Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

This homemade roasted garlic tomato sauce is packed full of fresh summer tomatoes and lots of roasted garlic. Canning instructions included!

Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce by Nutmeg Nanny

I’m at it again.  I can’t stop canning! When I saw the recipe for this roasted garlic tomato sauce I knew it had to be made.  How could I pass up something that sounded that delicious!  I went down to my local farmers stand and picked up a basket of tomatoes, garlic, green peppers and fresh herbs.
The sauce took awhile to make but nothing smells better than tomato sauce simmering on the stove.  The roasted garlic made my house smell amazing too.  I was in foodie smell heaven.

Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce by Nutmeg Nanny

The sauce is (obviously) flavored heavily with garlic but it also includes freshly roasted peppers and TONS of fresh herbs.  It’s definitely one of my (new) favorite sauces!

Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce by Nutmeg Nanny

For the sauce the tomatoes have to be peeled. If you do not know how to easily peel tomatoes (this works for peaches too) you are going to love this little tip.  Get a pot of boiling water on the stove.  In a large bowl add ice and fill with cold water.  Cut out the stem of the tomato and drop a few tomatoes in the boiling water.  Let them hang out in the water for about 10 seconds then, using a slotted spoon, take them out of the boiling water and into the ice bath.  Let them cool in the ice bath before you try to handle. They will be hot.  Once cool, take out of the ice water and the skins should peel right off. Some people like to use a paring knife to help with the peeling but I find it easiest to just peel the skin off using my hands.


Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce by Nutmeg Nanny


Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce

This homemade roasted garlic tomato sauce is packed full of fresh summer tomatoes and lots of roasted garlic. Canning instructions included!

Yield: About 6 pints

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes


  • 6 heads of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium red, yellow or green sweet peppers - halved and seeded
  • 12 pounds ripe tomatoes - peeled
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves - chopped
  • 1 cup lightly packed assorted fresh herbs - oregano, thyme, parsley
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice (use bottled lemon juice not fresh)

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Canning Magazine


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel away the dry outer layers of skin from garlic bulbs, leaving other skin and cloves intact. Cut about 1/2 inch off pointed top portions, leaving bulbs intact but exposing the individual cloves. Place the garlic heads, cut side up, in a 1 to 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cover casserole dish.

On another foil lined baking sheet, arrange peppers cut side down and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.

Roast garlic and peppers for 40-50 minutes or until pepper skins are charred and garlic cloves are soft. Cool garlic on a wire rack until cool enough to handle.

For the peppers, pull up sides of foil and pinch together to fully enclose the peppers. Let peppers stand for 15-20 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel off skins and discard. Chop peppers, set aside.

Remove garlic cloves from paper skins by squeezing the bottoms of the bulbs. Place garlic cloves in a food processor. Cut peeled tomatoes into chunks, add some chunks to the garlic in food processor. Cover and process until chopped.

Transfer chopped garlic and tomatoes to a 7-8 quart stainless steel, enamel or nonstick heavy pot. Repeat chopping the remaining tomatoes, in batches, in the food processor. Add all tomatoes to the pot.

Add brown sugar, salt, vinegar, and black pepper to the tomato mixture. Bring to boiling. Boil steadily, uncovered, for 50 minutes, stirring often. Add chopped peppers to tomato mixture. Boil for 10 to 20 minutes more or until mixture is reduced to about 11 cups and reaches desired consistency. Remove from heat, stir in basil and herbs.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice into each of the six hot, sterilized pint canning jars. Ladle hot sauce into jars with lemon juice, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids.

Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 35 minutes (start timing when the water returns to boiling) Remove jars from the canner, cool on wire racks.

54 Responses to “Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce”

  1. #
    Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies — August 29, 2011 at 12:06 am

    I would love to have a supply of that sitting in my pantry.

  2. #
    Cathy — August 29, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Oh dear, this looks delicious. I’m such a sucker for tomato sauce. I have canning equipment but have never used it, but I think it’s time I start!

  3. #
    Erica — August 29, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Mmmm looks like it has awesome texture-so good!

  4. #
    Megan'sCookin' — August 29, 2011 at 9:12 am

    You have been doing some canning girl, and it all looks wonderful. This sauce looks delicious with all those herbs and garlic.

  5. #
    Jessica / Green Skies And Sugar Trips — August 29, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I am loving all your canning posts!!!! Now I want sauce!

  6. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — August 29, 2011 at 10:37 am

    This looks amazing! I really need to learn to can!

  7. #
    Delishhh — August 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    OMG looks soo good. I love tomato soup and this looks fabulous. Very nice!

  8. #
    Joanne — August 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I am so glad I’m getting tomatoes in my CSA today! Otherwise my grief at not having the ability to make this would be uncontrollable.

  9. #
    Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} — August 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Oh, I WILL be making this! I have a ton (and when I say ton I am not exaggerating) of tomatoes in the garden.

  10. #
    Denise @ Creative Kitchen — August 29, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Wow!! You are on a roll! 🙂

  11. #
    Maris — August 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Oh YUM! I really wish I knew more about canning and how to do it safely, etc. I think I could easily power through some of this without even needing to can it 🙂

  12. #
    Dana — August 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Um, yum! One of my coworkers was just telling me about canning her own sauce, and now I can see why she raved… it looks and sounds delicious! I may have to try my own hand at it!

  13. #
    rebecca — August 29, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    wow now this sauce rocks 🙂 and so many possible uses for it

  14. #
    Elizabeth — August 30, 2011 at 3:02 am

    This looks so rich and divine! in fact all your recipes do! thanks for sharing.

  15. #
    Katherine Martinelli — August 30, 2011 at 4:14 am

    I love homemade tomato sauce and roasted garlic makes everything better so cannot wait to try this! Great recipe.

  16. #
    Chiara @ The Wandering Cook — August 30, 2011 at 5:36 am

    I want some! It looks really delicious… wish I could reach into the screen and eat a spoonful of it.

  17. #
    Lyndsey ~The Tiny Skillet~ — August 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I have yet to make a tomato sauce….maybe I was just waiting for the right one. Looks like this is the place to be for good canning recipes, tips and info!!! It sounds amazing and looks so pretty!

  18. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — August 30, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Wow, what a yummy looking tomato sauce! There are so many things you can do with it, too. Thanks for sharing this excellent and easy recipe. I love your blog!

  19. #
    shannon — August 30, 2011 at 11:38 am

    i really need to start canning. for reasons like this! and spiced plum butter, of course.

  20. #
    Judy@Savoring Today — August 30, 2011 at 11:44 am

    That looks delicious! Do you think it would freeze as well?

  21. #
    Faith — August 30, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I’ve made a sauce like this…yum! Love the effect that roasting has! I really need to jump on the canning wandwagon!

  22. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — August 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Oooh, yum! This sauce just sounds divine. Wishing I had some more tomatoes now.

  23. #
    Reeni — August 30, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    That looks nothing short of amazing! Isn’t canning so satisfying?! Just to be able to reach in at some later point in time and open up a can of the most delicious sauce. Heavenly.

  24. #
    5 Star Foodie — August 30, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Your sauce sounds awesome with roasted garlic!

  25. #
    Suzanne — August 31, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Wow, this looks yummy. You really do have the canning bug and I think that it’s great. Looks like you’ll have a lot of great things in your pantry this winter.

  26. #
    Veronica — August 31, 2011 at 4:16 am

    This is the most beautiful tomato sauce I’ve ever seen! It is so colorful and robust. I esp love the green flecks of herbs. I still need to get my “can” on. Never done it yet!

  27. #
    donna — August 31, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I am so envious! I want some for my pantry! Looks fabulous, fantastic job!

  28. #
    Ira — August 31, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I am certainly going to try this!!!

  29. #
    Biren @ Roti n Rice — August 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Your tomato sauce sounds very tasty! Nice sauce to have around to spice up so many dishes. 🙂

  30. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — August 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    yum!! I love anything with roasted garlic. This sauce sounds really good 🙂

  31. #
    Blond Duck — August 31, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I’m a bit obsessed with Italian right now. You can bet I’ll make this!

  32. #
    Tinkerbelle (@Lillyheart999) — September 2, 2011 at 8:51 am

    this looks amazing!

  33. #
    Jersey Girl Cooks — September 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    This looks just heavenly!

  34. #
    Jeff Blackwell — April 16, 2012 at 5:17 am

    Nanny: Regarding your roasted garlic tomatoe recipe. There is no such thing as rip tomatoes. Maybe ripe? I’m not complaing. I’m just compulsive. I love you web site. You go girl. Thanks.

    • admin replied: — April 16th, 2012 @ 10:23 am

      Oops! I’m off to change it…thanks!

  35. #
    Liz — September 7, 2013 at 10:58 am

    This is outstanding. Was tired of my old canning sauce, which suffered if it wasn’t a good year for tomatoes. This year wasn’t; the roasted garlic and peppers make the sauce more complex and it is DELICIOUS. Thank you so much for this recipe. We enjoyed it last night with eggplant parmesan and it was terrific.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — September 9th, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

      Hi Liz! Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed the sauce. The roasted garlic really puts this sauce over the top. Plus it smells amazing when it’s cooking 🙂

  36. #
    Kandra — August 11, 2014 at 10:52 am

    So, I was cleaning up after using this recipe to process 50# of tomatoes and noticed I didn’t add the lemon juice to the bottom of the jars. How is that going to affect my jars? 🙁

    • nutmegnanny replied: — August 11th, 2014 @ 11:18 am

      Hi Kandra! In my personal opinion the lemon juice is needed. Modern tomatoes are breed to not be as acidic so you need that extra dose of acid to be sure they are canned safely. There are a few options I can offer:
      1 – If it’s been less than 24 hours since you canned the items you can redo the process with new lids and add the lemon juice.
      2 – Freeze the sauce in freezer safe containers. I freeze summer sauce all the time and it turns out great! I like to store it in soup sized tupperware I find at the dollar store. It stays fresh and the containers are super cheap.
      3 – If you only made a little (which I’m assuming you didn’t since you said you processed 50# of tomatoes…eek!) you can safely store it in the fridge for awhile until you use it up.

      I’m not an expert on re-processing but here is a helpful article from a trusted source: (scroll down and read the red block on the right hand side titled “reprocessing”)

  37. #
    Deborah — August 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    When adding the peppers, garlic, and the herbs, does this not reduce the acidity, even more and is the lemon juice, enough? Or should this recipe be processed in a pressure cooker canner?

    • nutmegnanny replied: — August 14th, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

      Hi Deborah! Yes, normally adding in all those extra ingredients will lower the acidity. However, this recipe is from a tested and trusted source (Better Homes & Gardens) so I feel confident with their assessment of how much lemon juice to add. I have made this several times in a water bath and never had an issue but if using a pressure cooker makes you feel more secure I’m sure you can find a conversion online 🙂 Happy canning!

  38. #
    Michelle — January 11, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Hey there!
    Just curious if you have used this recipe post-canning in lasagna? My last batch was a little watery (a different recipe), so I’m looking forward to trying this recipe to see if I have a little better luck! Could just be the newbie canner in me, really excited to have more accurate measurements to try (we kind of made up the last one I tried…could be why it was watery too, ha!)

    • nutmegnanny replied: — January 11th, 2015 @ 7:15 pm

      Hi Michelle! I have not used this sauce in lasagna but it’s my go-to sauce for spaghetti and meat sauce. My dad also likes to use this sauce in chili 🙂 I hope you give it a try and I’m sure it will be delicious in lasagna!

  39. #
    Cyndy — September 12, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Very tasty. Worth the time and effort. Followed the recipe with the exception of adding some chopped tomatoes toward the end of the cooking time, Did not add lemon juice as I am freezing the sauce. The addition of some vegetable broth and a splash of cream makes this an excellent base for a very tasty tomato soup.

  40. #
    Tamra Glover — September 23, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Is it ok to add dry herbs?

    • nutmegnanny replied: — September 25th, 2017 @ 9:10 pm

      Hi Tamra! Yes, but you will want to add a bit less since dried is more concentrated. Enjoy!

  41. #
    Erin — January 18, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Please note: Better homes and gardens recipe says to process this recipe for 35 minutes instead of the 25 above:)

    • nutmegnanny replied: — February 3rd, 2018 @ 3:47 pm

      Hi Erin! How weird! I looked at my old magazine (which is where I got the recipe) and it says 25 minutes but I made the change to 35 in the recipe since I saw they did, in fact, made the change on the website. I have done it for years at 25 minutes but I don’t want anyone taking chances with canning. Thank you for the heads up!


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