Category Archives: Canning Recipes

Canning Applesauce

This little guy pictured below loves applesauce.  After some persuasion he talked me into canning some for the family.  He put in his best effort, he helped peel for what seemed like forever and never once complained!


This was one of the easiest recipes yet.  It is a Ball Book Recipe and says that it makes 8 pints or 4 quarts.  Our apples yielded more like 5+ quarts.  We cooked 48 lbs of apples and they yielded 21 quarts.

  • 12 lbs of apples
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • cinnamon to taste – if desired

Sterilize your jars and get the lids and water-bath canners ready.

In a stainless steel stockpot, combine apples with just enough water to keep them from sticking.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to boil gently and stir occasionally for 10-20 until apples are tender.  Time varies based on type of apples and their ripeness.


Once the apples are cooked down to the desired consistency, we drained any excess juices from the apples, saving the juice.  We saved the juice just in case we needed to add some back to get our desired consistency when blending the apples.  We like our applesauce thick.  In cases where it is too thick we add some of the apple juice back to it and blend again.


If you’re using a food mill or blender, blend your apples to the desired consistency and add them back to the stock pot.  We used a submersion blender, so we simply added ours back to the stock pot and blended as we went.  Once you have the apples at the desired applesauce thickness mix in the sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil.  Maintain this gentle low boil as you ladle the hot applesauce into the hot sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles.  Wipe rims.  Place lid and ring and tighten to fingertip-tight.


Place jars in canner, make sure they’re completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and water-bath both pints and quarts for 20 minutes.



Spaghetti Sauce – No Meat

Spaghetti Sauce is a staple at our house.  We use it for so many things.  It takes some work, but your kitchen will smell like Little Italy ~ it smells SO GOOD!  We’ve canned spaghetti sauce both with meat and without meat.  What we’ve found is that the processing time is much less and the jars much cleaner if you can it without meat.  If you can this with meat you’re looking at pressure canning it for 90 minutes, whereas; without meat it’s water bathed for 40 minutes.  This recipe yields 12 quarts and fills one roasting pan. You can also cook it in a stock pot.

Let the fun begin:


  • 25 lbs of tomatoes
  • 4 large green peppers, seeded and diced
  • 4 large onions, diced
  • 4 cans (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 2  tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves

Tomatoes can be cored, quartered and processed through a juicer OR blanched, cored, peeled and cooked, depending on the texture of spaghetti sauce you prefer.  We juiced our tomatoes for this recipe.


Dice the green pepper and onions.  Mince the garlic.  Combine all the ingredients in a large pot or roasting pan.  Simmer for 4-5 hours or until it’s the thickness you desire.

**Note – if using Roma Tomatoes, the Tomato Paste is not required.


Discard the bay leaves.  Jar up the sauce in sterile jars and add 2 tsp of lemon juice to each jar for added acidity (if desired).  The recipe that I used called for the extra lemon juice, however our tomatoes are very high in acid and we don’t add the lemon juice.  Wipe rims with a sterile cloth, place 2 piece hot lid and ring, tighten.  Waterbath for 40 minutes.


Canning Salsa with Mrs. Wages

We love salsa at my house….it fits right in with our Taco Nights.  We’ve made it different ways and this one seems to be a favorite.

When we make it, we use 3 packs of Mrs Wages at a time and it yields 16 pints.

We roast 1/3 of the tomatoes for 30 minutes on 350 degrees. In this case, it was 6 lbs of tomatoes cored and quartered.  We add to those tomatoes, 1 onion and 3 minced garlic cloves to a 9×13 pan and place it in the middle of the oven.


While those are roasting, I blanch, peel and core the other 12 lbs of tomatoes and start cooking them.  Add 1 and 1/2 cup of vinegar to the tomatoes, that’s 1/2 cup per pack of the Mrs. Wages.   Then we add Mrs Wages MILD Salsa mix to the tomatoes.

Once the roasted tomatoes are done, add those to the stock pot and bring to a boil.  At this point I use a submersion blender to change the consistency to thin instead of chunky.  My crowd prefers a restaurant style salsa rather than a chunky salsa.

Bring to a boil for 10 minutes.  We do boil and stir our batch longer, sometimes up to an hour.  The longer you cook it, the more water you will cook out of it. Then we waterbath it for 40 minutes per the instructions on the package of Mrs. Wages.

Canning Tomato Soup

A friend passed along her mother’s tomato soup recipe and I had to try it!  Oh MY ~ this definitely gives Campbell’s a run for their money!  Since I was canning this, the one thing that I did do differently was leave out the corn starch, I will add a little bit of that as I heat it up.  Her original recipe added 3 tablespoons of corn starch along with the sugar and salt.


  • 1 peck of tomatoes
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 bell peppers (diced)
  • 2-3 onions (diced)
  • 10 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons salt

Blanch, peel and core tomatoes.  Cook tomatoes.  Cook peppers and onions in saucepan with butter until tender.  Add onions and peppers to the cooked tomatoes.


Cook together for 10 minutes.  Add sugar and salt to the tomatoes and bring to a boil.

At this point I took a hand held submersion blender to my tomato mixture.


Depending on how thick or thin you like you soup you can strain it.


Put the tomato soup in hot, sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Wipe the rims to ensure that there’s nothing to keep the lids from sealing.  Place hot lids and rings on the sterile jars.  Water Bath for 20 minutes.


Cold winter days….tomato soup…..grilled cheese sandwiches………..YUM!

Yields 10 – 12 pints based on how thick or thin you like your soup.

Canning Peaches – Hot Pack vs Raw Pack

Peaches ~ yum!  Peaches and ice cream, peaches and pound cake, peaches and whip cream…..the list goes on!

As many ways as there are to eat peaches you will find that many ways to can peaches.  Peaches can be canned so many different ways:  Hot Pack or Raw “Cold” Pack, light syrup, heavy syrup and even with natural juices and no “syrup” at all.  In the picture below, you will see a comparison of Raw Packed on the right verses Hot Packed on the left, notice how the raw packed peaches float.  Have you ever wondered why?  When you raw pack the peaches without cooking them first they contain oxygen which causes the peaches to shrink and float after being heated in the water bathing process.


An average of 17½ pounds is needed for 7 quarts in order to fill your water bath canner. A bushel weighs an average of 48 pounds and yields 16 to 24 quarts – an average of 2½ pounds per quart – depending on which method you use to can the peaches.


  • 1 1/2 gallon of quartered peaches
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 Tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of salt


  • 3 cup of sugar
  • 5 cups water

Regardless of which method you prefer, the first step is to blanch, peel and slice the peaches:

Blanch peaches for 30 seconds by dipping them in a pot of boiling water.  Remove peaches from boiling water and put them in ice water to cool.   At this point the skins will easily slide right off and can removed by hand.

Cut the peaches into slices or halves, depending on whichever you prefer.  Put cut peaches into a bowl with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of  vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon of water.  Placing the peaches in the vinegar/salt water is just for “holding” until all of the peaches are peeled and sliced.  This vinegar/salt water solution helps prevent the peaches from changing color.


Prepare the syrup mixture and bring to a boil until the sugar is dissolved.  Depending on the canning method that you use depends on if you add peaches to the syrup and cook or if you use the syrup to pour over the peaches.  See below:

HOT-PACK:  In a large stockpot place drained fruit in syrup, water, or juice and bring to boil.


Fill jars with hot fruit and cooking liquid, leaving 1/2 inch head-space.  Place halves in layers, cut side down.  Hot-packing is the practice of heating freshly prepared food to boiling, simmering it 2 to 5 minutes, and promptly filling jars loosely with the boiled food.  Whether food has been hot-packed or raw-packed, the juice, syrup, or water to be added to the foods should also be heated to boiling before adding it to the jars. This practice helps to remove air from food tissues, shrinks food, helps keep the food from floating in the jars, increases vacuum in sealed jars, and improves shelf life.  Preshrinking food also permits filling more food into each jar.

RAW-PACK:  Pack peaches in hot, sterile jars comfortably.  I use a “spaghetti spoon” to spoon the peaches out of the vinegar/salt water and place in sterile jars before I pour my sugar syrup mixture into the jars over the peaches.   Add warm syrup solution made with 3 cups of sugar and 5 cups of water leaving 1/2 inch head-space.  Raw-packing is the practice of filling jars tightly with freshly prepared, but unheated food.  The tighter you can pack the jars, the better.  Just don’t overdo it.  You can pack them so tight and full that they don’t seal.  Such foods, especially fruit, will often float in the jars.  The entrapped air in and around the food may also cause discoloration within 2 to 3 months of storage.

Remove any air bubbles.


Wipe rim of jar to ensure a good seal.  Apply a warm lid and ring and twist tightly.  Water bath the peaches for 20 minutes.

**When preparing your water bath canner remember:  Cold Jars = Cold Water and Hot Jars = Hot Water.


Hot Packed Peaches….


Raw Packed Peaches….


See the difference?  Regardless of how you can them – both methods taste delicious!!!

Canning Tomatoes – “Hot Pack” Method

This is one of the very first things that I learned how to can and it’s a staple at our house.  If you ever researched the cancer causing ingredients in canned tomatoes that you buy at the grocery store you will never buy another store bought tin can of them.   We use these tomatoes in chili, soups, salsa, spaghetti sauce…you name it.  I try my best to can an average of 50 quarts of these a yr, that’s about 1 per week.  Red, Yellow, Pink – it doesn’t matter the color, for canning purposes a tomato is a tomato.

Blanch the tomatoes.  Peel the skins off and cut the cores out.

If you’re cold packing the tomatoes at this point you would put them in the jars with salt and process.  The difference between Cold Packing and Hot Packing is cooking the tomatoes down so that there’s no oxygen left in them to cause them to float in the jar.  When you see tomatoes and or other fruits floating in jars, chances are they were cold packed.  Refer to my canning peaches post for a good example and comparison.


Cook the tomatoes.


Skim all the foam off the top.


Ladle the hot tomatoes into hot, sterile jars.  Add 1 tsp of canning salt per jar.  My Grandma and Mom added 1 tsp of sugar to the jars too.


We water bath ours for 20 minutes.  I have seen people just put a hot lid and ring on them, cover and sit them aside.  And I’ve seen people water bath them for 40 minutes.



Peach Jam – No Pectin

Peach jam is probably one of my all time favorites, at least it gives blackberry jam a run for it’s money. Growing up we had a peach orchard with over 500 trees.  Just recently some of those peach trees were replanted, and we’re just now beginning to harvest peaches after years with no orchard.  This is one of those recipes that I literally take from the farm to the jar.

This recipe yields 8 jelly jars (8 oz)

  • 3.5 lbs of peeled, cut up peaches – mashed
  • 2.5 cups of sugar
  • Juice from one lemon, lemons are naturally high in pectin
  • 1 T Real Butter
  • 8 sterile jars, rings and lids

Place the jars in the oven, heat to 200°. Mash the peaches with a chopper.


Squeeze a lemon into a cup and pour it thru a strainer to catch all the pulp and seeds.

Add peaches and lemon juice to a pot and bring to a boil.  Once it’s at a rolling boil, boil for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring.

Add sugar and butter.   Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 30 minutes, stir occasionally.  Be sure to stir it enough that it doesn’t stick.  Skim off any excess foam.


Boil lids, fill hot jars with the hot jam and wipe the tops with a clean sterile cloth.  Place the lids, put the rings on and tighten.  Water bath for 10 minutes.

Water Bathing Instructions:  While cooking the peaches, I start my canner of water on high.  Jelly jars require 1-2 inches of water over the jars.  If placed carefully you can get 12 jars in the canner.  Once the jars are ready and placed in there, I put a lid on the canner and bring it to a boil.  Once boiling, I boil for 10 minutes.  Remove jars, cover with a towel and cool over night.  Don’t be surprised if your jars start sealing as soon as you take them out of the canner.

I don’t use Sure-Jell in my jam recipes for a reason.  Have you ever noticed that the recipes that call for Sure-Jell call for more sugar than fruit?  Let that sink in a minute….



Canning Blackberries in Blackberry Sauce for Cobblers, Sonkers and Dumplings

Imagine having that sweet blackberry cobbler mid December and it taste like you just picked the berries….get ready because that’s what’s going to happen this winter!  Having this in your pantry, you’ll be minutes away from mouth watering Blackberry Cobblers or better yet – Blackberry Dumplings…..YUM!  This recipe takes whole blackberries and covers them in a blackberry sauce so that you have cobblers and dumplings in no time!

When my Dad called and asked if I could do something with really ripe blackberries, I stopped what I was doing and drove straight to pick them up.  Getting this many berries – don’t just happen every day.  These were too ripe to sell at the market, but perfect to preserve – only I had no time to waste…my evening plans quickly changed!  My parents know I’m a “no waste” type of gal, so they knew I’d find something to do with them!


Here’s the base recipe.  For the quantity of berries I had, I doubled it and it yielded 19 quarts and 1 pint.  Based on this recipe, I’d prepare 10 quarts or 20 pints depending on how you prefer to preserve it.  You can even can this in 1/2 pints if you’d like!  It’s all about preference.  Big family, big cobblers, quarts – that’s my preference.

  • 8 quarts of blackberries (separated into 3 quarts and 5 quarts)
  • 8 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Rinse and place 3 quarts of blackberries in a stockpot.  Set the other 5 quarts of berries aside.  Add the lemon juice and 2 cups of sugar to the stockpot and mix.

Cook on low, mixing constantly so that it doesn’t scorch or stick.  As the sugar dissolves, add more sugar, 2 cups at a time, stirring constantly.


Once all the sugar is dissolved use a mixer or stick blender to blend the berry mixture. This will give you the “soupy” texture that you need in order to be able to fill the jars around the whole berries.  Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sterilize the jars and boil the lids and rings.

Rinse the remaining 5 quarts of blackberries. Loosely pack blackberries in jars, filling snugly but do not pack the jars. You want to be able to fill the jars with the berry sauce and the more “packed” the jars, the harder it will be to fill.

Pour sauce over the berries leaving 1/2 inch for headspace.  Remove any air bubbles.



Wipe the rims with a sterile cloth, place hot lids and tighten rings.

Waterbath quarts 20 minutes, pints 15 minutes.


Canning Cabbage

A few years ago my husband and I had a sauerkraut competition.  I made some my way, in an old fashioned crock and he made some his way by putting it in a jar and processing it.  We ended up with old fashioned sauerkraut like Grandma’s and some amazing canned cabbage!  This is the recipe that resulted in the amazingly good canned cabbage.

When you’re getting things together, keep in mind 1 head of cabbage averages 3 quarts of canned cabbage.

Shred the cabbage and pack the sterile jars full, up to the neck, leaving 1 inch of head space. Use a wooden spoon to reallly pack the jars.


Add to each jar 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon canning salt, and 1 teaspoon of vinegar.


Fill each jar with boiling water up to the neck.  Place hot lids, rings and tighten.


Waterbath 20 mins.  This stuff is great fried, added to soup or simply warmed up.  Enjoy!


Mama Patty’s Bread ‘n Butter Pickles

Mama Patty is the Mama of a dear friend of mine.  She is one of the sweetest, God loving ladies you’ll ever meet.  When her daughter sent me this recipe it was cause for excitement!

Have you ever asked a friend for a recipe, only to realize that no matter how much you doctor it up, it won’t taste like her’s until you have the secret ingredient?!  And to complicate matters – the secret ingredient is homemade pickles….Mama Patty’s Homemade Bread ‘n Butter Pickles to be exact.  Now, I can say that I have the recipe for the secret ingredient to Angel’s A-MAZ-ING Potato Salad!  (Yes, that potato salad really is that good!)

This recipe has been passed down for generations in their family and now I will share it with you.  Here’s the recipe as I received it – in Mama Patty’s handwriting:


  • 1 1/2 gallons of cucumbers, sliced (approximately 8 lbs of cukes)
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canning salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Wash the cucumbers thoroughly.  Slice cucumbers and onions, add 1/2 cup of salt, cover with ice and set aside for 2 hours.

Mix sugar, turmeric, mustard and celery seeds and add to vinegar in a large stock pot. Heat until the sugar is dissolved.


Drain cucumbers and onions, add to sugar/vinegar mixture.  Bring to a boil, but do not boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.


Ladle the hot cucumbers and syrup into hot sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles.  Wipe rim with a sterile cloth, place the hot lid and ring, tighten.  At this point, our ancestors would set them aside and let them seal.  Today, many people water bath for 10 minutes.  It’s your preference.


Enjoy!  And the next time you make potato salad – use these pickles instead of store bought relish!  ~ You’ll thank me later 😉

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