Can Whole Tomatoes | San Marzano Tomatoes

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canned whole tomatoes san Marzano

Can Whole Tomatoes

When making a good tomato sauce, sometimes you need to start with whole tomatoes.  Instead of purchasing, you can take the time to can tomatoes instead of purchasing. This does mean that you will need to plan ahead for canned tomatoes, but it will save you time and allow you to speed up your dishes a little more as the tomatoes will be cooked in the jars.

This is perfect when your garden is plentiful with the San Marzano tomatoes and you want them, but not ready to fully process them into tomato sauce or tomato basil sauce with garlic.

washed tomatoes
canned whole tomatoes san Marzano
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4.67 from 6 votes

How to Can Whole Tomatoes | San Marzano

Lots of tomatoes from your garden? You can can whole tomatoes and process them later. Use them in your favorite dishes.
Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Author: Regina Sober


  • San Marzano tomatoes, washed
  • lemon juice


  • Take the washed tomatoes and cut off the tops of the tomatoes.
  • Discard the tops and place the tomatoes into a pot.
  • Once you have filled the pot with tomatoes, fill with water and heat until the tomatoes blister.
  • Remove from the heat, placing the tomatoes into a bowl to cool so you can handle, but not cold.
  • Warm up water in the canner while processing tomatoes.
  • Remove the skins from the tomatoes and place them into sterilized jars.
  • We have found that if the tomatoes are slightly cool, you can squeeze the tomato from the bottom and it will slip out of the skin easily into the jar.
  • Fill the jars, leaving 1 inch head space.
  • Place 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice in each quart.
  • Wipe the rim with a clean wet sterile towel and place a seal on.  Hand tighten the band onto the jar
  • Place the filled jars into the water bath canner.
  • Process the tomatoes 40 minutes for quarts, 35 minutes for pints, adjusting for your elevation if needed.
  • Turn off heat, allow the jars to sit 5 minutes and remove.
  • Check to make sure the jars have sealed (the seal will not pop when you push it in the middle).
  • Label and date the jars.
  • Store in your pantry until needed.


YouTube video

Should You Remove the Skin Before Canning?

The skin on San Marzano’s is thicker, so I would recommend you peel tomatoes before canning whole tomatoes. Save those tomato skins though! You can make tomato powder.

hot pack method

Do You Need to Can Ripe Tomatoes?

To get the best flavor of tomatoes, you need to can fresh tomatoes at their peak ripeness.  Tomatoes will not ripen further after being canned.

peeled tomatoes

How Do You Peel Tomatoes?

We found that when the tomatoes are blanched and then placed into ice water, allow you to easily squeeze the tomato out of the skin and into the canning jars. Do not try to peel hot tomatoes!

hot pack can of tomatoes

Are San Marzano Tomatoes Canned Whole?

Yes.  They are small enough and do not need to be sliced or halved.  Canning them this way allows you to use them in soups, sauce or whatever you decide when it’s time to use them. You can do the same with plum tomatoes or Roma tomatoes as well.

water bath canner with tomatoes and quart jars

Canning Tips

  • You will want to make sure the tomatoes are ripe for the best flavor later
  • Cutting off the tops of the tomatoes allows for easily peeling later
  • The tomatoes will need to cool enough to handle, but not completely cool
  • If you don’t have lemon juice, you can use red wine vinegar or citric acid
  • Use quart jars, not pint jars as they hold more unless you only need small amount of tomatoes at a time
Lots of tomatoes from your garden? You can can whole tomatoes and process them later. Use them in your favorite dishes.

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  1. Thanks for this. According to my count this morning, I have 117 tomatoes growing. I have some serious canning to do!

    1. That is a lot of tomatoes! If you can’t can them all as they ripen, you can always freeze them until you have time. Have fun canning!

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