12 Recipes to Preserve Your Garden Bounty

All the time spent weeding and watering paid off and now the garden is bursting with ALLL the sun-ripened produce! After having your fill of fresh garden salads, preserve the rest using these recipes for canning, freezing, and making a variety of scrumptious condiments.

If you are lucky enough to have an overabundance of garden produce, you may be wondering what to do with it all. Please know you can always drop it off at my house!

My childhood best friend had a huge garden and I have fond memories of picking tomatoes off the vine and eating them right then and there. I’m sure I ate more than my fair share on those long summer days. There was always more than enough and gardens have a way of giving, giving, and giving.

If you’ve had your fill of salads, then I’m here to help. You can hold onto the flavors of summer all year long by following a couple of tips and making the most of these preservation recipes below.

  • Give yourself as much time as possible to preserve your garden haul by keeping produce fresh for as long as possible.
  • Allow the garden to shine in a variety of ways by canning, freezing and preserving each vegetable at the peak of freshness.
Easy Tomato Jam Recipe

Use up plum tomatoes by making this chunky sauce, which is perfect for burgers and sandwiches. Double the recipe and stash it in the freezer to enjoy for up to three months.

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Canned Tomato Salsa

Never run out of salsa again by stockpiling jars of your very own canned version. The recipe uses five pounds of tomatoes and makes five pints.

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Homemade Tomato Juice

Not sure what to do with overly ripe tomatoes sitting on the counter? A quart of tomato juice is exactly what your Saturday brunch game needed. Bloody Marys (or Virgin Marys) all around.

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A jar of homemade pickles

Refrigerator pickles ditch the canning equipment and go straight into the fridge. Small cucumbers, such as kirby, work best for this recipe. Have a hankering for sweet pickles? Try canning Bread and Butter Pickles and use the larger variety.

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Mint and Almond Pesto - jar of mint pesto on white counter

Capture the flavor of the garden herbs. Mint, parsley and almonds make a refreshing combination of flavors. Use it on sandwiches, pasta or dollop on salads. It also freezes wonderfully so go ahead and double the batch!

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Marinated Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Roasted red peppers are the base for the tasty Muhammara dip, as well as Roasted Red Pepper Hummus so you will definitely want to have a few jars on hand. Thankfully, this recipe makes five pints so there will be a few extra to stash for the winter.

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Basil Vinaigrette

Once I learned to make a vinaigrette, I felt like I’d unlocked the secret to cooking. Splash this vinaigrette over fresh sliced tomatoes for an easy side dish or serve alongside chicken. It lasts for a week in the refrigerator so don’t hesitate to double the recipe.

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Zucchini Muffins

My family goes nuts for muffins! This recipe is easy to double and the muffins freeze beautifully. You’ll need about 3 medium zucchinis, and remember, you need the moisture from the shredded zucchini so don’t drain it! Sub chocolate chips for dried fruit in the batter — chocolate and zucchini are a delicious combo.

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Creamed Corn Recipe - creamed corn with herbs and spoon

This creamed corn side dish works well in both summer and winter. Once the kernels are cut, scrape the cob to release the corn “milk” and the finished dish will be packed with that sweet corn flavor. If freezing, cool completely before transferring to a freezer zip top bag or container.

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Arugula Pesto

Arugula’s peppery flavor combines with nutty walnuts for a pesto with an earthy punch. Spread it on sandwiches, toss over pasta or spoon over vegetables for a meal ready in minutes.

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Tomato Chutney made from end of season tomatoes

If frying isn’t your thing, then how about using green tomatoes for chutney? A touch of warm spices adds a depth of flavor to this condiment. Serve with chicken, tofu, basmati rice or naan.

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How To Make Easy Jam in the Microwave

My mother-in-law always has a stash of refrigerator raspberry jam to slather on dinner rolls or toast. Who knew it was this easy? Just a few minutes in the microwave and you have your very own jam to keep stashed in the refrigerator or freezer.

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Rachel Knecht

Rachel tests recipes for Simply Recipes, teaches a kid's cooking class, and develops the content for Baking with Rachel.

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