This Mexican tomato sauce makes a great cooked salsa for Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, rice dishes, etc.
This recipe is from the Ball All New Book (2016).
Many people were not comfortable with using the chicken stock this recipe calls for in a home-canned product to be water-bathed. Here, we’ve swapped it for tomato juice.
This can also be frozen instead of canned.
The USDA offers a similar recipe, Mexican Cooking Sauce which is pressure canned.
If you wish to double or triple the batch, do the math first on paper.
Jar size choices: Half-litre (pint)
Processing method: Either water-bath or steam canning
Yield: 4 x half-litre (pint) jars
Headspace: 2 cm (½ inch)
Processing time: 40 minutes. Adjust time for altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.
Mexican Tomato Sauce
- 250 ml tomato juice (1 cup / 8 oz)
- 300 g onion washed, peeled and chopped (2 cups / 10 oz / 2 large)
- 2 kg tomatoes (paste-type. 4 ½ lbs / about 15 large)
- 75 ml lime juice (bottled. ⅓ cup / 3 oz)
- 2 teaspoons salt OR non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub
- 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
- chipotle chiles (1 or 2 in adobo sauce. Optional.)
- 6 cloves garlic washed, peeled and chopped
- 30 g cilantro (chopped. Aka fresh coriander. ¼ cup / 1 oz)
- Put all the ingredients from the tomato juice down to and including the garlic in a pot that's at least 6 litres / quarts big.
- Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes or until onion is soft. Stir from time to time to ensure there is no scorching.
- Put mixture through a food mill, using fine screen.
- Put sauce in pot or pan with a very wide surface area to speed evaporation -- Ball suggests even a wide skillet.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let simmer until it reaches a consistency you are happy with. To get the 4 jars that Ball says the recipe yields, that should be about 30 minutes, until it's the consistency of a thin ketchup.
- Wash and chop cilantro, stir in.
- Adjust taste if desired with dry seasonings.
- Jar size: half-litre / pint or smaller.
- Put hot sauce into heated jars.
- Leave 2 cm (½ inch) headspace.
- Debubble, adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Process in a water bath canner or steam canner.
- Process jars for 40 minutes. Increase time as needed for your altitude.
How to water bath process.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
How to steam can.
For salt substitute, Herbamare Sodium-Free was used as it is non-bitter and non-clouding.
- For the tomatoes, you can use Roma or any plum-type tomato.
Instead of 6 cloves of garlic, you can use 3 teaspoons of minced garlic from an oil-free bottle of minced garlic.
- If you don’t have a food mill, then you can process the mixture in a food processor, then press through a sieve.
- Alternative seasonings: chipotle powder, chili powder, teaspoon or two of dry pure cocoa powder for a mole-type taste, few drops liquid smoke, dried chile flakes.
- Instead of buying a whole can of adobo peppers just to use one or two, a good alternative might be the chipotle powder mentioned above, or a few drops of a hot sauce such as Tabasco along with a few drops of liquid smoke.
- Instead of the fresh cilantro, you could try a tablespoon or two of dried parsley.
- The weight shown on the cilantro is wet, after washing.
- Want to freeze this instead of canning? Freeze in straight-sided containers with about 1 inch (3 cm) headspace.
When you go to heat and use the sauce, you may wish to stir a teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder in for some added background flavour.
Mexican Tomato Sauce. In: Butcher, Meredith L., Ed. The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. New York: Oxmoor House. 2016. Page 208.
- Changed chicken broth to tomato juice (many people are uncomfortable with the idea of anything meat-based going into a water-bath canner, for safety reasons. Plus, the tomato juice has the added benefit of being a bit thicker than stock and therefore reducing the simmering time.)
- Changed fresh lime juice to bottled lime juice for assured acidity.
- Added seasoning suggestions including dried ground cumin.
Cooking with canning
Per 1 cup / 250 ml / 8 0z
- 71 calories, 669 mg sodium
Without salt, sodium is 100 mg per cup
* Nutrition info provided by MyFitnessPal
Can this recipe be canned in quart jars, similar to the Basil and Garlic Tomato Sauce? What would processing time be? Thanks!
It’s okay to use smaller jars than a recipe calls for, but never larger jars. See: Jar sizes