Tomato Preserves is a wonderful way to enjoy tomatoes all year. If you grow tomatoes in the summer, this is a recipe you should try. 

Red Tomate Preserves - The Southern Lady Cooks


These preserves are sweet, made with fresh summer tomatoes and spices, boiled down, put into jars, and through a water bath for the canning process. We love to eat this on our cathead biscuits, homemade sourdough bread, or toast. 


Garden Fresh Red Tomatoes – This is a must-make if you grow fresh tomatoes every summer. We like them to be pretty ripe, but you will cut out rotten parts if you find any. 

White Granulated Sugar-The sugar is what makes this sweet and delicious. This will taste like jam or jelly when we are done. 

Spices– This recipe uses cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. It is a wonderful combination that gives these preserves a wonderful flavor.  


Jars with lids-this recipe will make 1.5 half pints of tomato preserves. Be sure that your jars are clean. You can easily sterilize them by running them through the dishwasher. 

Boiling Water Canner with Rack –  Boiling water canners have a lid and a rack for holding jars.  The rack is necessary to keep the jars off the bottom of the canner during the canning process so they won’t crack and to allow water to circulate under the jars.

Canning Tongs – You need these to remove the jars from the water bath. 

Canning Funnell – This makes it much easier to fill the jars since the tomato mixture will be very hot. However, we have done it with a ladle. 

Bowls- for cutting up tomatoes, discard peels and core and a pot to mix the tomato ingredients in for cooking. 


This process can sound overwhelming, but once you get it down, it really comes together quickly. We are going to give you instructions on making the preserves and the canning process as well.


You can wash canning jars and bands in hot water with soap and rinse or place in the dishwasher.  The round self-sealing lids should be prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the box.

Start a pot of water on the stove to scald your tomatoes so that you can peel the skin off. This doesn’t have to be boiling, but you do want it hot. 

In one side of the sink, fill it will cold water and add ice to it to get it really cold. 

You will need a bowl to discard all the peelings and core. Plus, a bowl to cut up the tomatoes into. 


Step 1:
Place a few tomatoes in the hot water, let sit for about 30 seconds, scoop out with a ladle, and put immediately in the cold water. Remove from water once cooled, and peel the tomato. It should come off very easily. Discard the peel, cut up the tomato and discard the core. Continue this process until all tomatoes are done. 

Step 2: 
Next, weigh the tomatoes and put them in a pan. Tie cinnamon stick, whole cloves, and whole allspice in cheesecloth and add the bag to the pot with chopped tomatoes and other spices.  Note* If using ground allspice instead of whole, stir it into the mixture.

Step 3:
Bring tomatoes to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook until syrup is fairly thick. (about an hour at a hard boil). 

Step Four:
Remove the spice bag and ladle into sterilized hot jars, leaving about 2 inches at the top of jar.  Wipe jar rims, add lids and rings. Do not screw rings on tight.  Have canner ready with boiling water ready for jars. 

Step 5
Put jars in canner with canner tongs. Process jars in a boiling water bath canner for five minutes.  Remove from canner with canner tongs. You will hear the jar’s seal with a pop. Once sealed, tighten rings.  Let sit for 24 hours.


You want to make sure the tomato mixture thickens up, so it will be delicious preserves when you are done. You will likely have way more than 2lbs of tomatoes, so double/triple recipe to your liking. We made 13lbs of tomatoes and had 9 half pint jars.


You can make this with yellow tomatoes as well, but we don’t mix them. I am sure some do, but we do red and yellow preserves. The taste of the tomatoes is a little different. 


This tomato preserves is served on anything you would put jelly or jam on. It’s sweet and delicious, and we love it on biscuits. You will love it on our sour cream biscuits



No, you don’t have to, but the idea is for the preserves to be sweet. So you can use a combination of what you enjoy.


Jam is made with mashed fruit, whereas preserves is made with large pieces of fruit. Sometimes the fruit will break down during the cooking process, and you really can’t tell much of a difference.

Sourdough Bread

This bread is always a hit! So good and the stater is so easy!


A good rule of thumb is most canned jams/preserves processed in a canner will be good for a year. Once you open a jar, keep it in the refrigerator. 

 You can double it or triple it; you will likely want to. This recipe is for an abundance of tomatoes and you will want to enjoy your preserves all winter.

Red Tomato Preserves Recipe

The Southern Lady Cooks

This is a great way to use red tomatoes. Red Tomato Preserves is easy to make.

Prep Time 1 day 16 hours

Cook Time 1 hour

5 minutes

Total Time 1 day 17 hours 5 minutes

Course Sauce

Cuisine American, southern

  • 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice or ground allspice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Scald, skin, cut up and weigh tomatoes.

  • Stir in sugar, salt, and ginger.  Tie cinnamon stick, whole cloves and whole allspice in cheese cloth and add bag to pot with chopped tomatoes and other spices. If using ground allspice instead of whole stir it into mixture.

  • Bring tomatoes to a boil, stirring frequently.

  • Cook until syrup is fairly thick. (about an hour at a hard boil).

  • Remove spice bag and ladle into sterilized hot jars leaving about 2 inches at top of jar.

  • Wipe jar rims, add lids and rings. Do not screw rings on tight.

  • Process jars in boiling water bath for five minutes.

  • Remove from canner and tighten rings.

  • Let sit for 24 hours.  Makes 1 1/2 pints.

Keyword Red Tomato Preserves

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