Canned Tomatoes Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
My mother's recipe for canned tomatoes. So much better than any store-bought canned tomatoes. With tips for how to can tomatoes.
These canned tomatoes are so good with hot mashed potatoes or plov. 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. Store at room temp or cooler for up to a year.
Author: Natasha of
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: Varies by Season


  • 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


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 6 1/3 quarts of water.
  2. Add: 6 Tbsp salt, 6 Tbsp sugar, 1 1/2 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 1/2 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.

Recipe 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: I think I need a boiling water canner!