Monday, September 11, 2017

Homemade Tomato Sauce (No Peeling Required)

Preserving tomatoes.  It's something I've been doing for a few years now.  And, although I enjoy the final project, let me be honest...prepping the tomatoes is a messy, time consuming chore that I don't enjoy.  Marking the tomatoes with an X, blanching them, plunging them into an ice bath, then peeling the skin's a lot of work!  I even tried the food mill strainer/sauce maker.  Let's just say that I made a bit of a mess and move away from the subject.

The garden has been generous with tomatoes this year, but I was dreading the preserving process.  I thought, why go through that mess...there has to be an easier way.  By cooking (or oven roasting) the cut tomatoes and using an immersion blender, this homemade tomato sauce is now my go-to way of preserving the harvest - no peeling necessary!  I currently have some stored in the freezer and in jars on my pantry shelves.  

The immersion blender does a great job of  blending the skins into the sauce...I don't even notice that they are there.  If you don't mind the texture of seeds, this sauce is definitely one that you may want to try.  It is a basic sauce, one that can be tailored many different ways when you cook a meal.  By adding some herbs or spices you have a great pasta sauce.  Add some vegetables (and meat), voila you have a yummy vegetable soup.  Onion, garlic, and peppers added to this basic sauce makes a delicious salsa.  A little cream or milk added makes a satisfying tomato soup.  The possibilities are endless!

Types of Tomatoes
Traditional sauce recipes call for plum or paste tomatoes because of their firmer, meatier flesh, but I like to add a variety of tomatoes along with them.  I even toss some cherry tomatoes into the mix.  If the tomato has blemishes make sure to cut away the bad spots.

Stove Top
For a true tomato tasting sauce, simply halve or quarter the tomatoes and place in a large pot with a little salt and pepper.  Use a potato masher to get them broke down a little, then cook for a couple minutes.  At this point, use an immersion blender to finish pureeing.  Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 90 minutes to achieve your desired sauce thickness.

Oven Roasted
Using this method, you will get a deep, almost smoky flavor that is both beautiful and delicious.  Here's how I make oven roasted tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes have cooked and you have pureed them, you can preserve them for a later use.

Once the sauce is cooled, transfer to a freezer safe container, leaving room for expansion.  The sauce should keep for at least 6 months.

Hot Water Bath Canning
Ladle the hot sauce into prepared canning jars, adding bottled lemon juice for safety measures.  Follow proper canning procedures.  Canned tomato sauce should keep for at least one year. 

The preserved tomatoes that I have stored away will grace our dinner plates (and bowls) later this year as the snow swirls...well I hope we  can wait that long to eat them. ;-)


  1. Easy is good. I was under the impression that tomatoes, because of their acidity, have to be pressure canned. Love roasted tomatoes!

    1. As long as you use bottled lemon juice with tomato products you can hot water bath them Daisy. Although I use my own recipes, Ball's Book of Canning and Preservatives is what I use for processing times. It's also easy to freeze them if you don't want to can. ;-)

  2. Hi Lori! I've been freezing my tomatoes as they ripen, which is much easier when you don't have a crop that is ripe all at once, which I never seem to have. Then, I take the frozen tomatoes, put them in a large pot, add a cup or so of water, and let them simmer until they have reduced in size close to half. Then, I pour the sauce in the blender, and puree, then pour into my hot jars adding lemon juice and salt, according to the Ball book recommendations, and water bath for our altitude. I have also just frozen them in glass jars with plastic lids too. Either way, there are a tiny bit of peels that still may be part of the sauce, but very minimal, and saves all that work of peeling! Plus, you get the benefit of all of the tomato, skin and all.

    Happy canning :)

  3. Great idea Marilyn, to freeze them until you have enough to make sauce. I love how pureeing them there is minimal skin much easier.


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