How to Can Tomato Sauce with Basil

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canned tomato sauce

Small Batch Canning – Tomato Sauce

It’s a lot of work to make homemade tomato sauce.  And being upfront and honest, after making this recipe, it made 3 pints.  Yes, after a few hours, it makes 3 pints (with a a 1/4 cup more – give or take).  But tomato basil sauce is really delicious and so worth it.

tomato ingredients

What Kind Of Tomatoes Are Used?

For this recipe, we used San Marzano tomatoes.  You could also use any plum tomatoes for this recipe.

crushed tomatoes

How Long Should The Tomatoes Cook?

You need the tomatoes to breakdown in order to process through the food mill (especially if it’s electric).  The skins and meat of the tomatoes need to be soft.  They are a thicker skin.  Stir and keep them from burning on the bottom of the pan.

tomato food mill

When Do you Know Your Sauce Is Thick?

You will want to reduce your sauce to half thickness before processing.  Sauce should be thicker than tomato juice.

How Many Pints Does This Recipe Make?

The 12 cups of tomatoes yielded 3 pints of tomatoes.  If this is not enough for your needs, you should consider doubling the recipe.  Those 3 pints were absolutely delicious and worth making.

canning process

Canning Tips:

  • From what I can tell 4 cups of tomatoes, makes 1 pint of tomato sauce
  • When measuring out, we used a 4 cup Pyrex dish, and kind of ‘over filled, since the tomatoes didn’t fill all the voids in the container.
  • If you are using a hand food mill, you may want to pick out the tomato peels while processing, so running through the food mill is easier.
  • You could start with crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes if you wanted and make the sauce.
canned tomato sauce
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5 from 1 vote

Canning Basil Tomato Sauce

A delicious small batch canning recipe for tomato sauce. Made with basil to add flavor. Great way to start your next meal with fresh veggies.
Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Author: Regina Sober


  • 12 cups San Marzano tomatoes (can use Roma/plum), washed
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons washed basil or sweet basil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pickling salt
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar


  • Wash your tomatoes and basil with water.
  • Heat water in water bath.
  • Cut the tomatoes in 2-3 pieces, depending on size.  Only remove stems,  you will use a food mill after processing.
  • Add the remaining ingredients into the pan with the tomatoes and put on medium heat.
  • Stir every few minutes so it does not burn on the bottom.
  • The tomatoes will start to breakdown and juice will escape from the tomatoes.
  • Allow to cook 1 1/2 - 2 hours to become soft and falling apart.  You will want the tomatoes to break down and softened. This will allow them to process in the food mill easier.
  • Heat up water in the water bath canner, so it's same temperature as the sauce.
  • Place the tomato sauce into a pan and cook to reduce the sauce by half.
  • Once to the consistency you want, remove from the stove and process the tomato mix through the strainer.
  • Place the sauce into sterile jars and wipe the rim with a clean wet towel.
  • Place a lid and band on, finger tight.
  • Put the jar into the water bath canner.  Repeat process.
  • Process the jars 35 minutes for pints, 40 minutes for quarters (this is based on Michigan elevation, adjust if needed).
  • Turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit for 5 minutes before removing from the water.
  • Remove the jars from the water and cover with a towel to cool for 12 hours.
  • Remove the bands to confirm that the jars have sealed.
  • Write the date and what it is on the lid.


YouTube video

A delicious small batch canning recipe for tomato sauce. Made with basil to add flavor. Great way to start your next meal with fresh veggies.

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