33 Water Bath Canning Recipes for Beginners 

One of the best things you can do to improve your self-sufficiency, and also to prevent food waste, is to can at home.

Canning has been around for a long time, and the practice is often passed on generationally in families. But if you weren’t fortunate enough to have someone teach you, getting started with the process can be perplexing and a little intimidating.

But it’s easy enough to get started with water bath canning. Compared to pressure canning, it’s simpler though it is somewhat more limited in application. It’s perfect if you’re just getting started with canning or looking to knock a little rust off.

I’ve got 33 great, simple recipes below to help you fill up your pantry. We’ll get right into them.

canned applesauce
canned applesauce

Applesauce

I don’t know about you, but I still love applesauce as a side dish. It’s also an indispensable ingredient for some baked goods and, best of all, it is one of the easiest and simplest canning recipes around.

Just a few ingredients, at most, and a little bit of time and you can can this successfully with no trouble. It’s the first recipe on our list and also the perfect first one for beginners.

Learn how to can applesauce here.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a seasonal favorite that is always present around Thanksgiving and Christmas time, but this tart and tangy sauce really is perfect any time of year. Such a shame though that cranberries aren’t available all year round!

You don’t have to settle for the weird stuff in the soup can thanks to this recipe. It’s fresh, sweet, and will definitely make you pucker, but it’s great stuff to enjoy with pork chops, poultry, and more.

Learn how to can cranberry sauce here.

two jars of canned tomatoes
two jars of canned tomatoes

Whole Tomatoes

In most homes, tomatoes get used constantly in various recipes, and if you grow your own, there is no better way to keep that garden-fresh taste shining through than canning part of your harvest.

It’s really easy to do using the water bath method, and you can easily decant them later and enjoy them no matter what you’re whipping up for lunch or dinner.

Learn how to can tomatoes here.

Tomato Coulis

Coulis is a thin French tomato sauce that is seasoned with fresh or dried herbs. You’ll rarely see it talked about over here in the United States, and that’s a real shame: the stuff is delicious and serves as a perfect base for all sorts of tomato dishes!

This fragrant sauce will hit the spot all winter long and is a great way to mix things up compared to just canning pureed or whole tomatoes.

And, no surprise, it is super simple to do using water bath canning. Just a little bit of extra prep time is all it takes…

Learn how to can tomato coulis here.

bread and butter zucchini pickles
bread and butter zucchini pickles

Bread-n-Butter Zucchini Pickles

I love pickles. And I mean all kinds of pickles, not just the typical cucumber ones. In fact, if something can be pickled, I am all about it! One of my current favorites is these bread and butter zucchini pickles.

Sweet, salty, tangy, and with a little extra something-something because they are made from zucchini and not cucumber, they always elicit compliments from my guests. If you’re tired of the same old same old, definitely give these a go. They are a cinch to whip up!

Learn how to can zucchini pickles here.

Russian Dill Pickles

Another one of my current favorite pickle recipes is this. Russian dill pickles are everything you like about typical dill pickles, but they are tangier, slightly sour, and intensely peppery.

I’ve come to enjoy them quite a lot, and they hit the spot alongside a decked-out ham sandwich. If you already know how to make pickles, there aren’t any surprises here, just a few changes of ingredients.

Learn how to can Russian dill pickles here.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

I know this one is bound to raise a few eyebrows! If there’s one part of a watermelon that absolutely no one wants to eat, it is the rind. Right? I mean it’s technically edible, but it’s very chewy, and it certainly doesn’t taste good. That is, it doesn’t taste good until you pickle it!

These things make amazing pickles, vaguely sweet and fresh and fruity, but still tangy and crunchy. They are awesome, and sure to amaze your friends and family.

Learn how to can rind pickles here.

Peppery Pickled Asparagus Spears

The pack of pickled recipes continues with peppery pickled asparagus spears. Say that three times fast! Asparagus is one of those veggies that people seem to either love or utterly detest without many opinions in between.

But I can promise you that a crisp, sweet pickled asparagus spear will win over some of the haters, and that includes you! These make for a great side or even a sandwich topping, and take very little effort to make.

Learn how to can pickled asparagus here.

Pickled Carrots

Most folks have never even had pickled carrots, and that’s a shame because they are truly unique. They maintain that essential carrot flavor and aroma, but they are made a little tenderer and far tastier since they take a bath in pickle brine.

You probably know where this is going already: they are quick and easy to make and a perfect easy recipe for beginning at-home canners.

Learn how to can pickled carrots here.

canned pickled eggplant
canned pickled eggplant

Pickled Eggplant

I’ll level with you; I’m no great fan of eggplant. At all, unless it’s a nice piece of eggplant parmesan. But once again, the magic of pickling makes even questionable veggies into delicious delicacies. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Pickling eggplant properly is a little more difficult than the other veggies on our list, but still quite easy to do with your water bath canner.

Learn how to can pickled eggplant here.

Chow Chow Relish

Chow chow relish means different things to different people, but it invariably involves pickled, spiced tomatoes, peppers, and sometimes other veggies.

Think of it like a relish, but one with a unique flavor that is just as much at home topping a hot dog or burger as it is a sandwich and other foods.

Like all the other pickled food we have covered so far, it is really easy to process, but you should be prepared to spend a fair bit of time chopping up all the ingredients.

Learn how to can chow chow relish here.

Dill Relish

Sometimes, you just can’t beat a classic. Dill pickle relish is the best thing going for hot dogs, and is a great mix in for other recipes. Make your own easily with the recipe linked above.

Learn how to can dill relish here.

Candied Jalapenos

Candied jalapenos? Sounds peculiar, even gross, but don’t be alarmed. It is basically a sweeter and somewhat mellower version of the classic pickled jalapenos that I am sure you’re familiar with. This recipe is the very best I’ve ever found, made all the better because it’s so easily done with water bath canning.

Learn how to can candied jalapeons here.

Ketchup

The rest of the world might mock America’s ketchup addiction, but they can stay out of it as far as I’m concerned. If you like ketchup, you owe it to yourself to try the genuine article, homemade like it used to be. There’s no comparison when it comes to taste, and I know after you try it once you won’t be buying any more store-bought stuff.

Learn how to can ketchup here.

Hot Pepper Mustard

Hot pepper mustard is exactly what it sounds like: a mustard made with a variety of diced and pureed peppers.

It is an incredible topping for rich, fatty cuts of meat of all kinds, or you can be like me and start putting this stuff on fried eggs. It sounds a little weird, but it will take your breakfast to the next level. Easy to make and keeps for a long time in your pantry!

Learn how to can hot pepper mustard here.

Traditional Tomato Salsa

If there’s one condiment in the US that’s more popular than ketchup, it’s probably salsa. Simple and delicious, it’s just as easy to whip up your own batch and can it. You’ll probably be done before you can even get to the store and back, so you might as well make your own.

Learn how to can tomato salsa here.

Roasted Salsa Verde

Traditional tomato salsa not your thing? Go with a green, light, flavorful, tangy salsa verde and mix things up.

It’s probably just the change of pace you’ve been looking for, whether you eat it as a dip with chips or use it as a topping. This recipe is simple and has a wonderful fire-roasted note that is sure to please.

Learn how to can salsa verde here.

Low-Sugar Canned Pears

One of life’s great simple pleasures is canned fruit. There’s just something about the texture and the sweetness, and the fact you can crack open that jar and enjoy it anytime, that makes it a joy. But all that extra sugar can be a bit hard on your waistline. Minimize the damage without giving up any flavor using this low-sugar recipe for canned pears.

Learn how to can pears here.

Traditional Canned Raspberries

Berries have a reputation for being challenging to can properly, but that hasn’t been my experience.

In fact, you can can whole raspberries for eating out of hand, using as toppings, or for use in recipes with little trouble if you use the guide linked above. They also look beautiful sitting there on your shelf!

Learn how to can raspberries here.

Learn how to can peaches at home for a tasty, nutritious treat all year long! The Homesteading Hippy

Traditional Canned Peaches

Truly, there is hardly anything better than homegrown canned peaches. Enough said! If you like peaches, you owe it to yourself and your family to whip up a batch so you can enjoy them all year.

Learn how to can peaches here.

Pickled Peaches

But then again, maybe you’re just bored of the same old, same old when it comes to peaches. Maybe you want something different. Bolder. More nuanced.

Pickled peaches are perfect, and they are criminally easy to make! The flavors are a little hard to describe, but I like them and so does my family. I’m sure you will too.

Learn how to can pickled peaches here.

two jars of canned pickled onions
two jars of canned pickled onions

Pickled Onions

Pickled onions are a terrific topping for all sorts of dishes, but they really belong on sandwiches and burgers. The pickling process keeps the crunch and all but eliminates that sulfurous onion aftertaste.

You need only a few ingredients and a little bit of time to do the job yourself with your water bath canner. Plus, you can really save a bundle on these versus buying them at the store!

Learn how to can pickled onions here.

Spicy Pickled Beets

Another variation on a time-honored and greatly beloved canning classic, these spicy pickled beets are hard to beat.

Horrendous pun aside, this is another recipe that many canners started off their journey with, and it’s a great one to get back into canning while also trying some new flavors.

Learn how to can pickled beets here.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is an aggressive food. I say it’s aggressive because people either aggressively like it or they aggressively hate it.

We’ll save that debate for the comments section, but if you fall into the former category you’ll love this easy recipe. Sauerkraut is one of the longest-lasting foods you can make and a perfect candidate for canning.

Learn how to can sauerkraut here.

spaghetti sauce final

Spaghetti Sauce

When it comes to easy weeknight meals, spaghetti is just about as straightforward and quick as it gets while still being a crowd-pleaser.

You can take what might otherwise be a fairly bland bowl of pasta to the next level by making your own intensely flavorful and savory sauce and then canning it yourself. Then you can add meat or veggies of your choice after you pop it open and boil your pasta. Delicious!

Learn how to can spaghetti sauce here.

Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

There’s something indefinably good about strawberry and rhubarb together. I don’t even know how to articulate it, but I’ve been eating it since I was a kid and I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Whether you want it on toast or are using it to make croissants or other pastries, this low-sugar jam recipe lets the intricate flavor shine through without loading on too many calories.

Learn how to can rhubarb jam here.

Rosemary-Red Wine Fig Jam

Okay, cut the chatter. I’m telling you, this is the best recipe we are going to cover today. So says I, anyway!

I’m absolutely addicted to all things fig, and that includes fig jam. I’ll eat whole jars of the stuff if I’m not supervised. But somehow, some way, the combination of rosemary and red wine into the mix takes this to an entirely new solar system of flavor and complexity.

I can say no more, you’ve just got to try it! If you’ve been looking for a dish that will impress folks at the farmers’ market or the next family gathering, you found it.

Learn how to can fig jam here.

Mulberry Jelly

If you’re sick and tired of the usual suspects when it comes to jams and jellies, give mulberry jelly a try.

Sweet and tangy with its own unique flavor, it’s a wonderful way to add a little bit of variety to the breakfast table and show off your canning skills at the same time. You’ll never guess it’s this easy to make!

Learn how to can mulberry jelly here.

Hot Pepper Jelly

A true Southern classic, hot pepper jelly is sweet and spicy in equal measure. It’s not for everyone, but for those of us who love it, there is nothing quite as wonderful or satisfying.

Like all of our other jam and jelly recipes, it’s really easy to make yourself right at home, and you’ll never have to be disappointed again when your local grocery store doesn’t carry it.

Learn how to can hot pepper jelly here.

Raspberry Pie Filling

If you want to stay ready to make baked desserts, and pies particularly, water bath canning can come to the rescue because it’s the perfect way to preserve all sorts of pie fillings.

This raspberry pie filling recipe is perfect in every way and another one of my personal recommendations. Give it a try.

Learn how to can raspberry pie filling here.

Cardamom Pear Jam

Another intriguing spin on a home canning classic, the addition of warm, almost soothing cardamom pear jam makes it intriguing, comforting, and absolutely delicious.

Learn how to can pear jam here.

Banana Jam

Banana jam? What? It’s true, it’s no joke, and this isn’t some nonsense recipe made from Jell-O banana pudding. Banana jam is real, and it’s amazing. Intrigued? You should be; check out that recipe linked above!

Learn how to can banana jam here.

Water

No, this isn’t a joke. Canned water isn’t just water you put in a canning jar and screw the lid on. It’s a way to properly sterilize and store water for long-term use. It won’t let you down like the stuff in plastic jugs and bottles will.

This is a great way to stay prepared in case of drought, service shutdown, or contamination. Definitely a good tool to have in your homesteader toolbox!

Learn how to can water here.

water bath canning recipes pin

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