Homemade Diced Tomatoes

How to Make Diced Tomatoes

By Erin Huffstetler | 09/06/2018 | No Comments
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Is your garden producing tomatoes faster than you can eat them? Turn some of your surplus into diced tomatoes to use in your fall and winter cooking. It’s easy to do, and it’ll save you some cash – not to mention the hassle of hauling a bunch of heavy cans home from the store. You can store your diced tomatoes in the freezer, or can them. This recipe includes instructions for doing it both ways.

Homemade Diced Tomato Recipe

Ingredients

Tomatoes
Bottled lemon juice or citric acid (if you plan to can your diced tomatoes)

If you have your choice of tomatoes, use paste tomatoes to make your diced tomatoes. They contain more meat and less water, so they’ll cook down faster, and give you more jars per batch. Roma, San Marzano and Amish paste are all popular paste varieties. Figure on between one and one-and-a-half pounds of tomatoes per pint of diced tomatoes. A canner can hold seven quarts or nine pints at a time, so be sure to factor that into your math, if you plan to can your tomatoes.

Have a big pile of non-paste tomatoes? Don’t let that stop you from making diced tomatoes. Using juicier tomatoes just means you’ll have to let them simmer a little longer to cook down the juices, and that you won’t end up with quite as many jars of diced tomatoes. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to get a good product. Because bottom line: Your homemade diced tomatoes are going to taste better than store-bought no matter what tomato you use. In fact, as you’re about to see, I didn’t use paste tomatoes in this tutorial.

Let me show you how to make a batch.

What You Do:

Closeup of Seeded and Cored Tomatoes

Peel, core and seed your tomatoes. Not sure how to do this? Here’s how to peel tomatoes, and here’s how to seed and core them.

Cutting Board Inside Rimmed Baking Sheet to Catch Juices

Now, dice your tomatoes into small pieces, retaining as much of the juice as you can. I like to put my cutting board inside of a rimmed baking sheet to catch all the run off.

Diced Tomatoes and Juices Cooking in Large Pot

Transfer your diced tomatoes (and their juices) to a large pot, and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for around 30 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking and burning. Your diced tomatoes are done, when the juices start to thicken.

Note: There will still be a good amount of juice in the pan when you’re done, and that’s okay. You want both the diced tomatoes and their juices in your finished jars.

Open Jars of Homemade Diced Tomatoes

How to Can Diced Tomatoes

To can your homemade diced tomatoes, start by adding the appropriate amount of bottled lemon juice to each of your hot, sterilized jars. You’ll need two tablespoon of lemon juice (or 1/2 tsp citric acid) for each quart jar; and one tablespoon of lemon juice (or 1/4 tsp citric acid) for each pint jar. Do not skip this step. Many modern tomato varieties aren’t acidic enough to be boiling water canned or pressure canned without the addition of this extra acid.

Want to salt your diced tomatoes? Then, add up to half a teaspoon of salt to each pint, and up to one teaspoon to each quart.

Once your jars are fully prepped, fill them with your hot diced tomatoes, leaving one-half inch of headspace at the top of each jar for expansion. Use a butter knife, or bubble tool; to remove any air bubbles. Then, screw on the lids and bands, until they’re fingertip tight. To boiling water can your diced tomatoes: process pint jars for 35 minutes and quart jars for 45 minutes. To pressure can your diced tomatoes: process pints and quarts for 20 minutes.

The water and tomatoes tend to separate from each other when you store canned tomatoes. That’s not an indication of a problem. Just shake or stir your diced tomatoes before you use them to bring them back together.

How to Freeze Diced Tomatoes

To freeze your diced tomatoes, simply divide them up between freezer-safe containers (leaving 1/2-inch of headspace); allow them to cool; and freeze. I usually put mine in pint freezer jars because one pint of homemade is the equivalent of one 15-oz can of store-bought diced tomatoes. Be sure to label your jars so you don’t forget what you have.

These printable freezer labels are perfect for the job.

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Homemade Diced Tomatoes

How to Make Diced Tomatoes

Turn an abundance of ripe tomatoes into diced tomatoes to use in your fall and winter meals. This recipe can be frozen or canned.


  • Author: Erin Huffstetler, myfrugalhome.com
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Ingredient
  • Method: Canning
  • Cuisine: Global

Ingredients:

Tomatoes (approx. 1 lb per pint)
Bottled lemon juice or citric acid (if you plan to can your diced tomatoes)

Instructions:

Peel, core and seed your tomatoes. Then, dice them into small pieces. Try to retain as much of the tomato juice as possible (placing your cutting board inside of a rimmed baking sheet is an easy way to do this).

Transfer your diced tomatoes, and all the captured juices, to a large pot; and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring regularly, until the juices thicken.

To Can Your Diced Tomatoes

Add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice (or 1/2 tsp citric acid) to each of your hot, sterilized quart jars. Add one tablespoon lemon juice (or 1/4 tsp citric acid) to each pint jar. This is necessary to bring the acidity to a safe range for both boiling water canning and pressure canning.

If you want to salt your diced tomatoes, this is the time to do it. Add up to half a teaspoon of salt to each pint, and up to one teaspoon to each quart.

Then, ladle your diced tomatoes (and their juices) into the jars, while they’re hot. Be sure to leave 1/2-inch of headspace at the top of each jar for expansion. Use a butter knife or bubble tool to remove any air bubbles. Screw on the lids and rings, until they’re fingertip tight.

To water boiling can: Process pint jars for 35 minutes; quarts for 45 minutes. To pressure can: Process jars (pints or quarts) for 20 minutes.

To Freeze Your Diced Tomatoes

Ladle your diced tomatoes (and their juices) into freezer-safer containers (leaving 1/2-inch of headspace); allow them to cool; then freeze.

Notes

  • A boiling water canner can only hold seven quarts or nine pints at a time. Since it takes approximately one pound of fresh tomatoes to make each pint of diced tomatoes, that means you should only process 9 lbs of tomatoes at a time, if you’re making pints; and 14 lbs, if you’re making quarts.
  • One pint of homemade diced tomatoes is the equivalent of one 15-0z. can of store-bought diced tomatoes.
  • This recipe is based on current National Center for Home Food Preservation guidelines. Do not alter the recipe, if you’ll be canning it.
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