Canned Tomatoes Recipe

My mother's recipe for canned tomatoes. So much better than any store-bought canned tomatoes. With tips for how to can tomatoes.

Canning tomatoes is a Slavic specialty. These babies are so good with hot mashed potatoes or plov. Don’t these pictures give you fuzzy feelings? I can’t help but think about my Mom’s “pomedori” (tomatoes).

My Mom and Aunt Tanya collaborated to give me this recipe. I’m so excited to get this tomato canning tutorial recorded and to share it with you all. Canning tomatoes was way easier than I imagined it would be and I’ve included some time saving tips!!

This recipe yields six 1/2 gallon jars of canned tomatoes. You can easily cut everything in half and make just 3 jars if you don’t have a ridiculous amount of tomatoes. Happy canning! 

Ingredients for Canning Tomatoes (recipe updated 1/25/14): 

12 lbs small tomatoes (2 lbs per jar). Pick tomatoes that fit through the mouths of your jars
6 1/3 quarts water = 25 cups = 6 liters
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
6 Tbsp non-iodized salt (we used sea salt)
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/2″ strips
1 Tbsp peppercorns (10 per jar)
12 dill flowers (2 per jar)
12 bay leaves (2 per jar)
Horseradish Leaf (optional)

You’ll need 6 (1/2-gallon) canning jars with lids. If you have trouble finding this size, they are pretty cheap on Amazon. Wash all the vegetables.

Canned Tomatoes

How To Make Canned Tomatoes:

To Sterilize Jars:

Preheat oven to 215˚F.
Wash all of your jars and lids with soap and warm water.
Place jars in the oven on the bottom rack for 20 minutes or until completely dry. Thanks Mom’s Dish for this awesome tip! Boil lids to sterilize them.

To make the Syrup:

1. In a large pot, boil 6 1/3 quarts of water. Add 6 Tbsp salt, 6 Tbsp sugar, 1 1/2 cup vinegar return to a boil until salt and sugar are dissolved.

Canned Tomatoes-6

Filling your Jars:

1. Divide your sliced bell pepper, peppercorns, dill, bay and horseradish leaves (if using), among six 1/2 gallon jars.

Canned Tomatoes-2Canned Tomatoes-3Canned Tomatoes-2-2

2. Add washed tomatoes and pack them in as tightly as you can without squishing them.  Pour boiling hot syrup over your tomatoes.

Canned Tomatoes-3-2Canned Tomatoes-4-2

I re-used the jar lids and then I come to find out that this is a big no-no in the canning world :-O, so as a rule, don’t use old, deformed or dented lids or ones that have gaps or defects in the sealing gasket.

Canned Tomatoes-5-2

3. Screw the lids on enough to keep a tight seal in place but don’t over-tighten them since air bubbles need to be able to escape and place in the oven at 350˚F for 15 min. Carefully remove from oven (don’t tighten the lid more or you might disturb the seal that has formed), flip upside down and let cool to room temperature.

Note: Current safety standards say that it’s best to put the jars in a boiling water bath with 1-2″ water covering the lid (instead of the baking method) for ten minutes after tightening the lids to preserve shelf life and kill any potential bacteria. For more info on current canning guidelines, click here. I think I need a boiling water canner! 

My mother's recipe for canned tomatoes. So much better than any store-bought canned tomatoes. With tips for how to can tomatoes. My mother's recipe for canned tomatoes. So much better than any store-bought canned tomatoes. With tips for how to can tomatoes.

What’s your favorite thing to eat with canned tomatoes?

Canned Tomatoes Recipe

4.4 from 7 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
These canned tomatoes are so good with hot mashed potatoes or plov. This recipe yields six ½ gallon jars of canned tomatoes. You can easily cut everything in half and make just 3 jars if you don't have a ridiculous amount of tomatoes. Store at room temp or cooler for up to a year.
Author:
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost To Make: Varies by season

Ingredients

  • 12 lbs small tomatoes (2 lbs per jar). Pick tomatoes that fit through the mouths of your jars
  • 6⅓ quarts water = 25 cups = 6 liters
  • 1½ cup white vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp non-iodized salt (we used sea salt)
  • 6 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced into ½" strips
  • 1 Tbsp peppercorns (10 per jar)
  • 12 dill flowers (2 per jar)
  • 12 bay leaves (2 per jar)
  • Horseradish Leaf (optional)

Instructions

To Sterilize Jars:

  1. Preheat oven to 215˚F. Wash all of your jars and lids with soap and warm water. Place jars in the oven on the bottom rack for 20 minutes or until completely dry. Boil lids to sterilize them.

To make the Syrup: ;

  1. In a large pot, boil 6⅓ quarts of water.
  2. Add: 6 Tbsp salt, 6 Tbsp sugar, 1½ cup vinegar return to a boil until salt and sugar are dissolved.

Filling your Jars:

  1. Divide your sliced bell pepper, peppercorns, dill, bay and horseradish leaves (if using), among six ½ gallon jars.
  2. Add tomatoes and pack them in as tightly as you can without squishing them. Pour boiling hot syrup over your tomatoes.
  3. Screw the lids on enough to keep the seal in place but don't over-tighten them since air bubbles need to be able to escape and place in the oven at 350˚F for 15 min. Carefully remove from oven (don't tighten the lid more or you might disturb the seal that has formed), flip upside down and let cool to room temperature.

Notes

Current safety standards say that it’s best to put the jars in a boiling water bath with 1-2" water covering the lid (instead of the baking method) for ten minutes after tightening the lids to preserve shelf life and kill any potential bacteria. For more info on current canning guidelines, visit: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html. I think I need a boiling water canner!

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Natasha Derhousoff Tucker
    January 17, 2017

    I remember my Mom making and eating these tomatoes. She passed away this spring. I’m glad you posted the recipe, as Mom’s recipes went with her.. I’ll have to give this recipe a try.. Mom loved them, sometimes picking them up and sucking the tomatoey goodness out of the skins! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 17, 2017

      My condolences Natasha. Let me know what you think of the recipe. Reply

  • Olga
    August 3, 2016

    Just pickled my tomatoes from the garden I can’t wait to try them… And it was my first time! So easy to follow thank you! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 3, 2016

      You are welcome Olga, I hope you like them 😄. Let me know how they turn out. Reply

  • LW
    April 13, 2016

    I use small pasta tomatoes, the variety from T& T seeds (Winnipeg, MB). called Mama Mia. These tomatoes are work so well for pickling. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 13, 2016

      Thank you so much for sharing that with us! Reply

  • Katrina
    March 30, 2016

    How long would I leave the tomatoes to stand until they are pickled fully? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2016

      I would give it at least a week or more. Reply

  • Laura
    March 5, 2016

    I am wondering how you serve these? They seem more like a pickled tomato, not an Italian type. Do you just eat them as is? Or put them in recipes? I am always looking for new ways to use up my tomatoes. Thanks Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 5, 2016

      Laura, we usually eat them as is, paired with potatoes or rice 😀. Reply

  • Taras
    October 13, 2015

    For those of you who used this recipe and had tomatoes with burst skins just use a large sewing needle to poke holes in the tomatoes. This helps alleviate the pressure inside the tomato when you heat it up. You can also use a sausage pricker that you can find on Amazon and The Sausage Maker. Hope this helps, Taras Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 13, 2015

      That is a great tip! Thank you Taras! Reply

  • Ali
    September 15, 2015

    Would it make a huge difference if used a green bell pepper? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 15, 2015

      Ali, green pepper would be great as well :). Reply

  • September 11, 2015

    hi natasha
    thank you for your receipes. they are easy to follow and so simple.

    To make this say 1 – 2 large jars, could you tell me the receipe. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 11, 2015

      This recipe would make 3 of the large 1 gallon jars. If you want 1 jar, just divide everything by 3. Reply

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