Fresh-tasting Italian-style marinara sauce is a winter luxury. It's a process to make this canned version, but oh, so worth it! Follow canning protocol to prepare this cooking staple you'll love finding in your pantry in January. Vary the amounts of garlic and spices according to your family's taste. Use this as a base sauce and add sausage, ground turkey, and other spices.

Recipe Summary

prep:
1 hr
cook:
4 hrs
total:
5 hrs
Servings:
40
Yield:
10 quarts
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Ingredients

40
Original recipe yields 40 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place tomatoes, bay leaves, honey, oregano, 1 tablespoon salt, and black pepper in a large stockpot and cover with water. Stir to combine, cover, and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Remove cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir onions and garlic in the hot oil until the onions are softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.

  • Transfer the cooked tomatoes to a food mill placed over a bowl and puree in batches, separating the tomato pulp and juice from the tomato skins and seeds. Return the tomato pulp and juice to the stockpot, add the cooked onions and garlic, and cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat until sauce thickens and reduces by about half, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

  • Prepare quart jars, rings, and lids by heating them in boiling water in a canning kettle for at least 5 minutes. When the sauce is ready, remove jars and lids and place on dry towel.

  • To each jar, add 1 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice. Ladle the hot tomato sauce into jars, leaving 1/2-inch of space at the top of each jar. Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth, place lids onto jars, and screw on rings.

  • Place filled jars in the canning kettle. Return water to a simmer, adding more water if needed to cover the jars by at least 1/2 inch. Cover kettle and bring water to a boil. Cook at a steady boil to process the jars until fully sealed, about 45 minutes. Turn off heat and let jars rest 5 minutes before removing and cooling on a clean, dry towel placed on kitchen counter or table. Check that the lids have sealed, and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Cook's Note:

Use two pots if the tomatoes don't all fit in one pot. A potato masher works well to crush the tomatoes to release juices. You can use a sieve to puree the tomatoes, but a food mill is a lot faster. And be use to use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh to ensure consistent acidity.

Nutrition Facts

87 calories; protein 2.7g 6% DV; carbohydrates 13.9g 5% DV; fat 3.4g 5% DV; cholesterolmg; sodium 772.9mg 31% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (26)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/06/2012
Great, large batch recipe for the end of summer tomatoes. I did change up the order of operations a little by par boiling the tomatoes for 2 minutes, dipping them in ice water and sliding the skins off (long process for 25 lbs!. Then I halved the tomatoes and threw them into the large cooking pot to simmer and start to break down. I used my immersion blender after about 30 minutes of simmering, to break up leftover chunks. I then took the tomatoes and put them through my food mill to strain the seeds. The strained marinara was then seasoned with the spices etc and the onions. It has been cooking down for about 2 hours and has probably another 3 hours to go before canning. Thanks for a large batch recipe! Read More
(36)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
08/25/2013
The taste was nice but I am giving this 2 stars because the amount it yields is way off unless the sauce is supposed to be super thin. And after checking other recipes this one just doesn't add up. Tomato sauce will average about 6-7 lbs of tomatoes per quart. Anyway nice sauce but it was a lot of work for a much smaller yield than I was expecting! Read More
(8)
30 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
10/06/2012
Great, large batch recipe for the end of summer tomatoes. I did change up the order of operations a little by par boiling the tomatoes for 2 minutes, dipping them in ice water and sliding the skins off (long process for 25 lbs!. Then I halved the tomatoes and threw them into the large cooking pot to simmer and start to break down. I used my immersion blender after about 30 minutes of simmering, to break up leftover chunks. I then took the tomatoes and put them through my food mill to strain the seeds. The strained marinara was then seasoned with the spices etc and the onions. It has been cooking down for about 2 hours and has probably another 3 hours to go before canning. Thanks for a large batch recipe! Read More
(36)
Rating: 4 stars
08/13/2013
Nice recipe!! But about the canning part; never boil the rubber rings. Wash them well and pour previously boiled water over them just before you start to fill your sterile jars and lids. If you boil the rubber seals they might/probably will crack and become useless to your canning efforts. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
08/28/2013
I read my "New" Allrecipes stir things up magazine yesterday and couldn't wait to try the Tomato Harvest Marinara Sauce! I had 25 pounds of fresh picked Plum Tomatoes and followed the recipe using the tip from Sara to skin the tomatoes first. I cut up the tomatoes before adding and divided the tomatoes between 2 five quart stainless steel pots. I used a 1/2 pint jar of homemade tomato sauce instead of water in each pot. I used the spices called for but doubled the quantity. I put the first pot on with the spices to get it started while working on the second giving it time to simmer the flavors incase I needed to adjust the spices. I used 2 3/4 pound sweet onions and 10 garlic cloves chopped fine cooked as directed. I divided the onion and garlic evenly in each pot. It is now simmering on the stove until thick enough to can which I don't think will take more than an hour because of the tomato sauce instead of water. Great Recipe a lot of work but of course worth every minute. Yield is definitely off I am hoping to get 6-7 Quarts no way this will make 10. Love the New magazine....on to finding another recipe! Read More
(14)
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Rating: 2 stars
08/25/2013
The taste was nice but I am giving this 2 stars because the amount it yields is way off unless the sauce is supposed to be super thin. And after checking other recipes this one just doesn't add up. Tomato sauce will average about 6-7 lbs of tomatoes per quart. Anyway nice sauce but it was a lot of work for a much smaller yield than I was expecting! Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2014
It is imperative to add the lemon juice to raise the acidity and you must can at proper time and temperatures to maintain safety. Things can always seal but does not mean they are safe. Please read safe canning guidelines before anymore attempts to can to keep you and those you are feeding your product to safe! Read More
(7)
Rating: 4 stars
09/06/2013
I just finished canning all the tomatoes. Butt two questions? I forgot to add lemon juice? I only processed them for 15 minutes? The jar's are all sealed... Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/19/2014
Great base recipe. I used 12 pounds of tomatoes. I blanched the tomatoes before pureeing them. The sauce was thin at first but as it cooked down it thickened up. And yes it did take a long time to thicken. Worth it though. I skipped the canning because I don't know how to:/ Sad for me. After the sauce thickened I added extra spices and made a really nice spaghetti and meatball dinner. Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
08/28/2014
This came out well and was pretty straightforward. I used beefsteaka nd plum tomatoes (whatever the garden offered) and added a little wine and red pepper flakes along with some fresh herbs from the garden - sage basil oregano and parsley. Next time I would use more garlic. Read More
(4)
Rating: 1 stars
01/13/2015
I just opened one of my jars of marinara (and I made three batches) to make a meat sauce and have to say I am badly disappointed. I'm sure the lemon is necessary but is the amount necessaryt? its flavor is over powering and very bitter. The sauce looks great and even smells good but the bitterness of the lemon ruins it for me. It also leaves a bitter taste in my mouth long after eating it. Now I have 15 jars of marinara I can't do anhything with. I've researched other recipes and none of them call for as much lemon juice for a quart jar as this one does. The most I've seen has been a teaspoon. Read More
(4)