Canning Stewed Tomatoes

with Sharon Peterson

Canning Stewed Tomatoes doesn’t have to be boring! This recipe is a great way to preserve your extras into something more nutritious and delicious than you can buy at the store.

If you are Canning Stewed Tomatoes, you will be adding peppers and onions. Celery is optional. Since you are adding other vegetable ingredients botulism is a risk. This MUST be pressure canned.

Please note: I like this recipe because it has lots of veggies.  It has only been tested as safe in a pressure canner.  There are recipes available that are meant for a waterbath but this is not one.  Please don't skip processing! 

You will need to know how to use a pressure canner. This how to use a pressure canner page has more detailed information and step by step instructions.

This recipe makes approximately 7 pints. For my family I almost always will double this and do quarts.

Canning Stewed Tomatoes gives you a versatile ingredient. I use it as a base for stews. I use it in my chili. I will pour it over a roast in a crock-pot.


Gather your canning supplies and ingredients


  • You will need about 24 large tomatoes. Enough to make 4 quarts peeled and chopped.
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery or green peppers
  • 1 T Sugar
  • 2 tsp canning salt

Note about the quantity.  You'll need 4 quarts of chopped cored tomatoes.  This cooks down a bit and you should end up with around 3 quarts stewed tomatoes or 7 pints when you are finished. 


Start by preparing your jars, and getting water in your canner heating. (see pressure canning for full directions)

The first thing you'll need to do is skin (or peel)  your tomatoes. 

Blanching the tomatoes to remove skins is the easiest way for me.  Use a blancher or a basket to dip your tomatoes, or you can just use a slotted spoon and a big pot of boiling water.

I have a Polder stainless steel strainer and I love it!  Highly recommended for all kinds of projects.  Here is a link to it on Amazon.   Polder Strainer

Depending on the size of the tomato, blanch 4 to 6 at a time. In these pictures I am working with Roma Tomatoes. I like them for canning because they are meatier than other tomatoes. They are smaller so I can fit more in the strainer.

Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30-60 seconds or until you see the skins split. Start counting as soon as your tomatoes hit the water. Don't wait for the water to come back to a boil to start your count time.

Canning Stewed Tomatoes Quick Tip

When I am canning stewed tomatoes or any other style tomatoes, I Love this super easy clean up tip!

I have pots and containers set up in my double sink. The one on the left for the cold water to cool the tomatoes as they come out of the hot water. The one on the right to slide the skins off into.  I slip the peeled tomatoes into a measuring bowl to measure how much I am getting done. 

The work area is lower than if you set them on a counter.  This make is easier on the arms and the sink makes for easy clean up.  Love that easy clean up!

When you remove the tomatoes, drop immediately into sink or bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.   The skins should just slide off in your hands.  Occasionally I'll use a knife on some stubborn spots. Slip off skins and if you are working with larger tomatoes quarter them.  These are the smaller romas so I don't bother cutting them up.  They will mash up when I cook them.   

Repeat steps until all tomatoes are skinned and chopped. You may need to let your water come back to heat in between batches in the blancher.

chopped peppers for stewed tomatoes

Chop your onion and pepper.  Remember when canning stewed tomatoes like this you can safely adjust the type of pepper you use in stewed tomatoes. Use a hotter variety for a spicy jar.  Use bell or banana peppers for mild. Just don't change the quantity or ratio of tomatoes to vegetables.  

You can chop your onions and peppers either by hand, or chunk them up and place in a food processor!  Love my food processor.  The size of the pepper is not vital.  You just want them chopped.  if you use a processor, don't over do it!  You can practically liquefy them.  Don't go that far.  :) 

Did you note the lack of pictures of onion chopping?  That is because this day I had particularly potent onions and I was trying to just get them chopped as quickly as possible! No time for pictures because my eyes were tearing so badly.  (sigh) What I do for my family.  :) 

Add your chopped onion and chopped bell pepper (or celery).  Add the salt and sugar.

Simmer 10 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning. At first the mix will be chunky with pieces of tomato. By the time it is heated through your tomatoes will be soft and saucy. 

Pour hot stewed tomatoes into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.

Follow Pressure canning instructions

Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids.
For more details follow pressure canning instructions.

Fill your jars leave 1/2 inch headspace
Wipe the rims clean.
Place your lids and screw bands on.


Process pints - process for 15 minutes
quarts - process for 20 minutes

Be sure to adjust processing according to your altitude. For more information see this altitude adjustments page.

Source:  These canning directions are from the Ball Blue Book - canning stewed tomatoes

Adjustments for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 11 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15

Tomato Sauce Recipe 

Here is a way to use your stewed tomatoes.  I was making a tomato sauce to have with our supper and decided to share live on facebook. 


1 quart stewed tomatoes

1/2 pint salsa

2 sm garlic cloves

1T dried basil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 pound italian sausage. - browned. 

Combine all these ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low all day.  Serve over noodles.  


Question from my inbox: 

Sue asks: 

I notice you don't combine celery and bell peppers in your stewed tomatoes recipe. Wondered what the reason is. I would like to have both so just wondering if I can. Thanks, Sharon ~ love your stuff!

Sharon Answers: 

The reason I leave the celery out when I am canning stewed tomatoes is...  we just don't prefer it.  So I use all peppers and onions.  You can certainly use celery too.

If you look at the recipe in the ingredients list I have celery or peppers.  You want to use whatever combination of the two veggies but use the same quantity.  So you will have 1 3/4 cups veggies total.  onion, celery or peppers.    GREAT QUESTION.  

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