How To | Recipes

Garden Week 2013: How to Can Spaghetti Sauce (Recipe Included!)

August 14, 2013

Garden Week continues here at BetweenWeekdays! On Monday, I shared a tutorial for canning green beans and I shared a super simple and delicious bruschetta recipe yesterday with you.

Today I’m reposting a canning tutorial for spaghetti sauce. This tutorial also includes a spaghetti sauce recipe in case you just want to make an easy and delicious spaghetti sauce for dinner.

How to Can Spaghetti Sauce from

Canning spaghetti sauce is much easier than beans, because you can omit the pressure cooker freeing you up to make as little or as much as you want in one canning session. I’ve been known to only make a couple of jars at a time. Plus, you don’t have to work with equipment that can sometimes be dangerous if not used properly. That’s a double win in my book.

Here’s what you’ll need to can spaghetti sauce:

  • Tomatoes
  • Ice Water
  • Crock Pot
  • Pairing Knife
  • Jars
  • Jar Lids
  • Jar Rings
  • Funnel
  • Slow Cooker
  • Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients (see below)

Step 1: Sanitize Jars

The first thing you need to do when canning spaghetti sauce is sanitize your jars, rings and lids. You can do this by running the jars and rings through the dishwasher. I usually just wash the lids, or flats, with soapy water. Do not run the flats through the dishwasher. The heat from the dishwasher will cause the jars to not seal properly.

Another benefit to washing your jars in the dishwasher is that they come out nice and hot. This is important since you won’t be using a pressure canner to seal your jars. My dishwasher runs on a two-hour cycle, so I timed making my spaghetti sauce to two hours.

If your jars are already sanitized and you won’t be using a dishwasher, you can heat them by pouring boiling water in each jar a few minutes before you pour your spaghetti sauce in. You can transfer the boiling water from jar to jar as you add spaghetti sauce. Just be sure and use a funnel, because pouring boiling water on your hands is no fun. Trust me.

Step 2: Prepare Spaghetti Sauce

The first thing you’ll want to do is peel and core your tomatoes. This can be done very simply by blanching your tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes, and then dropping them into ice water. The skins will come loose in the boiling water, making them super easy to peel by hand. If they’re too hot to touch, drop them back in the ice bath for a few seconds. Then, core your tomatoes with a paring knife, or apple corer, and remove the skins.

How to Can Spaghetti Sauce from

Once all of your tomatoes are peeled and cored, drop them into your slow cooker. I dropped mine in whole, but I’d recommend quartering the tomatoes to speed the cooking process.

To your tomatoes, add your spaghetti sauce ingredients. You can follow any recipe you want (mine is below). Through trial and error, I’ve come up with a simple sauce that is versatile enough to be used for spaghetti, pizza, chicken parmesan, etc.

Spaghetti Sauce Recipe


  • 9 or 10 Tomatoes, peeled and cored
  • 2 Cans Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste
  • 3 or 4 Fresh Garlic Cloves, Minced *
  • 2 Tablespoons Basil (I like to use Gourmet Garden basil in a tube.) *
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Italian Seasoning *
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper *
  • Dash of Salt

* Use more or less of this ingredient per taste.

All you do is combine all of the above ingredients (be sure to mash your tomatoes really well) in your crock pot and let it cook on high while your jars finish in the dishwasher. You could also cook your sauce on the stove top, just be sure to not let it burn. I’d recommend cooking it on medium or medium-high heat.  I like to stir/mash the sauce every 30 minutes or so just to make sure all of the ingredients are well combined.

Canning Spaghetti Sauce at

The tomatoes will break down on their own during the cooking process, and you’ll be left with a sauce that is slightly chucky depending on how much you mash. If it’s still too chunky at the end of the the cooking process, you can blend it with an immersion blender directly in the crock pot.

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

Once your jars are sanitized, remove them from your dishwasher in pairs, closing the dishwasher after each pair has been removed.  This will hold the heat in the dishwasher keeping your jars hot.

Work quickly to funnel your sauce into each jar. Fill the jars nearly to the top leaving very little headspace and then secure your ring and lid on the jar tightly. Then, and this is important, turn your jar over so that it is standing on the lid. The pressure of the hot liquid on the lid will help seal the jar. Continue until all of your jars are filled and upside down.

This should yield about six or seven jars of spaghetti sauce since tomatoes break down quite a bit while cooking.

Leave your jars upside down over night. The next morning, check to see if all of your jars are sealed by pressing the lid. If the lid doesn’t move or pop, your jars are sealed. If it moves, the jar is not sealed and you’ll need to put it in the fridge to use that week.

Canning Spaghetti Sauce at

Have you been canning anything lately? I’m hoping to can a few jars of spaghetti sauce soon, and I’ll definitely be using this recipe again.

How to Can Spaghetti Sauce from

Garden week continues tomorrow with another method to store your fresh-from-the-garden produce. See you then!

GardenWeek at


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  1. This loos yummy and very simple! I’m about to can tomato spaghetti sauce for the first time and have a question..since you don’t submerge these and boil to process, how long are they shelf stable? When I canned tomato sauce earlier this eyar, I added the canning acid to balance everything in the tomato sauce to make sure it is safe. Should I add that to this, also? THanks!

    1. Hi Lynsee! I would definitely add the canning acid if you’re planning to keep these on the shelf for awhile. Mine lasted less than a year, which was just perfect for what we needed. Happy canning!

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