New This Month

Canned Tomatoes


This recipe provides an ideal way to enjoy the taste of peak-of-the-season tomatoes once summer is gone. The tomatoes are peeled, seeded, and fit into jars, which are then processed in a hot-water bath and allowed to cool.

  • Yield: Makes 6 quarts


Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2005


  • 18 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 12 fresh basil leaves


  1. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Score an X in the bottom of each tomato. Boil tomatoes in batches until skins begin to split, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the ice-water bath; let cool slightly. Peel, core, and halve tomatoes. Working over a sieve set in a bowl, remove seeds. Discard seeds, and reserve juice.

  2. Add lemon juice, if using (see note above), 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 basil leaves to each of 6 hot, sterilized 1-quart jars. Fill jars with tomatoes, cut sides down, compressing with a rubber spatula to remove air bubbles. Add reserved juice, leaving 1/2 inch space in each jar's neck. Wipe rims of jars with a clean, damp cloth; cover tightly with sterilized lids and screw tops. Transfer jars, using tongs or jar clamp, to the rack of a large canning pot filled with hot water; cover with water by 2 inches. (Jars should be spaced 1 inch apart, and should not touch sides of pot.) Cover; bring to a boil. Process jars in gently boiling water for 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 24 hours. Press down on each lid. If lid pops back, it is not sealed; refrigerate unsealed jars immediately, and use within 2 weeks. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place up to 1 year.

Cook's Notes

Sterilize jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. Use new lids, and sterilize them, according to manufacturer's instructions. The USDA recommends adding 2 tablespoons lemon juice to each quart of tomatoes to increase the acidity and to help prevent spoilage.

Reviews Add a comment

  • matbrahler
    26 SEP, 2008
    The tomatoes in the newsletter picture should have been cooked more. They're floating. They would never have won a ribbon at our local fair.
  • MS10845116
    20 SEP, 2008
    The directions of caning toamtoes are ok but far to complicated. I tried to explain a eaiser version and for some reason I have to many. You don't have to go through all that trouble to can tomatoes. If you want a eaiser way email me at
  • mzspiff
    12 SEP, 2008
    I agree with adding salt and also the scalding time. If you leave them too long, they turn to mush when you try to cut them. I ended up making tomato sauce with my juicer from some of them. GET A JUICER...You won't believe how easy it is! Mine has a hand crank and works like a dream!
  • roka
    11 SEP, 2008
    I never scald my tomatoes more than 20-30 seconds. Any longer and too much pulp comes off with the skins. And most of the vitamins, etc. are right below the skin.
  • sillyswede
    11 SEP, 2008
    You don't need to add lemon juice, the FDA's recent report says that even least acid of tomatoes are still high enough in acid to kill bacteria with the proper processing time. I also add garlic and oregano to my tomatoes. You do need to add the salt, but you can add as little as 1/2 teaspoon per quart. Just taste test when you are using these in your recipes for the possible addition of salt.
  • aviatrix1
    11 SEP, 2008
    This is really useful for those of us who contemplate canning. Not too scary.