Prepping and Canning Diced Tomatoes

diced tomatoes in a bowl
Begin canning diced tomatoes by blanching whole tomatoes for 60 seconds. Remove the tomato skins before dicing tomatoes and filling pint or quart jars. Add bottled lemon juice to the canning jars to acidify the tomatoes and process in a water bath canner for 35-60 minutes.

Preparation Needed for Canning Diced Tomatoes

There are several steps necessary for preparing diced tomatoes for canning.

It is important to prepare the canning equipment while preparing the tomatoes so they are ready at the same time.

  1. Inspect canning jars for imperfections before washing them to ensure there are no cracks or chips.
  2. Sanitize the canning jars by running them through the dishwasher or placing them in boiling water for ten minutes.
  3. Wash canning lids and screw bands with soap and hot water. Soak the lids in warm water for about twenty minutes to soften the sealing compound to help it adhere to the canning jars.
  4. Fill a hot water bath canner halfway with water and bring the water to a boil.
  5. Wash tomatoes using cool, running water to remove dirt and debris.
  6. Removing tomato skin is optional but yields a more uniform product. To remove the skin, score the tomato with a sharp knife along the bottom. Prepare a stockpot with boiling water for blanching. Drop the tomatoes into the water for 45-60 seconds, then submerge them in an ice bath to complete the blanching process. The tomato skins are easily removed after blanching.
  7. Core the tomatoes and trim away any bruises or blemishes. Then dice them into uniform slices using a sharp knife. Once diced, the tomatoes are ready for water bath canning.

What Tools Do You Need for Canning Diced Tomatoes?

Canning diced tomatoes is a lot easier with the proper equipment:

  • Canning funnel
  • Canning jars (pint jars or quart jars)
  • Canning lids and screw bands
  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Jar lifter
  • Knife
  • Large bowl
  • Large stock pot
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Spatula
  • Towels
  • Water bath canner

Ensure all of the necessary tools are sanitized and ready before canning.

Do You Need to Pressure Can Diced Tomatoes?

Per the National Center for Home Food Preservation, it is not necessary to pressure can diced tomatoes. Thanks to the addition of citric acid or bottled lemon juice, the acidity of the tomatoes will have been raised enough to be safe to process in a water bath.

Many home canners prefer the water bath method over using a pressure canner since pressure canning can leave the tomatoes mushy if they’re overprocessed.

Jars of tomatoes in a water bath canner
Water bath canning tomatoes

How Long Do You Water Bath Diced Tomatoes?

It is vital not to start timing until the jars are sealed into the canner, and the water is at a rolling boil.

The processing time for diced tomatoes in a water bath will depend on elevation:

Elevation (ft)0 – 1,0001,001 – 3,0003,001 – 6,0006,000 +
Pints35 mins40 mins45 mins50 mins
Quarts45 mins50 mins55 mins60 mins
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Canned diced tomatoes

Home Canning Recipe for Diced Tomatoes

  • Author: Leo
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: 9 pints 1x


This recipe for canned diced tomatoes is a great way to save fresh tomatoes for later use. Add them as a topping for tacos, as an ingredient in soup, or use them to make a rich, homemade spaghetti sauce.


  • 9 pounds of tomatoes (Roma or San Marzano)
  • 9 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
  • 4.5 teaspoons salt (optional)


  1. Ensure Mason jars have been cleaned by running them through a dishwasher or handwashing them with soap and hot water. Submerge jars into boiling water for 10 minutes to sanitize them. Keep the jars warm until ready to use.
  2. Fill the water bath canner with water and begin heating over high heat while you prepare the diced tomatoes.
  3. If peeling tomatoes, bring a separate pot of water to a rolling boil. Score the bottoms of tomatoes with a criss-cross shape. Blanch the tomatoes for 45-60 seconds, then submerge them into cold water or a bowl of ice water. The skin should pull away easily from the tomatoes after blanching.
  4. Core each tomato and remove the stems. Dice the tomatoes with a sharp knife.
  5. Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of canning salt in the bottom of each hot jar.
  6. Fill jars with raw diced tomatoes and pack them tightly. It may be necessary to use a spoon or other utensil to press down on the tomatoes enough to release tomato juice into the jar. Add tomatoes until ½ inch headspace remains at the top of the jar.
  7. Release any trapped air bubbles by using an air bubble tool.
  8. Wipe the rims of the canning jars and apply lids and screw bands. Screw the bands on until fingertip tight.
  9. Load the jars of tomatoes onto the jar rack and lower them into the prepared canner. Add water if needed to get a water level of 1 inch above the tops of the jars.
  10. Once the jars are in the canner, heat the water to a rolling boil and cover the canner with a lid.
  11. The processing time is 35-50 minutes for pints and 45 to 60 minutes for quarts depending on your elevation:
  • 0 – 1000ft (35 minutes/pints & 45 minutes/quarts)
  • 1,001 – 3,000ft (40 minutes/pints & 50 minutes/quarts)
  • 3,001 – 6,000ft (45 minutes/pints & 55 minutes/quarts)
  • 6,001ft and up (50 minutes/pints & 60 minutes/quarts)

Post Processing

  1. Once the jars are processed, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid.
  2. Allow the jars to rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the jars from the boiling water bath canner using canning tongs and place the jars on a towel-covered countertop to cool.
  3. Do not retighten screw bands. Let the jars air cool for 12-24 hours. You should hear a popping sound as the jars seal during the cooling process.
  4. Once the jars are completely cool, remove the screw bands and check the seals.
  5. If the seal is indented, the jar is safe to label and store in a cool, dark place.
  6. If the seal isn’t indented, you can use a new lid and reprocess it, or put the jar into the refrigerator and consume the contents within a few days.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Canning Time: 35-50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 30 calories
  • Sugar: 4.8g
  • Sodium: 219mg
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.6g
  • Fiber: 3.6g
  • Protein: 1.5g

How to Make Salsa from Canned Diced Tomatoes

An easy salsa to make with canned diced tomatoes is a classic Pico de Gallo.

Combine canned diced tomatoes with chopped red onion, shredded cilantro, and sliced jalapeno. Add lime juice and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

This fresh salsa is great with chips or as a topping for tacos or enchiladas!

pico de gallo salsa with tortilla chips
Pico de gallo

How to Store Canned Diced Tomatoes

Canned diced tomatoes should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. A temperature range of 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for long-term storage.

Label all jars and rotate the stock so the oldest jars get used first. Do not store home canned items with screw bands attached, as this can create a false seal and make jars more difficult to open.

How Long Will Diced Tomatoes Last?

Diced tomatoes will last for 12-18 months after canning. For the best quality, consume within one year. Opened jars of diced tomatoes should be refrigerated and used within 3-5 days.


Leo loves growing and eating his own food and has since he was a child in Alabama working in the giant family garden. He still tries to get as much of his own food in the pantry as possible while living in California and working a much smaller patch of dirt. When not gardening or canning, Leo can often be found deep in a good book or playing with his son.

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