Mexican Tomato Sauce

A delicious, tangy tomato sauce with a bit of heat to it. From Ball home canning.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Sauce, Tomatoes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Yield 4 half-litre (pint) jars
Calories 71 kcal


  • 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 1/2 lbs / about 15 large)
  • 75 ml lime juice (bottled. 1/3 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. 1/4 cup / 1 oz)
Metric - US Customary


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Put mixture through a food mill, using fine screen.
  4. Put sauce in pot or pan with a very wide surface area to speed evaporation -- Ball suggests even a wide skillet.
  5. 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.
  6. Wash and chop cilantro, stir in.
  7. Adjust taste if desired with dry seasonings.
  8. Jar size: half-litre / pint or smaller.
  9. Put hot sauce into heated jars.
  10. Leave 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace.
  11. Debubble, adjust headspace.
  12. Wipe jar rims.
  13. Put lids on.
  14. Process in a water bath canner or steam canner.
  15. Process jars for 40 minutes. Increase time as needed for your altitude.