Homemade Tomato Sauce

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tomato sauce


Yield: Makes 12 x 200ml bottles


  • 6.5 kg tomatoes
  • 4 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 kg sugar
  • 100g plain salt
  • 25g black peppercorns
  • 25g whole cloves
  • 50g whole allspice
  • 4 teaspoons (20ml) glacial acetic acid*
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Place the tomatoes and onions into a large heavy based preserving pan.
2. Cook over a gentle heat until a reasonably amount of liquid has been released and then add the sugar and salt.
3. Tie the peppercorns, cloves and allspice in a piece of muslin and add to the pan.
4. Gently boil the mixture for 2-3 hours until the mixture is thick, stir at times.
5. Pass the sauce through a mouli to remove seeds and skins. Alternatively you can remove skins manually and puree with a blender. Return sauce to the washed out pan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and add acetic acid and cayenne pepper, stir to combine.
6. Pour the sauce through a funnel into sterilised bottles and seal when cold.

*Glacial acetic acid is bought at pharmacies.  It is a preservative and is highly concentrated hence the small amount used. Glacial acetic acid eliminates the need for vinegar which is a very diluted form of the same. Take care when handling glacial acetic acid and make sure it doesn’t come in contact with skin at all.

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18 thoughts on “Homemade Tomato Sauce

    • Hi Wendy, it is a matter of phoning around pharmacies and seeing who has it. I bought mine this year from Auckland City pharmacy. They couriered it to me.
      They can order it in so it is a matter of asking a store to do so.

  1. i have made this recipe again this year.Its so tasty.One of my lots i made with black tomatoes, still tasty but the colour was just darker.any other recipes to use black tomatoes???

  2. I found this recipe extremely sweet – I added more tomatoes and also a whole packet of chipotle chillies! It’s still awesome – just a little sweet for my taste – the acetic acid must be what they flavour salt & vinegar chips with – I gave it a sniff – wowee!!!!

  3. This recipe is very similar to mine and it is really good, tasty and a good colour. Don’t know whether it is the glacial acetic acid, but it sure is a good keeper too.

  4. Can you please tell me which chemist on the north shore Auckland sells glacial acetic acid. I have tried 4 chemists (Glenfield and Birkenhead) but they don’t stock it. I would like to make your tomato sauce recipe thanks Lois

  5. My Just Tomatoe Sauce Given to me in the 70’s by a lady in Ch Ch who’s family grew tomatoes.
    3.5kg toms. 1kg sugar 50grms plain salt 2pkts. pickling spice 600mls malt vinegar.
    Boil altogether for approx. 21/2hrs . Makes 2Ltrs. if there is more continue to boil . Very Nice

      • just made your tomato sauce today. Best ever tomato sauce.wasnt sure about using the glasical acetic acid. Recipe was so easy. Taste outstanding. surprised I was able to get the acetic acid here in Alexandra.
        I usually use a tomato sauce recipe ,Allison Goftons mothers. Your recipe, taste was far nicer, although I added a few chillies.

    • Hi Kate, acetic acid is either supermarket or pharmacy and it is simply a concentrated form of what you get in vinegar to preserve food. Hope that makes sense.
      Last year we bought our tomatoes at the produce place on Kirkbride Road – out towards the airport. They have saucing tomatoes that are reasonably priced and also the right tomatoes for making sauce.