The Cozy Cook

Canned Tomatoes

These homemade canned tomatoes are the best way to keep your garden tomatoes fresh and ready to eat and cook with all year long!Canned-Tomatoes

So, my husband’s garden is gargantuan, and yesterday afternoon I decided to take a quaint little stroll to the garden for a tomato or two. Nothing like a fresh summer salad, right? Well apparently I haven’t glanced at the garden in a few days because I was almost blinded by all the red- it looked like a crime scene from a distance. Dang, so much for a tomato or two, I needed a dump truck. (A good problem to have though, I admit.)

Of course I tried to carry the tomatoes all in one load and almost fell flat on my face like 65 times doing it. (I’m one of those that’d rather die than make 2 trips carrying groceries in… same goes with tomatoes I guess.) I managed to haul 15 tomatoes into the house and figured that I’d have to get canning. My canning jars had actually just arrived from Amazon that afternoon too- it was like a sign. And now, I would be happy to show you how to can tomatoes at home!

how to can tomatoes


Tomato recipe ideas:

Canned Tomatoes

4.58 from 7 votes
These homemade canned tomatoes are the best way to keep your garden tomatoes fresh and ready to eat and cook with all year long!


  • 30 large tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons canning salt
  • 24 fresh basil leaves, optional
  • ¾ cup lemon juice, optional, helps with preservation


  • Sterilize all cans prior to use.
  • Prepare a large bowl of ice water & set aside.
  • Boil the tomatoes in batches, (1-2 minutes for each batch.)
  • You’ll notice the skin begin to split- this makes for easy pealing!
  • Toss each batch into ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin off of the tomatoes and set aside.
  • Position a strainer over a large bowl, and halve the tomatoes over the strainer so that the excess juices are caught in the bowl. Remove the stems with a knife as well. Set the halved tomatoes on a large plate for now.
  • Once all of the tomatoes are halved, you may want to let them drain a little more if necessary (we’ll be adding this juice back to the cans)
  • Let the flat lids of the cans boil lightly, as they need to be hot when you screw them on.
  • Place a teaspoon of salt, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, and 2 basil leaves on the bottom of each can. Use a spoon to drop in the tomatoes, (sliced side down if you can). (I added more basil leaves at the top, for visual appeal and more flavor, this isn’t necessary.) Use a knife to remove any air bubbles or excess space.
  • Pour the tomato juice into each can and leave ½ inch of space from the rim. Place a warm lid on the top and seal shut.
  • Transfer the jars into a large pot of warm water, so that the contents is mostly submerged with just the lids poking up at the top. Bring the water to a gentle boil for 85 minutes, covered. Remove them from the water and let them cool for 24 hours. Check the lids to make sure they're sealed, then store until ready for use! 🙂


Calories: 117kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 1g, Sodium: 4682mg, Potassium: 1488mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 5205IU, Vitamin C: 96.4mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 1.7mg


Recipe Source: Martha Stewart

These homemade canned tomatoes are the best way to keep your garden tomatoes fresh and ready to eat and cook with all year long! #cannedtomatoes #tomatoes #gardening #vegetables #canning #healthy #fresh

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39 comments on “Canned Tomatoes”

  1. Cant wait to do this. Can you substitute citric acid for the lemon juice? Thanks

  2. What makes so many carbs in this recipe?

    • Hi Margaret, the recipe notes that there are 26 grams of carbs per serving, which actually isn’t very much as that is for an entire quart of tomatoes. Tomatoes have about 3.9 grams of carbs each.

  3. I saw your blog and really liked it. I caned some tomatoes yesterday but did not add lemon juice! But today after reading all comments I’m wondering if that was a mistake on my part? Should  I redo the process and add in the lemon juice? Loved the basil I did include that along with garlic clove!

    • Hi Cathy! It’s really hard for me to know for sure, I know that lemon is better, but I have heard people being successful without it. You might be okay!

  4. Do you use fresh or bottled lemon juice?

  5. Hi can you tell me if 85 minutes in the pot is minimum time? My quart pickles were only 15 minutes.

    • I would call 85 minutes the maximum time. A lot of sites have instructions that indicate 45 minutes but I like to boil for 85 to be safe, you can’t go wrong!

  6. I just finished 9 quarts of whole tomatoes, never used the basil before, I love basil so tried it. Will now have to try this recipe…sometime soon, it’s soup season… so excited.

  7. A very, very easy recipe to follow, I love it, Stephanie. I can confirm by practice. I canned about 20 quarts of Roma tomatoes and the result was awesome. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much Semente! I’m so happy that you found it easy to follow and have so many quarts of delicious tomatoes to look forward to! 🙂 You made my day!

  8. The lemon juice is definitely needed and the boiling water should be 1″-2″ above the jars, with the canner lid on. After the required cooking time, it’s a good idea to turn off the heat and let the jars set for 5 minutes. Remove and set on a dish towel, out of any draft for 12-24 hours. Check the seal and re-process or refrigerate any that don’t seal. Garden delights ready for the months ahead! Welcome to the world of canning Stephanie.
    I have lots of basil and I’m going to try this for sure.

  9. Just picked mine & am ready to can…NOW! So…I don’t need a pressure cooker? Just boil the jars? Didn’t know it was that easy!

    • Oh, it is soooooo that easy Teresa! Get on canning! And enjoy!

      • Wish me luck. You don’t state what size jar you used. I used quart. I got 8 jars total in my pot, but do you cover jars completely with water? And then cover pot too?

      • Ahh, I use quart-sized jars as well, and I didn’t cover the actual pot of water but I submerged the jars so that the contents was mostly in the water with just the lids poking up. 🙂

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