There is nothing quite like a big bowl of chili to warm you up on a bitterly cold winter day, and in Nebraska we have our fair share of frigid days. Believe me—we eat our fair share of chili. It’s practically tradition on snow days for the kids. My daughter even loves to bring it to school for a cold/hot lunch (with a baggie of Fritos and shredded cheese topping). No one really wants a truly “cold lunch” on a cold day, right? It is absolutely worth it to make my own jarred chili sauce base for a good dose of comfort food quickly.
On that note . . . I’ve been enjoying the warm summer sun on my skin these days, but I am a realist, and I know these days are coming to a close.
As soon as I hear the cicadas begin their cacophony in mid-July, I know the summer days will be growing shorter by the minute, and my tomatoes will be ripening at roughly the same pace.
Their is no comparison between home grown tomatoes and store-bought. Eating them fresh is a two to three month (at maximum) long luxury around here—which is exactly why I plant a boatload of a tomatoes and can them in as many jars as my pantry allows. I like to use a variety of recipes for tomato based sauces to keep things interesting (there’s only so much salsa I can eat in one year).
Today, I’m going to share with you my recipe (see below) and jar lid labels printable for chili sauce. After all your hard work of slaving over the stove and painting your kitchen red with tomatoes galore, why not make the look of your jar lid match the flavor inside? After all, shouldn’t your chili sauce jar label be as spicy as the sauce? I think so.
And so I’ve designed a little editable PDF printable of chili sauce jar lid labels to share with you. Spice up your pantry with this free Chili Sauce Canning Lid Labels Printable.
Either write in the year along with your name in the given blanks or customize this editable PDF with a PDF editor (such as Sejda—it’s free and you don’t have to download extra software because it works in your browser).
Canning can seem like a long process, but it definitely speeds up the process of making chili on a busy chilly day. Upfront effort always pays off. During harvest season when we’re combining corn and soybeans, I love to make a quick meal of chili by dumping in a couple jars of this chili sauce along with some browned hamburger and beans, and a bit of extra dark chocolate to melt in for a top secret yummy factor. (Sorry all you Texas folk, we in the Midwest add beans to our chili.)
Sometimes you just need something comforting after a long day, and this recipe for a chili sauce base is just what the doctor ordered to reap the rewards of comfort food faster.
Bottom line, the depth of flavor is already in the jar so I don’t have to simmer and simmer when cooking a “from-scratch” batch of chili for the guys. It really does save time when putting together meals nonstop and delivering them in “to-go” form to the field. I know the guys love to see the little to-go soup mugs coming their way when it’s accompanied by little baggies of Fritos and shredded cheese for topping. FYI: A Fritos topping is a must with chili around here (Hey, everything else was homemade—we can splurge now and then, right?).
And if you’re from the midwest, you are probably used to enjoying a cinnamon roll alongside your bowl of chili (no really . . . it’s a thing here). I will have to share my favorite overnight cinnamon roll recipe with you come fall season—they are a HUGE hit at our house and on the farm.
If you’re interested in trying a new recipe for your tomato canning extravaganza, check out my recipe for chili sauce below—oh and happy canning to all you tomato growers out there!
CANNING CHILI SAUCE
MAKES: 10 quarts
- 5 onions, roughly chopped
- 5 heads of garlic, with cloves peeled and crushed
- 2 tablespoons dried cilantro
- 4 tablespoons paprika
- 4 tablespoons chili powder (ancho chile powder)
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 3 tablespoons oregano (Mexican oregano)
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon (Saigon cinnamon is my favorite)
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 cup brown sugar, optional
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 (7.5-oz) cans of chipotle in adobo sauce (pureed)
- 4 (6-oz) cans of tomato paste
- About 48 cups of tomatoes halved, quartered, juiced and at last, puréed either in a blender before cooking or with an immersion blender after cooking (see Recipe Note #1)
- 5 teaspoons of citric acid or 1 1/4 cup of lemon juice (see Recipe Note #2)
Using a 12-quart pot or larger, sauté onions in canola oil (or light olive oil). Add garlic, seasoning and chipotles. Reduce heat to low while preparing and adding tomatoes to stockpot. Bring heat back to medium as you add in tomatoes. When all tomatoes are in the pot and heated through so that the tomato skins are soft, add tomato paste. Stir cornstarch in with some of the tomato liquid in separate bowl, then add back into main stockpot and stir together to thicken. Purée with immersion blender even if you did use a blender to purée the tomatoes before the cooking process (that way there are no chunks of onions, garlic or chipotles in the finished sauce). Simmer for two hours. Ladle into jars.
Put either two tablespoons of lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid into 10 quart jars. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! It is imperative to preserve the sauce and heighten acidity in order to prevent botulism in home canning recipes using a hot water bath.
Process for 40 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
Recipe Note #1: By juicing the tomatoes, I simply mean to squeeze out all the juice of the tomato after you halve them so that it creates a thicker, less watery sauce in the long run. 48 cups seems like a lot but it will reduce down while simmering and softening the tomatoes—especially after you use your immersion blender. I use a 12-quart stock pot when I make this recipe.
Recipe Note #2: Citric acid preserves without adding or altering the tomato flavor, but you could just as easily substitute with lemon juice.
Recipe Note #3: If you’ve never canned, check out this helpful Canning 101 courtesy of Ball and Kerr brands. Some information was even fairly new to me, and I’ve only been canning for four years. Apparently, there is no need to sterilize jars if the recipe is processed in a canner for 10 minutes or longer. I think I did a little dance when I found that out—that is a huge timesaver! Also, I found out a few years ago that you no longer need to simmer your lids before the prep of processing jars. Fewer things on my stovetop? I’m in!