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Best Fresh Marinara Sauce Recipe for Canning

4.50 from 34 votes

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This fresh tomato, from scratch Marinara Sauce recipe is perfect to can or freeze and enjoy all winter long! Use it as pasta sauce, pizza sauce, or for dipping bread sticks!

fresh marinara sauce in white bowl

From scratch Marinara Sauce is one of the dozens of tomato products I can every year. The addition of wine gives it a deeper, richer flavor than say, pizza sauce has.

Which makes it perfect for dunking Parmesan Rosemary Breadsticks or Sourdough Sausage Balls in.

Or for ladling over Italian Meatballs.

Or even for a simple mozzarella and basil pizza. With Sourdough Pizza Crust, of course.

What are the Best Types of Tomatoes for Marinara Sauce?

Most people recommend either Roma tomatoes or another type of paste tomato. I just always use whatever I harvest or buy at the farmers market.

The paste tomatoes will boil down faster because they have less liquid and more “meat”, but I don’t find there is any difference in the taste of the sauce.

You can use fresh or frozen tomatoes to make this Marinara Sauce. I used frozen ones for this post. Peeling frozen tomatoes is crazy easy, so I went ahead and slipped the peels off before chopping them.

As with all canning recipes, make sure you use commercially bottled lemon juice to make sure the acidity is at the right level for safe waterbath canning.

And you can of course use a food processor for chopping the tomatoes and onions or chop them by hand.

For this recipe you can use a food mill, a blender, or my favorite, an immersion blender.

Using any of these tools means that you don’t have to peel the tomatoes! That saves SO much time!

An immersion blender is my hands down favorite tool because, 1. A food mill is awkward to use and you have to get another big pot dirty, and 2. You don’t have to let it cool and then transfer to a blender in batches and then into yet another clean pot.

And you also end up with more when you use the immersion blender. And more is always better when we’re talking about food storage!

This is the immersion blender I use and recommend to all my friends!

I usually can Marinara Sauce in 1/2 pint jars. That’s the perfect amount for 1 pizza or for dipping sauce.

This recipe can be processed in either a waterbath canner OR a pressure canner. I’ve listed times and pressures for both in the instructions.

If you’re new to canning or just need a refresher, you can go here for information and general safety guidelines.

How to Make Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 10 pounds fresh tomatoes (or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, I sometimes use this if I’m using the lemon juice instead of wine)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine (or three tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil.

Instructions

Wash the tomatoes. If you are using frozen tomatoes, make sure you let them thaw at least enough to core them.

Core the tomatoes and cut them in halves or quarters.

In a large stockpot (six or eight quarts), combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, basil, and oregano.

ingredients for marinara sauce in large stockpot

Over medium heat, bring the tomato mixture to a boil.

Once it’s come to a boil, turn the heat down until the mixture simmers. Put the lid on the pot and let it simmer one hour.

Now it’s time to puree the vegetables and remove the tomato skins. Press the mixture through a food mill or a sieve into a large clean pot.

Or use an immersion blender to puree everything right in the pot, including the skins.

If you are going to use a regular blender, allow the mixture to cool down a little before blending.

If you don’t, the lid is likely to shoot straight up into the air and explode Marina Sauce all over your counter top.

And floor.

And ceiling…

However you pureed it, now get it back into a pot and put it back on the stove.

pureed ingredients for marinara sauce in large stockpot

Time to add the fun stuff! Stir in the sugar (if using), salt & pepper, and the wine, lemon juice, and olive oil.

NOTE: If you are using lemon juice instead of wine, add a total of 4 Tablespoons of lemon juice.

Over medium heat, bring mixture back to a boil and reduce heat so that the Marinara Sauce simmers. Cook over low heat until volume is reduced by half, about two hours.

simmering marinara sauce in large stockpot

How to Can Marinara Sauce

While the Marinara Sauce is reducing, prepare your jars and lids and keep them hot until you need them.

When the sauce is as thick as you want it, give it a taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

When it tastes perfect, ladle the hot sauce into the hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.

Using a thin knife or a bubble popper, release any trapped air bubbles in the jars and top off if necessary.

Make sure you wipe rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth.

Now add the lids and put on the ring bands. Screw the rings down finger tight. Don’t over tighten!

marinara sauce in jars ready to go in canner

Place the filled jars in your canner of choice.

Process in a boiling water bath canner: pints and half pints, 45 minutes.

Process in a pressure canner: 11 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes.

Don’t forget to adjust the time and/or pressure for your altitude!

After processing, lift the jars straight up out of the canner and place on a towel covered counter top out of drafts.

Allow to sit undisturbed for a minimum of 12 hours.

After 12 hours check the seals. If any jars didn’t seal put in the fridge and use within about a week.

Label and date your jars and store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Makes six to eight half pints OR 12 half pints when using an immersion blender.

Marinara Sauce in white bowl

How to Freeze Marinara Sauce

After the sauce is made, allow to cool to room temperature. 

You can freeze the sauce in canning jars, plastic freezer containers, or even in ice cube trays.

To freeze in canning jars: ladle into jar leaving at least 1/2 inch headspace for pints and at least 1 inch for quarts. The sauce will expand during freezing. If you don’t leave enough room the jar will break.

Add a lid and crew on the band. Place in freezer. 

If you are using plastic freezer containers: also make sure to leave some headspace for expansion. Cover the container and place in freezer.

To freeze in ice cube trays: I usually put a tablespoon in each hole. Place in freezer. After the marinara sauce is frozen solid, remove the cubes and put them in a freezer zip top baggie.

This is a great option if you might need smaller quantities at a time for maybe dunking breadsticks or mozzarella sticks in.

This sauce will keep in the freezer for about 5 to 6 months.

To thaw, remove container or jar from freezer and allow to thaw on the counter top. I put the container on a kitchen towel to catch any drips. Heat and serve.

For the frozen marinara cubes, remove the amount you need and place in a clean jar or bowl. Or even directly into the small saucepan you’ll use to heat it up. Allow to thaw, then heat and serve.

More canning recipes you should try:

Fresh Marinara Sauce for Canning

This fresh tomato Marinara Sauce recipe is perfect to can or freeze and enjoy all winter long! Use it as pasta sauce, pizza sauce, or for dipping bread sticks!
4.50 from 34 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Processing time 45 mins
Total Time 4 hrs
Course Condiment
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 1/2 pint jars
Calories 129 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 10 pounds tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup red wine or three tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil.

Instructions
 

  • Wash tomatoes.
  • Core and cut tomatoes in half or quarters.
  • In a six or eight quart pot, combine tomato halves, onions, garlic, parsley, basil and oregano.
  • Adjust heat until mixture simmers. Cover and simmer one hour.
  • Press vegetables through a food mill or sieve. Or use an immersion blender to puree everything in the pot.
  • Return the puree to pot. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Cook over low heat until volume is reduced by half, about two hours.
  • Prepare jars and lids. Keep hot until needed.
  • Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  • Release trapped air, wipe rim of jar, and attach lid. Be careful not to overtighten.
  • Place in a canner.
  • Process in a boiling water bath pints 45 minutes. OR Process in a pressure canner At 11 pounds for 25 minutes. Remember to adjust times and or pressure for your altitude.

Notes

Makes six to eight half pints OR 12 half pints when using an immersion blender instead of a food mill.

Nutrition

Serving: 1jarCalories: 129kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 409mgPotassium: 970mgFiber: 5gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 3261IUVitamin C: 56mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 1mg
Keyword canning, Homemade Marinara Sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on March 14th, 2022

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