I’m going to go out on a limb here and proclaim that this is the best homemade salsa recipe for canning. It’s the recipe I’ve used for canning salsa for years. This salsa recipe is full of fresh summertime flavor and is great for stocking the pantry. Use it as a dip with chips, or as an addition to recipes like chili or soup.
Try this summertime fresh peach salsa, too!
Salsa is one of our favorite home canned goods; we use it not only as a snack, but it’s also a staple ingredient that I use in chili recipes and other spicy dishes in lieu of canned tomatoes. Canning salsa is a great way for me to preserve not only the tomatoes, but peppers and onions from the garden, too.
Be sure to read this detailed post about safely canning tomatoes before you dive in.
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Canning salsa at home
I’ve tried a lot of recipes over the years; this is our favorite homemade salsa recipe for canning. Note that this recipe for salsa for canning is substantially different from my garden fresh salsa recipe.
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I learned the basics of canning from my mom, but I don’t ever recall her making salsa. Now I’m a certified Master Food Preserver and it delights me a little bit that these days when she cans salsa, she uses my recipe. No more store bought salsa for her!
Tomatoes – This recipes uses tomatoes fresh from the garden. I use an assortment of tomatoes, both red and yellow. Roma tomatoes, beefsteak, even cherry tomatoes if I have an abundance. The tomatoes are combined with onions, garlic, fresh hot peppers, lemon juice, and an assortment of spices, then cooked for about 30 minutes.
Onions & Garlic – You can use yellow, white, or red onions for this recipe, depending on what you like and what’s readily available. Garlic? If you’re not a fan you can leave it out, but is there anyone who doesn’t like garlic?
Peppers – Using a combination of peppers provides a nice balance of heat and flavor in this salsa. I use jalapeno peppers for heat, but if you’re growing a different variety of hot pepper, by all means, use that. Adding a mild chile like banana peppers to the mix adds flavor without increasing the heat too much.
Lemon juice – The recipe calls for two cups of lemon juice. I’ve been questioned about this a lot. No, it will not make your salsa taste overly sour. Yes, you really do need to add it, as the acidity from the lemon juice helps to make this recipe safe for water bath canning. See my notes in the recipe card below for more information.
Spices and seasonings – Add the salt and pepper in the measurements I suggest; if you find that you’d like the salsa a bit saltier, it’s safe to increase the amount. The sugar balances out the acidity of the lemon juice.
Hot tip: This home canned salsa recipe calls for lots of chopped vegetables. My easy, shortcut 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, but if you prefer to do so, here’s how to peel tomatoes quickly) and pulse them in the food processor until they’re the consistency I like in a salsa.
Once they’re chopped, I measure them directly into the stock pot. I do the same with the peppers, onion, 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.
🍅 Safety First!
Canning is an excellent way to preserve food for the pantry, but there are some important safety considerations to keep in mind. The recipes on this site have been made following safe canning procedures by a certified Master Food Preserver.
- Know the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning. Low acid items must be pressure canned for safety.
- Altering ingredients may change the recipe’s pH, posing a safety issue. I highly recommend investing in pH paper to test your products for acidity level when canning. Note: For safe water bath canning, the Hawaii Master Food Preservers suggest a pH of 4.2 or lower in the tropics. In other regions, the recommended pH is 4.6 or lower.
- Use the proper jars and lids. Never reuse lids, with the exception of the Tattler or Harvest Right hard plastic lids that are intended for such a purpose.
- For more on canning equipment, please go here.
Prepare the canning pot
Fill a large canner with water. Just how much takes a little bit of guesswork. You’ll want the water level to sit about an inch above the full jars during processing.
Adding the full jars to the water will cause the water level to rise; how much depends on how many jars you’re processing at once. Most canners will hold seven jars at a time, but you can process fewer than that if you don’t have a full load.
Hot tip: Boil some extra water in a saucepan or electric kettle as you’re working. If you need to top off the water in the canner, you won’t cool down the water too much.
Water bath canning salsa
Once the ingredients are chopped and cooked, you’ll ladle the salsa into pint jars. Fill seven jars; that’s how many will fit in a standard canning pot. I have a canning funnel for this purpose, that makes it easier to transfer the salsa into the jars without a lot of mess. If you have more salsa, keep it warm until you’re ready to process a second batch of salsa.
Use a damp cloth to wipe the rim of each jar; a little bit of food on the jar rim can prevent the lids from sealing properly. Set the lids in place and screw the bands on firmly tight (but not too tight). Use a jar lifter to transfer jars into the gently boiling water. As stated above, the water in the pot should cover the jars by about an inch. If necessary add more water to the canner.
Hot tip: Boil some extra water in a saucepan or electric kettle as you’re working. If you need to top off the water in the canner, you won’t cool down the water too much.
Process jars for the recommended time. (See below.) When time is up, use the jar lifter to transfer jars to a flat surface that’s padded with a kitchen towel. Allow jars to cool completely. As they cool, you’ll begin to hear a canner’s favorite sound: That lovely little tink! that indicates a successful seal.
Once jars are thoroughly cooled, check the seal on all of the jars. The lid should be concave and solid. If it flexes at all, it’s not sealed. (Place any jars that didn’t seal in the refrigerator and use them first. They are not shelf stable.)
Remove bands from cooled jars and rinse the jars. Store jars without the bands.
This homemade salsa for canning is a good beginner recipe for novice home canners. (Find more easy canning recipes here.) Canning salsa at home is not hard. It’s basically a lot of chopping.
Go here for more on canning tomatoes.
★ Did you make this canned salsa recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★
The Very Best Salsa Recipe for Canning
This salsa recipe for canning is a great way for to preserve not only tomatoes, but peppers and onions from the garden, too.
- 14 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped (8-10 pounds of tomatoes)
- 3 large onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup hot peppers, diced and seeds removed (about 6)
- 1 cup mild chiles, diced and seeds removed (about 4 )
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups lemon juice, bottled
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 6 ounce cans of tomato paste (optional, for thickening)
Making the salsa:
- Chop tomatoes, onions, and peppers into a quarter-inch dice by hand or in a food processor.
- Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer salsa for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Canning the salsa:
- While the salsa is cooking, fill a canning pot with water, set the lid in place, and heat on high heat until boiling.
- Ladle hot relish into pint or half-pint jars, leaving 1/2" head space. A canning funnel makes this easy.
- Wipe jar rims to remove any salsa that may have spilled. A clean rim is essential to a good seal.
- Set jar lids in place. Screw bands on finger tight, firmly, but don't crank the rings on.
- Use a jar lifter to gently submerge jars into boiling water in canning pot. Water should cover the top of the jars by an inch. The water will cool somewhat in reaction to the addition of the jars. Return the water to a low boil and set the timer.
- Process for 15 minutes, 0-1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes, 1,001-6,000 feet altitude; 25 minutes, above 6,000 feet.
- Allow jars to cool overnight.
- Check for seal: the lids should feel solid and slightly indented. If they flex, they are not shelf stable and should be refrigerated and used first.
- Wash jars, remove rings, and store in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
Makes 7-9 pints
Note: If your tomatoes are really juicy ones, squeeze out some of the juice before processing to avoid a thin salsa. The texture of the salsa when it first goes in the pot is essentially what the texture will be in the jar. If you're not happy with it, strain some of the juice off until you are. This recipe for salsa for canning 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.
If you have an abundance of garden fresh tomatoes, hot peppers, and onions, but don't want to delve into home canning, be sure to try my easy five-ingredient fresh salsa recipe! (And if you have green tomatoes aplenty, this chow chow recipe is a great way to utilize those!)
Don't use salt that is iodized or treated with clumping agents.
Now, about that lemon juice:
Acidifying tomatoes to a safe pH level for water bath canning depends on a number of factors: The variety of tomato, the ripeness, and the other ingredients you're using. Adding 2 cups of lemon juice makes this a safe recipe no matter what kind of tomatoes you use and should be done without question unless you're prepared to test the pH of the salsa.
If you're concerned about the amount of lemon juice in this recipe, you can use pH paper to test the tomato mixture before adding lemon juice. In order to safely can this salsa recipe, the mixture needs to be a pH level of 4.6 or lower (4.2 in the tropics). Add lemon juice in increments of 1/4 cup until a safe pH level is achieved. Do not reduce or eliminate the lemon juice in this recipe without assuring that the pH level is safe!
I tested my last batch of salsa before adding any lemon juice and the pH level was borderline. Please be mindful of this as you dive into home canning your salsa. It's not difficult, but you do need to follow safe canning guidelines.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 50Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 323mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g
Using your homemade salsa
Of course, you’ll serve this up as a snack with your favorite tortilla chips, but if you’ve got a pantry full of this tasty tomato salsa, how can you use it in the kitchen?
- Combine equal parts salsa and homemade sour cream for a creamy dip.
- Or stir some salsa into refried beans to make a hearty bean dip.
- Add a dollop to an omelette or fried red potatoes
- Use it in homemade chili recipes instead of stewed tomatoes.
- Top scrambled eggs or omelettes with it.
- Spoon onto tacos, tostadas, and refried beans.
Here are some more canning recipes to try!
This tomato chutney recipe is one of my favorites.
Try canning nectarines or peaches to preserve the sweet flavor of a summertime harvest.
Applesauce is easy to make and preserve with a water bath. Here’s how.
Did you know you can make your own ready-to-use canned beans?? Talk about a time saver.
Originally published in August 2011; this post has been updated.
Why is there no cilantro?
The recipe wasn’t tested with cilantro and adding a low acid ingredient like this isn’t recommended.
Do You peel the tomatoes before dicing?
The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends that you do.
This is my second batch, it is sooooo good! Could I use the green tomato’s from my garden before the frost comes? Or will that mess up the acidity?
Tomatoes from frost kissed vines should not be canned.
This will be my first attempt at canning salsa and am wondering if I was to add a cup of corn would this still be a safe recipe to follow.
Corn is a low acid food and will alter the pH, making it possibly unsafe for canning.
I hope this review is helpful for those who are wondering about the lemony flavor. I used the ingredients as specified (including the optional 2 6oz cans of tomato paste) and followed the directions almost exactly. Indeed, the overwhelming flavor of lemon was there even after simmering for 30 min, but I had half a pint leftover which I stuck in my fridge as an experiment. I tasted the salsa about 24 hours later, and the lemony taste was much reduced as I believe it had melded with the other flavors. It’s hard to trust your garden bounty with a new recipe, but I can share my own experience. While the salsa was milder that I would have liked (I probably could have used more spicy peppers) and the addition of tomato paste seemed a little strange for a homemade recipe, I think this is a great beginning salsa canning recipe! Thank you 🙂
I’m glad you ended up liking it, thanks for the input!
I also was concerned about the lemon, but I’ve already sampled my canned salsa and it is VERY good. My brother and his wife and my husband agree! Yes, it is a milder salsa but not everyone I’m sharing with likes hot. Just add a few drops of hot sauce to the jar after opening if you like hotter!
Good spice advice!
Did you place salsa in hot jars
The salsa should be hot and transferred to jars that have been kept warm.
Can I add a tsp of ground cumin?
It is safe to add dried spices, so yes.
Hi! I’m interested in trying out this recipe because it is very similar to my grandmother’s salsa recipe which I love but I have found that the one she uses is not an approved canning recipe. Can you tell me if it would be ok to add dried oregano to your recipe? If so, what amount would you suggest? Thank you!
It is safe to add dried spices, so yes. Maybe a tablespooon of dried oregano?
I made it today and I made it very hot! I wanted to try it because it didn’t have vinegar. I used pint jars and put it into 9 jars.
This looks like a great recipe. I can salsa every year (and lots of other things). You mentioned that you have canned this in quart jars using the same boil-water bath method. What was the time you boiled the quarts? If you process pints for 15 mins (below 1,000 ft altitude) would 20 mins for quarts be safe?
It looks like you saw a comment, which I neglected to catch for updating! The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends only canning salsa in pint-size jars.
Such an easy recipe to do and what a great taste! Thanks for sharing it with everyone!
You’re welcome, so glad you love it! 🙂
If I wanted to pressure can instead of using the hot water bath, can you recommend the proper pressure and length to process? Thank you.
This recipe has only been tested as written; altering canning recipes is not recommended and can result in an unsafe food product.
We had a really good tomato crop this year, I am trippling your recipe, do I need to allow for long cook time? I plan on using a large stock pot.
Keep your eye on it, you might want to cook it a little longer.
I am a beginner and will be trying this recipe to can tomatoes for the first time. A little scared that I will do something wrong, or the jars will explode.
Just confirming that once the jars with the rings on, have cooled, you REMOVE the rings so that just that flat lid is on the top? If so, why do you remove the rings?
Be sure the jars are cooled before fiddling with the lids. The lids should be sucked down, solid, and sealed. Then you remove the rings, wash, and store. The reason? So you don’t keep a jar with a false seal in the cupboard. This way, you’ll see sooner if the jar is open/leaking/compromised. (And I apologize; this slipped through the cracks and I’m very slow to respond.)
Can you use canned tomatoes?
I wouldn’t, I’m not sure how that would turn out as far as the texture and tomatoes breaking down being twice processed. Also, for canning recipes, it’s not recommended to change them at all for safety reasons, so that would apply here too.
Any reason why you don’t use cilantro? It’s like the main reason I like Mexican food. Lol
It’s not recommended to change a canning recipe, so I wouldn’t add any ingredients. However, you can always add it on top whenever you go to serve and eat it and it would be a delicious addition!
I found this recipe because I wanted one that does not use vinegar. This looks good. I have a question about the “other chilis” besides the hot ones, presumably jalapenos. What kind of chili peppers would you suggest? If I was going to use bell peppers, what quantity would that be equal to? Thanks
I’ve used and like banana peppers.
Diane July 1, 2021
I made 65 pints using this recipe. I love it. I used 2 cans of tomato paste and scoop out alittle tomato juice after chopping tomatoes in food processor. I couldn’t find any banana peppers so I used green peppers from my garden. I seeded my jalapeno peppers and used 6 still very mild so in order to get medium added seed from 1 jalapeno. I share my salsa at church and they all love it too! Thanks so much!
You’re welcome, I’m glad you all love it.
Can you use kosher salt instead of sea salt?
Yes, that should be fine!
Your recipe looks yummy. I have been canning for many years and have never seen organic cane sugar used. Is there a reason u are using that instead of regular sugar.?
Personal preference, though I’m updating things to remove that reference — it seems to just confuse people. 😉 (I opt for cane sugar; other granulated sugars are made from GMO beets, which I prefer to avoid.)
Made this the other night, followed the recipe exactly except that I added the ghost peppers one by one at the end to control the heat. It worked. I only added 2 peppers and it has enough heat so it will be edible to most people. Added the lemon juice per the recipe and you don’t taste it all. It’s a little thinner than I had hoped but its probably due to the tomatoes I used, very ripe. I will make this again, thank you!
Glad it turned out well! You can rough cut the tomatoes and let them “juice out” a bit before using them if you like.
Hi! If I were to halve this recipe, would I also use half the lemon juice? I don’t have PH tests, but that seems like it would be okay since the ratios would be the same. I’m short on tomatoes, which is why I’d do half. Alternatively, could I open a can of diced tomatoes to make up for my shortage?
Yes, if you halve everything and maintain the proportions, it should be fine.
What type of bottled lemon juice do you use? When I went to the grocery store all I could find was the “green” bottle of lemon juice concentrate which has other things added to it.
You can use that or there are some more natural options, maybe at a health food store?
Can you add cilantro?
If you add anything to alter the recipe, you need to test the pH to make sure that it’s below 4.6 (4.2 in the tropics).
Can i add fresh corn to this recipe?
No, not without impacting the pH. And that’s important for safety when canning.
How long do these keep for? And have you tried pressure canning? Or is water bath preferred for this specific recipe? I just want to make sure the cans seal to store longer.
Sealed jars will keep for at least a year. I usually consider 18 months to be the outside of my comfort zone. Water bath is sufficient for this; pressure canning won’t gain any shelf life.
Would it be safe to halve the amount of peppers? My jalapeno plant is giving me super spicy peppers and I know this would come out too hot for me.
Yes. The peppers are low acid and reducing them will not negatively impact the acidity level.
Can I use lime juice instead of lemon juice? OR can I use citric acid instead of lemon juice? I’ve been reading mixed comments about the lemon flavor. Thanks!
Citric acid and lime juice can also be used to acidify, but if you make any changes, you’ll need to test the pH.
Can I freeze instead of can?
You *can — it’s not unhealthy. But salsa tends to get quite watery when frozen, in my experience. Fine for cooking with, not so delicious to eat with chips!
I have saw several comments talking about tomato paste. I didn’t see where that was an ingredient in the recipe. Am I just missing it or are they just adding it on their own. Can’t wait to try making this salsa tonight! Thanks!
Somehow that got deleted. It’s optional as an ingredient, but I’ve fixed it now. Thanks!
can’t you leave the lemon juice out? I would think the tomatoes would have enough acid in them by there self.
No, you cannot leave it out. You can substitute lime juice for lemon as it is more acidic, but you cannot leave it out. It’s not just the tomatoes you need to worry about. The peppers and onions change the acidity level. Approved recipes like this have been tested to be sure the ratios of ingredients are safe and shouldn’t be altered (except herbs & spices). You could likely use citric acid if you contacted your local extension center about the proper ratio, but it certainly wouldn’t give you that bright, fresh flavor. The sugar will mask the acidity so it won’t taste too citrusy. I’ve made this and that was my personal observation.
Any changes made to canning recipes can alter the pH. Lime is another acidifier, but you’ll want to test the pH to make sure it’s safe.
This looks so good ,,iam roasting all my vegetables for this recipe except the cilantro,,the. I will can it up everything in here is what I like,I guess for the tomatoe sauce it calls for I could just uses my home canned should be fine,just wondering if I could leave a few seeds I. For more like a medium salsa
Hi! I just found your recipe and it looks wonderful. Was curious, if I could omit the green chillies…would I still be able to can this recipe safely?
You should be fine to omit the chiles. It’s important to maintain enough acidity in a canning recipe; chiles are not acidic, so omitting them won’t create a problem.
Hi, thanks so much for this recipe using lemon juice versus ACV. It was truly a breeze to make. I pan roasted all of the vegetables, after coring the tomatoes. That made it easy to take some of the peel away prior to chopping in the food processor. I did not seed or skin the peppers and that made for a really hot salsa. Next time I will know better. The lemon juice did tone it down a bit. Looks beautiful once jarred. Have bookmarked this recipe and plan on making it again. Thanks once more for an easy and delicious recipe-. -*Susan
Hi, I wanted to apologize for my comment. I have spoken with a few friends who have been canning for years and was advised that the lemony taste should dissipate. I have confidence that it will. Thank you!
Hello, I was curious if it could be fresh lemons or had to be bottled store bought lemon juice? Thank you
This is something about canning that makes me crazy. Experts suggest NOT using fresh lemon juice because of its variable acidity.
I had the same problem as Barbara. All I can taste is the lemon juice. I don’t have the heart to throw it all out after all that work. Any suggestions on how to reduce the bitterness when I’m ready to open a jar?
I wish I could *taste it. I hear from people that this is the best recipe they’ve ever tried, and then get the occasional “too lemony” comment. I can’t figure out why, unless it’s a tastebud preference. Adding a bit of sugar can reduce bitterness. If you don’t like it as a salsa, try using it in a recipe like chili.
I just made this I tasted it in the pot after cooking. Extremely bitter from lemon juice. Did I do something wrong. I canned them and wondered if this will go away plus how long do u need them sealed before eating a week or what…… pls tell me.
You can eat it right away. Since I wasn’t in your kitchen, I can’t say what might have gone wrong. If you find it too bitter to serve as salsa, use it in chili?
Made it! I really wanted a lemon juice recipe rather than vinegar.
I added fresh cilantro and omitted the sugar. Hopefully that doesn’t affect the safety of the recipe. The taste is mild but flavorful.
Great explanation for a novice like me.
I’m glad you like it!
I am new to canning and anxious to try your recipe. When you say “store jars without the rings”, are you referring to the jars filled with salsa or the empty jars? I read that you should store the filled jars without the rings because the vacuum sealing of the lids is all that is needed and that by leaving the rings on during storage you could miss identifying a jar that is not truly sealed and unsafe to eat. What is your experience? TIA
Store filled, processed jars without rings, for the reasons you mention!
Question..have you ever measured, or weighed the onion & peppers? Since the sizes can vary much & i read how important it is not change the ratios of ingredients, I would like to be as precise as possible. TIA
You make a good point. But no, I have not.
I’m an intermediate canner. I usually can tomatoes and tomato recipes in the summer when they are in season. I am water bath canning 6 pint jars of salsa at this moment. I’ll have 2 more to do. The recipe made a total of 8 pint jars. I hand chopped all the vegetables. I used 2 large green peppers instead of the chili peppers. I used 4 jalapenos instead of 6. I was afraid it would be too spicy. I did add one 6oz. can of tomato paste. I added an additional tablespoon of salt as I could taste the lemon juice. Adding a bit more salt made it perfect. I took the advice of a comment left and added about a fourth of a cup of chopped fresh cilantro to the pot before filling the jars. Really added great flavor. I also took the advice of an another comment left by using a slotted spoon to fill the jars leaving some of the extra juice. I will take their advice and save the juice for another purpose. Thanks for the recipe!
In an effort to keep home canning safe, I am bringing this peer-reviewed research article to your attention. Please contact me for additional assistance as we all share a passion for preserving and desire to help people learn the best practices for safety and success. http://www.foodprotection.org/files/food-protection-trends/sep-oct-19-savoie.pdf?fbclid=IwAR36t6hxbzSSLfr7YsO4sol6Wj3wF9GFdG3aHII19QvZRHvueT931-WSsNU
My family and I LOVE this recipe!! Thank you so much for sharing it. We have ran out bc I didn’t know it would go so quick lol. Definitely making it again this year!
Yay! I’m so glad!
Kris, In place of the lemon juice could a person use white vinegar or apple cider vingegar? Do you remove the seeds from the tomatoes first?
I don’t remove the seeds, but I’m lazy like that. 😉 Vinegar is another acid, but I don’t know that I’d like the flavor of it, first of all. Secondly, I hesitate to change canning recipes for safety reasons.
I made this recipe and I did not like the flavor or texture. Too watery and the lemon juice flavor came out full force. I did use tomato paste as well. Complete waste of my garden produce and time. I thought for sure this would be good after reading the reviews. Totally disappointed.
Sorry to hear this.
Why do you water bath? My jars seal fine, hot jares, hot lides, and hot mixture.
For safety. Safe canning practices are crucial.
Hi, I have question about the lemon juice. I am brand new to canning so I’m reading all that I can to learn. Am I using fresh lemon juice? I just assumed and so I bought a bunch of lemons but I read somewhere else to not use fresh. Will fresh work?
Canning experts suggest using processed lemon because the pH consistent. Frustrating for those of us who want to use our own fresh lemons!
Home canned Delicious. Can’t wait to make more. Our children and 9. grandchildren love it also. Our daughter-in-law will be making it this week for their bunch of 6. Yum yum!
Glad to hear it!
This recipe looks like just what I want! I am wondering, though, if I could put all ingredients in my slow cooker for 4-5 hours on low and fill my jars and can it later? I have every single ingredient in my garden but some health issues have me slowing down so that’s the root of my question.
Hm. Interesting question. I’ve never done it this way, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work to cook the salsa this way. The one thing you want to be sure of is that the salsa is HOT when you decant into jars for the water bath.
I love this recipe, and love that that I didn’t have to peel tomatoes. We produce and sell tomatoes, and I’m always looking for recipes that help me use what we grow, with very little waste. Thank you!
You’re so welcome!
Do you have to skin the tomatoes first or no?
I never do, but some people dislike the skin. Totally up to you!
I’m just finishing up my second batch as we speak (I had a great tomato crop this year!!) Both times the mixture was super watery, and I did add the tomato paste, but once cooled I found that the finished product was a good consistency, and really tasty. Thanks so much for the great recipe!! Aloha!
Sounds great except unlike your husband we like spicy. I’d double the jalapeños. And I always use limes in Mexican recipes.
Is 2 CUPS lemon juice correct???!? We added 1 cup and it’s WAY LEMONY… maybe 2 tablespoons?
Yes. The lemon juice provides acidity and once cooked, it’s not nearly as strong.
Is the salt used canning or regular salt?
Regular – I use sea salt.
I strain my salsa and can the juice and use it for spaghetti sauce, I add extra celery, onions, garlic and peppers to the juice and cook it then I put it into the hot water bath
Could you use lime juice instead of lemon juice?
I love this salsa recipe. I make my own salsa every season using Roma tomatoes from my garden using the same formula, plus vinegar and fresh basil leaves to be more spicy.
Yay! Now I finally know how to make salsa! Thanks, for another wonderful tutorial!
I used this recipe and I added 2 quarts of gazpacho for more flavor. I doubles the recipe and the yield was 18 jars of salsa. It was so good that they were eating it as I was filling my jars. A for make and keep. Thanks so much
I’m glad it turned out well for you. I have to say, though, that adjusting a “safe” canning recipe isn’t something I recommend.
Just a thought…..I make my own tomato paste
puree tomatoes till they are nearly liquid. Cook it down till it reduces by half
then pour it into cookie sheets and into a low 200 degree oven.
check it every 15 minutes or so and stir.
Keep drying it till you get the paste consistency you like.
can one use citric acid instead of lemon juice or vinegar I don’t like the taste of these items in my salsa it alters the flavor to much for me, for example like using two cups of boiled and cooled water and two table spoons of citric acid, mix then add like vinegar? I read that this is a good substitute, but I was just wondering if it is true and can be used that way.
I don’t know. I’ve never tried it that way. It would probably change the ph.
Can u frezze the salsa in the jars?a
Yes. Please use the guidance here: https://www.attainable-sustainable.net/freezing-mason-jars/
I make homemade salsa every summer with the 6 lbs of tomatoes from my garden in each batch. I put green, red, jalapeno peppers and large onion in the salsa. I also add spices and vinegar. I do not seed the jalapeno’s. The salsa is medium heat with a touch of sweetness from the red peppers.
Hi! This recipe looks great. This will be my first time canning anything. Thanks for the recipe!
I would have tried this but it wasn’t printer friendly, the ads were all included…just a mess, so couldn’t print or make
Thanks for letting me know. I just added a new – hopefully better – print button. Give it a try!
Can you substitute Serrano peppers for the jalapeño peppers? I also like lime juice in my salsa, so would one be able to substitute lime juice for 1/4 to 1/2 of the lemon juice? Would it be alright to add cilantro? I ask because I don’t want to compromise the safety of the recipe… You sure have fantastic recipes, thank you for sharing so much!
I would feel comfortable using Serrano chiles and lime instead of lemon juice, but I wouldn’t add cilantro. You don’t want to alter the amount of non-acidic ingredients. Thanks – I’m glad you’re finding useful recipes here!
This came out great!
I made 2 batches separeatly and pressure canned them.
I got 21 pints, would have been more, but we ate some before canning.
Other than adjusting for heat with Jalopinos adding or subtracting, I used the recipe as is.
25 minutes with 10 pound weight. leave a 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar.
9 pints in a 12 quart Miirro pressure canner.
It didn’t take long to cool after, so I was able to start the next batch in about 20 min.
Ended up water bathing 3 pints, because I didn’t want to wait for the cooker at 2 in the morning….
This recipe is tangy and medium to mild heat. 7-8 Jalopinos would be nice & hot!
I just started canning this year. I’ve canned tons of pickles (all different kinds) and some pickled banana peppers so now I’m going to try my hand at salsa. We’ve got lots of ghost and habenero peppers that are just now going ripe to pick. Should I cut down on the amount I use of them or should I use 6 like the recipe calls for? I like my salsa to be hot but not so hot that it makes me miserable. Lol
Oh, yes. I’d cut down on the amount for sure. You might try adding a few extra mild peppers to keep the flavor balance, but 6 ghost peppers might kill you. 😉
How long does the sala last after you can it?
Processing the salsa makes it shelf stable for at least a year, but I know plenty of canners who keep things longer than that.
Well, I’m super bummed. I followed directly but my salsa turned out so watery. It’s like semi spicy watery tomatoes. I just bought a Hamilton beach 10qt processor. It has the metal blades. Not sure what the heck I did wrong. I am waiting for the lids to ping. It won’t go to waste,I can use it in chili or possibly even spaghetti but darn it,I wanted some salsa. Any ideas?
I doubt you did anything “wrong” and I’m glad you will be able to use it, but that IS disappointing. I have two thoughts. If your tomatoes were *really juicy ones, that could thin out the salsa. Using fewer (or smaller) peppers and onions could also impact the texture. Did you add the tomato paste? That does help thicken. You’ve prompted me to add a couple more notes inside the recipe, though.
I’ve been trying out different recipes – or more specifically my own recipes, which is a lot like yours except that I add ~ 1/4 c cilantro/quart, with different acids. I tried the recommended amount of lime juice and it was AWFUL!! Tasted like sweet and sour salsa. I’m working with citric acid now, using a formula that i found in a scientific paper and this makes the salsa “sour” without otherwise affecting the taste, but I also need to adjust the “heat” and salt to compensate and it’s still a step down from my regular, non-acidified version. Before I try out your recipe with lemon juice, can you tell me whether you find that the juice has a significant impact on the taste of the end product? I don’t want to go through any more veg’s than I need to before I settle on a version for my soon-to-pop garden! Thank you. [email protected].
Laura, I was concerned about the amount of lemon juice as well. I find the salsa to be tangy, but not over the top. Maybe halve the recipe to be sure you like it before you go all in?
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…
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.
Awesome recipe! 🙂 Wish I had found it during the season. Do you think this recipe would work well with previously frozen tomatoes?
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.
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!
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. 😉
I might agree with this. I made the recipe and halved the sugar and I was too sweet.
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.
Add some chopped cilantro at the end (don’t cook it), then you will have some really delicious salsa!!
Hi, what about the water bath canning part? Or do you mean when you open it up after canning it? My boyfriend really loves cilantro so I’d love to add it in.
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.
How long can you keep it as a powder?
Glad I found this!! I will be making it tonight!! Thanks 🙂
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?
@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!
How much does this recipe make? Do you use pint or quart jars? Sounds delicious!
Is this considered a mild or medium or spicy recipe? I have not really found a mild recipe we like. Love salsa but don’t like the spice burn
It’s pretty mild. My husband doesn’t like spicy things, really, and this is just right for him.
Why do you take the bands off? Mostly curious…
Leaving the bands on can hold the lid in place, making you *think the jar is sealed when it’s not.
Do you ever add cilantro to this recipe? I am excited to try this recipe using banana peppers, but I’m having a hard time imagining salsa with no cilantro.
You should be able to add a couple teaspoons of dried cilantro safely.
I’m updating an older post to clarify: The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends only canning salsa in pint-size jars.
Nothing says summer like tomato salsa.
I loved canned salsa, especially on cold winter days when I’m really wanting some fresh tomatoes again!
This looks like a great recipe. I’m bookmarking it and plan to try it with our next batch of tomatoes from the garden!
Sounds delicious! I also make refrigerator pickles with green tomatoes, using my grandmother’s recipe for her cucumbers and onions pickles (she used to call them ‘icebox’ pickles)…but I add garlic and some of the tiny red hot Hawaiian chile peppers to mine…