This home-canning recipe for Roasted Crushed Tomatoes is a bit of a cross between pasta sauce and crushed tomatoes. It’s a little thicker than crushed tomatoes, so you should be able to use it as a pasta sauce with just a slight bit of simmering in a pot. It’s delicious: it’s got garlic, onion, olive oil and oregano in it. Just a classic Italian combo!
This is an older recipe that has been carried forward in various Ball Blue book editions for some time now. The exact roasting procedure for the tomatoes that Ball suggested didn’t work as well for us as does the newer roasting steps they are using in their more newly-minted books. So the second time, we followed their more recent steps for the tomato roasting part. See Recipe Notes if you are interested.
This is a tested recipe from Ball. (Yes, it’s safe to use oil in tested recipes that call for it.)
If you wish to double or triple the batch, just do the math first on paper.
Jar size choices: Either half-litre (pint) jars OR litre (quart) jars
Processing method: Water-bath canning
Yield: 4 x litre (quart) jars
Headspace: 2 cm (½ inch)
Processing time: Either size of jar for 85 minutes (sic). Adjust time for altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.
Note: we haven’t listed steam canning as an option for the processing method as researchers recommend steam canning sessions no longer than 45 minutes for fear that some smaller models of steam canners may run dry.
Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
- 250 g onion (washed, peeled, chopped. 1 ½ cups / ½ lb)
- 6 kg Roma tomatoes (12 lbs)
- 4 bulbs garlic (sic)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon oregano (minced, fresh)
- 1 teaspoon salt (OR non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- lemon juice (bottled. OR citric acid)
- NOTE: See also our suggested alternative roasting process below under Recipe Notes.
- Peel onion, chop, set aside
- Wash tomatoes. Roast tomatoes on a grill or under a broiler, turning as needed, to blister all sides. Put the hot tomatoes into a paper bag, close the bag, and let the tomatoes sit in it for about 15 minutes.
- Peel tomatoes. In theory, the tomato skin should be easy to peel off now. (It wasn't: see recipe notes.)
- Core tomatoes, cut in half, seed them.
- Cut tomatoes into 2 cm (½ inch) chunks, add to a large pot.
- Place whole unpeeled whole garlic bulbs on a piece of tin foil. Drizzle the oil on them. Seal them in the foil. Bake in oven at 175 C / 350 F for 30 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Separate garlic cloves and peel.
- In your large pot, combine the onion, tomato, garlic cloves, and all remaining ingredients except the citric acid / lemon juice.
- Bring pot to a boil, then lower to medium heat until mixture is piping hot. (Caution: pot bottom can scorch easily.)
- Ladle hot tomatoes into heated half-litre (pint) OR litre (quart) jars.
- Leave 2 cm (½ inch) headspace.
- To half-litre jars, add ¼ teaspoon citric acid OR 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
- To litre (quart) jars, add ½ teaspoon citric acid OR 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Debubble, adjust headspace to 2 cm (½ inch).
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Process in a water bath canner.
- Process either size of jar for 85 minutes.
How to water bath process.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
For salt substitute, Herbamare Sodium-Free was used as it is non-bitter and non-clouding.
What is the shelf life of home canned goods?
Alternative roasting procedure
We found Ball’s suggested roasting and peeling method for this recipe to be labour intensive. The “paper bag” treatment left tons of skin stuff on and led to an hour or so of very frustrating pick-picking to try to get it off. So, the second time around making this, we borrowed the more straight-forward roasting methods that Ball is now advocating in its more recently published recipes. Here’s how we approached the roasting the second time around.
- TOMATOES: Wash tomatoes, core them. Cut in half lengthwise (top to bottom.) Use spoon and / or fingers to dig out seed sacs. Place tomato halves upside down on baking sheets lined with tin foil (for easier cleanup, optional.) Bake at 220 C / 425 F for approximately 15 minutes or until skins start to wrinkle and char. (Don’t roast past that, or the tomatoes will start to dry out. We’re canning tomatoes, not dehydrating them.) Remove from oven, let cool to be safe to handle. Then pinch peels and pull them upwards to remove them. Gather up tomatoes, chop. Put in pot. Pour into pot any juice on the tray.
- ONION: Take 1 medium and 1 small onion (equals 1 ½ cups when peeled and chopped.) Wash. Leave the peel on. Cut in half, place cut side down on tray to roast with the tomatoes as per above. Then, when cool, peel and chopp it.
- GARLIC: Roast it on trays with the tomatoes as per above.
- And then pick up recipe at step 10 above, where everything gets combined, etc.
- Instead of Roma, you can use another paste-type tomato.
- Yes, they mean whole bulbs of garlic, as in a bunch of cloves. Feel free to dial the amount of garlic back, or leave out entirely if your audience is not big garlic fans.
- The directions appear to have you adding the garlic cloves whole to the mixture. If you wanted to chop them up instead, that would be fine.
- Instead of bulbs of garlic, you could use 2 tablespoons minced garlic from a jar, skipping the oven stage and adding directly to the pot.
- Instead of fresh oregano, you could use half a tablespoon of dried.
- The citric acid / lemon juice, and the heat processing is what assures the safety of this recipe. Don’t skip either step.
- If you have a heat diffuser, you might wish to use it during the simmering stage to prevent scorching.
- The seasoning is something you can safely change to suit your taste, provided you stick to dried herbs. You could for instance use lime juice instead of lemon juice, and some ground cumin etc to give it a Mexican spin. (Lime juice is even more acidic than lemon juice, so you can safely make the swap in that direction.)
- We saved the tomato peels for dehydrating and then grinding into tomato powder.
- Roasted Roma Tomatoes. In: Ball Blue Book. Muncie, Indiana: Healthmark LLC / Jarden Home Brands. Edition 37. 2014. Page 33.
- Also appears in: Ball Canning Back to Basics. Healthmark LLC / Newell Brands. Birmingham, AL : Oxmoor House. 2017. Page 148.
- None to ingredients. For roasting procedure, have switched to a more modern roasting technique now being used by Ball in its other books.
Per 1 cup / 250 ml / 8 oz:
- 227 calories, 326 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 6 points
- Weight Watchers SmartPoints®: 9 points
* Nutrition info provided by MyFitnessPal
* PointsPlus™ and SmartPoints™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® registered trademarks.
Would there be any reason why I cannot add fresh basil?
You would want to find a tested recipe for canning a tomato product that calls for it, meaning also that it has been tested for it. Here’s why: https://www.healthycanning.com/home-canning-with-herbs/#Using_fresh_herbs
Just made this recipe for the first time using generic “plum tomatoes” from the market.
The roasting tips you gave instead of the paper bag method worked great. I found the tomatoes that had all charred came off like a dream. Some of the tomatoes that were on a lower shelf and didn’t completely char were harder to de-skin, so next time I’ll wait for signs of blackening on all tomatoes before removing them from the oven.
Looking forward to the taste test in a few months.
How much can I feasibly adjust the jar size, or not at all? For example would a 545ml jar be OK? Or is it even possible to go further and do something like 850ml? As long as I keep the 85 minute processing time is that appropriate?
We’ve written a whole page of guidance on canning with different jar sizes.
Really? Process in water bath for 85 minutes?????
That is correct, that is the required processing time that Ball’s labs determined.
Can I make this recipe plain, without garlic, olive oil, oregano, or onion? It’s one of the few crushed tomatoes recipes that allow for tomatoes to be seeded (I can’t eat seeds because of diverticulitis), so it would be a great basic crush tomato staple in my pantry.
Absolutely you can leave out the garlic, oil, oregano and onion. Do not omit the lemon juice: it’s there for safety.
Judith C Mingram
I’m just learning so please forgive the question. How thick can the tomatoes be after simmering? Can they be thick like tomato paste or like tomato sauce?
Recipe says to reheat the tomatoes to a boil. Don’t boil longer than that. The consistency of this will be more like a very thin sauce with large coarse chunks in it.
Can we use slicing tomatoes for this recipe? If so, what are the adjustments for tomato measurements or is it the same?
You might just need to roast them a bit longer to drive more water off.
Can this recipe be used in a pressure canner?
No. They did not release processing times for pressure canning. You can use your pressure canner as a water bath canner, or, use these USDA crushed tomato canning directions which do have pressure canning times: https://www.healthycanning.com/canning-crushed-tomatoes/