Homemade Tomato Juice

Wow! This is how V8 should taste. If you have an abundance of tomatoes in your garden, make your own delicious small-batch tomato juice.

Homemade Tomato Juice
Elise Bauer

For those of us who garden and grow tomatoes, there often comes a point in the summer tomato growing season in which the bounty greatly exceeds one's ability to consume it, in its regular tomato form.

If you find yourself in this position, and you love tomato juice, V8, Bloody or Virgin Marys, I highly recommend making your own tomato juice.

Homemade Tomato Juice
Elise Bauer

My father announced the other day that he was going to make some tomato juice with some of the garden tomatoes that were overflowing our kitchen counter and I thought nothing of it.

But after one taste, wow! This is how V8 should taste.

Freezing Tomato Juice

Some of our readers make this and freeze it in quart zip-top freezer bags for up to 1 year. That way, if you want to scale this up for tomato juice to enjoy all year long, there's a handy way to store it.

Canning This Recipe

This recipe is not made for home canning in a water bath, as there's not enough acidity. To scale this recipe up and adapt it for safe home canning in a water bath, follow this advice from the National Center for Home Food Preservation: "To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling with product."

Between sea level and 1,000 feet elevation, process quart jars in a water bath canner for 40 minutes, and pint jars for 35 minutes. See this chart for processing times for other altitudes.

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Homemade Tomato Juice

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 8
Yield 4 cups

Some tomatoes are sweeter than others, depending on their ripeness and the variety of tomato. Use the ripest tomatoes you can. Added sugar will balance the natural acidity of the tomatoes, use more or less to taste. Tabasco hot sauce is also to taste, depending on your desired level of spiciness.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine, who got it from Chef Brill Williams of The Inn at Sawmill Farm in West Dover, Vermont.


  • 3 pounds very ripe garden tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped

  • 1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves

  • 1/3 cup chopped onion

  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Pinch black pepper

  • A couple shakes Tabasco sauce, about 6 to 8 drops (to taste)

Special Equipment

  • Sieve, chinoise, or food mill


  1. Cook the tomatoes, vegetables, and seasonings:

    Put all of the ingredients into a large non-reactive pot (use stainless steel, not aluminum). Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until mixture is completely soupy, about 25 minutes.

  2. Strain:

    Force the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, chinoise, or food mill. Cool completely.

    Simple Tip!

    If you like, save the solids left in the strainer. Puree them with a little water and to add to recipes for a tomato-y boost.

    Store covered and chilled. Will last for about 1 week in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
51 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 51
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 304mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 25mg 127%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 486mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.