How to Can Crushed Tomatoes

August is one of my favorite months because some of my favorite vegetables are in season … sweet corn, green beans, and tomatoes! We grow our own tomatoes and I buy the rest at the local farm market.

Then I get busy preserving them so I can enjoy their full flavor all year long (grocery store veggies aren’t quite as good). Today I’m going to share how to can crushed tomatoes so you can try it yourself.

It’s not as hard as you might think!

How to Can TomatoesThe more you can, the easier it gets!

And it is oh-so-worth-it when you load your cupboard with food you’ve canned yourself.

Tomatoes ready for canning and preservingWe have a variety of tomatoes in our garden that are ripening.

The Roma Tomatoes at left in the back are from the farm market.

We only grew one plant of Romas this year and they’re not quite ripe yet.

Cut an X on bottom of tomato before boiling to make it easier to peelRoma tomatoes are perfect for canning because they’re meatier than most tomatoes.

For canning, be sure not to use tomatoes with bruises or bad spots.

I peel my tomatoes before canning them. Cut a small x on the bottom of the tomato with a good chef knife.

This will make it easier to peel them.

Boil tomatoes for 30-60 seconds to loosen skins for peelingDrop the tomatoes in a sauce pot of boiling water for about 30-60 seconds.

The skins will start to split and soften making them easier to peel.

Giving tomatoes an ice bath after briefly boiling them to make them easier to peelTransfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

This also cools them so you can handle them easier.

Skinning tomatoes for canningThe skins will slip right off. If part of the skin is stubborn, simply take a peeler to it.

Remove the green stem and then discard skins and stems.

Remove seeds from peeled tomatoes to prepare them for canningCut the roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Remove seeds with your fingers.

Now it’s time to quickly stew them a bit and then crush them.

Stewing and crushing tomatoes for canningHeat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in large saute pan and add the tomatoes.

Boil for about 5 minutes, crushing them with a masher while they cook.

Crushed tomatoes in Ball jars ready for boiling bathFill sterilized 1-quart canning jars with the crushed tomatoes.

Leave 1-inch head space. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt to each jar.

Secure lids tightly onto each jar. I use wide-mouth jars – it’s easier to add contents to the jars.

Ball jars are easy to remove from boiling water with a canning basketPlace jars in a canning pot filled with water.

(A plastic canning basket makes it easier to remove the jars from the boiling water.)

Canned tomatoes getting a boil bathOnce the water starts to boil, leave the jars in the boiling water for 45 minutes.

Remove jars from boiling water when time is up and let them cool on wire racks.

The top of the jar lids should be concave and not move when pressed with your finger.

How to Can Crushed TomatoesWhen jars cool, you can store them in the cupboard.

If you have leftover crushed tomatoes that don’t completely fill a jar,

store them in a plastic container in the fridge and make soup or spaghetti sauce with it.

And that’s how to can crushed tomatoes.

Here are some recipes for your canned crushed tomatoes …

Spicy Green Tomato Chutney

Cappellini with Tomato Cold Sauce

Fettuccine with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

Spaghetti with Tomato and BasilSpaghetti with Tomato and Basil

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Basil SauceSpaghetti Squash with Tomato Basil Sauce

Crabmeat Ravioli RecipeCrabmeat Ravioli

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  1. You make it sound easy. I’ve never canned tomatoes, but always make sauce and freeze it in bags. But honestly, it’ snot the same sense of satisfaction. So I think I’ll do it “old school” this year and can some (when mine are ripe).

  2. First time with a garden this year. I have already made strawberry jam, tomato & onion jam, pickled beets, pear jam, peach & apricot jam and dilly beans. First time I ever canned too. My tomatoes are not ripe enough yet but I will can those too. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. I pinned for later and have been wanting to do this myself for some time. I like your tip that Roma tomatoes are meatier and best for canning.

  4. I will be printing and trying this. Thanks for always sharing wonderful tips and things with your readers.

  5. Thanks for the article. There are a few other tips I have after canning for 40 years. I use a jar remover to take the jars out of the boiling water. They are readily available in the stores with canning supplies. The lids will make a popping sound in the first few minutes after removal from the boiling water. This is the point when the center of the lids creates the dimple showing it is sealed. If after the jars are cooled to room temperature the dimple was not created, refrigerate the product and use soon. When the jars are cooled to room temp, remove the ring and wipe down the jars with a rag.
    Maximize the space in your pot with as many jars as it will hold. After filling the jar with product, wipe off the rim with a damp, clean paper tower. Then place the lid which as been kept in a pot of hot water on the stove and screw on the ring, but not overly tight. There is a nifty magnetic wand you can buy to remove the lids from the water. When seeding tomatoes, I have found that if I seed them over a strainer over a bowl, I can get quite of lot of very tasty and very healthy tomato juice. Just rub the jelly like stuff in the strainer with your fingers. Once I learned this it seemed a shame to discard such deliciousness.

  6. I dont peel tomatoes anymore. I put them in a blender,after washing, grind them to consistency I want and they are ready to go. Very colorful too