The Best Homemade Canned Pasta Sauce

This homemade pasta sauce recipe is so good. It is the best pasta sauce recipe that I have found.

You can use fresh tomatoes for this recipe, but you can also use frozen tomatoes if you have some that need to be used up. 

In the fall when I am out of canning jars, and I’m tired of canning, I sometimes toss the leftover ripe tomatoes into plastic bags. Tie and freeze.

For some recipes, I prefer freezing them first because the skins come off really easily after freezing. Here are tips on how to freeze tomatoes for sauce.

Why Make Your Own Homemade Pasta Sauce?

Growing tomatoes in your garden are one of those vegetables that are extremely versatile.

Tomatoes can help to lower your grocery budget when you make your own tomato soup, salsa, pasta sauce, and pizza sauce.

Not only do you have full control over the ingredients that get put in the sauce, but you also don’t need to rely on grocery stores for tomato-based foods. 

Make your own homemade spaghetti, raise your own meat, make your own pasta and you have a delicious meal that you have completely made without outside resources. 

Self-sufficiency is super helpful in the times we live in.

This homemade pasta sauce recipe that I’ll be sharing today is a large recipe. I’ve halved it successfully many times, so I’ll share two recipe cards.

The first is a large recipe for large families. The second is a smaller recipe. It still makes about 25 cups of pasta sauce to can.

Canning can feel scary, but it is a lot easier than you’d think. Water Bath Canning is what I’ve done for years, but recently I’ve also started with Pressure Canning. That is the safest way to can foods. 

This recipe can be used anyplace you need a spaghetti sauce. The difference between pasta sauce and spaghetti sauce is spaghetti sauce usually has added meat. 

This pasta sauce recipe is versatile enough that you only need to add brown ground beef and you have a homemade spaghetti sauce. 

If you want to make homemade spaghetti sauce for canning, follow the directions below. Don’t add ground meat before canning.

While it is possible to can spaghetti sauce with meat, it would need to be pressure canned for longer times. 

To make homemade spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes without peeling, follow the instructions below. 

There is no peeling required for this homemade pasta sauce. 

How Can I Use Canned Pasta Sauce?

Homemade pasta sauce is not only used as a spaghetti sauce around here. I use it to make lasagna, spaghetti meat sauce, Chicken Parm, and even as a pizza sauce in a pinch. 

It tastes great in any recipe that calls for a tomato sauce. The spices in this recipe make it taste like an Italian restaurant. 

How Long Does Canned Pasta Sauce Last on the Shelf

When properly canned, pasta sauce can last from 1-2 years on the shelf. Make sure that you store it in a cool place, out of direct sunlight.

Never use canned foods if the lid is warped, dented, or unsealed. It needs to be properly sealed.

I make a large batch of this every year, and it’s always gone by spring. I would not recommend eating it after two years. It might still be edible, but the flavor and nutrient levels would not be as high.

frozen tomatoes

Can I Freeze It instead of Canning it?

This homemade pasta sauce recipe freezes well. Use it within 6-12 months if freezing. 

How To Make the Best Homemade Pasta Sauce

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This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe is far better than any you will find in the grocery store! An added benefit is the number of nutrients in home-canned pasta sauce versus the stuff in the grocery store.

Plus, there are no preservatives! All you get is fresh, healthy ingredients. 

Most of these spices you will find in your local grocery store. I’ve also linked some of them so you can find them more easily. The spices add a lot of flavor to this recipe.

Using paste tomatoes will help give a thicker sauce, but other tomatoes work well too.

You need a large stockpot for this recipe.


8 quarts of tomato puree

2 large onions

1/2 head celery

2 red or green peppers

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup sugar

4 tbsp. salt

3 tbsp. Parsley flakes

1 1/2 tbsp. Dried basil

1 1/2 tbsp. Oregano

1 1/2 tbsp. Garlic seasoning

3 tbsp. Roasted Garlic and Pepper Seasoning

3 tbsp. Greek Seasoning

1 1/2 tbsp. Epicure Poco Picante Salsa Spice

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

2 cups Tomato Paste


Wash fresh tomatoes. Cut into quarters without coring or peeling. Place into a blender or food processor, and blend well.

Pour into a sieve, and press through into a clean large bowl. Stir with a spatula, and press the mixture through the sieve to separate tomato skins and seeds.

Tapping the side of the sieve against your hand also helps the blended tomatoes to go through the sieve.

You can also use a food mill like this one to get the tomato puree. I don’t have one, so I always just use a mesh sieve. It works. Takes a bit longer, but that’s ok. 

Measure 15 quarts of tomato puree into a large pot (18 qt pot for this large recipe). Blend the onions, celery, and peppers in the blender as well. Add some tomato puree to make blending easier, and ensures you get a smooth sauce.

Sieve the vegetables, removing any skins. Add to pot. Boil for 30 minutes on a medium-low boil, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. 

Add the rest of the ingredients. Boil another 30 minutes. The tomato paste ensures that you get a nice thick sauce. When using small cans of tomato paste, you will need about 6.

Meanwhile, sterilize jars in hot water. Always use jars that are intended for canning. Don’t use off-brand canning jars.

Dry the jars completely before adding pasta sauce. Give the lids and bands a boiling water bath to sterilize. Dry them completely before using them as well.

Ladle into sterilized and hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Clean the rim with a dry towel, and cover with lids. 

jars of canned pasta sauce

How to Can Homemade Pasta Sauce

This recipe does not include lemon juice, so the best way to preserve this sauce is by pressure canning. Read about Pressure Canning vs. Water bath here.

Pressure Cooker Homemade Pasta Sauce

Using a weighted-gauge pressure canner, process 20 minutes for pint jars and 25 minutes for quart jars. Process at 10 lb for altitudes between 0-1,000 feet. Process at 15 lb for altitudes above 1,000 feet.

Follow all instructions in your pressure cooking manual. After removing the jars with a jar lifter, set them on a dry counter to cool.

Water Bath Canning Pasta Sauce

A boiling water bath as a canning method is not recommended by the safety gurus, but if you are a rebel canner, can this homemade sauce in a water bath.

Process for 40 minutes in a boiling-water canner for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.

Recommended equipment for homemade canned pasta sauce.

Large Stock Pot

Food Mill

Pint Canning Jars

Pressure Cooker

Jar Lifter

This easy homemade pasta sauce recipe is sure to please. It has a ton of flavour and suits well for a large variety of recipes.

homemade pasta sauce

Fresh garden tomatoes work great for this recipe, but if you have frozen tomatoes stored in the freezer, blending them is a breeze.

Let me know in the comments if you made it and how it turned out.

For more canning recipes, stay tuned for a Homesteaders Collection of Canning Recipes.

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