Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Using Fresh Garden Tomatoes

I've had a garden every summer for a few decades and I always grow tomatoes. Not because I love them, but because they are an easy thing to grow if I'm honest. I almost always have success with tomato plants, even if I plant them from seed. Some years, I have more than others and while my favorite thing to make with them is pico de gallo {this recipe is my favorite!}, spaghetti sauce is a close second. Probably because I always feel like a freakin' homesteader mid-winter when I bust out a jar and make a quick family dinner with it! I'm sharing this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe today using fresh garden tomatoes. No garden, no problem! Tomatoes are cheap at the tail end of summer and you can easily find them at your local farmer's market, at the supermarket, or from a friend who has a garden.

homemade spaghetti sauce

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Using Fresh Garden Tomatoes


Earlier this summer I shared this post:

5 Gardening Secrets for a Bountiful Tomato Garden

gardening secrets for tomato garden

Well, the tips work. I have a bountiful tomato garden and I really need to know what to do with all of them. In fact, when I was traveling on our cruise to Alaska, I got an urgent text from my husband who had dutifully picked the tomatoes in the garden as I had asked. He sent me a photo with a heaping pile of tomatoes and was like "what do I do with all of these?" 

The good news is, fresh tomatoes last for what feels like forever. It gives you a few weeks to make a plan for them. Here are some tips for prepping your tomatoes for homemade spaghetti sauce.

spaghetti sauce from garden tomatoes

Making Fresh Tomato Sauce From Scratch

I'm not going to lie, this isn't a quick process. You'll need to set aside at least an afternoon for prep, cooking and clean up, but you'll be go glad that you did when you take out a jar of fresh sauce in a few months! 

If you've never made spaghetti sauce before, this is a good recipe to start with. It's fairly basic and you'll feel successful once you do it giving you the confidence to maybe tackle another canning project or two!

Some Tips for Making Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch

tips for spaghetti sauce

  • An ice bath is key for helping to easily remove the skin from the tomatoes. Don't skip this step
  • You can boil your sauce for less time, but the longer you cook it, the thicker the sauce will be. 
  • For a smoother sauce, you can pulse your tomatoes in your food processer a few times after you remove the skin. 
  • The longer you cook your sauce, the more they break down, so pulsing the tomatoes or chopping them could be a wasted step depending on how long you want to simmer your sauce.
  • Canned tomato sauce can be stored in your pantry for up to a year and in your freezer for about 3-5 months.

You might need:

Want to try a presser canner? This is a highly rated on Amazon

I tend to use a water bath method {less intimidating for me!} in a large stock pot. 

I have a large stock pot I got at a garage sale years ago. This one is a great one that's highly rated on Amazon and around $25.

This is the mini food prep food processer I have. It's great. Small, but great.

Yield: 5 quarts
Author: Rachel Teodoro
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Delicious homemade spaghetti sauce using fresh garden tomatoes!


  • 13 pounds of tomatoes
  • 5 onions
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 12 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 5 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/8 cup sea salt
  • 5 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 5 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 5 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Lemon juice for jars


  1. Fill a large pot halfway full with water, bring to a boil. Slowly add tomatoes one at a time. Allow to boil for about 2 minutes.
  2. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and place them into an ice-water bath. Peel the tomato skins and cut them into halves or quarters.
  3. Using a food processer, add bell peppers and onions in batches until all are finely chopped.
  4. In a large stockpot, place all peeled tomatoes and add in the onion and bell pepper mixture then add in tomato paste, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, oregano, bay leaves, and basil.
  5. Bring pot to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 4 hours, make sure to stir every 15 minutes or so. Discard bay leaves.
  6. Sterilize the canning jars in a hot water bath, and for each quart jar add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Ladle spaghetti sauce into jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace at the top; wipe rims and place lids.
  7. If using a water bath method – Place jars in boiling water for 40 minutes.
  8. If using a pressure canner follow the instructions to process quart size jars of tomatoes

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spaghetti sauce homemade tips and tricks

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