Minnesota Mix is a delicious, aromatic stewed tomato mixture including celery, onion and pepper.
Use it as a base for baked pasta dishes, casseroles, rice dishes, curries, soups and stews, etc.
Once you get used to the convenience of having it on hand, you won’t want to be without it. Make it at the end of summer when tomatoes are being sold cheaply in quantity. You can use paste tomatoes, or regular slicing type tomatoes, or a mixture of both.
Usually mixtures such as this require pressure canning, but this recipe was developed and tested by the University of Minnesota Extension service to be safe for water-bath canning. (It was also further tested by the National Center for Home Food Preservation.)
If you would like a product similar to this that was developed for pressure canning, see “Stewed Tomatoes and Vegetables” in the Ball / Bernardin Complete Guide (2015 edition), page 378 OR “Stewed Tomatoes” in So Easy To Preserve (2014 edition), page 59. (See also for pressure canning: Tomatoes with okra.)
You may wish to double this recipe to get a full canner load of quarts / litre sized jars: if so, just do your calculations on paper first before proceeding so that you aren’t trying to do mental gymnastics in the thick of things.
- 1 The recipe
- 2 Minnesota Mix
- 3 Processing
- 4 Reference information
- 5 Cooking from canning recipes
- 6 Recipe Source
- 7 Safety check
- 8 Freezing Minnesota Mixture
- 9 Nutrition information
- 10 History
Jar size choices: Either ½ litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart)
Processing method: Water bath or steam canning
Yield: 6 x ½ litre (US pint) jars
Headspace: 2 cm (½ inch)
Processing time: Half-litres (pints) 40 minutes; litres (quarts) 50 minutes
Yield: 6 x half-litre jars (US pint) or 3 litre jars (US quart)
- 3 kg tomatoes (12 cups / 6 ½ lbs. Measured after peeling and quartering.)
- 75 g green pepper (coarsely diced. ½ cup / 3 oz. Measured after prep. 1 medium-sized green pepper. )
- 75 g onion (coarsely diced. ½ cup / 3 oz. Measured after prep. 1 medium-sized onion.)
- 125 g celery (coarsely diced. 1 cup / 4 oz. Measured after prep. 1 large stalk. )
- lemon juice (bottled. OR citric acid)
Peel and quarter the tomatoes.
Wash, core, seed and chop the green pepper.
Peel and chop the onion.
Wash and chop the celery.
Mix tomatoes, pepper, onion and celery together in large pot.
Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile to each half-litre (pint jar) you will be using add either ¼ teaspoon citric acid or 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice; OR if using litre (quart) jars, add either ½ teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice.
Pack tomato mixture hot into jars.
Leave 2 cm (½ inch) headspace.
Debubble, adjust headspace.
Wipe jar rims.
Put lids on.
Process in a water bath or steam canner.
Process ½ litre (US pint) jars for 40 minutes; process litre (US quart) jars for 50 minutes for altitudes up to 600 metres / 2000 feet. See table below.
Though it would be safe to season the mixture with dried seasonings such as salt, pepper, or dried herbs, it probably is best to leave it plain as the idea is for it to be a flexible base that you can take in a zillion directions with flavouring when you go to use it.
The reason bottled (as opposed to fresh) lemon juice is called for is that it provides a guaranteed acidity level for safety.
Boiling water bath or steam canning
Tomato mixture is to go into jars piping hot. Steam-canning cannot be used as an option for litre / quart jars as the processing time would be over 45 minutes; 45 minutes is the safe cut-off time for steam canning lest some models of steam canners run out of water.
For processing times for altitudes over 600 metres / 2000 feet, you will need to contact the Minnesota Extension and ask them.
There are no tested pressure canning times, so you must water bath (or its equivalent, steam canning), or use one of the similar tested recipes noted at the top of this page that were designed for pressure canning.
|Jar size||0 to 600 m (1,001 - 2,000 ft)|
|½ litre (1 US pint)||40 mins|
|1 litre (1 US quart)||50 mins|
How to peel tomatoes.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
More information about Sugar and Salt-Free Canning in general.
More information about canning tomatoes in general.
Cooking from canning recipes
Burtness, Carol Ann. Tomato Mixture – Minnesota Style. University of Minnesota Extension. Revised 2014 by Suzanne Driessen. Accessed January 2019.
- Left out the 3 teaspoons of salt. They are not needed for safety. Salt seasoning can be done as appropriate at time of use depending what recipe or dish you are making. You can add the 3 teaspoons of salt or (non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub) back in if desired.
Freezing Minnesota Mixture
Want to freeze this instead of canning it? Go ahead!
We asked the Minnesota Extension AnswerLine if they had any specific freezing advice. They said,
The Minnesota Tomato Mixture will freeze just fine. In general, we recommend you preserve no more food than you will eat in a year so yes, the 8 to 12 months [Ed: use by freezer date, for optimum quality] is correct…. You may want to consider using freezer bags. They conveniently stack flat in your freezer and do a very good job of keeping ice crystals from forming on the inside of the bag.” Minnesota Extension AnswerLine to Randal Oulton. 13 November 2017. Email on file.
Ed: to be clear, you can of course freeze for far longer. As long as it’s frozen, it’s safe. Freezer dates are meant to indicate date after which optimum quality on some products may start to diminish. For those who wish to freeze in re-usable containers instead of single-use disposable plastic bags, that’s fine. Follow the freezer headspace recommendations over at the National Center.
Per 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz):
- 198 calories, 43 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 5 points
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
An earlier version, as recent as 2006, apparently did not call for acidification as it does now. The guidelines were revised in 2014 by Suzanne Driessen, Extension Educator — Food Safety. It’s possibly then that the acidification was added. Challer, Barb. Stewed Tomatoes Discussion Thread on rec.food.preserving. 30 April 2006. Accessed January 2016.