Vegetables Good for Canning

Whether you have your favorite vegetables growing in your backyard or have been making regular trips to the farmer’s market to find all the in-season harvests, it is natural to end up with more fresh vegetables than you could possibly use up before they go bad. In such times, canning all the extra vegetables is the most effective way to preserve them.

Vegetables for Canning

Canning simply means putting fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and other similar perishable items into large glass containers that lengthen their shelf life. The USDA approves two canning methods for home canning – pressure canners and water baths (boiling-water canners).

It is essential to understand the methods and properly follow the steps because canned fruits and vegetables can easily get contaminated by bacteria and harmful microbes, with Botulism being the biggest risk.

Canning Vegetables: Pressure Canning or Water Bath

A pressure canner is similar to a pressure cooker but large enough to fit 4 or more quart jars. Though each model has different features, a pressure canner can often be used for water baths as well.

Out of the two canning methods, pressure canning is for low-acid foods, while high-acid foods need the water bath technique. Since vegetables are usually low-acid, they need to be pressure-canned. 

All the vegetables in the list below are meant to be pressure canned, except cucumbers, as they are almost always pickled before canning.

Tomatoes are another point to mention because though they may seem acidic, their acid levels are just at the borderline where you can use either pressure or water canning. However, most reliable resources recommend pressure canning unless you store them as a sauce.

Pickled vegetables are acidic enough to be suitable for water bath canning.

Best Vegetables for Canning With How to Do it

When you can just cut, clean, and pack a vegetable directly into the jars, it is raw-packing for canning. Similarly, hot-packing is when vegetables must be cleaned and blanched before canning.

The jar size is usually a quart or a pint. Whether using a hot- or cold-pack, remember to leave about 1-inch head-space for all vegetables.

Name of VegetableHow to CanPreparing for CanningRaw-packed or Hot-packed
TomatoWhole or dicedRemove skins and cores, blanch and then peelHot-packed
Green BeansWhole or cutTrim endsHot-packed
CarrotSliced or dicedPeel and cut into desired shapesHot-packed
Bell peppersDiced or slicedRemove seeds and membranesHot-packed
JalapeƱoSlicedRemove seedsHot-packed
CucumberPicklesTrim ends, peel or leave skin on, slice or leave wholeHot-packed
BeetSliced or dicedPeel and cut into desired shapesHot-packed
CornWhole kernel or cream-styleRemove kernels from cobHot-packed
AsparagusWhole spears or cutTrim endsHot-packed
Green PeaWhole or crushedShell peasRaw-packed
PotatoCubed or wholePeel and cut into desired shapesHot-packed
OnionSliced or dicedPeel and chopHot-packed
MushroomWhole or slicedClean and sliceRaw-packed
OkraWhole or slicedTrim endsHot-packed
ZucchiniSliced or dicedPeel and cut into desired shapesHot-packed
SpinachChoppedWash and chopHot-packed
KaleChoppedWash and chopHot-packed
Swiss ChardChoppedWash and chopHot-packed
Scallion (Green Onion)SlicedTrim endsRaw-packed
ParsnipSliced or dicedPeel and cut into desired shapesHot-packed


How long do canned vegetables last?

The shelf life of canned vegetables depends on how well they are canned and stored. USDA states you should not store home-canned foods for over a year. That too only if the cans are in an ideal condition: there are no dents, leakage, or rust, and they are kept in a cool and dry place.

One thing to remember is that you should never taste canned vegetables to check if they are okay. Also, throw away everything without a second thought if the jar is damaged.

Is it possible to can vegetables without a pressure canner?

The only USDA-approved device for the purpose is a pressure canner. Still, people often use their plug-in cookers and instant pots for canning at home. If you are doing it, make sure to follow all the instructions and safety measures.

Is it okay to can frozen vegetables?

It is possible to can frozen vegetables as long as you thaw them well. However, since freezing vegetables often make them lose their texture and become mushy, canning them may not be desirable because the result may not be palatable.