Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce

sauce in ball jar

Preserving Method: Water-Bath-Canning

Makes 14 pint jars or 7 quart jars

Everything tastes better homemade and Ball®’s Tomato Sauce is no exception. This timeless sauce is the perfect base for so many summertime favorites. Add some to pasta with fresh herbs for a family dinner or mix in a little horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and lemon juice for a flavorful Bloody Mary mix.


  • 45 pounds tomatoes (about 125 to 135 medium)
  • Ball Citric Acid or bottled lemon juice

In This Recipe

1. Wash tomatoes under cold running water; drain. Remove core and blossom ends from tomatoes. Cut tomatoes into quarters.

2. Simmer tomatoes in large saucepan until they are soft, stirring to prevent sticking. Purée tomatoes using an electric food strainer or food mill to remove peels and seeds. Return purée to saucepan. Cook purée, uncovered, over medium-high heat until purée thickens, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook until volume is reduced by one-half.

3. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use, do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside with bands.

4. Add ¼ teaspoon citric acid or 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice to a hot pint jar; ½ teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to a hot quart jar. Ladle hot sauce into hot jar, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Clean jar rim. Center lid on jar and adjust band to fingertip-tight. Place jar on the rack elevated over simmering water (180̊F) in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.

5. Process pint jars 35 minutes or quart jars 45 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.  Label and store jars.

*Increase processing time: 5 minutes for 1,001 to 3, 000 ft.; 10 minutes for 3,001 to 6,000 ft.; 15 minutes for 6,001 to 8,000 ft.; 20 minutes for 8,001 to 10,000 ft.

Pairs well with: Fresh Pasta