The Canning Diva: Tomatoes

10:52 AM, Oct 16, 2013   |    comments
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Diane's Basil Diced Tomatoes - makes about 8 pints or 4 quarts


• 16 cups of cored, diced Roma tomatoes - I leave the skins on
• 1 large yellow (or green) bell pepper, chopped
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 2 tbsp of fresh garlic, minced
• ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped (I prefer the basil to be large in size so I chop accordingly)
• 1 tbsp raw sugar
• 2 tbsp salt
• Fresh ground black pepper to taste
• Lemon juice - to use during hot packing process

In a large stainless steel stock pot, combine all ingredients, minus the lemon juice, and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. While stirring, allow to gently boil for 5 minutes to thoroughly blend each flavor.
Jar Prep: Because we are hot packing the basil tomatoes, be sure your jars have been resting in hot water in the sink. Just prior to hot packing, add lemon juice to each empty hot jar: 1 tbsp for pints and 2 tbsp for quarts.
Add hot basil tomatoes using a slotted spoon, ensuring each jar has a generous 1" head space. Ladle in juice from the mixture being sure to maintain the 1" head space.
Wipe each jar rim and screw band with a warm wash cloth prior to securing lids and rings. Place sealed jars in your pressure canner being sure the water completely covers the tops of each jar. Allow steam to vent for 10 minutes, then close vent. Heat until reaching 10 pounds of pressure, then process pints for 15 minutes and quarts for 20 minutes.
After processing time has been reached, turn off the heat. Allow the pressure in the canner to reach zero on its own, which usually take about 30 minutes. Remove canner lid and allow jars to set for 10 minutes inside canner. Remove jars to a draft free location in your kitchen to cool down completely before storing.
The Canning Diva

I substitute my Basil Diced Tomatoes for plain diced tomatoes, unless of course basil and peppers don't mesh well with the dish I'm making. I use them in soups, stews, over baked chicken, or sometimes I'll just heat up a jar and toss with pasta if I'm not in the mood for a heavy sauce. The possibilities are endless! Get creative and have fun with your meals~

Tomatoes Packed in Water - Spice Blend Options
Adding dried herbs and spices to your home canned tomatoes gives you a leg up during meal preparation. Below is a fun list of two of my favorite spice blends you may use when canning tomatoes this season. Whether you are dicing, mashing or leaving them whole, create tomatoes that suit your cooking style and will work with recipes created in your home kitchen!
Tip: When filling your jars before processing, first add the required amount of lemon juice and selected spice blend before adding the tomatoes.

Taco/Chili Seasoning Spice Blend
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 ½ sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
Use 2 ½ teaspoons per Pint jar or 5 teaspoons per Quart jar

Italian Spice Blend
4 tsp dried Basil
2 tsp dried Thyme
3 tsp dried Oregano
2 tsp dried Rosemary
1 tsp dried Sage
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
Use 2 ½ teaspoons per Pint jar or 5 teaspoons per Quart jar

These are just some fun blends I use at home - you are welcome to add, omit or create your own spice blends based on your tastes - so long as the herbs and spices used are dried. Enjoy~

Diane Devereaux
The Canning Diva 

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