Skip to Content

How To Can Stewed Tomatoes – A Great Recipe To Preserve Tomatoes

When you find yourself with an over abundance of tomatoes, either from your garden or from a local Farmer’s market, and you want to preserve them for later use, turn them into canned stewed tomatoes.

Fresh picked tomatoes, onions, celery and green peppers that are cooked low and slow along with aromatic herbs and spices. This combination creates the perfect ingredient to use in hearty stews, soups, sauces and more.

Instead of using diced tomatoes, substitute the stewed tomatoes in your favorite pasta, rice and casserole recipes. The possibilities are endless, and each time that you pull a jar off your shelf the memories of your summer garden will come rushing back to you.

canning stewed tomatoes

Canned Stewed Tomatoes vs. Canned Diced Tomatoes

So what exactly are canned stewed tomatoes and how do they differ from a can of diced tomatoes? Stewing tomatoes involves the process of simmering tomatoes with other vegetables and herbs and spices, where diced tomatoes are simply just tomatoes that are diced and canned.

Stewing tomatoes allows the flavors of the added ingredients to meld, creating a rich, complex base that’s bursting with savory flavors. Not only do the flavors infuse together as the tomatoes cook, the natural sugars of the tomatoes will get released into the liquid creating a slightly sweet end product.

Because of the longer cooking process, stewed tomatoes are often slightly thicker in texture due to the reduction that occurs as the mixture simmers. This texture makes them a perfect foundation for soups, stews, sauces, and casseroles, where they contribute both flavor and body to the dish.

Diced tomatoes, on the other hand, encapsulate the pure essence of ripe tomatoes. This makes them a fantastic choice when you want to infuse your dishes with the flavor of just-picked tomatoes.

The small bits of tomatoes have a lighter, less concentrated texture compared to stewed tomatoes. They’re commonly used to add freshness and juiciness to salsas, salads, pasta dishes, and sauces where a brighter tomato flavor is desired.

peeling tomatoes
It is best to use at least 75% paste tomatoes to make canned stewed tomatoes.

What Tomatoes Make The Best Canned Stewed Tomatoes

Although you can use just about any variety of tomato to make stewed tomatoes, there are certain varieties that are preferred for a thicker end product. Plum, paste tomatoes such as Roma, San Marzano and Amish paste, are the preferred type of tomato for most canning recipes.

This is because the oval shape, palm size tomatoes have a mild flavor that pair well with other ingredients. They also have very few seeds, low water content and their thicker flesh making them ideal for canning.

However, you can use standard slicing tomatoes as well. Although the consistency of the end product may be thinner the stewed tomatoes will have great flavor.

After testing this recipe several times for the best flavor and texture, it is best to use 75% paste tomatoes and 25% heirloom tomatoes.

However, no matter what variety of tomatoes that you use, choose just ripe tomatoes with a firm texture. And be sure to remove any damaged areas before preserving.

diced vegetables in a large pot
Tomatoes, vegetables and herbs get simmered together to make stewed tomatoes.

How to Make Canned Stewed Tomatoes

STEP 1: Prepare The Tomatoes

Although you don’t necessarily have to peel the tomatoes, it is highly recommended. It improves the consistency when adding the stewed tomatoes to other recipes.

If you leave the skins on, they will eventually come off during the simmering process, leaving strands of skin throughout your mixture. Although not harmful, the texture of tomato skins is unpleasant to many people.

Fortunately, peeling the skins off of tomatoes is an easy process. All you need to do is bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Then place whole tomatoes in the boiling water for 1 minute. As soon as the minute is up, immediately use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes to an ice water bath.

As soon as the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, the skins will easily peel off. Then cut them in large chunks and add them to your pot.

STEP 2: Add The Other Ingredients

Now it is time to add the other vegetables, herbs and spices. Then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it rapidly simmer for 10 minutes.

simmering tomato liquid
Be sure to let the mixture boil for 10 minutes before canning.

STEP 3: Canning Stewed Tomatoes

Only boiling water or pressure canning methods are recommended for canning tomatoes. Older methods, such as open-kettle canning have been discredited and can be hazardous per the USDA.

Although tomatoes used to be considered a high acid food and in the past could be preserved in a variety of ways, that is no longer the case. New varieties of tomatoes, over-mature fruits, and tomatoes ripened on the vine can have a pH level that is no longer considered acidic.

Therefore you must add either lemon juice, citric acid or 5% vinegar to each jar to safely preserve the canned product.

Canned Stewed Tomatoes Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 quarts peeled and cored tomatoes, cut in large chunks
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup diced green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 2 teaspoons salt, optional
  • 6 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar (5%)

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the Tomatoes

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully drop whole tomatoes into the boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately remove and place in an ice water bath. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins with your hands. Core and cut the tomatoes into large chunks.

Stew The Tomatoes and Vegetables

In a large pot over medium-high heat add the tomatoes, celery, onions, green pepper and salt/sugar if using. Heat, stirring frequently until boiling. Boil for 10 minutes.

Sterilize pint sized mason jars. If you have SureTight lids, you no longer need to heat the lids. However be sure to check the instructions on the package to check if they need heated or not.

After the stewed tomato mixture has boiled for 10 minutes, ladle into warm pint jars using a funnel. Once the jar is half full, add 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice to each pint jar. Continue to fill the mason jar until there is ½ inch headspace left at the top for expansion.

Wipe the rim clean and add the lid. Secure by adding the band just until finger tight.

canned stew tomatoes in pressure canner
Use either a hot water bath canner or a pressure canner to safely preserve the tomatoes.

Canning Instructions For Stewed Tomatoes

Water bath pint jars for 40 minutes, (quart jars 50 minutes) or Pressure can at 10lbs. or pressure for 15 minutes (quart jars 20 minutes). *Follow your manufacturer’s recommendation for canning instructions.

Using a jar lifter remove the jars to a countertop with a thick towel. Wait 24 hours and check to see if the jars have been sealed properly by pressing on the center of the lid.

If it moves the jar did not seal properly and place the jar in the refrigerator. Store the remaining jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

As always, feel free to email us at thefarm@owgarden.com with comments, questions, or to simply say hello! You can sign up for our free email list in the subscribe now box in the middle of this article. Follow us on Facebook here : OWG Facebook. This article may contain affiliate links.

Yield: 6 pints

Canned Stewed Tomatoes

Canned Stewed Tomatoes

Peeled chunks of stewed tomatoes with onion, celery and green peppers that is perfect to use in soups, stews, roasts, and more!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Inactive Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts peeled and cored tomatoes, cut in large chunks
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup diced green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 2 teaspoons salt, optional
  • 6 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Instructions

Prepare the Tomatoes

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully drop whole tomatoes into the boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately remove and place in an ice water bath. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins with your hands. Core and cut into large chunks.

Stew The Tomatoes and Vegetables

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat add the tomatoes, celery, onions, green pepper and salt/sugar if using. Heat, stirring frequently until boiling. Boil for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat canning lids and sterilized pint sized mason jars. Add the recommended amount of water to your pressure canner and add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to the water.
  3. After the mixture has boiled for 10 minutes, ladle into warm pint jars using a funnel. Once the jar is half full, add 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice to each pint jar. Continue to fill the mason jar until there is ½ inch headspace.
  4. Wipe the rim clean and add a warm lid. Secure by adding the band just until finger tight.

Canning Instructions

  1. Water bath pint jars for 40 minutes, (quart jars 50 minutes) or Pressure can at 10lbs. or pressure for 15 minutes (quart jars 20 minutes). *Follow your manufacturer's recommendation for canning instructions.
  2. Using a jar lifter remove the jars to a countertop with a thick towel. Wait 24 hours and check to see if the jars have been sealed properly by pressing on the center of the lid. If it moves the jar did not seal properly and place the jar in the refrigerator. All sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Notes

Use in soups, stews, roasts, and any recipe that calls for stewed or diced tomatoes.

If using quart size jars, increase lemon juice to 2 tablespoons per quart jar.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 44Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 729mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

Skip to Recipe