Homemade Tomato Juice

5 from 61 votes
103 Comments

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Tomato juice is a delicious and versatile drink that can be served as a refreshing beverage, as an ingredient in recipes, or as a soup base. But did you know that it’s also super easy to make at home?

Two glasses of tomato juice and three quart jars of canned tomato juice

This Homemade Tomato Juice recipe tastes similar to V8 but is SO much better! Serve it chilled or hot—either way, you’re going to love the zesty flavor and fresh taste of this homemade tomato juice.

We’ve gathered our favorite ways to preserve tomatoes at home so that we can enjoy them all year long. Try some of our recipes such as Salsa Recipe for Canning, Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce, How to Can Diced Tomatoes, and Savory Salsa Recipe for Canning.

Made with Home Grown Tomatoes

We love growing tomatoes in our garden each summer for canning. If you love canning as much as we do, we hope you will enjoy this and all of our other easy canning recipes!

Homemade Tomato Juice is so rich, delicious, and filling! It tastes so much better than V8 Juice, and probably a lot better for you since you know exactly what is in it. I am not even kidding, this stuff is like liquid gold at our house. Even the kids love drinking it! I like it best drinking it ice cold, but I save plenty to use in all sorts of recipes and as a base for many soups. If you’re not sure about making your own tomato juice, read on. It’s really quite simple and it tastes so much better than those store bought varieties.

Three quart jars of tomato juice and a glass of tomato juice with a celery stalk in it for garnish.


Ingredients in Homemade Tomato Juice

  • tomatoes – preferably from a local farm or home garden when in season
  • water
  • salt
  • onion salt
  • celery salt

Ingredient Additions and Substitutions

  • cayenne pepper (if you like a little spice)
  • black pepper
  • garlic
  • basil
  • oregano
  • decorative vegetable option: veggies like carrots or celery for garnish

Canning Tomato Juice

When canning tomato juice, follow the directions in the recipe card below, but make sure to leave about a half inch to one inch of air space (or as some say an inch headspace) at the top below the lids. Store it in a cool, dry place and you’ll be able to enjoy this juice for up to two years. If you are looking to make a LOT of juice (which I like to make at least 25 quarts at a time) you will want to save yourself some frustration by getting a Tomato Strainer. I also have the little attachments. This will save you a lot of time having to press everything by hand through a colander.

I have seen cheaper ones on Amazon and even one that attaches to a Kitchen Aid— I am sure all of them are great (I am really tempted by the Kitchen Aid one because you don’t have to manually turn the crank… if I cave and get it I will let you know). Anything that keeps you from having to do extra work is a winner in my book.

Three quart jars of canned tomato juice with tomatoes and celery stalks

Is Drinking Tomato Juice Good For You?

According to the National Institute of Health, food sources that are high in lycopene, such as tomatoes, have many potential health benefits. Lycopene may reduce the risk of certain cancers, help with cardiovascular disease, and get this… reduce the risk of SUNBURN. These are just a few of the potential health benefits from drinking tomato juice. Read more about the health benefits from the source at the National Institute of Health.

Does tomato juice reduce body fat?

In a study done by the Department of Nutrition in China, and published by the National Institute of Health, it was found that tomato juice supplementation significantly reduced body weight, body fat, waist circumference, and BMI in healthy women between the ages of 20-30. Pretty cool. Right?! Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3850026/

What nutrients does it have?

Tomato juice contains lots of good nutrients such as potassium, vitamin c, fiber, vitamin a and protein, making it a well rounded healthy drink.

Two glasses of fresh tomato juice and canned tomato juice jars in the background.

Reduced Sodium Tomato Juice:

Did you know that store-bought tomato juice can be VERY high in sodium? This causes the store-bought juice to lose some of it’s health benefits. By making tomato juice from scratch at home, you have full control over the amount of sodium that is added! Reduce the salt in your juice to your specifications in this recipe and enjoy your healthy drink!

Frequently Asked Questions

What tomatoes work best?

When it comes to juicing tomatoes, it’s always a good idea to use nice, beefy, juicy varieties, but you almost can’t go wrong with any kind. Some of our favorites are Park’s Whoppers (these grow GREAT in our area, so this one is a favorite), Early Girl, Beefsteak, Better Boy, Celebrity, or Brandywine. Check your local nurseries to see what varieties grow best in your area.

How long does tomato juice last?

If you are making it fresh and storing it in your refrigerator in an air-tight bottle or jar, tomato juice can last 2-3 days. If you decide to can your tomato juice, it can last 12-18 months after it has been canned. After the jar has been opened, it can last 2-3 days, refrigerated– same as if it were fresh.

Do I need to crush the tomatoes?

No need to crush or blend the tomato mixture, this method requires cutting quartered tomatoes, a rolling boil, and a tomato strainer.

What size jars should I use?

Both pint jars and quart jars work great! Just make sure they have been cleaned and sanitized before using.

Make It A Virgin Bloody Mary

Turn this tomato juice into a non-alcoholic Bloody Mary by simply adding a squeeze of fresh lemon and a few drops of hot sauce (such as Tabasco sauce). Serve with ice cubes, fresh parsley, celery, or pickles.

Canned Homemade Tomato Juice in a glass with a piece of celery sticking out.

Read Next: Easy Dinner Ideas

More Canned Tomato Recipes

We end up with bushels of tomatoes from our garden each year and it seems they go bad before we can use them all. Here are some of our favorite ways to can tomatoes so we can enjoy them all year long. Try a few for yourself!

Recipes that Use Homemade Tomato Juice

Use this delicious homemade tomato juice as a base for so many rich recipes, like these:

How to Make Homemade Tomato Juice

Two glasses of fresh tomato juice and canned tomato juice jars in the background.

Tomato Juice Recipe

5 from 61 votes
This Homemade Tomato Juice tastes similar to V8 but is SO much better! Serve as a refreshing drink, an ingredient in recipes, or as a soup base!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Canning
Cuisine American
Servings 7 quarts

Video

Ingredients

  • 23 pounds tomatoes 3 ¼ pounds per quart or 23 pounds per canner load of 7 quarts
  • water approximately ¼ cup to 1 cup

Per Quart of Juice:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt

Instructions

  • Wash, core, and remove blemishes from tomatoes. 
  • Cut into small sections.
  • In a large stock pot, add tomatoes and very little water (at most 1 cup). 
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Put through colander to remove seeds and skin (see above notes for tips). 
  • Discard seeds and skin.
  • Return juice to the stock pot and bring to a boil again, adding salt, onion salt, and celery salt according to how many quarts of juice you have yielded.
  • If canning, pour 2 tablespoons lemon juice into sterilized quart-sized jars. Add tomato juice, leaving about 1/2" air space at the top. 
  • Discard seeds, and skin.

Notes

Recipe Tips

  • When canning tomato juice, follow the directions in the recipe card below, but make sure to leave about a half inch of air space at the top.
  • Store it in a cool, dry place and you’ll be able to enjoy this juice for up to two years.
  • If you are looking to make a LOT of juice (which I like to make at least 25 quarts at a time) you will want to save yourself some frustration by getting a Tomato Strainer. THIS is the EXACT one that I use.
  • I also have the little attachments, seen here. This will save you a lot of time having to press everything by hand through a colander. I have seen cheaper ones on Amazon and even one that attaches to a Kitchen Aid— I am sure all of them are great (I am really tempted by the Kitchen Aid one because you don’t have to manually turn the crank… if I cave and get it I will let you know). Anything that keeps you from having to do extra work is a winner in my book.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 268kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 13gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 552mgPotassium: 3532mgFiber: 18gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 12415IUVitamin C: 204mgCalcium: 149mgIron: 4mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. Looked hide and wide, but no source local or online for Jack’s Whopper tomatoes you recommend as best. Only find Park’s Whopper. Different? Same?

  2. It says for Canning, to follow the recipe card below… but then there’s no recipe below. So how long do you water bath can after adding the lemon juice & salt? I even clicked on the print option to see if it was noted there, but says the exact same.

  3. 5 stars
    So easy. I just cut up tomatoes and used my kitchenaid fruit and vegetable strainer. Done in no time. Froze it raw. Now I just pull out a jar and process for any recipe. This tomato juice recipe is quick and easy. Thanks!

  4. So,

    I used 30 pounds of San Marzano tomatoes. Yield 14 quarts. Followed the recipe. Delicious! Thank you. Only thing I did differently was I pressure cooked the tomatoes and then pressure cooked the juice. Why? I remember reading somewhere that you lose less nutrients that way. True? I don’t know. But it turned out great so who cares?

    I also had a Kitchen Aid so I bought the grinder and the strainer as you suggested. Worked perfectly and cut down on the work. From washing the tomatoes to canning the juice took 4 hours.

  5. I would plain celery seed and plain onion powder. This recipe turns out very salty. I should have gone with my gut on this one.

  6. Hey Ladies!
    Thank you so much for all the inspiration and deliciousness you provide foodies like me!
    I made you tomato juice the week of August 12. I did not have enough tomatoes left to put myself through the canning process so I eliminated the lemon juice and canning instructions. How long do you think it’s good in the fridge? I haven’t tried or smelled yet; just hoping you’ll say like 3-6 months in the fridge. Not sure so thanks for any reply and help!
    *Homemade Tomato Juice*

    1. If you don’t reduce it down to remove the excess water, it will separate after it is canned. There is nothing wrong with it, just some extra water in the jar.

    1. Yes, that will help seal the lids. 40 minutes for quarts (35 minutes for pints). Hope this helps!

  7. Ripe tomatoes here are around 4$ per pound. So 23lbs of tomatoes is $92. So if this makes 7 quarts this is $13 per quart. I guess this is just for people that grow tomatoes.

    1. 5 stars
      try roadside farm stands and farmers markets you can purchase a bushel of tomatoes for far less than grocery stores. Cut out the middleman

    1. You add the lemon juice before adding the tomato juice. You put the lemon juice in the clean, empty jars. Hope this helps!

  8. 5 stars
    I have the sieve attachment for my KitchenAid mixer and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I use it for tomatoes, fruits (I make lots of pear butter because I don’t have to use sugar) and anything that needs to be pureed.
    Get one, you’ll be glad you did!

    1. 5 stars
      I have the KitchenAid attachment. What a game changer. No blanching, no peeling ~ just AWESOMENESS!!!!!!

  9. 5 stars
    I’m buying tomato juice in stores. But had no clue this was so easy to make at home. Thanks! I will definitely give your recipe a try. Looks so healthy and super simple.

  10. Are we talking about adding lemon juice to raise the acidity of tomatoes?! COOKED and processed tomatoes? Yikes.

    1. Hi Chef! This is how we’ve done it in our kitchen for years! Do you have a different way of doing it?

  11. 5 stars
    OMG! This tomato juice is absolutely amazing! We had lots of tomatoes this year and canned 17 quarts of tomato juice. So much better than store bought. Super simple to make. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

  12. 5 stars
    Perfect tomato juice for Bloody Marys! I also have a super fantastic recipe for tomato cheddar biscuits which requires tomato juice. This is the BEST for that!

  13. 5 stars
    I love tomato juice and never thought to make it myself, but this recipe was amazing, super easy to make, and perfect, I love that I know 100% of the ingredients that were used to make it!

  14. 5 stars
    I drank homemade tomato juice as a kid and have always wanted to make it myself. I’ll plant some extra tomato plants this year and make some delicious juice.

  15. 5 stars
    I served this and people wanted to know what brand it was. When I said that I made it, one of my guests was astonished. She didn’t know you could make tomato juice. Excellent recipe canning it keeps it stable for a very long time.

  16. can you put the tomatoes through the grinder to remove the skins and seeds before boiling. what happens if you dont boil first. will it still be safe to use.

    1. I haven’t tried it that way, but I think that should be fine. The tomatoes will still cook when you simmer the sauce.

  17. 5 stars
    Growing up I loved V8 juice but never thought I could make it myself! This recipe has reminded me of something I used to love and I’m excited to try making it from home! Printing this recipe now!

  18. 5 stars
    The perfect drink! I love knowing exactly what I am putting in my body so making my own drinks is perfect, thanks for the idea!

  19. 5 stars
    This was delicious!!! Followed recipe exactly except used a Weston tomato press to squeeze the juice. Wonderful recipe. Sometimes for a smaller batch I don’t can it, just put it in the fridge. It never lasts long. Larger batches get canned proper. A+.

  20. 5 stars
    This was our first time at making tomato juice. Just used every variety of tomato we had in our patio garden. Canned a bunch and sampled what didn’t fit in to the jars. In the words of Guy Fieri, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” Wouldn’t change a thing.

  21. Don’t throw away the pulp and seeds. Dehydrate them for tomato powder. Tomato powder is the best of ever, It can be used in so many things. Meat loaf, soup, mixed in your hamburgers, etc.

  22. Instead of straining to remove the seeds and skin, can it all be pureed in a blender? If so, does it still taste good?

    1. We have not tried it that way, so I can’t definitively say how it would affect the taste or texture. Let us know how it turns out if you do try it!

        1. 5 stars
          So do I. It is really good and makes it thicker. I make really good juice and have done this for years.

  23. I use a Foley Food Mill for processing foods with skins and seeds like tomato juice, grape preserves, etc.
    Haven’t actually made your tomato juice yet, just started cooking about 2 quarts of yellow grape tomato juice that I juiced using my blender. Next I will run the cooked juice through the Foley Food Mill before adding the spices.

  24. Where dose it say anything about lemon juice in the recipe? I just started the water bath and didnt put any lemon juice in the jars!? How is this going to affect the juice? Will it keep?

    1. To be safe, you always want to add lemon juice to the bottom of your jars. It just helps with the acidity levels. You may want to re-process your jars if you are worries about it or if you think you will use them soon, you can keep them refrigerated.

  25. 5 stars
    I made this juice and let me say……. ‘It’s DELICIOUS!! I’ll definitely be making more of it!! It would make a great Bloody Mary, a base for vegetable soup or chili and it’s so good over ice!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

    1. Hi Dee! I am so glad to hear you like this recipe! We love using it as a base for soups too! SO tasty! Thank you for sharing your nice comment and thanks for the 5-stars!

      1. 5 stars
        Just a helpful hint. I have a very large electric cooker, looks like a giant crockpot. I put it on 250 degrees and put quartered and if large tomatoes I cut more. I put them in the crock pot and every few hours I ladle of the juice. I now have tomatoe juice and sauce ready to can.

  26. 5 stars
    Delicious, but I’m not adding but 1/4 tsp salt to quarts next batch and add 2 Tablespoons lemon juice or use citric acid. Little too salty for me.

    1. It is fine to leave the salt out, just don’t leave out the lemon juice unless you are substituting it with something that can bring up those acidity levels. Just for safety reasons. Glad you liked it! Hope this helps!

  27. I canned tomato juice but ended up with the juice at the bottom and tomato pulp at the top. This has never happened to me in over 40 years of making juice. With the hurricane I had to use tomatoes I purchased and not the ones from the garden. A few of them were bruised but I cut all the bruised part completely out. About five quarts actually had white stuff at the top. I did everything just the way you have in your recipe and this has never happened before. When I shook the jars up all the junk settled back down in the jar and the white disappeared. I opened a pint and everything smells fine. I am actually scared to taste of it. Any suggestions or should I just throw them all away. The first cooking that I did some of the jars were okay. The last cooking all of them looked bad.

    1. Hi Marilyn– I have never experienced white stuff when canning tomatoes before. I’m not sure how to advise you there. :/ However, I have done a batch or two where it has separated a little bit– nothing drastic but I have definitely seen a little separation. That is nothing to be worried about. If it separates, we just shake it really well before opening and it is fine. The white stuff though..? I’m not sure. I don’t know if that is from the tomatoes or contamination or what? If it were me I would err on the side of caution and probably toss out those ones. Hope this helps!

  28. 5 stars
    I just read the instructions but you didn’t mention if you waterbath canned this or pressure can. And for how long.

    1. We usually only water bath or steam bath. It takes about 40 minutes to process each batch. Hope this helps!

      1. 5 stars
        Our recipe uses tomatoes, green peppers. onions, sugar, salt, and pepper. We cook the vegetables first, then run them through a strainer, simmer the juice, then pour the juice into jars, and process the jars in a pressure canner for twenty minutes. My husband drinks it as juice, or we heat it for soup. Sometimes I add thickening made from butter, flour and a little tomato juice. It is really good. We have it with grilled cheese sandwiches every Sunday. It is important to process the jars in a pressure canner, though. Check for a recipe in the Ball Blue Book or talk to your extension service, because the recommended times change as knowledge grows.

    1. You will want to clean and sterilize the jars first– “processing” is so the lids seal onto the jars, making it safe for long-term storage.

    1. You just need to bring it to a boil each time. Once it is boiling (even as you stir it), it should be up to the right temperature. Hope this helps!

    1. Water bath or steam… pressure cooker would be different (I don’t know how different because I don’t have a pressure cooker … :/ )

  29. I am making your spaghetti sauce right at this moment. I have processed my tomatoes with my Kitchenaid vegetable / fruit strainer. Your recipe says for 25 lbs of tomatoes. I have no clue how many lbs I used. I just haul them in from the garden and processed them. Do you know how many gallons is 25 lbs of tomatoes?

  30. 5 stars
    We used a strainer like yours called a Squeezo for years. My husband was always trying to figure our how to motorize it because sometimes we would do 5 or more gallons at a time. We finally got the attachment for my Kitchenaid. It is great but does not have a screen fine enough for blackberries. We wore our first attachment out. The bushing wears out and allows the juice to flow back into the mixer. Looks like leaking grease. Hubby used directions found on Pinterest to dismantle and clean mixer. We never cook our tomatoes first. Do raw, then bring to a boil in pot. We only add salt but will try the onion salt and celery salt. Throw in a tobasco pepper before you seal and let age if you want it spicy. In your directions you say throw away the pulp. That comes through the screen with the juice. You are just throwing away the skin and seeds. Throw those in the garden for a great crop of volunteer tomato plants next year (if you did not precook). We use an heirloom Roma type tomato for lots of pulp.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, especially about the Kitchen Aid attachment… very good to know! Also, thank you for spotting that typo– I will fix it now!

  31. Because tomatoes are a borderline low-acid food you need to acidify the tomato juice with lemon juice or citric acid before you waterbath can the quarts to safeguard against botulism. To each quart of tomato juice add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid. Then process them for 40 minutes in a WB canner….not 25. (Depending on your altitude.) Here’s a link to the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s directions. http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_03/tomato_juice.html

    1. I use a Tomato Juicer and you don’t loose anything. It is quick and separates pulp etc. Much much quicker

      1. Was given some quarts of canned tomatoe juice…It is to sweet for us.
        What can i do to fix it?
        Was given to me by my mother in law….Desperate for a way to fix it.