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How to Make and Can Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch

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Sarah is a homemaker and stay-at-home mom who enjoys writing about motherhood, healthy living, finances, gardening, and all things homely.

How to Make and Can Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch

How to Make and Can Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch

As a homemaker, feeding my family healthy, organic, and minimally processed foods must sometimes take a back seat to our needs for frugality. So when I discovered that I could have my sauce and eat it too by making and canning my own spaghetti sauce, I was hooked. However, it took a few tries to get my recipe just right. I started looking at existing sauce recipes, and while they had their merits, they were missing the bold, robust flavors I was looking for. Over time, I developed my own recipe—the one I'm sharing with you today.

Imagine giving an Italian dinner basket with a loaf of homemade French bread, fresh noodles, a pint of sauce, and a bottle of wine as a gift for an anniversary or birthday gift for a friend, or the look on your family's face when they take that first bite of real sauce. I haven't bought commercial spaghetti sauce in over 3 years, and you won't either once you try your hand at making your own.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

3 hours

1 hour 30 min

4 hours 30 min

10–11 quarts of sauce and juice


  • 20 pounds tomatoes, use a combination of meat and juicing tomatoes
  • 6 medium onions, diced
  • 1 head garlic, pressed
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 bunch each oregano, parsley, and basil, chopped
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups shredded zucchini, (optional)
  • 4 cups diced red bell pepper, (optional)
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  1. Blanch tomatoes in small batches for 2 minutes, or until skin spits easily when pierced with a knife, and immerse in ice water. Core and peel tomatoes and set in extra-large stock pot set over medium heat. Stir tomatoes often. Meanwhile, continue blanching, coring and peeling the rest of the tomatoes. Tip: Squeeze first several tomatoes to release their juices so that tomatoes will not burn. You may halve or quarter tomatoes to speed up cooking time, but this is unnecessary.
  2. Once all tomatoes are in the stock pot, add onion, (optional bell pepper or zucchini), garlic, salt and sugar. Continue cooking over medium-high heat, stirring frequently and crushing tomatoes with the wooden spoon, for 15–20 minutes. Tip: For a smoother texture, puree mixture using a handheld blender after 15–20 minutes. Otherwise, just crush well.
  3. Add lemon juice, oregano, parsley, and basil and cook 15 minutes longer. Strain out and reserve juice until sauce reaches desired consistency. Tip: Reserved juice make delicious tomato soup. Pour juice into pint jars or freeze to preserve.
  4. Pour sauce into quart ball jars and process for 30 minutes in a water bath canner. Label jars and store for up to 1 year.
Puree sauce for smoother texture.

Puree sauce for smoother texture.

Put jars in water and heat to boiling.  Boil for 30 minutes.

Put jars in water and heat to boiling. Boil for 30 minutes.

How to Make Tomato Soup From Juice

  1. Pour 1-pint tomato juice in a 2-quart saucepan and heat to boiling.
  2. Sprinkle a dash of baking soda over the juice.
  3. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of corn starch and 1 cup of milk.
  4. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

How to Use the Sauce

  1. Brown 1 pound ground sausage or hamburger while noodles are cooking. Drain fat off and add sauce. Reserve 1 cup water from noodles before straining.
  2. Mix water into the sauce. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Toss with noodles.

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© 2013 Sarah

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