cups of water. 1 additional cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon additional each of salt, black pepper, ground fennel, basil, and oregano.
Step 3: Whisk together ingredients and let simmer over medium to low heat until desired thickness is achieved. (Follow directions below for canning tomato sauce)
This will give you about 20-22 pints of tomato sauce, depending on the thickness.
To make a meat sauce, simply brown one-pound of ground beef, pork, or turkey. Add a jar of sauce to the sauce over low heat to warm it up.
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Homemade Marinara Sauce
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large yellow or sweet onions, chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups water
- 12 cups tomato puree (canned)
- 3 (12-ounce) cans tomato paste
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons ground fennel
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- In a 12 to 14-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are softened. Stir occasionally with a spoon. Add the garlic, stir and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the water, tomato puree, tomato paste, brown sugar, oregano, fennel, basil, salt, and black pepper. Use a metal whisk to mix well and remove any lumps.
- Adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Simmer over low to medium heat until desired thickness is reached, stirring occasionally to keep it from scorching.
To Freeze Marinara Sauce
- Ladle sauce into plastic quart deli containers, let cool, cover and place in the freezer.
Canning Marinara Sauce
- Ladle into sterilized glass Mason jars, leaving a ½-inch head space. Use a canning funnel to make it easier to ladle sauce into jars.
- Wipe the rims clean with a clean, damp paper towel. Place lids on fingertip tight. Process jars in a water bath canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
- Carefully remove the jars from the water bath and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
Important details for Canning Homemade Marinara Sauce:•Wipe the rims of sterile jars clean with a clean, damp paper towel. Jars will NOT seal if the rims of jars are not clean! •As jars cool, the bubble in the center of Mason jars will be sucked down naturally. Do NOT ever touch the bubble to push it down. If you do, you’ll never know if they seal or not. •Let jars sit for 24 hours. Then use a clean damp kitchen cloth to clean jars. Unscrew the band a little to let air under it. •Store the sealed jars in a cool, dry place for up to 18-24 months. Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator. •You can reuse the jars and bands. But, you cannot reuse the seals. You can buy new seals for jars easily. Should you prefer a less sweet sauce, you can add brown sugar a little at a time and adjust to your liking.
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