Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (2024)

I’ve run into so many people lately–both in real life and online—who want to learn to tackle home canning. These beginner canning recipes are a good place for novices to start.

Or you could dive into fermentation with these recipes!!

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Easy Canning Recipes

The recipes below can all be safely preserved using a water bath canning method. This method is easy. If you can chop and mix and cook food on the stove top, you will find it easy to take it to the next step, which simply requires putting food into jars and boiling them for a specified amount of time.

Preserving your own food for the pantry, especially if it’s produce from your own garden, can really help cut your family’s grocery budget. Having a pantry full of food offers a little peace of mind, too.

Shortage at the grocery store? Unexpected shortfall in your income? Pulling jars of homemade tomato sauce, dill pickles, or pie fillings can help to add flavor to meals.

Believe me when I tell you that home food preservation is really very easy. There are two canning methods to be aware of: water bath canning and pressure canning. Each requires a different set of equipment.

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You just need to keep this one very important thing in mind: Low acid foods like meat and veggies must be processed in a pressure canner. This method of processing jars requires a special piece of equipment. (Note that a pressure cooker is not a safe substitute for a pressure canner.)

High-acid foods, though? Those are safe to preserve in a boiling water bath. Leave the pressure canning to experienced canners for a minute!

A water bath process—basically, immersing full jars in a deep pot of boiling water for a specified period of time—is a great way to preserve a lot of garden fresh produce. You don’t need a special canner for this; head over here to learn how a regular kitchen pot can stand in for a canner.

Items that can be safely processed using a water-bath canning process include jams and jellies, pickles, fruits, and acidified tomato products.

🍅 Safety First!

Canning is an excellent way to preserve food for the pantry, but there are some important safety considerations to keep in mind. The recipes on this site have been made following safe canning procedures by a certified Master Food Preserver.

  • Know the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning. Low acid items must be pressure canned for safety.
  • Altering ingredients may change the recipe’s pH, posing a safety issue. I highly recommend investing in pH paper to test your products for acidity level when canning. Note: For safe water bath canning, the Hawaii Master Food Preserverssuggest a pH of 4.2 or lower in the tropics. In other regions, the recommended pH is 4.6 or lower.
  • Use the proper jars and lids. Never reuse lids, with the exception of the Tattler or Harvest Right hard plastic lids that are intended for such a purpose.
  • For more on canning equipment, please go here.
  • Want to learn more? The National Center for Home Food Preservation is the go-to resource for safe canning information.

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Acidifying Recipes

You’ll notice that some canning recipes call for the addition of lemon juice, citric acid, or vinegar. This assures that the product within the glass jars have a pH level below 4.6, which is considered by the National Center for Home Food Preservation to be safe for water bath canning. Botulism simply cannot grow in those low acid conditions.

Tomatoes are a borderline ingredient, so the addition of acid — especially in making salsas and other recipes that incorporate low acid ingredients — is important.

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An Overview of Water Bath Canning

Jam and jelly is one of my favorite suggestions for beginners since they’re easy and usually only need 10 or so minutes in the canner.

All of the recipes below are easy enough for beginners though.Here’s a quick overview of what water bath canning entails.

Fill canning jars (aka Mason jars) with prepared product. Canning jars are specialized jars that are reusable from year to year. They range in size from quarter pint jars to quarts. (More about canning jar sizes here.)

Foods can be hot packed or raw packed. Cooked recipes call for ladling hot food into the jars. Raw packing calls for packing fruit pieces and vegetables for pickles into the jars. Once packed, the produce is topped off with a sugar syrup (in the case of fruit) or a vinegar solution (for pickles).

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It’s important to use a non-metallic instrument to release air bubbles in the jar. Not because the bubbles themselves are a problem, but because when processed in a hot water bath, those bubbles can rise in the jar and cause the liquid level to be lower than called for, which can inhibit sealing.

Wipe the rim of the jar to remove any residue that can impede sealing and fasten lids(not reusable) and rings into place. Use a jar lifter to transfer jars to the water bath, making sure that the water level in the pot is enough to cover the jars by one-to-two inches of water.

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Planning on doing lots of canning this year? Grab a FREE download of these cute printable canning labels — complete with a gentle reminder to return the jar, in case you’re giving some as gifts!

Bring water bath canner to a boil over high heat and begin processing time. When processing time is up, lift jars to a towel-lined countertop and allow to cool at room temperature. Don’t disturb the jars, but listen for the sound of the lids sealing with the sweet “tink!” that home canners love to hear.

That gives you a brief idea of what the process looks like. Always follow the instructions as written in safe canning recipes.

The Handcrafted Pantry

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Ready to DIY your pantry with more wholesome ingredients? Check out my ebook, The Handcrafted Pantry! Filled with delicious recipes for some of your favorite condiments, snacks, and toppings, it’s the guide you need to start skipping packaged products and embrace homemade.

The recipes included below all use a water bath method for transforming produce into a delicious shelf stable product.

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Water Bath Canning Recipes

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Homemade Nectarine Jam Recipe

This fruit-forward nectarine jam is an excellent addition to your pantry! Tasting the flavor of summertime in mid-winter? Winning!

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (9)

Blueberry Pie Filling Recipe for Canning

This easy recipe is a fun way to save the summertime flavor of juicy blueberries. Use it for pie, scoop some onto yogurt, or spoon some over brie cheese for an easy but elegant appetizer.

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (10)

Easy Pickled Banana Peppers (Quick Pickled or Canned)

Pickling banana peppers maintains their crispness and adds the tangy bite of vinegar, making them a great condiment to have on hand for a variety of recipes and meals.

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Rhubarb Jam

This lightly spiced rhubarb jam has a hint of ginger and cardamom for a little something different on your morning toast!

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How to Can Grapes

If you've got an abundance of late summer grapes, consider canning them! It's an easy way to preserve them for adding to fruit or chicken salads all year long.

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (13)

Easy Orange Jelly for Canning

This sunny and bright orange jelly is a great addition to the pantry. Serve it on toast or use it to baste grilled chicken for a pop of flavor.

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Raspberry Jam with Apricots

This homemade raspberry jam has a lower sugar content than some recipes. The addition of fresh apricots gives the finished product a fresh, sunny flavor.

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Easy Pickled Peppers Canning Recipe

These easy pickled peppers are a great addition to a well-stocked pantry. They're sweet and tangy and delicious!

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Lemon Marmalade

This easy marmalade recipe can be used like any of your favorite jam recipes as a topping for toast. But this delicious recipe is also great as a glaze for grilled meats or stirred into marinades.

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Candied Jalapenos

This recipe for candied jalapeno peppers calls for water bath canning to make a shelf stable product. Alternatively, you can just pop them in the fridge for adding to recipes.

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Loquat Jam

It's not likely you'll find this delicious jam at grocery stores! Making loquat jam at home allows you to turn this unique fruit into a flavorful fruit spread.

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (19)

Persimmon Jam

This easy jam recipe turns persimmons into a delicious spiced spread with the flavors of fall. This lower sugar recipe means the flavor of the fruit will shine through!

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (20)

Peach Preserve Recipe

Delicious homemade peach preserves is easy to make for the pantry and it's much less expensive than store-bought jam or preserves.

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (21)

Old Fashioned Pear Preserves for Canning

Making ginger pear preserves is a delicious way to capture the flavor of fall in a jar. Keep some in your pantry and wrap some jars for gift giving.

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Homemade Applesauce Recipe

This homemade applesauce recipe doesn't require any measuring at all. Eat it fresh or try canning applesauce to stock your pantry. It's like pie in a jar!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

The flavor of this easy strawberry rhubarb jam far exceeds what you can pick up in grocery stores. In fact, this particular flavor is hard to find commercially! Consider making a few batches so you can give jars of jam as gifts.

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (24)

Easy Plum Jam

The old-fashioned flavor of plum jam is one that is hard to find in stores. Making your own is EASY and a great way to preserve the harvest!

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (25)

Easy Pickled Green Beans

These pickled green beans are a great way to preserve a summer harvest for the winter pantry. They’re crisp, delicious, and perfect for snacking.

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (26)

Salsa Recipe for Canning

This salsa recipe for canning is a great way for me to preserve not only the tomatoes, but peppers and onions from the garden, too. I use canned salsa to cap off taco night and as a homegrown ingredient for my chili.

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Easy Homemade Grape Jelly

Even if you don’t have ripe grapes on hand, you can whip up a batch of jelly. This grape jelly recipe can be made even in the winter with this little trick.

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (28)

Homemade Strawberry Jam

This homemade strawberry jam recipe is easy for beginners, sweetened with honey, and you'll be able to savor the goodness of garden fresh berries all year long!

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Easy Homemade Peach Butter Recipe

If you're lucky enough to have an abundance of fresh peaches, set some aside to make a batch of peach butter. You can opt to preserve this for the pantry, or simply store in the fridge for topping your breakfast toast, pancakes, or ice cream.

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Zucchini Relish Recipe

This zucchini relish recipe is a favorite around here. It's good on burgers, but excellent for mixing into potato salad or egg salad, too.

Sugar-Free Apple Butter

Making this apple butter recipe in the slow cooker is an easy shortcut. Assemble the ingredients and let it cook overnight, and you’ll be ready to start canning first thing in the morning.

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This is a fairly new addition to my canning recipes repertoire, but it’s become a must! Tomatoes, peppers, and spices blend to make a zingy topping.

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Green Tomato Relish

Save those end-of-season green tomatoes to make chow chow. Yes, it's a funny name, but it's delicious and gives a tangy zip to sandwiches and is great for stirring into egg salad.

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Mango Chutney

Mangoes are something I can forage for here. No mangoes? No reason you can’t substitute peaches.

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Watermelon Rind Relish

This watermelon rind relish recipe is a great way to use watermelon rinds for a knock-off old fashioned hamburger relish! A no-waste recipe for good food!

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Passion Fruit Jelly

Otherwise known as passion fruit, liliko‘i is Mother Nature’s answer to a SweeTart. The first sour bite of a liliko‘i will jangle all the way back to your jawbone.

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (36)

Chai Spiced Peaches

Preserve the flavors of summer with this recipe for canned peaches; the addition of chai spices makes these a little extra special.

Blueberry Ginger Nectarines

Canning nectarines with fresh ginger and blueberries gives them a flavorful pop! It's an easy way to preserve the flavor of summertime nectarines.

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Ketchup

This ketchup recipe for canning starts with tamarillos (aka tree tomatoes), which are often abundant in warmer regions, but you can also use tomatoes.

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Originally published in April 2014; this post has been updated.

Get Started with Canning the EASY Way with these Recipes (2024)
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