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Canned Tomatoes

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings: 1 quart-sized jar


  • 15 whole plum tomatoes or enough to fill a 1-quart ar
  • 6 leaves basil or another fresh herb
  • 1 whole bay leaf optional
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice see note


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare another large bowl of ice water.
  • Select ripe tomatoes and wash them. With the tip of a paring knife, cut around the core at the top of the tomato and pop it out. Score the underside of the tomato with a shallow X.
  • Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 30 seconds or until the skins begin to crack. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drop them quickly into the cold water.
  • Slip off the tomato skins. Leave them whole or cut them into quarters or halves. Pack them in the jar, pressing down gently after each two tomatoes are added to release juice and fill spaces.
  • Add basil leaves or bay leaf or any herbs that you wish to. Leave ½ inch of head space at the top. Place the lids on top and tighten gently. Add salt and lemon juice.
  • To preserve for winter, put the jar in a boiling water bath (212°F) for about 45 minutes. Remove from the water and tighten the lid. You will hear a fun “popping” sound as the jar cools, which indicates it is sealing.
  • Note: Old school canning books and modern canning books have very different views on the amount of acid to add to your tomatoes. Some old school canning books don’t think you need it at all while government websites today will suggest high amounts or that you use citric acid. I suggest doing some research and seeing what you’re comfortable with. This is what has always worked for me, but I tend to not worry about this sort of thing. Cheerio!