Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce with Garlic and Oregano

by Sally on September 19, 2011 · 52 comments

in Sauces & Condiments, Vegetarian Dishes

Skip the stockpot and pull out your roasting pan for richly concentrated, flavorful tomato sauce. With the end of summer, farmers markets are overflowing with beautiful tomatoes. Romas, beefsteak, and heirloom varieties – I want to bring home bushels full. Take advantage of the season and make roast tomato marinara sauce. Enjoy it tonight, freeze it or pressure can it for winter months to come.

While prices are favorable, I brought home twenty pounds (9 kilos) of fresh tomatoes to make roast tomato marinara. I usually freeze it, but this year I’m going to preserve it in my pressure canner. And any extra I am willing to part with will make terrific gifts that my friends will appreciate.

A Versatile Sauce

This sauce is perfect to have on hand for quick dinners as we head into a busy season.  Toss everything together; pour into a roasting pan and roast for 45-60 minutes. Pulse in a food processor or blender (I use a Vitamix 5200), and you have wonderful tomato marinara sauce ready for pasta and other uses.

Tomato sauce is often made from canned tomatoes, which is fine when fresh tomatoes are not good. But when you can use fresh, local tomatoes why not make sauce and freeze or can it for future needs?

Roast the Tomatoes for Great Flavor

Roasting concentrates the sweet flavors of the tomatoes and brings out the sweetness in the garlic. For roasting, it’s best to use a large stainless steel roasting pan, like the size you would roast a turkey in. If you don’t have one they are a good investment and come in many price points. Just search on Amazon for options.

Lastly, a quick whirl in the food processor  or Vitamix for a chunky sauce or a little longer for a smooth sauce; your preference. Another tool option, try a stick blender (immersion blender). A very handy tool that takes up a lot less kitchen space than a food processor or high powered blender.

All weekend long the house has smelled wonderful with this sauce roasting in the oven. I’ll place the finished jars in my pantry and smile, knowing a quick and healthy dinner is at hand whenever needed.

Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce with Garlic and Oregano

Although ten pounds (4.5 kilos) of tomatoes sounds like a lot, roasting concentrates that into 6-7+ cups, enough for 3-4 pint (half liter) jars. One jar will serve 4 for dinner over pasta. This sauce will keep fresh in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. You can also freeze it or pressure-can it. To roast this many tomatoes at once, you will need to use two roasting pans so as not to crowd the ingredients while roasting. That may require two ovens or roasting in two batches. This recipe is easily halved.

Yield: 7-8 cups (approximately 2 liters)

Ingredients

  • 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) fresh, organic tomatoes
  • 16 whole, peeled, large, plump organic garlic cloves
  • ½ cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup dry red wine (120 ml) (or use chicken or vegetable broth)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Tools: large roasting pans and a food processor

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven (s) to 425 degrees (218C). Get out  two large roasting pans. I use a big stainless steel All Clad (like for roasting a turkey).
  2. Wash the tomatoes. Depending on the type of tomato, you may need to cut out the core first, as with large Beefsteak or Heirloom varieties. Then, cut tomatoes into large chunks. Don’t cut the pieces too small. Big chunks are good. The smaller the pieces are the faster they will roast.
  3. Place tomatoes in the roasting pan; add garlic cloves, oil, wine or broth, oregano, onion, salt and pepper. Toss with your hands.
  4. Place pans in the oven (s) and roast until tomatoes have reduced and are starting to get a few black edges. The pan should still have some juices, not be dry.  Depending on your oven it should take 45-60 minutes. Stir half way through. If the tomatoes are really juicy, it may take longer.
  5. Remove pan from oven, set on the stove top and allow to cool a few minutes until you can handle it. Carefully transfer the roast tomatoes into a food processor with a steel blade and pulse 5-6 times. You can also use an immersion blender (stick blender) in a deep pot placed in the sink to minimize splattering.
  6. The sauce it ready to serve, or cool completely to refrigerate,  freeze or process for canning

Notes: Canning tomatoes requires a pressure canner. See notes below. Knife Tip – This is a lot of tomatoes to chop, so if your knife starts to drag, use your steel to bring back the edge.

Tools and tips:

Canning – I use a Fagor 10 quart (10 liter) pressure cooker/canner. This pot has three uses: as a regular large stock pot, as a pressure canner and as a pressure cooker. Process the sauce in pint/half liter jars for 20 minutes or according to the manufacturers instructions. Along with the pressure cooker, you will need the canning kit

Low-acid foods, such as tomato sauce, must be processed using a pressure canner, not a water bath. Only a pressure canner can reach the 240 degrees necessary to safely process low-acid foods (a ph value greater than 4.6)

Read here for instructions to oven sterilize jars. Place jars on a rimmed baking sheet for 10 minutes at (225 F/107C) for 10 minutes. 

Food processor – I have a new Breville Sous Chef  I’m really enjoying. Large capacity, powerful motor, well designed. Great if you cook a lot, have a family to feed and need a “power tool”. There are other good options from KitchenAid (like the Pro-Line model).

Vitamix 5200 blender – This is my blender of choice, High-powered, high capacity and a versatile tool. Order here and get free shipping.

Immersion Blender (stick blender) – This is another good tool if you don’t have room (or the need) for a food processor. Very handy tool for pureeing soups and sauces and they come with a whip attachment you can use for whipping cream.

Roasting pan – I confess to preferring All Clad stainless steel because they are nice and heavy, which means even heat distribution. I have the big size. Works great for this sauce, roasting lot of vegetables and turkey at the holidays. There is a smaller size as well.

Canning jars – There are many options available. I am using the Bormioli Italian canning jars right now. They work nice as gifts too. There are several sizes to choose from.

You can buy the Fagor 10 quart pressure cooker-canner with accessory kit on Amazon.

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dr. Patrick Mahaney September 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Yum! That looks reminiscent of the sauce my mother makes! You and she should have a cook off for the most amazing foodstuffs of all time.
PM

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2 Jana @ delectablymine September 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

This sauce is beautiful and I’m sure it tastes delicious. It also looks super easy. I’m always on the lookout for a really good marinara recipe, and I may have to try this next!

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3 myFudo September 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm

wow!! your sauce looks great, wishing it was mine :) nice photos.

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4 Madonna September 20, 2011 at 12:04 am

I’m making this. I love the fact you incorporated the type of cookware you used. Once I started using the correct bakeware/cookware my food just kicked up to a different level. I know someone like Bittman said you should be able to cook with any cheap pan, but apparently I am not that talented. Thanks for sharing. I see pasta and pizza in my future.

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5 Sally September 20, 2011 at 12:14 am

Hi Madonna. Thanks for the kind words! My preference for pans is All Clad. The food processor shot is my brand new Breville Sous Chef. So far I’m really happy with it. Big capacity, powerful motor, nice attachments with a container to store them. May have to rite a post about it. Got it at Sur La Table, and the canning jars too. For pressure cookers, Fagor! Happy cooking. Please let me know how the sauce works out for you.

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6 Gloria September 20, 2011 at 3:28 am

Gorgeous sauce. I took the plunge with canning earlier this year with preserves. This sauce looks amazing! I’ll have to see what my local farmers market is offering this weekend.

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7 Teddi September 20, 2011 at 3:50 am

I just found your recipe this morning and made it right away (had all the ingredients out to make my yearly spaghetti sauce and can it). Yours was divine! So simple, easy and I was able to do it all without blanching, peeling and chopping the tomatoes. Thank you so much! For dinner, we used what I wasn’t able to can by adding mushrooms and green peppers and serving over spaghetti squash. Everyone loved it!

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8 Andrew September 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

For recipes like this (which sounds really tasty, by the way) I would recommend getting a hand-held blender. They cut out the work of the blender/food processor by allowing you to puree to any level of chunkiness you want with hardly any clean up. Can’t wait to try this recipe, I just hope tomatoes at the farmers market are still available this weekend.

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9 Sally September 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Hi Andrew, yes, stick blenders (immersion blenders) work really well if you don’t have a food processor. Thanks for the note. I’ll add that. I often forget about my stick blender! I just got a new Breville food processor so I’m playing with that. I hope tomatoes are still available this weekend too. I may have to make and can more. If you make it please let me know how you like it!

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10 Peggy September 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm

This sauce sounds easy and delicious! What a wonderful idea to roast the tomatoes!

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11 Jeff September 24, 2011 at 6:12 am

Wow! It’s like the ideal sauce! I love how thick it looks! I can just imagine the garlic bread dipping into it!

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12 Ryna September 25, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Saw your recipe on Tastespotting. I made a batch of the marinara today and I have to say it is pretty amazing. I probably looked real attractive as I was standing over the sink sopping up the leftovers with a piece of bread before I washed the pan. Thanks for a great recipe. I ended up canning 9 pints and am looking forward to making it again and using it fresh when I have a big group to feed.

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13 Sally September 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Thanks for letting me know Scott! Good for you on the canning. Sounds like your pantry is set!

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14 Laura @ hip pressure cooking January 21, 2012 at 6:24 am

Beautiful, how great to hear about you pressure canning with your pressure cooker! Would you be interested in doing a guest post about it on my website?

Ciao,

L

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15 Sally January 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

Hi Laura. I’ve been enjoying your posts on pressure cooking! Yes, I’d love to guest blog for you and i have the perfect recipe for this time of year. I’ll email you!

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16 Heidi April 6, 2012 at 6:24 am

Can I freeze my marinara sauce in ball jars without canning with a pressure cooker? It turned out amazing! Bon App.

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17 Sally April 6, 2012 at 7:14 am

Yes you can! I have some in the freezer now. So glad it came out good for you!

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18 Ty July 11, 2012 at 7:23 am

This recipe is awesome . I made it last night and it was some of the best tasting sauce I ever had. I didn’t have fresh oregano so I used basil instead.

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19 Lyss July 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Just made a half-batch using fresh tomatoes and oregano from the garden – and chardonnay instead of red wine. Really delicious and so easy. Thanks!

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20 Linda July 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Hi there, I have to call you saucy Sally, because your recipe made the best sauce using tomatoes from our garden. My husband was wowed and truly enjoyed the sauce over a bed of speghetti. PS: for a kick in the sauce I removed the seeds from two CA yellow chili’s and roasted them along side the tomatoes. Thank you for posting and sharing your recipe with us!

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21 Sally August 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Great idea on the chili’s Linda!

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22 Ashley August 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Oh… my…. god… I just made this and I am in heaven!!!! My house smells so amazing, I can’t put it in words. I used San Diego tomatoes I grew in my garden. The taste is unbelievable. I used about 14 tomatoes and it yielded 3 pint size mason jars. I am a happy girl! Wondering how long they will last without having them properly sealed. Any ideas?

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23 Sally August 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Thanks Ashley. Love to hear that! I’d say about 5 days, so freeze what you don’t use within that time. Freeze one, then thaw and try it again. If you like it as well…and you should…you can make a bunch and just freeze for later use, when your garden is all done and your lovely tomatoes are a summer memory. You could also try canning them.

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24 Judy August 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm

O’ my goodness..I just made 3 batches of this recipe from tomatoes & basil from my garden, added some oregano, green pepper & the lushious smell from my kitchen was wonderful. It was so easy & cleanup was a snap. I have 5 pints for the freezer & will do more when more tomatoes come ripe..I licked the bowls & utensils..I love this recipe..thanks for sharing..

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25 KMC September 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm

You mentioned that you were planning on canning this. Do you have instructions for pressure canning?

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26 Sally September 3, 2012 at 10:02 pm

K – Did you see my notes at the end of the post for pressure canning? I hope that explains. If not, please let me know. Hope you enjoy the sauce!

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27 Michelle September 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm

This looks fantastic! I’ve been looking for a perfect recipe to use up some tomatoes. Do you need to peel the skin from the tomatoes? I would love not having to since so many other recipes say you need to!

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28 Sally September 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Hi Michelle. Nope. No need to peel. Easy!

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29 Jim Perry September 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Hi Sally. Dumb question for you. I really want to make this sauce, but I have no idea how many tomatoes are in 10lbs. I buy my produce from a local stand which does not have scale. Thanks for the recipe, I can smell it cooking already.

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30 Sally September 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Hi Jim. Without a scale it’s hard to measure. Tomatoes vary so much by size and variety. Strange how they don’t have a scale of any sort. You might be able to figure 4-5 per pound of good sized ones, then multiply by 10. It’s a lot of tomatoes! When I get to the market for tomatoes I will try and figure it out.

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31 k.c. September 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I use hot water canning process for my salsa, I’ve never had any problems. Why would this sauce be any different?

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32 Sally September 16, 2012 at 11:22 pm

My understanding is that anything made with tomatoes should be pressure canned for food safety, because tomatoes are a low acid food. Maybe whatever you use in your salsa changes that acid/alkaline balance where it is safe to use a hot water can process. Only a pressure canner can reach the 240 degrees necessary to safely process low-acid foods (a ph value greater than 4.6). It would be interesting to know what the ph is in your sauce. If you check it out, let everyone know by commenting back.

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33 Cindy October 6, 2012 at 5:11 am

Well, it is Saturday morning and I will be off to farmers market now! This looks fabulous!

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34 Englishjewel May 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

Good day. Do l have to remove the seeds from the tomatoes. l am looking forward to making a batch this weekend

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35 Sally May 21, 2013 at 11:03 am

Hi Jennifer. No, you do not need to be concerned with removing the seeds. Please let me know how your batch comes out.

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36 LaurieTX June 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I saw this on Pinterest yesterday and pinned it. We have a TON of fresh tomatoes ready to be canned. We have tomatoes here in the spring and fall and this is the first time we’ve seen a recipe like this. I’ve got it in the oven right now and it smells AMAZING! I can’t wait to taste it when it’s done! :) Thank you!

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37 LaurieTX June 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm

WOW…this is so delicious! My hubby, who is the tomato grower in our family, loves how this tastes. He even thinks it’s the best marinara we’ve ever made!
Again, thank you!

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38 Sally September 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Love to hear that Laurie! Thanks!

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39 psrs84 August 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm

No mention was made of the tomato skins. As it roasted they peeled off and I picked them out of the sauce before blending. The flavor is very rich.

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40 Sally August 20, 2013 at 9:56 am

Thanks for commenting. You do not have to remove the skins from the roasted tomatoes. Just pulse or puree them into the sauce as they become very soft from roasting.

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41 Leesa in Oregon August 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm

This is a FANTASTIC recipe!! I just made it to put in the freezer made with tomatoes from our CSA farm and it will be awesome to have this winter!! I just sealed it in a food saver container in 2 cup increments. Perfect for a quick pasta dinner. I LOVE that it only has a few ingredients and tastes so fresh!! I did add fresh basil and doubled the garlic…. we LOVE both of those. It was fun to have something new to use my garden oregano in. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!

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42 Sally August 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Thanks for letting me know Leesa! You made my day! I love this sauce too! Good note on the basil and extra garlic.

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43 Peg September 17, 2013 at 1:34 am

Hi, I just subscribed today. I saw the recipe “Roasted Tomato Marinara Sauce with
Garlic and Oregano and tried to print it out, but message is not able until website completes. Needless to say I was disappointed. I’m picking the last of my tomatoes and I wanted to use this recipe. Can you help me, perhaps send me the recipe until I can figure out why your website doesn’t download completely. I’m still a bit of a rookie when it comes to computers.
Thank You. Peg

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44 Sally September 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

Hi Peg. Sorry you are having printing problems. Computers can be a challenge when you just want them to cooperate! I emailed you the recipe. Please let me know how it works out for you.Hope you can print from the email.

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45 Jen September 19, 2013 at 4:07 am

This sounds delicious! I know you mentioned freezing or canning – can you tell me the best way to freeze? And what about thawing for use? Any tips would be appreciated as it looks wonderful and I would love to have extra!

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46 Sally September 19, 2013 at 9:10 am

Hi Jennifer – It is delicious! I freeze in small glass jars. Fill them almost the top allowing for just a little head space as the sauce may expand a bit when it freezes. Be sure to label and date with masking tape and a sharpie. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or under cold water in the sink, changing the water every 30 minutes until thawed. If you are in a hurry. thaw until you can get it out of the jar, then place in a small saucepan over low heat, covered, until hot and ready to serve. Stir occasionally. Hope this helps!

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47 Dalynn September 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm

I am so excited to make this tomorrow! I was wondering if roasting them in a couple of 9×13 pans would work or a cookie sheet. If not, I’ll probably just use my big stockpot that’s oven-safe. I don’t have a roasting pot yet! I have one of those disposable aluminum ones but I don’t think that’s recommended for tomatoes. Let me know your thoughts! Thanks for this delicious-looking recipe!

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48 Sally September 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Hi Dalynn. You will have to let me know how how it comes out. Your house will smell great while it is roasting. On the pan issue. 9×13 baking dishes could work. Don’t fill them too full. You may have to roast in smaller batches to get it all done. If you crowd your pans with too many tomatoes, they will more steam than roast because of the liquid. You want the liquid juices to reduce and concentrate. There should still be some juices when it is ready, and the edges of some of the tomatoes might be a little blackened from roasting (I have a convection oven). A pot won’t give the same results. You need the open surface space of a roasting pan or large baking dish. And you are right, aluminum is not good because of the acidity of tomatoes. Could you borrow a pan from a friend? I just loaned one of mine to a friend so she could make this!

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49 Jeff September 7, 2014 at 7:43 am

Hi Sally,

This is a great recipe – I have been using it for the past few years. I usually make about 50 pint jars. Yum!

Two questions for you: I am always a little worried about the safety of using olive oil (many sources say it’s a no-no); and, in the pressure canner, I often get some jars that seem to boil over. Any suggestions?

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50 Sally September 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Hi Jeff. Thanks for letting me know. I love to hear that a recipe is working and being enjoyed by someone. Really makes me smile. 50 jars! Whoa! On the olive oil question. Because this is just a little oil it is not a problem. If you were canning something in all olive oil, that could be a big issue. Canning a product made only in oil would be a no-no from what I have read. Be sure to wipe the jar rims so that no oil residue is left behind. Food in Jars has a tip about wiping the rim with vinegar, a good idea. http://foodinjars.com/2011/11/canning-101-is-it-safe-to-can-products-that-contain-some-oil/

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51 Syrenna September 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm

This sounds very good and an interesting way to make it. I’m excited to try it, but you didn’t say how long or at what pressure this should be processed at for canning. Thank you

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52 Sally September 7, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Hi Syrenna. I use a 10 quart Fagor pressure cooker and high pressure. It is the stove top style, not an electric. Process the sauce in pint/half liter jars for 20 minutes or according to the manufacturers instructions.Give yourself enough headroom before screwing on the lids. I have not canned this for awhile. I just freeze it now. Getting lazy! Thanks for the question Syrenna.

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