Canning Squash, Zucchini and Tomatoes

Perfectly imperfect, organic, round zucchini!

My food preserving week continues….There is nothing quite like preserving your food at home.  I love canning!  Today, I have been working on canning up yellow squash, zucchini and tomatoes together.  I’ll use these jars for making squash casserole later in the fall and winter. 

I started with washing and cutting these round zucchini that I bought at the produce auction for $2 a box.  I’ve been cooking these in stir-fry as well as steaming them and they have been wonderful! 

I processed these jars at 10 pounds of pressure for 40 minutes.  Most new canning books do not recommend canning squash so they do not have instructions for how to do it.  I asked some friends and read online recommendations from other homemakers who can squash. 

Squash casserole starter in a jar ready to be canned!

Both squash and zucchini can be used in many types of casseroles.  You can even add squash or zucchini to meatloaf and a friend told me she adds her canned squash to her cornbread to make it extra moist. 

Throughout the day, we will post some pictures of our progress. 

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  1. I have been trying to find ways to use my surplus squash from our garden…I have tons!!    Any chance you could post the recipe you use this squash in????

    • BethTN says:

      I am planning on using this in soups and squash casseroles. 

      For the Squash casserole: 
      I add eggs, salt, milk, mayo and whisk it together.  I pour the mixture over the squash/zucchini and tomatoes and bake at 350.  Sometimes I add cheese on top if I have it.  I also sometimes add hamburger or sausage meat to it.

      I don’t have an exact recipe because many times when I am cooking I alter recipes so much that I sorta make up my own. 

  2. Lorri says:

    I would love if you would give a more detailed account of how you did this. I have been looking online for a while on canning zucchini with tomatoes and most poo poo the idea or say to only use in a one to four ratio with tomatoes. I love the look of what you did as its more like what I want to do. Any advise would be very appreciated.

    • BethTN says:

      The USDA no longer recommends canning squash or zucchini so that is why you are having a difficult time finding recipes for canning squash and zucchini. 

      However, I talked to a few experienced canners around in my area about how they can squash.  I also was able to search for a few blogs out there that had pictures of how they canned squash—so there is nothing “official” about canning squash or zucchini thanks to the USDA. 

      So unfortunately you won’t find it in the new canning books.  I’ve seen recipes for canning squash in older canning books though.  So with a combination of reading those recipes, talking to experienced canners and viewing other blogs that canned squash—I canned our squash. 

      I didn’t follow a ratio—I just started cutting and slicing and chopping and mixed up what I had….blanched it and then loaded it into my jars.  I processed in a pressure canner at 10 lbs of pressure for 40 minutes. 

      I know that isn’t very detailed…sorry….

      When I use this squash…..I will be cooking it in the oven in a casserole or cooking it again in soup—

      • Theresa Judy says:

        Your information was very helpful.  I too, was concerned with the USDA findings, yet feel that if a person used one tablespoon of lemon juice per quart, that would help the acid content.  I wanted to cook the zucchini until soft, then mash is with a mixer and spoon it into jars, add either citric acid or lemon juice to each jar, and process with a pressure cooker.  Somewhat like applesauce.  Do you think this would be safe?  How does a person know if a sealed jar of zucchini has botulism?  If it stays sealed it should be OK to eat.  If the jar unseals, then yes it wouldn’t be safe.  Would like to know your thoughts.  Thanks.

        • BethTN says:

          hmm… I am not sure but it sounds interesting.  Sort of like pumpkin puree.  I would search for canning pumpkin puree and see what the instructions are but I bet it is very similar to what you are talking about.

          You might be able to find some older recipes for canning other squash purees.

      • Keshia says:

        You said you do it for 40 minutes at 10 pounds. What altitude are you at? I usually have to add a couple pounds because I’m at nearly 5,000 ft. Thanks!

    • Kristie says:

      Try emerials recipe for pickled squash at foodnetwork.com

  3. Mary says:

    I would also like to find the recipe, you are using .

    • BethTN says:

      I didn’t follow a detailed recipe…  sorry. 

      The USDA no longer recommends canning squash and zucchini so you won’t find a recipe in the newer canning books. 

      I canned this squash at 10 lbs of pressure for 40 minutes…in a pressure canner.  But that was only after talking to more experienced canners, seeing a few blogs that canned squash and finding a few older canning books that still had squash canning times in them. 

      Of course, canning times and temps and procedures have changed over the years……one year one thing may be right…the next year it isn’t.  So that is unfortunately what you will run into once you start getting into canning. 

  4. Rachel says:

    I have a pile of round zucchini and would like very much to can a good part of it. I gave up last year, but seeing that you’ve done it, I’m ready. I use a bath canner for tomatoes. I know that a pressure canner is recommended for zucchini. Do you think I can use a bath canner ?
    If I really cannot get away with the bath canner, we’ll have to purchase a pressure canner.
    Thank you for help with this!

    • BethTN says:

      NO….Squash is a low acid vegetable and must be canned with a pressure canner!   Vegetables and meats are low acid foods that must be canned in a pressure canner because of the heat requirements. 

      Using a water bath to can tomatoes is different.  Tomatoes are usually a high acid food …like other fruits and do not need the pressure canner higher temps for canning.  However, even tomatoes now are sometimes not even recommended for water bath canning—because they have such varying amounts of acid in them. 

      I have a pressure canner that I can vegetables and other low acid foods in.  
       
      For canning jams, jellies and fruits….I use my large pots and make a water bath to can in—making sure the water covers the jars and putting a kitchen cloth on the bottom of the pot for the jars to sit on. 

      • Cindy says:

        Tomatoes are now considered a “low-acid” food, and should be canned as such.  We were told this is because there are so many low-acid tomatoes being grown out there.   I just finished a food preserving class, because I wanted to be sure I was doing it right.

      • Chyrel KY says:

        I make a simular dish. We add fresh dill that adds a great refreshing flavor. My questions is the canning part…..We cook the veggies together first which creates a very nice juice with a rich red color from the tomatoes. I do not have a pressure canner but did the water bath for 20 minutes. My jars are popping open after about a week.
        ??? If I have the tomato for “acid” and the veggies are cooked and hot from the oven, shouldn’t the water bath be sufficient? Maybe I need to bath them longer?????
        This is our favorite vegt. dish and I would love to get a successful remedy to can them.
        Suggestions for the other readers: serve over rice, on pasta, as a side dish or bake in oven with Chicken. DELICIOUS!

      • PattyK says:

        My mom used hot water bath for canning green beans–something the USDA frowns upon as well.  3 hours in a hot water bath–check the water level every 30 minutes, adding more BOILING water if it gets low.  We never had a problem–large family and everyone survived!  We have done squash like this as well, also 3 hours in a hot water bath.  I prefer using the pressure canner now, because I have it.  I know how to do it if mine ever fails.
         

  5. Lynne says:

    I just finished canning 25 jars of yellow squash and now doing zucchini, I added onions and my regular seasonings (garlic, onions, salt and pepper).  10lbs pressure for 40 min in quart jars.
    Turned out wonderful.  I was not sure too after hearing many say no.  But I was pleased.

  6. Mill says:

    I use zucchini and tomatoes in a lot of different casserole dishes and I know 10 # of pressure @ 40 mins is a long time for tomatoes…will that make the tomatoes soupy??? Im getting ready to freeze zucchini and i’d like to can them with the tomatoes!

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  9. melody says:

    we are new to canning and we have an old book that had the pressure/time you stated, but we ended up with little to no water in our jars when we were finished so we’re wondering if we needed more water in the pot? Does the water need to be over the top of the jars? Our zucchini is cut like fries, not in rounds. Any help is appreciated!!! thanks!

  10. Angie says:

    My canning book which dates back to the 70s states you pressure can at 10# pressure for 25 min for any type of squash.  This is the same amount time and pressure that is required for okra and tomatoes.  So this is my plan since I have an abudance of zucchini and tomatoes – 10# for 25 min.

  11. Dina says:

    When using a pressure cooker, you need only 1/4 to 1/3 of the bottom of your pot filled with water.  Too much water can cause your pressure cooker to flucuate or even pressure too high.  Regardless of the canning time, when bottling zucchini or summer squash, it is best to bottle it with an added acid – which you can easily do when canning tomatoes because you should be adding vinegar or lemon juice to the tomatoes anyway.  The experts say not to bottle summer squash alone.  “If in doubt – dump it out”. 

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