More Tomatoes? Make Sauce. Don’t Make it Hard.

Making tomato sauce is easy if you have this thing called a food mill (costs about $25-$45 depending on where you buy it). This one looks pretty much like mine:  Food Strainer-Food Mill.   A 2 quart metal food mill.

If you use a food mill, there’s no peeling, coring, and no de-seeding. (We do not like all that stuff in our sauce.) As a bonus, I can use my food mill for applesauce, pear sauce, and tomato sauce.

So let’s make tomato sauce.  It’s not hard.  Don’t make this cooking stuff hard.  I’ve looked at other sites, and they made it hard.  Don’t make it hard.  If it’s hard, you won’t do it.  If you can boil water and turn a crank, you can make sauce.  You can make sauce.


Gather all the free tomatoes you can find: cherry, yellow, red, heirloom, roma, you name it.
Wash them, and cut the large ones in half. Throw them into a large, heavy bottomed soup pot (you want a heavier one to avoid sticking and scorching).  Just toss the cherry tomatoes in there whole.  Smoosh the tomatoes down with a spoon or something, just enough to get a bit of juice on the bottom of the pan so the tomatoes don’t stick.
Tomatoes ready to be made into sauce

Place the pan of tomatoes on the stove over medium to medium-low heat.  Stir the tomatoes frequently (about every 5-10 minutes) until they simmer down and get really soupy looking.  Continue to cook, cook, cook at a simmer.  Make sure to stir as you work about the kitchen, scraping the bottom of the pan so none of your tomatoes stick and scorch.

Tomatoes cooking down for sauce

Cook them until they are a thick, sauce-like consistency.  Just like your spaghetti sauce out of a jar.  The time this takes will vary, depending on how juicy your tomatoes were, what kind you used, how high your heat is, and other variables.  But we’re talking quite some time.  I don’t know, 1 hour for a small, tiny pot and 3-4 hours or more for a big, huge pot.

You will feel so happy and homemaking as you see this stuff simmering on the stove all day.  Appreciating how easy it is.  I don’t have a photo for this stage, of either myself or the tomatoes.  If this simmering is interrupted by kids, husband, or a need for sleep, then just pop it in the fridge overnight.  Bring it to a boil and then keep simmering it until its the right consistency the next day.  Don’t let interruptions interfere with easy, real food.

Place a food mill over another large pot or a large, deep bottomed bowl.  If the pan or bowl isn’t deep enough, the sauce will come up over the bottom of the mill and the sauce won’t be able to run out.  Pour some of the pulpy sauce into the food mill.  It is hot.  So don’t burn yourself.  Turn the crank clockwise to force the sauce through the sieve.  Every now and then turn counter-clockwise to remove the pulp and seeds from the sieve holes.  Continue until you have finished milling all the tomatoes.

Making tomato sauce with a food mill

At this point, follow canning procedure for tomato sauce.  I always use the Ball Canning Guide for my canning guidelines.  Or you can freeze it in appropriate freezer gear.  Or you can use it immediately.  Here we made “vegetable lasagna.”  Okay, vegetarian readers.  I said “vegetable,” not “vegetarian.”

Vegetable lasagna


To make the typical seasoned sauce like you’d buy in a jar, I brown some onion, garlic, and green pepper in olive oil.  Then I pour in the sauce and simmer awhile, depending on how much of a time crunch I am in.  While it’s simmering I add in some oregano, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.  And some sweetener if it needs it, a tablespoonful at a time.  I use honey, but you can use your choice (sugar, Stevia, brown sugar, agave, etc).  By the way, technically you should add the basil right at the end because it loses its flavor.  But who has time for messing around with that?

We use our canned sauce for tomato soup, vegetable soup, chili soup, vegetable lasagna, bunless sloppy joes,  barbecue crockpot pork.  You name it.



So that’s it.  Show your mom and grandma up.  Make sauce.  Eat real food.  MAKE real food!!!


5 thoughts on “More Tomatoes? Make Sauce. Don’t Make it Hard.

  1. ConfessionsOfAnImperfectHomeschooler

    I have canned tomatoes until I truly believe they may come out my ears hahaha and corn and kraut and mixed pickles and pickled corn and grape jelly and….well ya get me. I always mix my tomatoes, some canned stewed, some puréed, some salsa, some spaghetti sauce. This year was a year of abundance for tomatoes I think…everyone is canning up a storm in this area and most of the yield was tomatoes and corn.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Mmmmm! That sounds awesome! I am fermenting some kraut now! I wish I had the patience to chop up everything for the salsa. That sounds so yummy right now! Thank you for commenting! Hope homeschooling is going great!

  2. Pingback: Finishing Up the Garden: All of the Rest of the Garden | the homeschooling doctor

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