This is a simple tutorial for how to make canned tomatoes.  This is so easy, anyone can do it and enjoy canned tomatoes all year long at a low cost.

How to Can Tomatoes--tutorial from

Canned tomatoes are a staple in my pantry, and I think in most people’s pantries. I LOVE having a stock of homemade canned tomatoes to pull from. They are super easy to make and they taste amazing!  I like to buy a box of fresh tomatoes from the farmer’s market so I can have yummy canned tomatoes that will last me for months!

Yields 6 quart jars of diced tomatoes

16 pounds Roma tomatoes (or other low-moisture tomatoes)
Boiling water
Lemon juice

Equipment needed:
A large canning kettle or stockpot (for processing the jars)
A small, round rack (to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot)
6 quart jars, sterilized
Box of new lids and rings

A bowl filled with tomatoes.

1. Start by blanching your tomatoes.  Put a large pot of water to boil. Cut “x” shaped slits at the bottom of the tomatoes (this will make them easier to peel), and boil in small batches for 1-2 minutes. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon. Once they are cooled, peel skin off the tomatoes using your hands or a paring knife.

2. Fill two more small pots with boiling water. In one pot, boil the lids to the jars for about 10 minutes, to soften their sealant. (UPDATE– there are new rules to certain brands of lids, and many no longer require boiling the lids. Check your box of lids before doing so.) Use the other pot of boiling water for adding to your tomatoes (see step 4).

3. Place your canning rack into your canning kettle, and fill the kettle with enough water that the jars will be able to be submerged. Bring water to a boil.

4. While the jars are boiling, chop tomatoes into large chunks.  Stuff your sterilized jars evenly with chopped tomatoes. Add ½ tsp salt, and 1 tsp bottled lemon juice to each quart. Gently pour boiling water in the jars with the tomatoes, leaving ½ in. headspace at the top of the jars.

Mason jars filled with canned tomatos.

5. Wipe the rims of the jars clean. Place the lids and rims on the jars.

6. Using jar lifters or tongs, lower the jars into the boiling water in the canning kettle.  Once all the jars are submerged in the kettle, put a lid on it and bring it back up to a boil. Process, with the water boiling the whole time, for 45 minutes.

Jars of canned tomatoes in a water bath.

7. Remove the cans from the kettle water bath and set them on a towel on your counter-top to dry and cool. Leave them undisturbed for several hours. Later, you can test the seal of the jars by gently tapping the lid, which should hold tight and be concave. (If you find one that did not seal, then it did not process correctly, so refrigerate it and use it soon.)

8. Store jars in a cool, dark place until ready to use.


How long are canned tomatoes good for?

If these canned tomatoes are properly stored, they will last 18-24 months (at best quality), and are often safe eating after even longer than that.

How do I know if my canned tomatoes are safe to eat?

Always make sure your mason jars do not show signs of leaking or rusting.  Press down on the center of the lid: it should not pop back. If it sits flat it is safe, but if it pops back, it has not sealed properly.

If your tomatoes start to develop a fowl odor, become discolored, or if you see signs of mold, these are signs of spoilage and you should discard them!

Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. Gathered a box of tomatoes today and I’m using your recipe to can them.
    I haven’t canned anything for a few years so I’m excited and ready to go again.
    I’ll let you know how it comes out…😋

  2. Hi Lauren sorry to be a bimbo but haven’t done much canning (a bit frightened of it) when you say submerge you mean totally over the top of the lids?

  3. Can this recipe be adapted to add more herbs? I’m brand new to canning so I want to make sure it’s safe. We use a lot of canned tomatoes and luckily we have a large amount growing this year. I’d like to add garlic or herbs for a bit more flavor. I could use fresh or dried herbs if that matters.

  4. I would like to try again as I do use alot of canned tomatoes but don’t want to have them go to waste if the canned tomotoes don’t turn out should I perhaps try with the citric acid instead of the lemon juice as the recipe only calls for lemon juice and I deskinned the tomatoes using the hot water bath method.
    water and salt only added if I recall from the receipe and than boiled the jars for the proper times, and let them set in which they all did all the jars sealed with no issues

    1. Hi Ann, I’m a little confused by your question–I may be wisest for you to refer to an official safe canning/preserving guide.

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