Table of Contents
  1. Watch how to make this spaghetti sauce
  2. How to Can Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

It’s sauce time! This is a Midwest version of marinara sauce. Originally from local church cookbooks, the flavors are homey with a little zip. I’ve changed up and added to the recipe to make it even better. Personally, I use this for pasta, pizza, and some soups.

Watch how to make this spaghetti sauce

YouTube video
Glass jar filled with red spaghetti sauce sitting on white countertop with green herbs and red tomatoes in background with extra glass jars filled with sauce

How to Can Spaghetti Sauce

4.19 from 43 votes
While many buy this pantry staple in the store, there's no reason it cannot be made at home! This homemade spaghetti sauce is a delicious recipe that's perfect for canning for use the entire year!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Process Time 40 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings 9 quarts


  • 25 lbs tomatoes weighed then cored and seeded
  • 8 cups finely chopped onion
  • 4 cups finely chopped fennel bulb
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves finely chopped
  • 1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves finely chopped
  • 10 sage leaves finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs oregano leaves stripped and chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp anise seed
  • 4 tbsp kosher salt
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • ½ cup bottled lemon juice or citric acid (recommended by the USDA canning guide)


  • Make a tomato juice by running the tomatoes through a tomato strainer, juicer attachment, or by peeling them and blending them.
    25 lbs tomatoes
  • Add the tomato purée to an extra-large heavy-bottomed kettle.
  • Stir in the prepared onion, herbs, fennel, spices, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low boil, and cook until reduced at least ¼ or until thick like a sauce, about 2-4 hours.
    8 cups finely chopped onion, 4 cups finely chopped fennel bulb, 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves, 1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, 10 sage leaves, 2 sprigs oregano, 1 sprig rosemary, 3 sprigs thyme, 5 bay leaves, 1 tsp fennel seed, 4 tbsp kosher salt, 1 tsp anise seed
  • Add tomato paste, if using, and cook an additional 5 minutes, ensuring the paste is worked into the sauce.
    12 oz tomato paste
  • Add the bottled lemon juice (or citric acid) and stir to combine.
    ½ cup bottled lemon juice or citric acid (recommended by the USDA canning guide)
  • Pour prepared sauce into sterilized jars. Fit with lid and ring and process in a water bath, adjusting for altitude according to the USDA canning guide, as follows:
    For quarts: 40 minutes
    Pints: 30 minutes
    8 ounces: 25 minutes
  • Remove from the canner and allow to rest for 12 hours.
  • Store sealed jars in a dark area.


Food safety tip: This recipe may not be approved by the USDA. To prevent the risk of botulism, always check with the USDA Canning Guide.
  • This recipe can be halved for less output.


Serving: 1tbspCalories: 5kcalCarbohydrates: 1.2gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0gMonounsaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 27.6mgPotassium: 59.8mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.7gVitamin A: 9.7IUVitamin C: 3.3mgCalcium: 3.7mgIron: 0.1mg
Course Preserving
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Canning

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. Love your energy and helpful gardening videos! Your recipes are also amazing…I grew up in the Midwest but in retirement we have moved to a warmer climate.

  2. 5 stars
    I love your sauce, but on your video when did you add the 1/2 cup lemon juice? Does it change the taste? IS It ok to can without it?
    Thank you-Sandy

  3. 5 stars
    Kaleb –

    I am obsessed with your videos, I love them for many reasons. Your bright spirit and personality, the fact that you genuinely are enjoying making all those wonderful recipes (I’ve tried several). LOVE them too! My favorite so far is the dilly beans, which I didn’t even know existed before your video. Now my favorite snack! I came for the first time just so I could try them! Keeping doing you, you brighten my day! 😊

  4. I made this for the first time using canning tomatoes & also my own grown herbs & it is awesome. I was so pleased. I am 76 yrs old….still working…..still doing my own small garden on tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers & herbs. & all this gives me so pleasure & happiness. Thank you so much for the recipe & video. You are a pleasure to watch doing all your videos.

    1. 5 stars
      Forgot to mention in my comment that we did add garlic, since we have an abundance of home grown garlic. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    This sauce is AMAZING! We canned 7 pints last weekend and will probably double that amount this weekend, with a bumper crop of tomatoes. Love the technique and the concentration of flavors is crazy good. Since we are not using sauce/plum tomatoes, ours did take a while to reduce to the thick consistency (around 3 1/2 hrs). SO WORTH IT!!

    1. Does anyone know if I could just through the entire tomato In a blender, peel and all, and call it good? I do not have a juicer. He says something very quick that that might be ok, but I’m just wondering if there is more prep than that? I obviously don’t want to ruin a huge batch of this.

  6. Hi Kaleb, I’m going to try this! The video doesn’t show adding lemon juice, but the written recipe mentions it. Could you clarify, please.
    Thanks and love all of your recipes and videos.

  7. It looks fantastic, I am very surprised you did not add garlic.
    I do love the use of fresh herbs in recipes.One of my favorite recipes thus far is your eggplant parmesan, I have made it several times.

  8. 5 stars
    This spaghetti sauce is fabulous!! My husband and son were a bit skeptical about the fennel and anise. Let me just say that this is the only spaghetti sauce that will ever be made in our household. It is a wonderful use of produce from our vegetable and herb gardens.

  9. Kaleb,

    Wanted to make your spaghetti sauce today but it didn’t say when to add the lemon juice please clarify?

    Thank you,

  10. 5 stars
    I want to make your Spaghetti sauce but I don’t like the taste of fennel. I want to replace it with garlic. How much should I use?

    LOVE your videos!

  11. 5 stars
    Our second year making and canning this AMAZING sauce! Definitely watch the video for all of Kaleb’s great tips (my fave is processing the onions and fennel with the fresh herbs. A HUGE time saver). Only change I make is adding in about 5 large cloves of garlic which I process along with the onions. Then we can in pint jars and enjoy all fall and winter long. <3

  12. Hi Kaleb 😊 I just wanted to let you know I just made your canned spaghetti sauce with the tomatoes from my garden…So Delicious! It was very easy to make too! I just wanted to let you know.❤️