Tomato Harvest Marinara Sauce


Fresh-tasting, Italian-style marinara sauce is a winter luxury, so why not try canning your own? It is a process to make this canned version, but it's oh-so worth it as each jar lasts up to a year! You'll love discovering a hidden jar of this sauce 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.

Prep Time:
1 hrs
Cook Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
Additional Time:
12 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
15 hrs 20 mins
10 quarts


  • 25 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise

  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

  • 3 large bay leaves

  • 2 quarts water, or as needed

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 pound yellow onions, finely chopped

  • 10 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 10 teaspoons salt

  • 1 ⅞ cups bottled lemon juice


  1. Inspect 10 quart-sized jars for cracks and rings for rust, discarding any defective ones. Immerse in simmering water until sauce is ready. Wash new, unused lids and rings in warm soapy water.

  2. Place tomatoes, honey, oregano, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and bay leaves in a large stockpot; add water to cover. Stir to combine, cover, and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Remove the cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  3. While the tomatoes are cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir until onions are softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  4. Transfer cooked tomatoes to a food mill placed over a bowl; purée in batches, separating tomato pulp and juice from tomato skins and seeds.

  5. Return tomato pulp and juice to the stockpot, add cooked onions and garlic, and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, over medium-high heat until sauce thickens and reduces by about half, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  6. Transfer jars and lids from simmering water to a dry towel.

  7. Place 1 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons lemon juice into each jar. Ladle hot tomato sauce into jars, filling to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe rims with a moist paper towel to remove any residue. Top with lids and screw rings on tightly.

  8. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower jars 2 inches apart into the boiling water using a holder. Pour in more boiling water to cover jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil, cover, and process until jars are fully sealed, about 45 minutes.

  9. Remove the jars from the stockpot and let rest, several inches apart, for 12 to 24 hours. Press the center of each lid with a finger to ensure the lid does not move up or down. Remove the rings for storage and store in a cool dark area.


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

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

44 Calories
2g Fat
7g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 80
Calories 44
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Sodium 325mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 20mg 100%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 353mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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