Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Seasoned Tomatoes: Italian, Mexican, & Cajun Spice Blends

I love having these canned tomatoes on my shelf!  Italian, Mexican, and Cajun seasoned tomatoes are one of the tomato product I use the most in cooking. They always have a place in my pantry.  Any recipe that calls for diced, crushed, or whole tomatoes I choose one of these seasoned tomatoes whose herbs will enhance the recipe.  The Italian seasoned tomatoes are a must in pasta dishes.  The Mexican seasoned tomatoes in taco mixes, Mexican soups. beans, or rice dishes.

I love the blend of herbs in each of these recipes.  All these recipes come from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

Preparing the Tomatoes

Wash the tomatoes.  I submerge the tomatoes in water. I wash all the tomatoes then get a saucepan with water boil. You can use either slicing or plum tomatoes.  Some heirloom varieties may be too juicy but some are fine for canning.


Skin the tomatoes.  

The easiest way to skin tomatoes is to submerge them in boiling water for 30-60 second. Then submerge them in ice water This causes the skins split and the tomato slips easily out all ready to slice.  I don't not leave them in the boiling water longer than this or it cooks them.  The skins will peel easily even if the skin is not split.  Have a tray ready to put all the tomatoes on. Finish all the tomatoes then go on to prepare the jars and herbs.

Use a tray with sides so you don't have juice everywhere.

Prepare the jars, water bath canner, and herbs

Sterilize your jars.  I do this in the dishwasher and leave them there until I need them.  Prepare the lids and rings.  Fill the canner with water and have it on the stove.  Add a little vinegar if you have hard water.

Choose the spice blend and quantity desired.  Mix in a small bowl.

Italian Spice Blend

Dried herbs                      2 Jars                 6 Jars
Basil                                1 tsp                  4 tsp
Thyme                             1 tsp                  2 tsp
Oregano                          1 tsp                  2 1/2 tsp    
Rosemary                        1/2 tsp               1 1/2 tsp
Sage                               1/2 tsp               1 1/2 tsp
Garlic powder                   1/4 tsp               1 tsp
For each pint jar, and only use pint jars for this recipe, use 2 1/4 tsp of the blended spices. You also need to add 1 Tbs of lemon juice to each pint jar.

 Mexican Spice Blend

Dried Herbs                    2 Jars                   6 jars
Chili Powder                      2 tsp                    6 tsp
Ground Cumin                  1 tsp                    2 tsp
Oregano                          1 tsp                    2 tsp
Garlic powder                   1 tsp                    2 tsp
Ground coriander              1 tsp                   2 tsp
Seasoned Salt                  1/2 tsp                 1 1/2 tsp

For each pint jar use 2 1/2 tsp of the spice blend.  Add 1 Tbs of lemon juice to each pint also.

With the spice blend and lemon juice in the jars you are ready to fill the jar.

Add desired spice blend and 1 Tbs of lemon juice to each jar. 


 A helpful tip is to place your cutting board in a tray.  The tray will trap the juices of the tomatoes so you don't have such a mess.


Fill the Jars

Dice the tomatoes and fill the jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.  You will be using the tomatoes own juice as your liquid so as you add the tomatoes, press down with a spatula to release the juices.  Release air bubbles as you go.

Wipe the rims and adjust lids.  Process for 40 minutes in a water bath canner.  I add 10 minutes because of my altitude.  When the time is up remove the lid and leave jars for 10 minutes in the canner.  Remove from the canner and let them cool.

When the jars are cool check your seals, remove the rings, and wipe the jars clean.  

Enjoy having these beautiful, delicious tomatoes in your pantry!

The jar on the right is Old Ivory Egg, an heirloom variety which is fun to have on hand to cook with.  It's nice mixed with the red tomatoes.
The recipe for the Cajun spice blend is in the book.



  1. Your recipes look great and I intend to try them my next tomato season. Just one thought/suggestion...quit presterilizing your jars and lids. According to USDA, the lids and jars are sterilized during the hot water bath of 10 minutes or more. Just make sure your canning supplies are clean. You will save a lot of time and effort by skipping presterilization that helps in no way!

  2. Thanks! I'm not sterilizing. I wash the jars in the dish washers to clean them and the lids are only heated not boiled to aid in creating a seal.