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Make This Home Canned Salsa from Garden Fresh Tomatoes and Peppers

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!

bowl full of salsa with yellow chip

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.

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, onion, lemon, peppers on a surface


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.

onions and peppers in a food processor from above

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. 

Canning Safety

Canning is an excellent way to preserve food for the pantry, but there are some important safety considerations to keep in mind. 

  • 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: 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 lids that are intended for such a purpose.
  • For more on canning equipment, please go here
  • The recipes on this site have been made following safe canning procedures by a certified Master Food Preserver.
ingredients in a stock pot with tomatoes, peppers, and salt visible

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.

ladling salsa into a canning jar

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.

jar of salsa, with hand putting lid in place

★ Did you make this canned salsa recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

multiple canning jars of salsa

The Very Best Salsa Recipe for Canning

Yield: 9 pints
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Canning time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

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 (see notes)
  • 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:

  1. Chop tomatoes, onions, and peppers into a quarter-inch dice by hand or in a food processor.
  2. 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:

  1. While the salsa is cooking, fill a canning pot with water, set the lid in place, and heat on high heat until boiling.
  2. Ladle hot relish into pint or half-pint jars, leaving 1/2" head space. A canning funnel makes this easy.
  3. Wipe jar rims to remove any salsa that may have spilled. A clean rim is essential to a good seal.
  4. Set jar lids in place. Screw bands on finger tight, firmly, but don't crank the rings on.
  5. 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.
  6. Process for 15 minutes, 0-1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes, 1,001-6,000 feet altitude; 25 minutes, above 6,000 feet.
  7. Allow jars to cool overnight.
  8. 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.
  9. 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:

USDA preserving recipes all call for using bottled lemon juice. This assures that the acidity level in recipes is safe for canning.

If you really want to use fresh lemon juice you'll need to pull out your pH paper to test the acidity of those lemons. In order to properly acidify the tomatoes, the lemon juice should be at least 4.5. Do not use Meyer lemons, a cross between a lemon and an orange, for this as their acidity is too low. 

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

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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?

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.

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125 comments… add one
  • Peggy Lamb Sep 15, 2021 @ 17:00

    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.?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 18, 2021 @ 7:49

      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.)

  • Jay Sep 11, 2021 @ 3:57

    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!

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 12, 2021 @ 8:32

      Glad it turned out well! You can rough cut the tomatoes and let them “juice out” a bit before using them if you like.

  • Anna Sep 5, 2021 @ 13:45

    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?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 6, 2021 @ 16:06

      Yes, if you halve everything and maintain the proportions, it should be fine.

  • Stephanie Sep 5, 2021 @ 13:16

    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.

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 6, 2021 @ 16:07

      You can use that or there are some more natural options, maybe at a health food store?

  • CarolynEvans Aug 26, 2021 @ 10:53

    Can you add cilantro?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 12, 2021 @ 8:48

      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).

  • Darel Sanchez Aug 25, 2021 @ 20:57

    Can i add fresh corn to this recipe?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 18, 2021 @ 7:53

      No, not without impacting the pH. And that’s important for safety when canning.

  • Ashley Aug 7, 2021 @ 13:52

    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.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 14, 2021 @ 7:30

      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.

  • laura Aug 5, 2021 @ 8:28

    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.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 6, 2021 @ 14:10

      Yes. The peppers are low acid and reducing them will not negatively impact the acidity level.

  • Crystal Aug 4, 2021 @ 5:39

    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!

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 14, 2021 @ 7:31

      Citric acid and lime juice can also be used to acidify, but if you make any changes, you’ll need to test the pH.

  • Mandy Jul 27, 2021 @ 7:07

    Can I freeze instead of can?

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 30, 2021 @ 9:11

      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!

  • Trina Jul 13, 2021 @ 6:15

    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!

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 16, 2021 @ 17:00

      Somehow that got deleted. It’s optional as an ingredient, but I’ve fixed it now. Thanks!

  • Celeste Wood Apr 17, 2021 @ 7:31

    can’t you leave the lemon juice out? I would think the tomatoes would have enough acid in them by there self.

    • Rachel Aug 1, 2021 @ 10:38

      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.

      • Kris Bordessa Aug 14, 2021 @ 7:34

        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.

  • Val Sep 24, 2020 @ 14:53

    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

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 27, 2020 @ 12:07

      Yes, certainly.

  • Debi Sep 11, 2020 @ 3:04

    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?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 11, 2020 @ 8:11

      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.

  • susan Sep 7, 2020 @ 7:52

    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

  • Erin Woods Aug 28, 2020 @ 6:31

    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!

  • melissa Aug 20, 2020 @ 19:34

    Hello, I was curious if it could be fresh lemons or had to be bottled store bought lemon juice? Thank you

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 28, 2020 @ 7:36

      This is something about canning that makes me crazy. Experts suggest NOT using fresh lemon juice because of its variable acidity.

  • Erin Woods Aug 20, 2020 @ 5:43

    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?

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 20, 2020 @ 16:06

      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.

  • Barbara L Aug 14, 2020 @ 14:44

    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.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 18, 2020 @ 7:33

      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?

  • Beka Aug 4, 2020 @ 18:44

    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.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 6, 2020 @ 15:23

      I’m glad you like it!

  • Karen Jul 17, 2020 @ 13:02

    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

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 18, 2020 @ 14:16

      Store filled, processed jars without rings, for the reasons you mention!

    • Karen Aug 12, 2020 @ 3:01

      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

      • Kris Bordessa Aug 13, 2020 @ 7:35

        You make a good point. But no, I have not.

  • Debbie Jun 13, 2020 @ 6:07

    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!

  • Kathy Savoie Apr 27, 2020 @ 8:32

    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.

  • April Foster Jan 3, 2020 @ 1:31

    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!

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 3, 2020 @ 7:56

      Yay! I’m so glad!

  • Tammy Reizner Sep 23, 2019 @ 11:28

    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?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 26, 2019 @ 10:32

      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.

  • Cherie Sep 8, 2019 @ 7:21

    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.

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 13, 2019 @ 5:20

      Sorry to hear this.

  • Deb Sep 8, 2019 @ 2:20

    Why do you water bath? My jars seal fine, hot jares, hot lides, and hot mixture.

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 13, 2019 @ 5:22

      For safety. Safe canning practices are crucial.

  • Becky Aug 18, 2019 @ 10:40

    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?

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 23, 2019 @ 14:37

      Canning experts suggest using processed lemon because the pH consistent. Frustrating for those of us who want to use our own fresh lemons!

  • Vanita Edmonds Jul 23, 2019 @ 3:58

    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!

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 23, 2019 @ 7:33

      Glad to hear it!

      • Trish Calhoun Aug 1, 2019 @ 5:44

        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.

        • Kris Bordessa Aug 1, 2019 @ 8:34

          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.

  • Shelley Jul 22, 2019 @ 15:24

    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!

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 23, 2019 @ 7:33

      You’re so welcome!

  • Karly May 28, 2019 @ 10:48

    Do you have to skin the tomatoes first or no?

    • Kris Bordessa May 28, 2019 @ 13:49

      I never do, but some people dislike the skin. Totally up to you!

  • Michelle Sep 26, 2018 @ 16:39

    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!

  • Rick Sep 6, 2018 @ 9:41

    Sounds great except unlike your husband we like spicy. I’d double the jalapeños. And I always use limes in Mexican recipes.

  • Am Aug 25, 2018 @ 3:31

    Is 2 CUPS lemon juice correct???!? We added 1 cup and it’s WAY LEMONY… maybe 2 tablespoons?

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 27, 2018 @ 12:29

      Yes. The lemon juice provides acidity and once cooked, it’s not nearly as strong.

  • Kelly Jul 21, 2018 @ 4:24

    Is the salt used canning or regular salt?

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 21, 2018 @ 8:22

      Regular – I use sea salt.

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 22:09

    Super yummy!

  • lorraine ludvigson Jan 7, 2018 @ 18:35

    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

  • Danielle Anderson Oct 22, 2017 @ 13:56

    Could you use lime juice instead of lemon juice?

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 14, 2017 @ 8:09


  • Seminte Oct 9, 2017 @ 18:39

    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.

  • Annemarie Sep 27, 2017 @ 14:58

    Yay! Now I finally know how to make salsa! Thanks, for another wonderful tutorial!

  • LauraJean Hawley Sep 10, 2017 @ 10:47

    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

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 17, 2017 @ 18:36

      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.

  • Lorrie Aug 21, 2017 @ 3:10

    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.

  • Judy Stoll Aug 2, 2017 @ 11:13

    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.

  • Kim Mar 22, 2017 @ 15:47

    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.

  • Bethany Dec 9, 2016 @ 5:04

    Hi! This recipe looks great. This will be my first time canning anything. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Ruth Oct 17, 2016 @ 16:53

    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

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 25, 2016 @ 13:34

      Thanks for letting me know. I just added a new – hopefully better – print button. Give it a try!

  • Wendy Sep 13, 2016 @ 10:57

    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!

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 13, 2016 @ 11:23

      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!

  • Donna Sep 10, 2016 @ 19:33

    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!

  • Kelly Bellew Aug 30, 2016 @ 5:50

    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

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 30, 2016 @ 7:18

      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. 😉

  • Becky Aug 24, 2016 @ 5:33

    How long does the sala last after you can it?

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 24, 2016 @ 8:23

      Processing the salsa makes it shelf stable for at least a year, but I know plenty of canners who keep things longer than that.

  • Amanda Jones Aug 10, 2016 @ 7:43

    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?

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 10, 2016 @ 7:48

      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.

  • Laura Aug 3, 2016 @ 4:57

    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].

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 3, 2016 @ 7:24

      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?

  • Becky Jul 24, 2016 @ 6:05

    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 Jul 24, 2016 @ 7:05

      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.

  • Alyssa Oct 27, 2015 @ 11:33

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

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 27, 2015 @ 19:32

      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.

  • Kathleen Sep 3, 2015 @ 8:50

    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 Sep 3, 2015 @ 9:02

      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. 😉

      • Courtney Aug 16, 2016 @ 9:02

        I might agree with this. I made the recipe and halved the sugar and I was too sweet.

  • Marie Mar 8, 2015 @ 2:17

    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.

  • Son of a Beach Jun 24, 2014 @ 4:15

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

    • Melissa Aug 20, 2020 @ 19:29

      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.

  • Cindy Green Sep 8, 2013 @ 6:00

    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.

    • Jayne Tourville Sep 4, 2020 @ 8:40

      How long can you keep it as a powder?

  • Jennifer L. Mika Aug 27, 2012 @ 13:21

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

  • Julana L. Schaub Aug 15, 2012 @ 8:36


  • Brette Sember Aug 15, 2012 @ 8:17

    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 Aug 15, 2012 @ 8:29

       @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!

  • Jean Feb 1, 2012 @ 17:57

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

    • Kris Bordessa Feb 2, 2012 @ 15:02

      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!

      • Alonnah Jul 29, 2018 @ 13:12

        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

        • Kris Bordessa Jul 29, 2018 @ 13:34

          It’s pretty mild. My husband doesn’t like spicy things, really, and this is just right for him.

        • Holly May 21, 2020 @ 11:25

          Why do you take the bands off? Mostly curious…

          • Kris Bordessa May 21, 2020 @ 11:36

            Leaving the bands on can hold the lid in place, making you *think the jar is sealed when it’s not.

      • Amber Oct 24, 2020 @ 8:09

        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.

        • Kris Bordessa Oct 26, 2020 @ 12:15

          You should be able to add a couple teaspoons of dried cilantro safely.

  • sarah henry Aug 17, 2011 @ 5:00

    Nothing says summer like tomato salsa.

  • Living Large Aug 16, 2011 @ 4:50

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

  • Christina Aug 15, 2011 @ 15:01

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

  • Sonia Aug 15, 2011 @ 7:11

    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…

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