This is a delicious, pure home-canned spaghetti sauce recipe for home canning from the USDA.
It’s a plain, simple and mild sauce, not too spicy, ideal for those with simpler tastes. It should be a hit with pickier eaters, such as kids or some seniors.
One hidden advantage of making your own spaghetti sauce is that you may can it in different sized jars, so that you are able to open just the right amount for the recipe you want to use it in: no more wasted spaghetti sauce moldering in the fridge because of that meatloaf recipe that wanted half a cup!
You can make the regular version (88 calories, 315 mg sodium per 125 ml / 4 oz) or make it sugar and salt-free (84 calories, 24 mg sodium.)
For a version of this with meat, see Spaghetti Sauce with Meat (requires longer processing time in pressure canner.)
See all pasta-sauce recipes for canning.
Jar size choices: Either half-litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart)
Processing method: Pressure canning only
Yield: 9 x half-litre (US pint) jars
Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)
Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
Processing time: Half-litres (pints) 20 minutes; litres (quarts) 25 minutes
- 14 kg tomatoes (30 lbs. As purchased.)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 175 g onion (finely chopped. 1 cup / 6 oz)
- 5 cloves garlic (washed, peeled, minced)
- 150 g celery (or green pepper. Chopped. 1 cup / 5 oz)
- 500 g mushrooms (fresh, sliced. 1 lb / optional)
- 2 tablespoons oregano (dried)
- 1 ½ tablespoons salt (OR non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub)
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons marjoram (dried, optional)
- 1 tablespoon basil (dried, optional)
- 4 teaspoons parsley (dried, optional)
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- Hull and peel the tomatoes. Quarter tomatoes. Boil 20 minutes, uncovered, in large pot, then press through sieve or food mill.
- Put oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, and mushrooms (optional). Let cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and the mushroom slices have shrunk. Add to the tomatoes.
- Add the seasoning from the oregano down to and including the black pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and let simmer uncovered until reduced by half. This will take 2 to 3 hours, so you may want to do this at off-peak energy rates if they apply where you live.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Ladle into either half-litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart) hot jars.
- Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Put in pressure canner.
- Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
- Processing time: Half-litres (pints) 20 minutes; litres (quarts) 25 minutes
Processing guidelines below are for weighted-gauge pressure canner. See also if applicable: Dial-gauge pressures.
|Jar Size||Time||0 to 300 m (0 - 1000 feet) pressure||Above 300 m (1000 ft) pressure|
|½ litre (1 US pint)||20 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
|1 litre (1 US quart)||25 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
How to peel tomatoes.
How to pressure can.
When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.
More information about Salt-Free Canning in general.
More information about canning tomatoes in general.
- Yes, peeling the tomatoes is a safety control factor rather than a food preference here. The processing time was developed based on the assumption that you reduced the bacterial load by peeling the tomatoes.
- The USDA warns not to increase the amount of onion, pepper and mushroom. At time of use, when you open a jar of this spaghetti sauce, you may adjust it however you need to for the exact dish you are making. For instance, you could stir in a jar of drained, home-canned mushrooms or peppers.
- Instead of green pepper, you can use 125 g (1 cup / 4 oz ) of finely chopped celery. But you can’t use both, owing to the warning above about increasing vegetables.
- It is absolutely fine, for picky eaters, to omit any or all of the following: onion, garlic, mushroom, pepper (or celery). Why it’s fine is that you are decreasing the density by doing so. It’s only in increasing density that we get our fingers slapped.
- You could prep and cook the veggies the day before and refrigerate overnight to make sauce day a little easier.
- Instead of 4 teaspoons of dried parsley, you can use 4 tablespoons of fresh, minced.
- Acceptable safe ways to adjust flavouring at the end would include adding onion powder, garlic powder, salt sub, black pepper, chile flakes, liquid stevia, more brown sugar, oregano, marjoram, basil, parsley, etc.
Using canned tomatoes
Instead of 14 kg (30 lbs) of fresh tomatoes, you could start with 12 litres (US quarts) of canned (either store or home canned), crushed tomatoes.
The suggestion for canned comes from: Lewis, Sarah. Canning Soups and Sauces. UAF Cooperative Extension, Juneau District. Family and Community Development Faculty. November, 2014. Page 4.
The suggestion also follows the USDA guideline of 1.25 kg tomatoes yielding a litre of crushed (2.75 lbs. yielding a quart.)
If you feel it is too “thick” you can always add another can — it’s okay to lower the density in pressure canning recipes.
If you do use canned, the same simmering guidelines apply: until volume is reduced by about half and it’s an appropriate thickness for a pasta sauce.
Spaghetti Sauce without Meat. In: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 3-13.
Spaghetti Sauce without Meat. In: Andress, Elizabeth L. and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Bulletin 989. Sixth Edition. 2014. Page 69.
- Swapped fresh parsley for dried;
- Added basil and marjoram suggestion;
- Reduced oil from 4 tablespoons to 2 tablespoons (to reduce Weight Watcher points)
Per 125 ml (½ cup / 4 oz):
- 88 calories, 315 mg sodium
Sugar and salt-free version
Per 125 ml (½ cup / 4 oz):
- 84 calories, 24 mg sodium
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com