Canning roasted tomatillo salsa is a great way to preserve the abundance of tomatillos that the garden produces. Jars of tomatillo salsa verde come in handy for all your favorite Mexican dishes.
The first time I grew tomatillos in the garden, I thought six plants would be a good number to grow. Ok, ok, I hear the snickers from those of you with experience growing tomatillos.
Tomatillos (Physalis philadelphica), also called husk tomatoes, are native to Mexico and are not very common to our corner of the world, Maine. They are related to the tomato, but grow enclosed in a papery husk.
Tomatillos produce a lot of fruit even when growing in cooler climates, so consider yourself warned if you are thinking of growing some for the first time. Each plant can put out about ten to fifteen pounds.
On a positive note, I had a lot of tomatillos to experiment with. Biting into my first ripe fruit was an unexpected pleasure. I thought it would taste similar to a tomato. Instead, it has a tart and slightly citrus flavor.
The first thing I tried is making with tomatillos was a small batch of salsa verde. It was good! Then I tried roasting it. Roasting the vegetables adds a delicious smoky flavor and mellows the acidity of the tomatillos.
Finding a safe canning recipe for salsa verde that tasted good was challenging. In fact, the recipe I published here previously from the NCHFP website required bottled lemon juice to make it safe for home canning. Many commented that there was too much lemon flavor, and I had to agree.
Finally, I tried a salsa verde recipe from The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving that uses fresh lime juice and cilantro. I tested it several times, and it tastes so much better. If you tried the old recipe and were disappointed with the lemon flavor, please give this one a shot.
This roasted tomatillo salsa is delicious as a dip with tortilla chips, drizzled on tacos and fajitas. We also like it pouring it over some boneless chicken breasts and cooking in a crockpot to make shredded chicken for salsa verde chicken enchiladas similar to this recipe.
Steps for Canning Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Tomatillos are easy to preserve into jars of salsa verde. There is no peeling or seeding, simply roast the vegetables, combine the ingredients, blend together, simmer briefly, and process in a water bath canner.
When canning, it is important to follow a recipe that has been scientifically tested. This is a safe canning recipe from The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. It has been doubled for a canner load of 6 pint-sized jars, and the seasonings have been adjusted.
If you are new to canning, it may be helpful to review this article on water bath canning at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.
A more detailed and printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this article. These are the illustrated steps for making and preserving roasted tomatillo salsa in a water bath canner:
Step 1: Gather the Equipment
- 4 rimmed baking sheets or a large roasting pans to roast the vegetables
- Gloves for handling hot peppers
- Food processor to blend the salsa
- Water bath canner
- 6 pint sized canning jars
- Canning lids and bands
- Canning tools: lid lifter, jar lifter, canning ladle, funnel, and bubble popper
- Plus basic kitchen supplies such as a large bowl, large saucepan, small pot, towels, knife, and a cutting board.
Step 2: Prepare the Canning Jars and Lids
Wash your jars, lids and bands with warm, soapy water and rinse well.
Place the jars on the canning rack in the water bath canner. Fill with water, and boil the jars for 10 minutes to sterilize. Warm your lids in a small pot of water over low heat. Keep everything warm until you are ready to can.
Step 3: Prepare the Vegetables
Peel the husks off the tomatillos and rinse them well to remove the sticky residue. Cut the tomatillos in half and add to the roasting pans. Peel and cut your onions into chunks, wash the jalapeño peppers and add them whole to the roasting pans. Peel your garlic and scatter them over the vegetables.
Roast the vegetables in a preheated oven until everything is softened and charred, about 15-20 minutes. Flip half way through so the vegetables roast evenly. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
Step 4: Make the Salsa Verde
While wearing gloves, remove stems and seeds from the jalapeño peppers. You can keep the seeds if you like more heat.
Working in batches, add the roasted vegetables and their liquid to a food processor. Process until smooth, and then pour into a large sauce pot. Continue processing the vegetables in batches until done.
Add the lime juice, cilantro leaves, salt, pepper, cumin and stir to combine. Bring the pot to a simmer, and then turn the heat to low and keep warm.
Step 5: Can the Salsa
Ladle the hot salsa into warm jars, remove air bubbles, and process in a water bath canner. Let the jars cool, test the seals, label and date the jars, and store the canned salsa in a cool, dark location.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde Canning Recipe
- 8 pounds tomatillos husks removed
- 4 medium white onions cut into wedges
- 4 jalapeño chiles or serrano peppers
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 cup fresh lime juice or bottled lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (optional for flavor)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (optional for flavor)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional for flavor)
Prepare your canning jars and lids:
- Wash your jars and lids in warm, soapy water and rinse well.
- Place the jar rack into the water bath canner, set the clean jars in the canner, add water, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize. Keep jars warm until they are ready to use.
- Warm your lids in a small pot of water over low heat.
Prepare and roast your vegetables:
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Peel the husks off the tomatillos and rinse them well. Cut the tomatillos in half and add to a roasting pans.
- Peel and cut your onion into chunks. Add to the roasting pans.
- Wash the jalapeño peppers and add them whole to a roasting pans.
- Peel your garlic, and scatter into the roasting pans.
- Roast the vegetables in a preheated oven roast until everything is slightly softened and charred, about 15-20 minutes. Flip half way through so the vegetables roast evenly. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
Make your tomatillo salsa verde:
- Add the lime juice, cilantro leaves, salt, pepper, cumin, and stir to combine. Bring the pot to a simmer, and then turn the heat to low and keep warm.
Can your roasted tomatillo salsa verde:
- Spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Use your jar lifter to remove warm jars from canner, drain, and line up on the towel.
- Use the canning funnel and ladle to fill the jars with tomatillo salsa. Leave 1/2-inch headspace. Run your bubble popper through the jars to release bubbles. Wipe the rims. Use your magnetic lid lifter to lift lids out of the warm water, center lid on the jar, and screw on band until it is fingertip tight.
- Place the filled jars back into the canner. Adjust the water level to at least one inch above the jar tops.
- Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Once the water boils vigorously, continue boiling for 20 minutes at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. (adjust processing time for your altitude if necessary).
- When the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and let the canner cool and settle for about 5 minutes.
- Spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Remove the cover by tilting the lid away from you so that steam does not burn your face. Use a jar lifter to lift the jars from canner and place on the towel.
- After 12 to 24-hours, check to be sure jar lids have sealed by pushing on the center of the lid. The lid should not pop up. If the lid flexes up and down, it did not seal. Refrigerate jar and use up within a week.
- Remove the screw on bands and wash the jars. Label and date the jars. Store your jars in a cool, dark place and use within 12-18 months. Once the jar is open, refrigerate and use up within a week. Yields 6 pints.
- This is a tested safe canning recipe from The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. Altering the recipe may make it unsafe for canning. If you make changes, freeze the salsa instead.
- All times are at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. Adjustments must be made for altitudes greater than 1,000 ft.
This recipe was originally published July 29, 2018. It has been updated with new photos, more detailed information, and a much better tasting safe canning recipe.
You May Also Like:
- Chili-Lime Chicken Fajitas Recipe
- Roasted Green Chile Sauce
- Grilled Tomato Salsa
- Homemade Flour Tortillas
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