Canning Stewed Tomatoes

This page may contain affiliate links. More Information.

Canning stewed tomatoes gives you a versatile ingredient. I use this stewed tomatoes recipe as a base for stews. I use it in my chili. I will pour it over a roast in a Crockpot.

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 water bath, but this recipe 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 double this and do quarts.

Stirring a stockpot filled with peeled tomatoes and chopped veggies.
Canning Basics Course to learn how to can fruit, veggies, and tomatoes.

This Page Includes:

Canning Stewed Tomatoes: Recipe with Extended, Step-By-Step Directions

Gather your canning supplies and ingredients.

Supplies:

Ingredients:

  • You will need about 24 large tomatoes (enough to make 4 quarts peeled and chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery or green peppers
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp. canning salt
  • Lemon juice (Ball’s canning recipe, my original source, doesn’t include lemon juice, but I’ve opted to include it for acidity per NCHFP safety recommendations.)

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

Peeling Tomatoes for Stewed Tomatoes

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

You’ll start by skinning (or peeling) your tomatoes.

Blanching 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

A steamer basket filled with bright red tomatoes.

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.

Plunging the basket of tomatoes into a pot of boiling water.

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.

Quick Cleanup Tip

Double sink with a bucket of discarded tomato peels and a bowl of peeled tomatoes with more tomatoes in the background.

When I am canning stewed tomatoes or any other style of tomatoes, I love this super easy cleanup tip!

I have pots and containers set up in my double sink. The one on the left is for the cold water to cool the tomatoes as they come out of the hot water. The one on the right is 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 cleaning up later. Love that easy cleanup!

Home Canning Stewed Tomatoes

When you remove the tomatoes, drop them 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.

Chop your vegetables.

Chopping half of a green bell pepper into strips.

Remember, with a stewed tomatoes recipe like this, you can safely adjust the type of pepper you use.

Chopping strips of green pepper into pieces using a large chef's knife.

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.

A large glass measuring bowl filled with chopped vegetables.

You can chop your vegetables 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 overdo it! You can practically liquefy them. Don’t go that far. 🙂

Chopping green bell peppers in a small food processor.

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.

Tomatoes and chopped vegetables cooking down in a large stockpot.

Simmer the tomato mixture 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, however, your tomatoes will be soft and saucy.

A cooked down tomato mixture with little flecks of tomato and vegetables visible.

Pour hot stewed tomatoes into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Add lemon juice to each jar (1 Tablespoon per pint or 2 Tablespoons per quart.)

Seven open quart canning jars filled with the stewed tomatoes mixture.

Wipe the rims clean, remove any air bubbles and place your lids.

Wiping the rims of the stewed tomato jars with a wet paper towel.

Follow pressure canning instructions.

How to Can Homemade Stewed Tomatoes

Process pints for 15 minutes.
Process quarts for 20 minutes.

Be sure to adjust processing according to your altitude using the chart below. For more information, see this altitude adjustments page.

There you go–now you know how to make stewed tomatoes yourself!

Recipe Card

Canning Stewed Tomatoes

Canning stewed tomatoes gives you a versatile ingredient. I use this stewed tomatoes recipe as a base for stews. I use it in my chili. I will pour it over a roast in a Crockpot.
Print Recipe
Stirring a stockpot filled with peeled tomatoes and chopped veggies.
Prep Time:2 hours
Processing Quarts (adjust for altitude):20 minutes
Total Time:2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 24 Tomatoes large ones, enough to make 4 quarts of prepared tomatoes
  • 1 cup Onions chopped, but onions are optional
  • ¾ cup Celery or green peppers, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons Canning Salt
  • Lemon Juice 

Instructions

  • Start by preparing jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.
    If you are new to using a pressure canner, see this article for full pressure canning instructions. This includes more detailed information and step-by-step instructions on how a pressure canner works.

Hot Pack only

  • Peel tomatoes.
  • Roughly chop tomatoes. Put in large stock pot. 
  • Add chopped onion, vegetables, salt, and sugar. 
  • Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. 
  • Pour hot tomatoes into hot jar, leaving 1/2” headspace. 
  • Add lemon juice (1 Tbsp. per pint, 2 Tbsp. per quart). 
  • Remove bubbles, wipe rim clean, and place seal and ring. Place jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars. Process according to directions below. 

Notes

Processing with a Pressure Canner
Place the jars in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the prepared hot canner. 
Put the lid on the canner leaving the weights off. Bring to a boil. Watch for the steam to start coming out the vent pipe in the lid.
Allow the steam to ‘vent’ for 10 minutes then put the weights on. Use the proper weight for your altitude (check the chart below). This is when pressure will start to build.  
When the pressure reaches the pressure required for your altitude (check the chart below), that is when you’ll start your time. Process for the full time indicated, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the correct pressure for the entire time.
When processing time is completed, turn off the heat. Do not remove weights yet. Let the canner sit undisturbed until pressure comes back to zero. Do not try to speed up the cooling process.
Remove the weight and wait 5 minutes.
Open the lid to allow steam to escape. (Carefully, don’t let it hit your face or arms!) Leave the lid setting on top of the canner slightly ajar and wait 5 minutes.
Take the lid off the canner and remove your jars. (Optionally, you can wait another 5 minutes if the contents appear to be bubbling so hard it is coming out of the jars.)
Put the jars a few inches apart on a thick towel and allow them to cool to room temperature undisturbed. 12 hours is suggested.
When the jars are cool, remove the metal bands, check the seals, and store the jars in a cool dark place.
Processing Instructions for Pressure Canner (Hot Pack) 
Process pints for 15 minutes or quarts for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  
Adjustments for Pressure Canner  
Altitude – Weighted Gauge
0-1,000 ft – 10 pounds
1,001-10,000 ft – 15 pounds
Altitude – Dial Gauge
0-2,000 ft – 11 pounds
2,001-4,000 ft – 12 pounds
4,001-6,000 ft – 13 pounds
6,001-8,000 ft – 14 pounds
8,001-10,000 ft – 15 pounds
 
Adapted from: Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
Servings: 7 pints

Canning Stewed Tomatoes Tips & FAQs

What do you use stewed tomatoes for?

Stewed tomatoes in your pantry gives you a great base for lots of recipes. Use it to make Chili, soups, casseroles (or hot dish as we call it). Blend up the tomatoes after you open the jar and make tomato soup by adding a bit of basil, salt and pepper (half and half if you like it creamy!). It is just a great pantry item for many different things.

How do you spice up canned tomatoes.

A stewed tomatoes recipe is a great way to spice up canned tomatoes. Remember it is a different recipe you’ll process it different than canned tomatoes. Add spicy peppers to heat thins up if you like it.

Celery in Home Canned Stewed Tomatoes?

“I noticed you don’t combine celery and bell peppers in your stewed tomatoes recipe. Wondered what the reason is. I would like to have both, and I’m just wondering if I can. Thanks, Sharon. I love your stuff, Sue.”

Notes from video:

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 and 3/4 cups of veggies total (onion, celery, or peppers).

If you want to do onions and peppers like we do, you’ll use the same amount of total cups of vegetables. I just don’t put the celery in there. I add more peppers or onions to make up the difference.

If you want to leave the peppers out, you could just do onions and celery. You’d use that same total number of cups. The recipe is good as it’s written. If you want to add celery, make sure to stay within the total number of cups per the amount of tomatoes that you have, so you stay within safe processing levels.

Great Question

I’m glad you’re not just adapting recipes without understanding what you’re doing, because that’s really important.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Here is a way to use your stewed tomatoes. Homemade Spaghetti Sauce sauce. Serve with spaghetti noodles. (not a canning recipe / serve this with noodles for supper)

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 pint salsa
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1T dried basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, browned

Combine all of these ingredients in a Crockpot and cook on low all day. Serve over noodles.

Related Pages

How to Can Homemade Salsa – Salsa is another great alternative if you’ve got lots of tomatoes, onions and peppers. Learn how to make homemade salsa for canning purposes.

Tips for Home Canning Tomatoes – Before you start canning, here are 3 things you should know about home canning tomatoes.

Freezing Tomatoes can be as straightforward or as complicated as you want it to be. With or without skin, cut or whole, SimplyCanning.com covers it all with a “how to” video included.

Dehydrating Tomatoes in a Food Dehydrator – Learn how to dry tomatoes in a food dehydrator.

Pin This to Find Later:

Canning Stewed Tomatoes

Source: Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving


Expand Your Pantry

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
26 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Laura
Laura
11 months ago

I accidently added twice as much of peppers, celery and onions. Did I ruin my batch of stewed tomatoes?

Pamela
Pamela
1 year ago

5 stars
I’m a bit confused after
Reading the comments below , the recipe called for a processing time of 15 mins for pints and 20 mins for quarts .. Right?
Below a question from Craig about the time to process you had stated 25 mins is long enough .. I processed mine for 15 mins .. what should I do if anything .
Thank you Pamela

Craig
Craig
1 year ago

Hi, I am relatively new to canning ( only 5-6 years). My concern was based on some of my readings. From those readings, I was led to believe that when processing blended ingredients that the canning time would be for the ingredient with the longest processing time. As stated, the stewed tomato recipe is a ‘tried and true’ recipe. I am happy with the results.

Pamela
Pamela
1 year ago

5 stars
I followed instruction as written and ended up with 8 pints .. it smells so good 😊 thank you for the easy step by step instructions Sharon.

Craig
Craig
1 year ago
Reply to  Pamela

5 stars
I only hot 6 pints. But I believe I cooked it down a bit more. Bottom line, great recipe.

Craig
Craig
1 year ago

5 stars
Hi, I just read your recipe and it sounds great. I can see the benefit of using stewed Tomatoes to pop a recipe up a notch. Personally, I like stewed tomatoes as a side dish aanyway.
I did have one question. Since onions require a longer canning time (40 minutes from what I have read), is canning at 25 minutes long enough? I have read that if canning with several items that it should be pressure canned at the longest time per the ingredients in the recipe.
Can’t wait to have enough tomatoes to try your recipe.

Craig
Craig
1 year ago

5 stars
Thanks Sharon. I am doing my first batch this afternoon. This morning was 7 pints of dill pickles.

Lisa
Lisa
1 year ago

5 stars
Hi Sharon, when canning stewed tomaotes, does the lemon juice flavor go away after processing? I don’t remember using it in 2020, and I didn”t can tomatoes last year. I had a bit left over, so I poured myself a glass, and added the lemon juice in the correct proportion. I did NOT like it! We use it for Bloody Marys. Also, do I need to put that much salt in it? Seems like a lot. Thanks in advance for your answer!

Dergy
Dergy
1 year ago

I stopped using salt in canning when I noticed that it was fermenting the contents of the jar.

Debbie
Debbie
1 year ago

How many Roma’s do I use to equal the larger tomatoes? I was gifted a boatload (11 grocery bags full) of Roma’s.

Barbara Burnsteel
Barbara Burnsteel
1 year ago

3 stars
I don’t agree adding the lemon juice to the top after filling the jars since it will put your headspace off. I prefer to add it to the bottom, then when the hot filling is added, it can blend into the food instead of sitting on top. Otherwise, good recipe!

Judith
Judith
2 years ago

5 stars
I LOVE taking my canned stewed tomatoes (I use onion, celery & garlic) and put a couple tablespoons on a baking dish bottom. Put in stuffed shells and those frozen meatballs (Italian or homestyle is both good), spoon stewed tomatoes over each shell & the meatballs.. cover and bake according to the shell instructions. YUM!

D Tambornino
D Tambornino
2 years ago

Great, easy recipe. Will use again.

Tricia Wages
Tricia Wages
2 years ago

I’m sorry but I can’t find the chart for water bath canning. Is it missing or am I overlooking it?

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  Tricia Wages

Thanks for mentioning it! Because stewed tomatoes contain vegetables, they are only safe for pressure canning, NOT water bath canning. We’ve updated the recipe card so this is clear.

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

My Roma and heirloom tomatoes are not doing as wel
My Roma and heirloom tomatoes are not doing as wel
2 years ago

5 stars
My Roma and heirloom tomatoes are not doing as well as my cherry tomatoes this year. Can I substitute cherry tomatoes for the others?

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago

Yes, that would be fine.

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

Judy Haug
Judy Haug
3 years ago

5 stars
Canning stewed tomatoes looks just like what I want to do. Easy and versatile, and a food mill is not involved. Have a question though. You use Romas. I’ve always thought you should should the larger tomatoes for sauces and other tomatoes products and use Romas for chunky salsa. I thought the larger tomatoes had more flavor than Romas. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Haug

You can really use any type of tomatoes; it is just a preference of Sharon’s. 🙂 There is probably a flavor difference (it probably just depends on what you like!), but the main reason Sharon uses Romas is because they’re a “meatier” tomato. In her experience, they make a higher quality sauce product that isn’t so watery as other tomatoes might be.

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)