This tomato salsa recipe for canning is packed with tomato, peppers, onions, and just enough spicy tingle to tickle your taste buds. Open a jar any time and enjoy with tortilla chips or with your favorite Mexican inspired meals.
Many of us begin a vegetable garden with dreams of preserving the harvest dancing in our heads. Even if you don’t grow food, the fresh ingredients for homemade salsa are abundant at farmers markets and farm stands during the growing season. Stock up with enough to can a batch of homemade salsa and enjoy the delicious flavors of summer all winter long.
If you are canning salsa, is important to use recipes that are formulated and tested for safe home canning. Salsa recipes for water bath canning must meet acidity-level requirements to prevent the growth of botulism bacteria. This recipe is from the “Zesty Salsa” recipe in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. The only differences between the recipe below and the “Zesty Salsa” recipe is this recipe is cut in half. The ratio of ingredients is the same and maintains the proper acidity level required for safe canning.
Helpful Tips for Canning Salsa:
- Wash, peel, seed, and chop your ingredients first, then measure or weigh them. A kitchen scale comes in very handy when preserving the harvest. I have included both weight and cup measurements in the recipe below. Select one method of measuring and stick with it throughout the recipe so the ratio of ingredients remains the same.
- A food processor makes chopping easier and less time consuming. Seed and cut the peppers into chunks, weigh them, then pulse the peppers into smaller pieces in the food processor. Add the chopped peppers to your saucepan. Chop your onions into pieces, weigh them, pulse in the food processor, and add to your saucepan. Skin your tomatoes, cut into smaller pieces, weigh them, pulse in the food processor, and add to your saucepan.
- Paste tomatoes, such as Roma, San Marzano, and Amish Paste, have a firm flesh and will produce a nice thick salsa. Slicing tomatoes can also be used, but they are more watery. Both paste and slicing tomatoes are safe to use for making salsa, but I recommend using paste tomatoes for a denser salsa.
- Peel the tomatoes by bringing a large saucepan of water to a boil and filling a large bowl with ice water. Dip your tomatoes into the boiling water until the skins crack and loosen – about 30-60 seconds. Remove the tomatoes from the pot and place in the bowl of ice water to cool. Peel and chop your tomatoes once they are cool enough to handle.
- Pepper varieties can be mixed and matched in this recipe, but do not change total amount of peppers. The recipe as written produces a medium-hot salsa. Use more hot peppers and fewer mild peppers for a fierier salsa. Some examples of mild peppers include bell, banana, and Anaheim. Hot peppers include habanero, jalapeño, and Serrano. Do not change the total amount of peppers or the recipe may not be safe for canning.
- Peel your peppers if you are using long chile peppers such as Anaheim or Mexican chile peppers. The tough skin can give an unpleasant texture to salsa. See How to Roast and Peel Peppers.
- Red, yellow, white onions, or a mixture of all three can be used. Do not change the total amount of onions.
- The vinegar in this recipe is required in order to make this recipe safe for canning. You can use white or apple cider vinegar with at least 5% acidity. White vinegar is clear vinegar made by distilling corn and rye. Choose an organic brand to avoid genetically modified corn. Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples. If you do not want to use vinegar, consider trying this Garden Fresh Salsa Recipe and freezing it instead.
Scroll down for a printable recipe.
Equipment Needed for Home Canning Tomato Salsa:
Water bath canner
Large sauce pot
Small pot of water over low heat
6 half pint jars or 3 pint jars
Lids and bands
Canning tools: lid lifter, jar lifter, canning ladle, funnel, and bubble popper
This salsa recipe for canning is packed with tomato, peppers, onions, and just enough spicy tingle to tickle your taste buds. Open a jar any time and enjoy with tortilla chips or with your favorite Mexican inspired meals.
- 3 pounds paste tomatoes, peeled and chopped (5 cups)
- 1 pound mild peppers, seeded and chopped (2 1/2 cups)
- 3/4 pound onions, peeled and chopped (2 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 pound hot peppers, seeded and chopped (1 1/4 cups)
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acetic acid)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
- 1 teaspoon canning salt
Prepare your jars and lids by washing in warm, soapy water and rinsing thoroughly. Place jar rack into water bath canner, set jars in the canner, add water, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize. Warm your lids in a small pot over low heat. Keep jars and lids warm until ready to use.
Combine your prepared ingredients in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
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 your canning ladle and funnel and add the salsa to the warm jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. 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.
Use your jar lifter to place the jars into the canner leaving space in between them. Once jars are all in canner, adjust the water level so it is at least one inch above the jar tops. Add more boiling water if needed so the water level is at least one inch above the jar tops. When adding water, use the hot water from the small pot your lids were in. Pour the water around the jars and not directly onto them.
Cover the canner and bring to boil over high heat. Once water boils vigorously, continue boiling for 15 minutes at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. (adjust processing time for your altitude if necessary).
When processing time is complete, turn off heat and allow the canner to cool down and settle for about 10 minutes. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter; remove the cover by tilting 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. Allow the jars to cool for 12 to 24-hours. You should hear the satisfactory “ping” of the jar lids sealing.
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. Once the jar is open, refrigerate and use up within a week. Yields 6 half pints, 3 pints.
Calories based on 4 tablespoon serving size.
You may also like:
- How to Grow a Salsa Garden
- Homemade Flour Tortilla Recipe
- Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)
- Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Green Chile Sauce
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden.
Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.
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