Category Archives: Canning Recipes

Canning Meatloaf

Meatloaf – Yes, Meatloaf – when pressure canned it can be a huge time saver during the week.  On average you get 1 quart of meatloaf per 1 pound of meat.  Do you have a favorite meatloaf recipe?  Great!  That’s a start!  This is canned using the cold canning process, meaning you start with cold sterile jars.  We make our favorite meatloaf recipe as if we were going to cook it, only in a bulk quantity – 20 lbs of ground meat at a time.  *80/20 blend works best, the leaner the meat, the harder it is to get out of a jar.  It’s hard to mix 20 lbs of meat at once, so we break it down to smaller batches and mix 3-4 lbs at a time, pack into the jars and repeat.  This is one time where using wide mouth jars is important!  Once all of the jars are packed, we boil the lids, wipe down the jar rims, place the hot lids on top and tighten down with the rings.  Place the jars in a pressure canner with cold water two-thirds of the way up on the jars.  Seal the pressure canner and turn it on high.  When the pressure builds in the canner, steam will begin to come out of the top.  Let it blow steam for 10 mins before you place the 10 lb weight on top.  *The lb of the weight varies depending on altitude.  When the weight begins to jiggle, set the timer for 90 minutes.  After 90 minutes turn the heat off, allow to cool and release all the pressure before opening.  I usually let mine sit over night.  Jars will be greasy, the meat has cooked and grease bubbled out of the jars before they sealed.  I wash my jars as I take them out of the canner.

Jars cold packed ready to seal.


Our recipe seems to change every year.  This year’s recipe has been a hit with our boys as they keep asking for more!  Our recipe makes 20 quarts so I have adjusted it to make only 7 quarts, since that’s what will fit in one canner at a time.

Ingredients ready to go!

  • 7 lbs of 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 large onion – diced and sauteed
  • 1 green pepper – diced and sauteed
  • 1 – 14 oz bags of stuffing mix
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • Oregano
  • Ground mustard
  • Cajun seasoning

We divide our meat, onions and pepper into 2 batches.  One batch at a time, I mix the meat, peppers and onions together.  Then I add 1 cup of ketchup and 2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce to the meat and mix well.  In a different bowl I mix: 1/2 bag of stuffing mix, 1/2 cup of milk, 4 eggs, 1 Tablespoon of each spice.  We have found mixing the dry spices in the dry stuffing mix works better.  Once you have everything mixed together add the stuffing mixture to the meat, mix well.  Add the meatloaf mixture to the jars and repeat.

Here’s the best part – when you’re ready to eat, simply open the jar, shake the meatloaf into a loaf pan, “glaze it” and heat on 350° for 20 to 30 minutes.  Our favorite glaze is a ketchup and brown sugar mixture and our 20-30 mins is until the glaze bubbles.  It’s cooked, all it needs is warming.

Finished Meatloaf



Canning Chow Chow

This is a staple at my house, my boys think it’s a required condiment with beans.  We normally support one of the local churches and buy Chow Chow Relish at their Fall Bazaar but this year we decided that we would try making some of our own.


This is a 2 day process, or a minimum 4-6 hours as you have to let the chopped vegetables sit so you can drain the excess juice.

  • 10 green tomatoes
  • 4 c. chopped onions
  • 1 large cabbage
  • 12 green sweet peppers
  • 6 red sweet peppers
  • 4 hot peppers
  • 1/2 cup salt

Chop all of the ingredients,  top with salt and refrigerate overnight  (or a minimum of 4-6 hours).

I LOVE my commercial chopper.  Not only does it make chopping super easy but all of the peppers, onions, green tomatoes, etc come out uniform.


After the 4-6 hour wait, drain or press out the excess juice, be careful if you added the hot peppers, this will burn your hands!  Some people add the hot peppers after this step for that very reason.

Bring the following ingredients to a boil. (Be sure to put the pickling spices in a cheese cloth bag. And then remove the bag of spices before canning).

  • 4 cups vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1 Tablespoon celery seed

Once boiling, add the pepper/onion mixture and simmer for 3 minutes.

Fill hot jars, leaving 1/2-in head space, remove air bubbles.  Wipe rims really good with a sterile cloth.  Place lid and ring, seal. Waterbath 10 mins in a water bath canner.

Canning Apple Pie Filling

Apple, apples, apples…..just one reason I love FALL!  This is one thing I wish I canned more of; it never fails, we go through apple pie filling quick!  I need to start making double what I think we will use.  It’s just too easy, grab a can of pie filling, throw it in a pie shell, bake and ta-da – Apple Pie!


  • 6 quarts of apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups of Clear Jel (found at most Amish stores)
  • 5 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 7 1/2 cups of apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice
  • 3/4 cup of lemon juice

In a large stock pot mix together Clear Jel, sugar, apple juice, lemon juice and spices.  Stir continually until the Clear Jel begins to thicken, it will look like store bought pie filling.  Once it begins to thicken, add in the apples and continue to stir.  Let all of the ingredients blend well, about 10 minutes.


When it gets to your desired thickness ladle into clean sterile jars leaving a generous 1 inch head space.  Canning with Clear Jel is tricky.  Be sure to leave extra head space, the Clear Jel tends to expand and increase in size as it increases in temperature. Wipe rims with a sterile cloth, place lid and ring and tighten finger tight.   Water bath for 35 minutes.  Let it sit in the canner for a few extra minutes before taking it out to prevent siphoning.


Now you’re one step closer to making the holidays and family get-togethers a little easier.

Apple Pie Pickles

I’m always looking to try something different.  This recipe got my attention and made my kitchen smell amazing!!!  It reminds me of spiced apples that I had years ago….


This makes 12 pints

  • 24 large apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
  • 12 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Whole Cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon of Apple Pie Spice

Core and slice apples then pack them into mason jars with cinnamon sticks.


In a small pot, cook remaining ingredients over medium heat until sugar and salt dissolve.


Remove from heat and carefully ladle pickling liquid over apples, dividing spices evenly among jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.   Gently tap jar against the table to release any air bubbles.  Apply hot lids and rings tightened fingertip tight.  Water bath for 10 minutes.  Let sit for 2 weeks before opening.



Canning Water for Emergencies

We just missed Hurricane Florence but so many family and friends weren’t so lucky.  As it was heading our way I felt the need to prepare myself just a little more than usual.

My husband thought I was crazy – but let’s be real a minute.  It takes just as much space to store an empty jar as it does one full of water.  So why not take a few minutes to fill some jars full of water and water bath them for 20 minutes.  Then in the event of an emergency that’s one less thing that you have to worry about.  When everyone else is running out to buy water…no worries, you’re covered.  And if you need the jar before you need the water, open the jar and use the water to fill the canner.  After all that consideration, it seemed like a no brainer to me.


I re-used canning lids so there was no expense, just a little bit of time invested.  Once I started talking about this several said they’d done the same thing every time they needed to fill a canner they’d add jars of water…

I filled sterile jars with tap “city” water leaving 1/2 in head space.  You can use filtered water if you prefer.  I boiled lids I had saved from previous canned goods, tightened those down with sterile rings.  I then water bathed them for 20 minutes.


Canning Grape Juice

My Grandmother used to can this and Tomato Juice in half gallon jars….oh how I miss her….maybe just a small portion of her lives on in me.


I canned mine in half gallons, the biggest challenge was finding a pot deep enough to submerged the jars for water bathing.  This recipe is for QUART jars.  In each quart jar I put…


One cup of grapes (rinsed well).



One half cup of sugar – if desired.  I have canned grapes with water and no sugar so I can add stevia when I open and serve.



I filled each jar to  with boiling water leaving 1/2 inch head space.

I tightened my hot lids and rings onto the jars (I gave them a little shake to make sure the sugar dissolved).

Then I processed the jars in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

The juice does need to sit for at least two months so the juices and sugar can blend.  It starts out a pale barely pink color, but within a few weeks begins to darken to a deep purple.

When it comes time to drink the juice, we strain out the grapes as we pour and enjoy!

We have always made this from our home grown Concord grapes, but the same method can be used with any type of grape… and even cranberries!20180819_194133_Burst01-1

Peach Butter

Apple Butter with a twist – PEACH BUTTER!  YUM!  As we wrapped up this peach season I couldn’t let any peaches go to waste – so peach butter it is.  Give me a hot homemade biscuit and this girl will be happy!!!  YUM!


  • 20-24 peaches (depending on the size) – enough to give you 8 cups of peach puree
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon allspice

Peel and pit the peaches, then puree in a food processor. You’ll want a total of 8 cups of peach puree.


Pour puree into a large, heavy bottomed pot and add sugar. Over medium heat, bring peach mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and scorching.  Boil until the mixture is thickened and reduced by about one third, again, stirring to prevent sticking and scorching.  For us this took about 20-25 minutes.

Remove the thickened puree from the heat and stir in the spices.  Stir, stir, stir to mix evenly.  Notice how much the peaches cooked down.


If canning, pour into clean, sterilized canning jars and process for 10 minutes using the water bath canning method.

Any left over peach butter should be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Canning Tomato Juice

Hard work but worth every ounce of effort.  One of my favorites ~ tomato juice!  This is one thing that I craved when I was pregnant and I could drink it straight from the jar.

Wash, quarter and core the tomatoes.


Then we run them thru the juicer – peelings, seeds and all.  This is a family effort at our house.


Once all of the juice is extracted we do run the pulp back through the juicer, grinder or food mill once more for good measure.  After the second run, we heat the juice in a big stainless steel stock pot continuously stirring and skimming off the foam.


Once all of the foam has been removed we being filling sterile jars with juice.  We add 1 teaspoon of canning salt to each jar and give them a stir.


Wipe the rims with a sterile cloth, place the hot lids and rings, tighten the rings and water bath for 40 minutes.


Once you’re ready to open – give it a good shake and ENJOY!   This also makes a great soup base.


Peach – Pepper Jam


A delicious sweet and spicy jam, perfect with crackers and cream cheese, as a condiment or as a glaze for chicken, shrimp or pork.

It never fails, I come home on a Friday evening only to realize that we have to take something to a get-together and I have nothing prepared!  No worries, I grab a jar of peach-pepper jam, a box of Ritz Crackers and a block of cream cheese and I’m ready!  And the best part is the crowd LOVES it!  I never have left overs!

  • 4 cups peaches peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 medium jalapenos seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cups white sugar


Place peaches in a large stainless steel pot.  Combine peppers, lemon juice,  apple cider vinegar with fruit in pan.  Stir well to combine.


Place on the stove-top over high heat and stir until the mixture comes to a full boil.  Stir in sugar and bring to a full rolling boil.


Boil hard for several minutes, stirring constantly until all of the foam is either removed with a spoon or quits rising to the top.  Remove from the heat.


Pour into clean, warm, sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Seal while hot with hot sterile lids.  Water bath for 10


Canning Diced Tomatoes with Peppers also known as “Rotel”.

I use a ton of Rotel in dishes such as Mexican Spinach Dip, Squash Pie, Taco Soup and an amazing cheese dip.  Every year I find that I have all of these canned goods stored up and it dawned on me – I need to can diced tomatoes with peppers!  That’s one of the last of the tomato products that I buy from the grocery store and I was determined this year to add it to my stash.  Tomatoes and tomato based recipes is the #1 thing to can – if you don’t can anything else!  The acid in tomatoes will eat thru a normal can over time so in order to keep the product in the cans they coat the cans with a acid fighting product.  That acid fighting product is also a cancer causing agent – let that sink in a minute.

Here’s what I threw together for my version of a mild Rotel.

  • 1 gallon tomatoes cored, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large bell peppers, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

If you desire a hotter mixture, leave the seeds and ribs in the jalapenos, or you can use a hotter pepper.  If you want it milder, add fewer, or leave them out entirely.

I blanched my tomatoes and filled a gallon pitcher.  I then took my tomatoes and diced them up in a bowl using a hand held cabbage chopper.


Mixed all the of the chopped veggies in a large stainless steel saucepan and add:

  • 3/4 cup vinegar (I prefer apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons canning salt

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.


Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to each pint jar.

Fill the jars, leaving half-inch of headspace.

Wipe the jar rims with a damp, sterile cloth.  Place the hot lids and rings and tighten to fingertip tightness.

Water bath for 15 minutes.  Ensure that the jars are completely covered with water and bringing the water to a boil.


This recipe makes 8-10 pints of Rotel.  What’s pictured below is nearly a double batch.  I had 1 and 3/4 of a gallon of tomatoes.


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