What do you do with a bounty of zucchini? Every year gardeners make zucchini bread, cake, zoodles, etc. But then what? You still may have 20 lbs lurking in your garden.
I found a great recipe online at Food.com to slay through pounds and pounds of zucchini. It is a summer spaghetti sauce recipe that uses a pressure canner (although I’ve had luck freezing the sauce too). Each batch requires five pounds of unpeeled zucchini! The original recipe has been modified here.
I usually can 4 batches of this sauce every summer. Quart jars are the perfect size for families, pint jars for couples. The sauce tastes great in the middle of winter mixed with ground beef or turkey and poured over pasta.
Important! You must use a pressure canner to properly can this low-acid recipe. You cannot use a water bath canner, pressure cooker, or InstaPot as they will not reach a high enough temperature to properly kill botulism spores in this low acid sauce.
Zucchini Tomato Sauce
Yields 8 pints or 4 quarts
5 lbs fresh zucchini, unpeeled with ends trimmed
2 28-oz cans tomato sauce (I prefer Muir Glen)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
3-5 cloves freshly crushed garlic, depending on your tastebuds
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried basil
Salt for Mason jars
- Sterilize jars, lids and rings. Set aside.
- Wash zucchini. Do not peel. Cut into 1/2 inch chunks keeping in mind how chunky you want your sauce to be when serving. Weigh cut up zucchini and set aside.
- Combine tomato puree, onion, green pepper, garlic and spices. Bring to a boil. Hint: Use a deep pot to contain some of the splatter. Stir often and take care it doesn’t scorch.
- Once it comes to a boil, add the zucchini. Stir often and bring again to a boil. Taste sauce and make any spice or garlic adjustments.
- Put 1/2 teaspoon salt into each sterilized jar.
- Use a funnel to pack jars with hot zucchini sauce mixture.
- Run a non-metal spatula around the inside of the jar to remove any air pockets. You will want a 1/2″ headspace.
- Wipe jar rims and threads. Place sterilized lids on jars and screw lids on to finger tight.
- Place jars in pressure canner and process according to manufacturer’s directions: Pints at 10 lbs. for 25 minutes, quarts at 10 lbs. for 40 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Allow pressure to reduce naturally.
- Check seals and label. Refrigerate any jars that haven’t sealed and use within a few days. Sauce will keep in pantry for up to one year.