Homemade Tomato Sauce {the easy way}


“Ma and Laura picked the tomatoes…
There were enough ripe tomatoes to make almost a gallon of preserves.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder , The Long Winter



I am so grateful – we have an abundance of tomatoes and I do mean an abundance – flowing out of our garden. It is wonderful!

The girls  & I have been very busy working with all the lovely red, ripe (and sometimes green) tomatoes that we are picking … I am pretty sure we will not run out of tomato sauce at all until next year’s garden harvest. Nor will we run out of anything tomato related ….

This year, we are working on the following with our bountiful tomato harvest:

diced tomatoes
spaghetti sauce
pizza sauce
tomato soup
tomato salsa
HP sauce
hot sauce with tomatoes and banana peppers
and homemade ketchup

I am so grateful for an outdoor “kitchen” (I say that loosely because it is a patio by our back door – but it has a kitchen table, the bbq, a cooking plate to boil water and run the water bath canner with and a propane boiler for me to work with for large sauce pots, etc.) I cannot imagine how dirty and sticky my real, inside kitchen would be right now. In the future, I’d LOVE to have a wood burning stove outside for all my outdoor canning projects, but I am so grateful for the propane burner and hot plate that allow me to can outside while the girls play, run around and, of course, help their momma out with all the canning projects.

At the end of each canning session, you can simply hose off the patio and give it a good sweep. I leave all my canning ware (jars, salts, water bath pots, etc.) outside on the patio until canning season is over. It is very handy to not have to put the pots away in the basement or pantry each time. I also can hose out and wash and scrub the big sauce pots with the outside backyard hose as that is much easier than trying to fit the big pots into the kitchen sink.


This week, we finished up a huge massive lot of spaghetti sauce and diced tomatoes, along with some pizza sauce. (I will share the pizza sauce recipe I used later this week.)

Here is the recipe for the spaghetti tomato sauce:

roughly 25 lbs of tomatoes (I simply filled my big huge pot with tomatoes that I diced – I am not big into measuring so I just estimated at this part as I was not able to weigh all the tomatoes)


1/2 cup chopped fresh onions
 3 Tablespoons of oregano
3  clove of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons dried or fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons dried pepper flakes
2 teaspoon salt (optional – I don’t usually salt my recipes)
1/4 cup lemon juice

Here’s my secret to making an easy tomato sauce. I do not peel my tomatoes- this saves a lot of work! As the tomatoes cook, the skins break down and I puree the sauce with a stick blender, leaving the sauce nice and thick with no trace of tomato skins. This, in turn, makes the sauce even more healthy as so many nutrients are lost when you peel the tomatoes. So if you can convince yourself to skip the skinning of tomato step, you will not only save yourself labour, but you will also boost the healthiness of your sauce or other canned tomato goods! In fact, eating tomato skins helps decrease the chance of strokes, heart attacks and cancer. That’s one big reason to leave the skins on your tomatoes, ladies.

Mix your diced tomatoes with peppers, onions and garlic in your large pot. Start cooking on a low heat and add your spices, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and lemon juice. Adjust the spices according to taste. Simmer on low for a few hours until sauce is thickened slightly. The longer you simmer, the thicker your sauce will be.


We simmered the sauce on low all day outside over a propane burner.




The girls helped dice up all the extra ingredients ….







… including fresh basil and oregano from the garden (so lovely!)…

Lots of stirring and simmering …





In the meantime, we diced up more tomatoes and water bathed them for future recipes {soups, sauces, etc.}.  We cold packed the diced tomatoes in warm, sterilized canning jars, adding a 1/4 teaspoons of salt to each jar and tablespoon of lemon juice. Just for the sake of writing down some instructions …. (assuming you know a bit about canning already, these instructions are very vague) ….

Wipe rims clean, seal lids and water bath the jars for 35 minutes. Start timing once the water in the water bath pot is actually boiling.  After the time is up, remove the jars from the hot water and allow them to cool, leaving them alone for 24 hours. Check seals to ensure the jars are sealed (the jar lid will be suctioned down tight).


By now, the sauce was ready for storing into the jars and lined up ready for the water bath.


Process in the water bath for 35 minutes.


When the day is over and you glance across your counter filled with glorious jars of red, beautiful spaghetti sauce, you will be feel tired and extremely fulfilled. At least, I did. There is truly nothing more satisfying than feeding your family food you’ve grown or canned and prepared with love.



P.S. We are not finished with our tomato crop so this means … pizza sauce, hot sauce … lots of tomato products… I am hoping to post those recipes soon, if that is of interest to you.



linked up with Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth

August 29, 2016 - 2:56 am

Rebecca Yes please post more! I love your canning and herbal posts!

August 27, 2016 - 8:59 am

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) Time for you to write the book Gillian – you have surpassed your Momma!! And I am so very proud of you …. Gillian’s Homestead Canning Methods!!

August 26, 2016 - 5:38 am

admin I have learned from the best! I still think you should have a canning book or blog, mom … in your spare time… 😉

August 25, 2016 - 9:53 pm

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) I also do not remove my tomato skins when canning them. 🙂

August 25, 2016 - 9:51 pm

Brenda (Gigi’s Mom) It’s great to see the girls helping Momma with the preserving!! What a great heritage you are giving them!! A true homesteading family, you are 🙂 Love all the jars of tomato sauce! Good job, Gauthier Girls! xoxo