I’m up to my eyeballs in the summers harvest. I’ve had three huge canning days and I hope to have at least one more so I can put up just a few more things before the weather changes.

Canning crushed tomatoes 2 ways, www.mountainmamacooks.com

Without a doubt, tomatoes are my favorite thing to preserve. Whether it’s whole tomatoes, my “special” marinara sauce or these crushed tomatoes with dried herbs, I use them in everything. Once the snow starts falling, I pull out my slow cooker and don’t put it away until March. I make soups, stews, pot roasts, chicken dishes and you know what? They all usually require a can of diced or crushed tomatoes and nothing beats the ones I can myself when they are at their freshest. It’s hard to go back to canned tomatoes when you’ve preserved your own. So every summer for the last few years, I’ve dedicated at least two days just to preserve tomatoes. I know it seems like a lot of work (because it is) but it’s totally worth it. I promise!

canning tomatoes, www.mountainmamacooks.com

While obviously not as versatile as a plain crushed tomato, I picked two spice blends that lend themselves well to the majority of cooking I do. The “Italian” version is nothing more than a little salt and some dried Italian spice blend. The “Mexican” version is a blend of oregano, coriander, chili powder, cumin and dehydrated garlic.

I can’t wait for the weather to start using my goods. I hoard all my canned stuff until the snow falls!

Do you do any canning? What’s your favorite thing to preserve?

Canning Crushed Tomatoes

This recipe was adapted for high altitude. My kitchen sits just above 7000 feet where this recipe was tested. If you live at sea level and up to 3000 feet, process for only 40 minutes.

I doubled the recipe so I got a total of 6 quarts. I did three with the Italian spice blend and two with the Mexican spice blend.


  • 12 cups peeled, seeded & quartered tomatoes (roma if you can find them)
  • bottled lemon juice per quart
  • kosher salt
  • preferred Spice Blend:
  • Italian spice blend
  • combine 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning blend, 1 tablespoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
  • Mexican Spice Blend:
  • combine 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon coriander and 1 teaspoon seasoned salt.


  1. Fill a stainless steal pot that is large enough to hold 3 quart size mason jars without touching and will cover jars by at least two inches with water. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Wash and sterilize mason jars; keep jars in hot water until ready to use.
  3. In a separate small pan, warm lids in hot (not boiling) water to sterilize and soften seal.
  4. Prepare the desired spice blend and set aside- see below for spice blend measurements.
  5. Place tomatoes in a large stainless steel saucepan- it's best not to crowd or layer the tomatoes so the largest pan you have will work the best. Using a large slotted spoon or potato masher, gently crush the tomatoes so the juices release and the tomatoes are 'crushed'. Add just enough water to cover the tomatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring gently. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes.
  6. Before packing tomatoes into each jar, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to each hot jar. Add 1 tablespoon of of chosen spice blend. Pack hot tomatoes into prepared jars to within 1/2-inch of the top of jar. Ladle just enough of the hot tomato juice/liquid to cover the tomatoes, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles by poking either a plastic knife or a wooden skewer into the sides of the jars. Adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more liquid. Wipe the rim clean with a clean, wet paper towel. Remove lids from water and center on lid. Screw band down, taking care it's not too tight- fingertip tight is sufficient.
  7. Place jars in canner, making sure they are completely covered in water. Bring to a boil and process for 60 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
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32 Responses to Canning Crushed Tomatoes

  1. girl, you are dedicated! i have about zero patience for canning things myself, but these tomatoes sound absolutely perfect for the cold snowy days coming up!

  2. Becky says:

    Can’t wait to give this a try. Hopefully my tomatoes will ripen!

  3. carrian says:

    I absolutely have to do this! I don’t know why I always think of canning sauces, fruit, veggies, but never crushed tomatoes. HELLO! Must get on this

  4. Karista says:

    These tomatoes look so beautiful! Wish I’d had time to can this summer. Love the spice blend tomatoes. Great idea Kelley! Now if only you could label and sell them I could buy some. 🙂

  5. Yeah! here I sit with bowls full of tomatoes. I was just going to google canning tomatoes when I saw your post in my google reader ; ) You know what Im doing this afternoon!

  6. I love crushed tomatoes, and I really wish I had your problem of an over-abundance of tomatoes. I think I am definitely going to try gardening again next Spring!

  7. Ann Marie says:

    In the Italian blend, have you tried with fresh garlic instead of powdered? If so, how much would you add to each jar?

    • Kelley says:

      I wouldn’t do fresh garlic in these as that would upset the acidity and safety of the canning process. If you intend to put them up, stick with dried garlic here!

  8. Kay P. says:

    Kelly, this is a recipe I put up every year and have never had a problem adding garlic. I do the Roasted Garlic version, and perhaps that is the key, you must roast the garlic first instead of using a raw garlic.


  9. Benita says:

    Wondering if you could freezer this by following all the steps, then instead of canning, put the tomatoes into the freezer jars instead?

  10. Cindy says:

    Can you cook the spices with the tomatos or does it have to be separate?

  11. Corey says:

    Great recipe! I put up 4 quarts of the Mexican spice variation over the weekend with a few additions and it turned out great! I doubled the chile powder since we like a bit more kick and used a variety of Italian herbs as I didn’t quite have enough oregano (I added basil and rosemary). I also cooked the spices with the tomatoes, plus and onion and 5 chopped garlic cloves (I tested my pH level and it was still in the “safe zone). My house smelled AMAZING!! This is definitely going in the recipe box. Thank you!!

  12. Judy Fisher says:

    I make a roasted tomato recipe with slices of fresh garlic & was wondering if I could can those as I am running low on freezer space this year but have never canned anything.

  13. Alana says:

    I just did a ton of tomatoes and have plenty more to pick… do you blanch and skin your tomatoes or do skin on and just top and core them? for me the time consuming part of skinning tomatoes is the bane of my existence. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Cindy says:

    I have cannned tomatoes for years! This year I have over 25 plants in my garden. I love to go to my pantry and pull down a few jars to use all winter. I can special sauces as well as plain tomatoes. They taste so much better than store tomato sauces. You keep on canning!!

  15. Kay says:

    Thanks so much for putting this on here. I LOVE , LOVE, TO CAN!!! And tomatoes are my favorite. This is how I do mine also, but sometimes I will add some peppers with mine for the Mexican. If you grow your own and add it to it is wonderful in the winter..

    Thanks again.

  16. Peggy P says:

    Beautiful jars of deliciousness! I would love to make these but have never canned tomatoes before and I have a question. Our household is just Hubby and I and I use the smaller cans (14.5 ounce) of tomatoes. Is it possible to do these tomatoes in pint jars? If so, do you have any idea how long I would need to process them and how much lemon juice I would need to use for each jar? Thanks!

  17. Lalainia Butler says:

    Thank You Kelley, for sharing your recipes…Spent the day in the kitchen and my jars look truly amazing and so inviting to use immediately. The only thing I added was a few pieces of fresh basil to each jar. I came across your recipes through Pinterest and I am so happy to have found this recipe and your site. Cheers from Vancouver, Canada

  18. Kristy says:

    Hi Kelley.
    I have just finished canning your recipe both the Italian and Mexican blend. I am looking forward to trying them out. Do You have links to your recipes you use with these?
    Thanks so

  19. elizabeth says:

    do I need to add salt to each jar and would sea salt be sufficient?

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