how to can spaghetti sauce with a pressure cooker | Family Cuisine

Pressure cookers are a great tool for canning and preserving food, but they're also great for cooking. Pressure cookers can help you make pressure-cooked spaghetti sauce in less than an hour. This is a quick and easy recipe

Spaghetti Sauce 2003

This is a delicious, pure spaghetti sauce recipe for home canning from the USDA.

It’s a plain, simple and mild sauce, not too spicy, ideal for those with simpler tastes. It should be a hit with pickier eaters, such as kids or some seniors.

One hidden advantage of making your own spaghetti sauce is that you may can it in different sized jars, so that you are able to open just the right amount for the recipe you want to use it in: no more wasted spaghetti sauce moldering in the fridge because of that meatloaf recipe that wanted half a cup!

This recipe requires a pressure canner. If you don’t have one, consider making Minnesota Mix instead, which you can open and simmer a bit into a sauce before using. Or, plain tomato sauce.

You can make the regular version (88 calories, 315 mg sodium per 125 ml / 4 oz) or make it sugar and salt-free (84 calories, 24 mg sodium.)

For a version of this with meat, see Spaghetti Sauce with Meat (requires longer processing time in pressure canner.)

See all pasta-sauce recipes for canning.

The recipe

Jar size choices: Either half-litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart)

Processing method: Pressure canning only

Yield: 9 x half-litre (US pint) jars

Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)

Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)

Processing time: Half-litres (pints) 20 minutes; litres (quarts) 25 minutes

Processing guidelines below are for weighted-gauge pressure canner. See also if applicable: Dial-gauge pressures.

Jar SizeTime0 to 300 m (0 – 1000 feet) pressureAbove 300 m (1000 ft) pressure ½ litre (1 US pint)20 mins10 lbs15 lb 1 litre (1 US quart)25 mins10 lbs15 lb

Reference information

How to peel tomatoes.

How to pressure can.

When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.

More information about Salt-Free Canning in general.

More information about canning tomatoes in general.

Recipe notes

  • Yes, peeling the tomatoes is a safety control factor rather than a food preference here. The processing time was developed based on the assumption that you reduced the bacterial load by peeling the tomatoes.
  • The USDA warns not to increase the amount of onion, pepper and mushroom. At time of use, when you open a jar of this spaghetti sauce, you may adjust it however you need to for the exact dish you are making. For instance, you could stir in a jar of drained, home-canned mushrooms or peppers .
  • Instead of green pepper, you can use 125 g (1 cup / 4 oz ) of finely chopped celery. But you can’t use both, owing to the warning above about increasing vegetables.
  • It is absolutely fine, for picky eaters, to omit any or all of the following: onion, garlic, mushroom, pepper (or celery). Why it’s fine is that you are decreasing the density by doing so. It’s only in increasing density that we get our fingers slapped.
  • You could prep and cook the veggies the day before and refrigerate overnight to make sauce day a little easier.
  • Instead of 4 teaspoons of dried parsley, you can use 4 tablespoons of fresh, minced.
  • Acceptable safe ways to adjust flavouring at the end would include adding onion powder, garlic powder, salt sub, black pepper, chile flakes, liquid stevia, more brown sugar, oregano, marjoram, basil, parsley, etc.

Using canned tomatoes

Instead of 14 kg (30 lbs) of fresh tomatoes, you could start with 12 litres (US quarts) of canned (either store or home canned), crushed tomatoes.

The suggestion for canned comes from: Lewis, Sarah. Canning Soups and Sauces. UAF Cooperative Extension, Juneau District. Family and Community Development Faculty. November, 2014. Page 4.

The suggestion also follows the USDA guideline of 1.25 kg tomatoes yielding a litre of crushed (2.75 lbs yielding a quart.)

If you feel it is too “thick” you can always add another can — it’s okay to lower the density in pressure canning recipes.

Recipe source

Spaghetti Sauce without Meat. In: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 3-13.

Spaghetti Sauce without Meat. In: Andress, Elizabeth L. and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Bulletin 989. Sixth Edition. 2014. Page 69.


  • Swapped fresh parsley for dried;
  • Added basil and marjoram suggestion;
  • Reduced oil from 4 tablespoons to 2 tablespoons (to reduce Weight Watcher points)

Spaghetti Sauce 2002


Regular version

Per 125 ml (½ cup / 4 oz):

  • 88 calories, 315 mg sodium

Spaghetti Sauce Nutrition Regular

Sugar and salt-free version

Per 125 ml (½ cup / 4 oz):

  • 84 calories, 24 mg sodium
  • Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2 points.

Spaghett Sauce Nutrition

* Nutrition info provided by

* PointsPlus™ calculated by Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

Spaghetti Sauce 2001

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