This is a delicious, pure 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
Yield: 9 x ½ litre (1 US pint) jars
Serving size: 125 ml (1/2 cup / 4 oz)
Fat: 1.6 g
- 14 kg tomatoes (30 lbs)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 175 g onion, finely chopped (1 cup / 6 oz)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 150 g chopped celery or green peppers (1 cup / 5 oz)
- 500 g fresh mushrooms, sliced (1 lb / optional)
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1½ tablespoons salt OR salt sub
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar OR 1 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 2 tablespoons dried marjoram (optional)
- 1 tablespoon dried basil (optional)
- 4 teaspoons dried parsley
- 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. OR whiz in food processor if you don't care about getting seeds out.
- Put oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, 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) 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|
|1/2 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, you must peel the tomatoes. 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. However, 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.
- Instead of 14 kg of fresh tomatoes, you could start with 12 litres of canned (either store or home canned), crushed tomatoes.1 If you feel it is too “dry” you could add another can.
- 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.
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 (1/2 cup / 4 oz):
- 88 calories, 315 mg sodium
Sugar and salt-free version
Per 125 ml (1/2 cup / 4 oz):
- 84 calories, 24 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2 points.
* Nutrition info provided by http://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
This follows USDA guideline of 1.25 kg tomatoes per litre crushed / 2.75 lbs per quart. 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. ↩