Preserving Tomatoes as Home Canned Salsa 23

Salsa time! Salsa is one of our favorite canned goods; we use it not only as a snack, but it’s also a staple ingredient that I use in chili and other spicy  dishes. This home canned salsa a great way for me to preserve not only the tomatoes, but peppers and onions from the garden, too.

Home canned salsa is great not only for chips and snacking, but as an ingredient in chili and other spicy dishes.


I’ve tried a number of recipes over the years, and this one is a keeper, getting thumbs up from my entire family.

This home canned salsa recipe calls for chopped vegetables. My easy, cheat-y way to do this is with a food processor using the metal blade. I simply core and quarter the washed tomatoes (I do NOT peel them; who’s got time for that?), pulse them until they’re the consistency I like in a salsa, and then measure them directly into the stock pot. I do the same with the peppers and garlic. If you don’t have a food processor, use a knife and aim for a quarter-inch dice on the tomatoes and onions and an even finer dice for the peppers.

Home Canned Salsa

Yield: 7-9 pints

  • 14 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 6 jalapeno peppers, diced and seeds removed (avoid touching the seeds if possible, and for goodness sake, keep your hands out of your eyes!)
  • 4 long green chiles, diced and seeds removed (I use banana peppers)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • optional: add 1-2 12-oz cans of tomato paste for a thicker salsa (I’ve tried this recipe with and without. I like the texture with the tomato paste, but I dislike adding conventionally grown paste from a bpa-lined can to my organically grown garden bounty.)

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Following standard canning procedures, ladle hot salsa into jars, leaving about 1/2″ head space. Screw on lids and bands, then process in a boiling water bath. 15 minutes, 0-1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes, 1,001-6,000 feet altitude; 25 minutes, above 6,000 feet.

My recipe is adapted from one that I found years ago on NMSU’s College of Agriculture & Home Economics site, that as far as I can tell is no longer available online.


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23 thoughts on “Preserving Tomatoes as Home Canned Salsa

  • Christina

    This looks like a great recipe. I’m bookmarking it and plan to try it with our next batch of tomatoes from the garden!

  • Living Large

    I loved canned salsa, especially on cold winter days when I’m really wanting some fresh tomatoes again!

  • Jean

    How much does this recipe make? Do you use pint or quart jars? Sounds delicious!

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Hi Jean. It IS delicious. We just love it. Thanks for catching that omission. I’ve updated the post to reflect that this will make 7-9 pints. I often do them in quart jars, though – I use the salsa in cooking a lot, and I’ve got two teen boys. We go through it!

  • Brette Sember

    I have been saying that I need to learn to can. And I’m getting lots of tomatoes from our CSA so maybe this is the recipe I will start with?

    • Attainable Sustainable

       @Brette Sember I’ve been canning for years, and this is by far our favorite recipe. The cooking part of it is just cooking. The canning part is easier than you’re imagining. Let me know if you decide to try it; happy to hand hold along the way!

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  • Jennifer L. Mika

    Glad I found this!! I will be making it tonight!! Thanks 🙂

  • Cindy Green

    I have a tip for you on the tomato paste. You have a dehydrator so I think you will like this. I dry my paste tomatoes and then grind to a powder in a food processor. Then to make tomato paste you use one TB powder to 2 TB water or you can also make tomato sauce. I can;t remember the portions there at the moment. I also add the powder to soups and such.

  • Son of a Beach

    Add some chopped cilantro at the end (don’t cook it), then you will have some really delicious salsa!!

  • Marie

    Could you write an article for city dwellers without a garden who have trouble finding enough cheap and fresh ingredients? It took me a while to find good sources and there may be people out there who would like to do canning but don’t think it is worthwhile because they only rarely chance across “this is a great deal but how can we finish it all” situations.

  • Kathleen

    This looks great! (Thanks to Jill Winger for sharing it.) Two questions: could lime juice be substituted for the lemon juice, and can the sugar be omitted safely? I need a sugar-free recipe, but as a canning novice (it’s my third year), I’m hesitant to make changes to official canning recipes!

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Aloha! And yes, thanks Jill! I’m not a master canner (though I’ve been doing it for years) and I still hesitate to make changes. Personally, I’d feel comfortable switching it out to lime juice and eliminating the sugar, but I’m not going to *recommend that. 😉

  • Alyssa

    Awesome recipe! 🙂 Wish I had found it during the season. Do you think this recipe would work well with previously frozen tomatoes?

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      I don’t see why not. Plus, if you thaw your tomatoes in a colander, all the excess liquid will drain off before you start cooking it down.

  • Becky

    This may be a dumb question, but what kinds of peppers qualify as ‘green chilies?’ Would bell peppers work? I’m not sure how much to substitute for 4 banana peppers…

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      It’s not a dumb question. Bell peppers would work – as in, that replacement would be a fine one — but the flavor will differ a bit. I’m not a fan of bell peppers myself, so it’s not a substitute I would make. Essentially, you’re looking for a mild pepper that will add flavor without heat. Of course, if you like lots of heat, you could easily use some sort of hot pepper to replace them, too.