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Best homemade pizza sauce recipe ever! It is delicious, full of flavor, and super easy to make.
Of course, pizza sauce can be frozen, but this recipe teaches you step-by-step how to make home-canned pizza sauce from scratch. Using fresh tomatoes and herbs, this recipe will become a family favorite.
Canning your own pizza sauce recipe is much more healthy and affordable than store-bought, and by canning several pints at a time, you can stock your food pantry and have homemade pizza anytime.
What Kind of Tomatoes Make the Best Sauce?
We all know there are probably well over 100 varieties of tomatoes available. But what variety really makes the best sauce?
Tomatoes are one plant that takes some experimenting to determine what variety is best for you.
When I began gardening, I had no idea what variety of tomatoes to grow. But I did know homemade pizza sauce was one item I wanted to add to my home pantry. I found that many used various varieties. But for me, my favorite quickly became the Roma tomato. Here’s why:
- They are determinate, meaning they grow to 3-4-feet tall and produce. This works great in small spaces such as raised beds or containers.
- Roma’s are small meaty tomatoes without a lot of juice and seeds, which makes them great for quicker cooking and less processing time.
Another variety you may like to try is the San Marzano. This variety is indeterminate, meaning it continues to grow all season, so these must be trellised and pruned.
I found the San Marzano difficult to control in my raised bed gardens.
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Can I Use Canned Tomatoes?
Sure! Just a warning, as with anything else. Store-bought canned tomatoes do not taste as delicious as homegrown. But you can also can your own tomatoes and use them.
But instead of working hard to can a bunch of tomatoes to open and make homemade sauce, freeze them whole in bags, and they will keep for 1 year. I always freeze tomatoes and preserve them later – it makes them so much easier to peel too. This is also a great way to store them until you have enough for a full canning run.
If you cannot grow your own, I recommend picking up some from a local produce stand or a local farmer’s market.
How Do You Thicken Homemade Pizza Sauce?
The key to a thick sauce or paste is the amount of juice your tomatoes have in them. This is why I love to use Roma.
As I said, they are super meaty and excellent for cooking and making sauces. Simmering sauce on the stove for several hours helps to reduce the liquid too. Some describe adding cornstarch to their pizza sauce recipe, but I don’t do this.
The use of a thickener, such as corn starch, is not recommended. The only approved thickener for canning is Clear Jel. I don’t use either. Here is how I cook my pizza sauce down to being thicker.
RELATED: Use “The Complete Beginners Guide To Home Canning” and get comfortable with home canning.
Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe
Yield: 6-7 pints
- 6-7 pint mason jars (I use pints-great for making 2 pizzas; for single pizza-use 1/2 pint jars)
- Water Bath Canner
- Jar Lids and Rings (I use these)
- Canning Kit to include: jar lifter and canning funnel
What exactly is in pizza sauce?
- 15 lbs. Ripe Tomatoes (I use Roma)
- 6 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 3 large Onions, minced (about 3 cups)
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. Peppercorns, freshly cracked
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 4 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Oregano, ground
- 2 Tbsp. Basil, ground
- 2 tsp. Rosemary
- 2 tsp. Sea Salt
- Bottled Lemon Juice – 1 tablespoon per pint jar
Peel and puree tomatoes. To puree, I use this Hamilton Beach food processor. But, to peel tomatoes quickly, check out this easy way to peel tomatoes.
Mince onions and garlic (I use this Ninja food chopper and love it)
In a large stockpot or metal canner – saute’ onions and garlic in Olive Oil until tender.
Add pureed tomatoes and stir to mix. Then add in all dry ingredients and stir until well blended.
Cook on medium-low for approximately 2 hours until the mixture has reduced by half (thus creating a thicker sauce – the SECRET to a thicker sauce)
Simmer time will depend on the amount of juice in pureed tomatoes. It could take longer, but just continue to cook until you get to the desired thickness you prefer.
Once the sauce has simmered for a couple of hours or more, place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the bottom of each sterilized jar, carefully using a canning funnel, ladle sauce into hot jars, wipe the rim clean, and seal with a lid to finger tight.
Process in a water bath canner for 25 minutes. Then remove from the canner with a jar lifter and place on a towel to cool and leave undisturbed for 24 hours.
Next day, test seal, label, and store.
How Long Does Canned Homemade Pizza Sauce Last?
You’ll find yourself stocking your home pantry with this fresh homemade pizza sauce recipe. Once the lid seals properly, this homemade pizza sauce recipe can be safely stored at room temperature for 12-18 months.
This is the best homemade pizza sauce ever! Why not try it out on this healthy gluten-free Chicken Parmesan Pizza? My family loves this easy homemade pizza recipe. And I know exactly what is in the sauce. It’s a great feeling.
Another delicious recipe I’d recommend is my Low Carb Pizza Casserole Recipe.
More Canning Recipes:
Could I add tomato paste to the sauce to help thicken and deepen the flavor? Answer: Sure! You can do this, but be sure not to alter the processing time.
Could I use a food mill instead of cutting and peeling the tomatoes? Yes, a food mill can be used instead.
What headspace do you use, and does this change depending on the size of the jar? My headspace is 1 inch. Headspace does not change with jar size, and space should always be 1 inch.
Can I cook this pizza sauce recipe in a slow cooker? I would not advise using a slow cooker. It is not like a stove as far as heat. Getting to a safe simmer would take 7-8 hours and additional wait time to reduce the liquid. And then processing would not be safe. So, stick with the stockpot, so the ingredients get hot enough to be safely canned.
Learn From More FAQs
I was wondering after you add lemon juice and ladle the sauce into jars, is there a need to stir them before you put on the lids? Stirring is not necessary. The sauce will boil inside the canner, and it will all be mixed well.
I want to do the pizza sauce in small canning jars (it takes 4 small jars for 1 pint). How much lemon juice do I need for each jar? You want to use ¼-pint jars. They hold 4 oz each. So to do the math for a ¼-pint jar: 1 pint (16 oz) takes 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. A 4 oz jar (¼ pint) would take ¼ tablespoon of lemon juice. 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons, so you would need ¼ of 3 teaspoons. 3x.25=.75 or ¾ teaspoon per 4 oz jar. And NOTE – the processing time would remain the same.
What role does the salt play in the sauce- Can it be left out? Salt plays no role in canning. It’s an optional ingredient that is used only for flavor.
Do I have to peel the tomatoes? Yes. The tomatoes do need to be peeled. Here is a super-easy way to peel tomatoes.
I have no idea how to can. So can I freeze this pizza sauce recipe? Yes! you can freeze this pizza sauce recipe. You will follow the directions exactly for cooking and then put them into 1-pint jars and allow them to cool completely. Leave a “full” 1-inch headspace for expansion.
Once fully cooled to room temperature, place on clean lids and rings and put into the freezer. Pizza sauce will last about 8 months in the freezer. You can learn more about freezing foods safely in this Quick Start Guide to Freezing Foods.
Homemade Pizza Sauce For Canning
The best homemade pizza sauce for canning recipe ever! Made with all fresh ingredients, this made from scratch pizza sauce is a wonderful addition to the home pantry.
- 15 lbs. Fresh Roma Tomatoes
- 3 Large Onions, minced (about 3 cups)
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 6 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 tsp. Peppercorns, cracked
- 2 Tsp. Sugar
- 2 Tbsp. Oregano
- 4 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Basil, chopped
- 2 tsp. Rosemary
- 2 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 Tbsp Pure Lemon Juice (for EACH jar)
- Peel and puree fresh tomatoes, set aside.
- Mince onions and garlic; place both into a large metal stock pot with 6 Tbsp Olive Oil. Saute' in oil on medium until translucent and tender.
- Add tomato puree, mix well.
- Add remaining dry ingredients, stir to mix well.
- Bring pot to a boil, reduce heat to simmer on medium-low for about 2+ hours. (Simmer to reduce by at least 1/2 to create a "thicker" sauce; stirring occasionally).
- Once to desired thickness, add Lemon Juice to hot sterile jars, ladle to 1/2 inch headspace.
- Wipe rim with clean damp cloth, place on lid and tighten to finger tight.
- Place in water bath canner bring to a boil. Process for 25 minutes.
- Remove canner, place on towel on counter, allow to cool 12-24 hours.
- Check seal, label and store.
Herb amounts can be altered to your family preference. Processing time should not be altered.
Serving Size:2 Tbsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 20Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information isn't always accurate. This info is for informational purposes only. Please consult your doctor if you are following a strict diet or need additional information.
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120 thoughts on “Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe for Canning”
My pizza sauce recipe includes anchovies that basically melt into the olive oil.
Will the addition of anchovies affect the water bath canning for any reason?
The anchovies, even though they “melt” couldn’t be safely added to this recipe. They are a meat and would need to be pressure canned.
Can you use purée already canned? If you can how many cups?
I’m not 100% sure what “canned” you are referring to. If it is a sauce you have preserved yourself in your pantry, I don’t see why not. I’m not sure I’d use “store bought” the flavor would not be the same, but of course, you can always try it.
For the number of cups – just thinking out loud – this recipe makes 7 pints which is 14 cups, but then it is going to cook down by at least half to make it thicker. Therefore, you’d need to start with more than 14. I’m only guessing, I’d begin with 28-30 cups which is 15 pints or 7.5 quarts. I’ve never tried this, so if you try it, I’d love to know how it turns out.
I would like to can this in quarts. I’m thinking the processing time should be increased. How long would you recommend processing for quarts?
You should process quart jars for 40 minutes + the added time if you are at a higher altitude.
If freezing this sauce in ziploc bags do you still have to put in lemon juice?
Great question! I had to really think this one through. The answer is NO. The lemon juice’s purpose is to increase the acidity level of the tomatoes to make them shelf stable with preserved. But the freezer temperature will protect the tomatoes if you cook the recipe and put it in the freezer. It will store for about six months, though. So keep this in mind.
Thanks for reading,
This I have been making for the past 3 years now & love this recipe. I’ve only tweaked 1 ingredient & that is the amount of garlic! We use 2 bulbs of garlic instead of 8 cloves for a double batch( we LOVE GARLIC lol) & we make a double batch every time because everyone raves about my pizzas. Between this & my dough recipe I add garlic & Italian seasoning too, it’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing!
You have 25 minutes processing time for the Pizza Sauce, what altitude is that at?
This is for >1000 feet elevation. If you are above this you will need to add time to your recipe.
Hi there. I made and canned a double batch of your salsa yesterday but I would like to try your pizza sauce also. It states in the recipe that you need 15 lbs of tomatoes….could you tell me approximately how many cups that would be as I have no way of weighing the tomatoes? That would be very much appreciated. Btw…the salsa was perfection and can hardly keep myself from eating it all. Thank you for your advice, I have found it to be extremely helpful.
I’m so glad you like it! I agree, it is delicious. I’m guilty as charged. I’m terrible with “cups” since I do large amounts of canning. But I did google an answer to your question and found this link. I don’t know if it is totally accurate – and of course, the number of cups will vary based on the amount of juice. But this should give you a good idea estimation.
This is the scale I use from Amazon and it works great. I measure out 10 lbs, then another 5 lbs. etc until I get the amount my recipe calls for. Might I suggest you add this to your Christmas wish list? Maybe you will get one.
Thanks for reading and let me know if I can help with anything more.
Thank you for being so helpful. Indeed, I need to put that on my Christmas list. Thanks again for the recipes.
This pizza sauce recipe is wonderful! I have never made homemade pizza sauce, let alone for canning, and after making this recipe, I don’t need to try another! It is nicely seasoned and has just enough sugar to take away any bitterness from the long cooked tomatoes without being overly sweet.
I had a mixture of garden tomatoes. About a third were Roma and the rest were anywhere from smaller Early Girl to large heirloom Black Krim. I started with 18# as I knew I would be trimming extra off. I blanched mine to take the skins off, but I will try the freezing method on the next batch (there will be another one 😁). I cooked the tomatoes down a little bit, used an immersion blender to break down the chunks and then used an old fashioned food mill to get the seeds out.
After that I followed the recipe as written, cooked until it reduced by a half (which for me ended up to be overnight on 2 on the stove due to my juicy tomatoes) and canned 8 pints in the morning. I scraped the sides of my pot and ate every bit with the spoon! It’s THAT good!
The hubs wanted to can pizza sauce and we found a winner!
Thank you for creating a great recipe!
Just about to make a second batch with this year’s tomatoes. I printed the recipe this time and noticed that the sugar quantity in the print recipe is 2 Tablespoons and in the content area it is 2 teaspoons. I’m pretty sure that I only used 2 teaspoons last year and it was great. This shouldn’t make any difference in it’s preservation, should it?
Thanks again for an outstanding recipe!
Great catch!! You should use two teaspoons. I have a typo, and you found it. The answer to your question is no, which will not make a difference in the preservation. In this recipe, the sugar is for taste only.
Thanks for catching my error!
I just canned this sauce. However I just realized I skipped adding the lemon juice. Will this be a problem?
Don’t panic! Tomatoes can be canned without lemon juice, but many varieties today are less acidic (yellow, orange varieties), so the NCHFP “recommends” lemon juice to increase the acidity for safety. If you used red tomatoes, no need to open what you have canned, but if you can more, just be sure to add the lemon juice – just to be safe.
If you leave the tomato peels on and purée those in, will that affect the safety of the recipe if all other details in salt, acid, canning and ratios are followed?
Unfortunately, the peels will make it bitter and they are tough and it will not taste as good. I’m not a fan of it, but I do know others that remove most but not all the peels. If you have time, an easy way to peel them is to put them in the freezer for a day or two and let them freeze. Here is a post explaining how.
I used to work with a mennonite lady who used to wash, qaurter and freeze unpeeled tomatoes to use all winter long. I have tried it and it works great if you have a blender or nutri ninja…etc. If you find it a bit bitter….add a bit of sugar. 🙂
Have been canning for 35 yrs and I thought she had an awesome trick!
If you freeze your tomatoes ahead of time and cook them from frozen with the skins off, do you weigh them to get the 15lbs when frozen, or measure them another way once the water is drained out? I’m having a hard time getting good measurements from the frozen tomatoes.
I weight before I freeze them and put them into 1-gallon Ziplock bag. I use a sharpie marker and label each bag with how much it weighs. Then put them into the freezer.
Hi – I’m making this tonight, and will can tomorrow. I don’t have lemon juice but I do have key lime juice – will this work as a substitute? Thanks in advance.
No I’m sorry. You need to use real lemon juice. The acidity level is perfect for making sure your pizza sauce acidic levels are correct. I hope you can run out and pick some up. Happy Canning
I did run out and get a bottle of RealLemonjuice brand. The sauce is amazing – I’m about to start a second batch now. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Hello there! Tried your recipe and loved the result! I did have a problem though, since the peeled tomatoes were frozen, they weren’t able to puree completely so I had to go back and puree again when it thawed. This added to the simmer time, it was closer to 3 hours for a half batch. But the result was delicious! Do you allow time for the tomatoes to thaw before puree? Or add water to puree? Either way it was way better than using canned tomatoes, well worth the time, thank you!!
So glad you enjoyed it. I use a Hamilton Beech and blend in the stew pot itself. I do this several times as the tomatoes are simmering. I do not add water. This does increase the simmer time. But, the simmer time does vary – since it really depends on how thick you like the sauce. BUT – as you said, the result is delicious.
Hey there , I made this pizza sauce yesterday . I am new to canning. It turned out so good and I can’t wait to use it. However I am in a canning group on facebook. I posted about making this, a lady asked for the recipe so I shared your link….. She questioned the safety of using the amount of oil the recipe calls for. Since I am new to canning , oil being unsafe in canning was new to me… So I wanted to ask here since this is your recipe. Thanks Tiffany
Very good question and I am glad you ask. Yes, the amount of vegetable oil in in the recipe is completely safe. If ever in doubt about a safe canning recipe refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.
It is not safe to can a food that is “packed in vegetable oil” but this is being used as a flavoring for the vegetables and it is safe. The problem is when a food canned does not have enough acid. The tomatoes are an acidic food themselves and then you are also adding additional acid with the 2 tsp of lemon juice to each jar. All is safe. But glad you ask.
Thank thank thank you for making sauce from real tomatoes without can. Do you have homemade from real tomatoes pasta sauce?
You’re welcome! Thank you for reading my site. Here you go!!!! My homemade spaghetti sauce
Are you able to substitute the fresh tomatoes for canned tomatoes I don’t have a place to grow a garden but would love to try the recipe?
Yes, you could do this, but I think buying store bought canned tomatoes could be a bit costly and they would definitely not taste as good. Of course, you can go ahead and used canned tomatoes, but if I may make a suggestion… Wait until June or so, whenever tomatoes are “fresh” in your area, and then buy them fresh to make your pizza sauce. This would be much more cost efficient money wise and taste so much better. You don’t have to grow them yourself.
I would be very glad to help you when you are ready with fresh tomatoes. Just give me a heads up and we can correspond back and forth if you need help with working with fresh tomatoes. I’d love to know what you decide.
Hope this helps,
Hi, could I add tomato paste to the sauce to help thicken and deepen the tomato flavour?
I know not to alter the salt and lemon juice, just want to check on the tomato.
Yes, you can do this. I use Roma tomatoes which are pretty meaty and my pizza sauce stands like jelly. Not sure what variety you are using. So it may be that you need to simmer it longer if it is still runny. But adding paste will not harm the recipe.
Thanks for reading,
Could I use a food mill instead of cutting and peeling the tomatoes?
Sure, that would work too. As long as you are getting the peel off.
Thank you for this recipe, this looks really yummy. Two questions; what headspace do you use and does this change depending on the jar size? And, do you think I could cook and reduce the sauce in a slow cooker, just leave it on until the sauce had reduced by half? With 2 little kids and one on the way, it would be really helpful if I could set and forget and just check and stir on the odd occasion. Thank you kindly.
My headspace is 1 inch. It doesn’t change on the size of jar. I would not advise using a slow cooker. It is not like a stove as far as heat. To get to a safe simmer would take 7-8 hours and then additional wait time to reduce. And then processing would not be safe. So, stick with the stock pot so the ingredients get hot enough to safely can.
Sorry, this is not what you wanted to hear I know.
I’m interested in trying your canning recipe but I wanted to give it a test run first in a single batch. Do you happen to have a single batch recipe for this pizza sauce? Thank you so much!!
This recipe is a single batch recipe. If you mean single jar batch, I don’t have one for that.
I will be using quart jars, so would I use 2 tbs. lemon juice in each jar?
Yes, 2 tablespoons is correct for a quart jar.
Hi and thank you for the detailed recipe. I can’t wait to try it. I am growing Roma’s in pots and the plants are heavy with fruit. But I doubt that they will all be ripe at the same time. How would you suggest I harvest and hold them until I have a recipe’s worth ripe? Also, do you see any problem with me halving the recipe as long as I don’t mess with the processing time?
Thank you again,
There is no problem with halving the recipe and YES be sure to keep the processing time the same. As far as holding onto them until you are ready to can them…. I freeze all my tomatoes before canning. Rarely, do I can when I harvest. Here’s an article I wrote on how I do it. They will hold for a long while in the freezer. I actually canned tomatoes from last season (2019) in July this year. I needed to make room for the years harvest.
If something doesn’t make sense, feel free to ask questions.
Excellent recipe!! I made your recipe for pizza sauce yesterday and canned six pints. It was delicious. I am making another batch today. Thanks so much for sharing!!
I noticed in the directions you mentioned celery and celery seed. I do not see any where in the recipe celery or celery seed listed in the ingredients only in the directions.
Yes, I did used to put celery seed in my recipe, but no longer do. I thought I had removed this already, but apparently missed it. We found that it tastes much better on pizza without the celery – so I’ve opted to leave it out.
Of course, you could try it both ways and see what you think.
Diane I was wondering after you add the lemon juice and ladle your sauce in to the jars ,is there a need to stir them before you seal them.
No need to stir. The sauce will boil inside the canner and it will all be mixed well. Great question!!
August 5, 2020
I want to do the pizza recipe in the small canning jars (it take 4 small jars for 1 pint).
How much lemon juice needs to be for each jar?
How long for the boiling bath?
I’m on my own so a pint is too much for me to use at one time.
Can you email me with the info?
You are wanting to use ¼ pint jars. They hold 4 oz each. So to do the math for the ¼ oz jar: 1 pint (16 oz) takes 1 tablespoon lemon juice. A 4 oz jar (¼ pint) would take ¼ tablespoon lemon juice. 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons, so you would need ¼ of 3 teaspoons. 3x.25=.75 or ¾ teaspoon per 4 oz jar.
And then the boiling time remains the same. The processing time never changes with canning recipes.
Hi, I have a whole bunch of homegrown sweet 100 tomatoes and I was wondering if I could use these to make your pizza sauce. I’m planning on freezing the sauce in small bags. Thank you for your reply!
Sure you can! You can use any variety of tomatoes for making this pizza sauce. They will be juicier than paste tomatoes, but simmer the sauce until you are pleased with the thickness and put it into your jars.
I’m looking forward to making your pizza sauce recipe! I have huge San Marzano’s in my garden this year! Is there a measured amount of onion and garlic to can it safely? I know onions can sometimes vary in size. Also, I noticed that in one of your ingredient lists (with the picture instructions), you have celery seed listed, but it’s not listed in the ingredient list with just the text.
Do I have to peel the tomatoes?
Yes the tomatoes do need to be peeled. Here is super easy way to peel tomatoes.
Do you remove the seeds or make the sauce with the seeds of the tomatoes?
I dont remove the seeds. Im not a fan of the extra time it takes and they are so small. My family is fine with them.
I made this with double the salt and half the sugar. It’s a knock out!
It sounds like you are using all fresh herbs. Is that correct?
I am using herbs that I grow and dry myself, but if you don’t grow your own and purchase your herbs, these will work just as well. It will taste great – promise.
I love the recipe, if I was to use cans of San marzano tomatoes how many would I need. Is it equal the same 15llbs.
Yes, you will need the 15 lbs. for the recipe. I would use my best judgement for the liquid that is in the can with them. Most of the time, store bought cans have a lot of water added for volume. So maybe drain most of it off from each can. Don’t include the weight of the water in your volume.
Either drain them in a strainer or gently press the lid down on he can to hold tomatoes in and empty water into bowl for the compost.
I made the sauce but I don’t have the recommended granite ware canning set, how can I do this safely without that actual set?
The granite ware set is what I have, but you may purchase any brand water bath canner you would like to own. I’m just partial to this one and owned it for several years. As far as all the utensils that goes with the “kit” same thing, they can all be purchased as separate pieces in the canning section of your local big box store. In my area we have Ace Hardware, so you may have something like that. You can use a regular large stock pot with a lid. It just needs to be deep enough to completely cover the jars by a couple inches of water. You can also put a towel in the bottom of the stock pot to use as a rack. The jars don’t need to touch the bottom and the boiling water needs to be about to rotate around all sides of them, including the bottom. Just be really careful getting them out after processing. When I began canning years ago, I used a stock pot for a couple of runs and then a friend “lended” me hers and it was so much easier that a stock pot. The rack in them has handles to safely and easily get the jars out and such. Do what you can – just make sure you follow the recipe exactly for processing.
Does this help,
If using fresh herbs do you recommend doubling the amount of each herb used?
I would not recommend changing the recipe. Follow the recipe as it and if you prefer additional fresh herbs add them when making the pizza. NOT changing the canning recipe.
What role does the salt play in the sauce? Is it just for flavor or preserving? My husband is on a low sodium diet and I would like to make the sauce low sodium. Is that possible?
This is a great question. The salt does play a part in the preserving. It changes the pH level of the tomatoes so the sauce can be water bath canned instead of pressure canned. Sorry about that. But please don’t leave it out.
I have no clue how to can. So can I make this and freeze it? And Can I use dried herbs?
Tomato’s are canned by what I think is the easiest form of canning – Water Bath. If you decide you’d like to learn how, I’d be glad to guide you and help you with questions. Just feel free to reach out. I remember when I began, it was scary, but I endured and so glad I did.
But to answer your questions here – YES! You can freeze this recipe. You will follow the directions exactly for cooking and then put into 1 pint jars and allow to COOL completely. Leave a “full” 1 inch headspace for expansion.
Once it completely cooled to room temperature, put on clean lids and rings and place in the freezer. This will last about 8 months frozen. When you go to use it, set it out and allow to thaw at room temperature or put in the frig overnight to thaw. I don’t recommend putting it in the microwave to thaw.
If your are interested, I have a freezer book available that I wrote. It has a lot of details about freezing various foods and how long they last in the freezer.
So do you have to water bath them after or can? After cooking you can’t just seal in jars? As you can tell I’m new to this…sorry
Don’t apologize for asking questions. This is the way to learn. I’m glad you are asking.
After the sauce has simmered for a couple hours or to the desired thickness you like, ladle it into hot jars, and water bath for 25 min. Water Bath is a form of canning. To learn more about water bath canning, I highly recommend this book: The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. It’s a great book with all kinds of info in it. It is my go to all the time. I’d love to help you learn how. Feel free to reach out with questions at any time.
Can I add more sugar to this? Or add brown sugar as well without compromising the safety of the recipe for canning? We like sweet pizza sauce.
Great question! Yes, you can add more sugar. The lemon juice increases the acidity of the tomatoes so it is safe to add extra sugar. It will, of course, change the flavor so do it in smaller increments until you get the flavor you like and then make a note on your copy of the recipe for next time.
I’m glad you are trying the recipe and you’ll love it!
I’m afraid I forgot to put lemon juice in my jars before processing. All the jars sealed properly. Do you think the jars are safe or should I open all the jars and re-process?
Oh no! I hate to say it because I know it was a lot of work. But to be on the “safe side” I would open them up and reprocess. The reason is the lemon juice helps with the acidic levels and keeps the sauce from spoiling. It is air-tight, but I would hate even more to lose all the jars to spoilage. It is a gamble if you don’t.
Don’t beat yourself up – I did the same thing last year and reprocessed 21 jars. At the time, I was flustered, but now I’m glad I did it.
Currently making this recipe but I plan to can in 1/2 pint jars. Does this alter the canning time or amount of lemon juice needed to the bottom of the jars?
Thank you in advance!
Great question! Yes it does. For half-pints you need only 1/2 TBSP of lemon juice in each jar and the processing time will be cut to 20 minutes after it begins to boil. I’m glad you are trying it, you’ll love it!!
In the recipe you say 1 tbl per pint. You responded to this comment with 1/2 tea per 1/2 pint. I’m guessing either the recipe should be 1 tea or the response to this person should state 1/2 tbl. I don’t want to add a tbl to each pint if the recipe is the one with the wrong measurement. Please advise. Thank you!
Good eye! Thank you for catching this. The recipe is correct. It is 1 TBSP per “pint.” I have double checked my “chicken scratch recipe” as we say in the south, it is- 1 TBSP per pint. Feel free to let me know how it turns out.
Would I be able to use the inversion method rather than the water bath?
Inversion canning is not deemed safe canning. I would not recommend doing this. The tomatoes need to go through a full processing to kill off molds and bacteria spores that may be in the sauce. Inversion does not “process” it merely heats the food and then it is put into jars and allowed to seal upside down. The seal is not tight and can allow growth of molds, etc. I would not recommend this method at all. Water bath canning has been approved and this is the method I strongly recommend.
Thanks for asking,
Has anyone tried freezing instead of heat processing?
So excited to try this sauce !!!! Made it yesterday only to realize I only had quart jars left. I did not cook it as long it’s like a marinara sauce consistency doubled basil and garlic used fresh herbs no rosemary. Planning to use it for meatballs and pastas yummy !’n
Sounds delicious! So glad you tried it. Fresh herbs are the best. My dehydrator runs nonstop drying herbs this time of year.
I used tons more garlic and spices because that’s what I like but this recipe is a keeper. You made canning my first pizza sauce a breeze. Thank you!
What do you mean pressure canning is not necessary since using salt and lemon juice? Is it ok to use fresh lemon juice?
Hi Mary Jo,
Since tomatoes are now considered a low acidic food and low acidic foods would normally need to be pressure canned, the lemon juice makes them no longer necessary to be pressure canned. The recipe calls for both canning salt (in the sauce itself) and lemon juice – into each jar.
Since the juice is being used before the lid goes on, this raises the acidic level to make them safe for water-bath canning, so pressure canning is not necessary.
No, I’m sorry, you can’t use squeezed fresh lemon juice – the acidic level is not high enough. You need a Lemon Juice “concentrate.” So you’ll need to purchase a bottle of “100% pure lemon juice from concentrate” at the market. A very common brand name is “REAL LEMON” it comes in a green bottle and has a really large yellow lemon on it. Just make sure that what you purchase is 100% pure from concentrate.
Hope this makes sense. If not, reach back out. AND- I’d love to know how it turns out.
I just realized I forgot the lemon juice but they are already sealed. Can I just use them quickly or did I just ruin a whole batch of sauce?
Oh no, but No not ruined! I would put them in the frig and use up quickly. Some say you don’t need to use lemon juice at all but unless you used heirloom, organically grown tomatoes, I prefer to be safe. Store bought tomatoes these days are so manipulated for quick, out of season growth and they have lost most of their acidity as well as their nutrition. I prefer to be safe and keep it in the frig. Use it quickly though. Good Luck
Dianne, your recipes sound wonderful! I’ve never canned spaghetti or pizza sauces. This will be my first go at it and I will use your recipes as soon as I get enough tomatoes ( so far I have 14 pounds waiting in my freezer). My question is…are the recipes for spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce basically the same with just a few changes in spices? I did see the process time was increased for quart jars vs pint jars as well.
The spices for the 2 are different and they taste totally different too. Both are simmered for a long while, but pizza sauce takes much longer than spaghetti. You’ll want your pizza sauce the more like a “spread” to smear on your crust where as the pizza sauce will still contain more liquid to “pour” over noodles or meatballs. The simmer time is an estimation depending on how much liquid is in your tomatoes. Mine varies all the time. I use my best judgement by scooping a ladle full and pouring it out of it. I simmer to the texture we like.
I put spaghetti sauce in quart jars and pizza sauce in pints. Here’s why – when I make my homemade Chicken Parm Pizza or other pizza’s I have to make 2. Each pizza gets 1 cups sauce so a pint jars work great. Quarts are too big (4 cups). And of course it takes a lot of spaghetti sauce for a meal – so it goes in quarts.
I hope the helps. If not, let me know, I’m very glad to work with you.
After canning and before opening to use for the 1st time, can they be stored in the pantry or do they have to be stored in the fridge from the get go? Also, how much lemon juice should you put in the bottom of the jars? Just enough to cover it or is the a certain amount?
I’m so glad you ask this. Yes, the pizza sauce can be stored in the pantry as long as the lid is “sealed.” It only needs to be refrigerated AFTER is it opened.
For the lemon juice – you will need to add 1 tablespoon to the bottom of each pint jar.
Lori In your recipe you never say when to add in the lemon juice. I am guessing right before you ladle the sauce into the jars after stirring in well. I buy my lemon juice at the Dollar Tree and it, a large bottle. Recipe sounds great and I can’t wait for tomato season so I can make some
I’m with you on tomato season, it’s not far away now.
Thank you so much for asking about the lemon juice. Yes, I put it in the bottom of the jar and then ladle the hot sauce in the jar and continue.
Let me know when you make it, I’d love to know how it went.
Can you use dried spices. Plus is that bottle lemon juice. I read when using bottle juice you have better control of the acid in the tomatoes. Looking forward to trying this recipes.
Sure you can use dried herbs and spices. All mine are dried too. I think I have an image in the post that shows little ‘”piles” of dried herbs for the recipe. If you don’t grow and dry them yourself, absolutely – you can use purchased herbs and spices. I did this for a long time myself until I was able to get adequate space to grow my own. I now dry the majority of my cooking herbs.
Yes, I buy and use bottled lemon juice. I buy the largest size I can get and use it for a lot of stuff. The great thing about lemon juice is, as long as you keep it refrigerated, it will stay fresh and safe to use. It cost’s less to buy it in larger quantities, so that’s why I do.
I’m excited that you plan to try the recipe. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask.
How would you make it differently for spaghetti?
I don’t use this for spaghetti, but you are in luck, here is my delicious spaghetti sauce recipe for canning. You’ll love it!
Recipe looks delicious but wondering how much sauce comes from the tomato’s. I’d like to use whole canned San Marzanos. How many cans would it take you think.
I think I understand you asking about using tomatoes that are already fully canned. Are these in pints or quarts? Or possibly in store bought cans? It would be really hard to “guess” how many cans you need. But here is what I would do…..
Get yourself an accurate set of digital kitchen scales, zero the bowl out of them, open up cans and weigh them out until you have 15 lbs. My scales go up to 5 lbs so I fill the bowl 3 times to get 15 lbs. You’ll be cooking most of the juice out of them, this is what makes a thick sauce.
Does this make sense? If not, feel free to email or respond here.
Thank you so much that was a big help. I am using 28oz cans of the San marzano
I loved this recipe! How long does it last if stored in the freezer?
What long does the sauce last if stored in the refrigerator?
That’s a great question. If this pizza sauce is not “properly canned”, it will last only 2-3 days in the refrigerator. It contains no preservatives or fillers that we normally get when purchasing from the store shelf. It is completely all natural. You could adjust the recipe and make a batch for each meal if you have no way of canning it for proper preservation. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.
Diane, could I use honey instead of sugar? Trying to stay away from cane sugar
Great question. And yes you can. I’ve used honey in canning jams and jelly’s but honestly I’ve not used it in the pizza sauce. The sugar is strictly for taste so using honey would not affect the recipe. You’ll need to use your own judgement of the amount but of course still follow the recipe exact otherwise for safety.
Let me know how it turns out.
Thank you for this recipe! It was my 1st time making pizza sauce and it turned out amazing! I doubled the garlic and basil and used fresh basil and garlic. It made 7 1/2 pint jars. 🍅🍕🍅🍕
That is so exciting! I’m so glad the recipe helped. It’s an awesome recipe that is so easily adapted for individual taste. Love the idea fresh basil and garlic. This makes all the difference.
What is the approximate yield of this recipe
Thanks for asking. So very sorry I didn’t include this. I normally end up with approximately 6 pints of sauce. Of course it does vary by a bit… Hope this helps. Enjoy!
I have been looking on Pinterest for the perfect recipe and I think I have found it! We had ten gallons of a combination of romas, early girl, and big boy tomatoes that we ran through our Squeezo yesterday so I could make spaghetti sauce today. Growing up my mom only ever canned the tomato purée but still had to turn it into spaghetti sauce later. I wanted to just have to make it one time. Many other recipes in Pinterest had conflicting information. Yours was very straight forward, thanks!
I’m so glad you like my recipe. I have used it for a very long time and had great success with it. My kids love it and that’s saying a lot when you have “kid approval.” Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
.Are the measurements for dried spices or chopped fresh spices?
That’s a great question. They are for dried spices. When I am canning, I prefer to use dried ingredients.
Sorry I didn’t make that clear, I will edit my recipe.
Thanks for asking,