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Thank you for registering for the Cook-Along Tomato Sauce & Canning Class.

There are several ways you can get the most out of the class.

  1. Join live, watch the demonstration, take notes, ask questions, and then try it later.

  2. Join live and cook along, ask questions, and share your results. 

  3. Watch the recording after the session.


Use this page to prepare for the class, print out any of the support documents to take notes, or use it after the class as a resource, like you use a cookbook.

You are also part of the Appetite for Life Community Page where you can ask questions before or after the class no matter if you attend live or watch the recording.


1 / Equipment

Here's the equipment you need to make the sauce, and then can it.

  • Saucepan to make the sauce

  • Knife and cutting board to prepare the ingredients

  • Large Stock Pot for canning - at least 8 inches high and 11-12 inches in diameter - approximately 12-20 quarts

  • Rack for the bottom of the pot (or you can use a clean towel)

  • Four 16oz. Canning Jars with two-part lids (band & flat piece). Ensure the flat piece is new.

  • Canning Jar Lifter

  • Wide-mouth Funnel - not essential, but really useful

  • Ladle - I prefer stainless steel

  • Clean Towels

  • Wooden cutting board or cooling rack

  • Clean Paper Towels

  • Stainless Steel Knife - for removing bubbles

If you are brand new to canning, here's a starter kit  including everything you need plus a large pot.

If you have a pot that is big enough but nothing else, here's an equipment starter kit.

Download the equipment checklist.

2 / Tomato Sauce Ingredient List

28 oz of canned crushed tomatoes

For a smoother sauce, you can use the same size can of pureed tomatoes.

1 onion

3-5 garlic cloves

If you don't want to use fresh garlic, one teaspoon of garlic powder will work well.  You can add more to your taste.

Dried oregano

Red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

Lemon juice - You will notice the recipe says Sugar (optional).  Because we are canning the sauce, you need to leave out the sugar and add a bit of lemon juice to ensure the environment is acidic enough to can properly.

Download the ingredient and prep list.

Session Prep

If you are going to cook along with the session, it is important that you follow these preparation steps before the class begins in order to keep up with the session.

If you are not going to cook along, then use this resource when you are ready to begin cooking and canning your tomato sauce.



Prepare Equipment

  • Gather all of your equipment

  • If you are reusing jars, inspect them for compromise

  • Thoroughly wash all equipment in hot soapy water or run through the dishwasher

  • Fill the large stock pot with water and begin to heat before starting the sauce.

  • Place a rack or a clean towel in the bottom of the pot with the water in it.

  • Place the canning jars in the hot water on top of the rack or towel.


Prepare to Make Sauce

  • Gather ingredients and saucepan

  • Chop onions and place in a small bowl

  • Mince garlic and place in a small bowl


Before the Class

  • Ensure you have all the tools and ingredients you need handy.

  • Make sure to start the large stock pot of water heating (it will take a while)

  • Ensure you have a place designated where you will put the hot jars to fill them and let them rest once they are done.

  • Place an additional tea pot or another pan of water on a burner.  You may need this to top off your jars.

Tomato Sauce & Canning Instructions

Download Instructions and Preparation List

I can't emphasize how important it is to do the prep work before you start the class or start canning.  It will save you a lot of headaches and make the process much more enjoyable. 


So if you've followed the directions above, and your water is heating with the canning jars in the water, let's get started.

Begin by making the tomato sauce.

  1. Saute the onions in olive oil over medium heat.

  2. Once soft, add the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt - Cook for 1 minute before adding the two cans of tomatoes. Rinse out the cans of tomatoes with water, wine, or stock.  

  3. Reduce the heat to simmer for 10-60 minutes.  Add your chosen liquid as needed to maintain the sauce consistency.  For our purposes, we will be simmering for about 20 minutes, so this is a quick sauce.

While the sauce is simmering:

  1. Make sure the pot of water is starting to simmer.  Bring it to a gentle boil.  You cannot start canning until the water is at a gentle boil.

  2. If there is space and you are using a stainless steel ladle and funnel, I like to put them in the hot water as well to ensure they don't cool down the sauce when I go to fill the jars.

Time to Can!

  1. Bring your hot sauce close to your stock pot of boiling water and canning jars.

  2. Carefully take the jars out of the water and place them on a clean towel.  

  3. Place the funnel in the jar.

  4. Fill with the sauce, just to the fill line on the jar, leaving some headroom.  These lines are really helpful.

  5. Use the stainless steel knife to stir the liquid a bit if you see bubbles.  You can also gently tap the jar on the counter, but it will be hot.

  6. Using a clean paper towel, wipe the rim of the jar for any drips of sauce.

  7. Place the flat part of the lid on the jar.

  8. Then place the band around the lid and just barely tighten it.  You don't need to screw this down tightly, but it does need to be firmly in place.

  9. Using your Canning Lifter, place the jar back in the hot water.

  10. Continue with the rest of the jars.  Try to do this as quickly as possible just to ensure a similar time in the hot water bath.

  11. Once the jars are back in the pot, make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water.  If you don't have enough, use the spare hot water you have and cover the lids.  If you don't have enough, add hot water from the tap. 

  12. Bring back up to the boil.  Because everything is hot, it shouldn't take long.

  13. Simmer for 10 minutes from either the time the last jar went into the water or the water came back up to a boil.

  14. After 10 minutes, turn off the burner, and let the jars sit in the hot water for an additional 5 minutes.

  15. During this time, prepare your wooden cutting board or wire rack by covering it with clean towels.

  16. After the 5 minutes have passed, use your canning lifter and carefully remove the jars from the water, pouring off any water on the top of the jars.  If that is too difficult, you can use a clean towel to gently dry them when they are on the cutting board or cooling rack.

  17. Do not disturb the jars.  Let them sit for 12-24 hours to cool.  You will hear popping noises when the lid is being sucked in, creating a vacuum.  That is exactly what you want to hear.  When the vacuum has been created, you have successfully canned the sauce.

  18. After 12-24 hours, check the tops of your canned sauce.  There should be no give in the top of the lid when you press it.  If there is, that means the seal wasn't created.  Place those jars in the refrigerator, and use within the next week, or you could freeze them.  There is nothing wrong with the sauce.  It just won't keep on the shelf.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size pot is best for hot water canning?

A great way to choose a pot for canning is to choose the largest jar you will use.  Then measure the height of the jar, adding at least 3 inches above the top (1 inch for water to cover the top and 2 additional inches, or more so the pot does not boil over).

Why do you add lemon juice to the tomato sauce?

When using the hot water canning method, you need the fruit or vegetables to be acidic to ensure bacteria won't grow.  Today's tomatoes are being bred as less acidic than in the past. Adding a bit of lemon juice provides just the right amount of acidity you need.

How long will it take to can the tomato sauce?

The canning is actually the short part of the process.  It only takes 10 minutes to "process" or have the jars in the simmering water, then let them sit there for another 5 minutes, so for the tomato sauce, we're making 15 minutes total.  

Please check the canning recommendation times for other items.  They will vary slightly.  It is important that the jars are in the simmering water for enough time to ensure the products are safely processed and the cans sealed.

What jars should you use for canning?

You always want to use jars that are made for home canning.  I use Ball jars because they are easily found at local stores, but there are other brands.  Here's a blog I wrote about why that's important.

Why don't you add basil to the sauce?

Basil is delicious in a tomato sauce, but whether you are creating a long-simmering sauce or canning your sauce, you want to hold off on the fresh basil until you are ready to serve it.  

Basil, like parsley, is a soft herb and doesn't hold up well to cooking for long periods of time.  If you are canning the sauce, you are cooking the sauce and then canning it in hot water.  

I like to add basil to my canned sauce when I'm ready to use it.  I heat up the sauce and then either add it right at the end or in the bowl as a garnish.

If you want to use powdered garlic, how much should you use?

Powdered garlic works very well in this recipe.  I recommend 1 teaspoon of powdered garlic, but you are able to add more if you'd like.

Class Video
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