July 3, 2019

The Best Homemade Salsa for Canning

With hundreds of 5-Star reviews, this is the BEST homemade salsa. Delicious as soon as you make it, or can to enjoy all year long.
Makes 8 Pints of Salsa

The BEST homemade salsa for canning. Have fresh tomatoes? Then you’ll want to make this salsa, either hot or mild. It’s so delicious and inexpensive to make!

I wish I could invite all of you over to my house so you could have a bite of this homemade salsa for canning. It might be one of the best things that’s ever come out of my kitchen.

My mother-in-law brought me 75 pounds of tomatoes last week… which sounded really good until I saw exactly how many tomatoes 75 pounds really is. I naively thought I could make salsa, sauce and canned diced tomatoes in a single afternoon, which turned into 2 days of non-stop salsa making.

The hours are worth it. I’m currently looking at 60 jars of salsa in my kitchen, of which BL has already gone through 3 of them in a week. Oh yeah, this salsa is drinkable.

tomatoes without skin homemade jarred salsa

Before I was gifted so many tomatoes, I used to head to the farmer’s market this time of year and stock up on the uglies. The uglies are what most tomato farmers sell for dirt cheap- they are ugly, misshapen tomatoes that are perfect for salsa making. You’re going to need a lot of tomatoes, so skip the $3.99/lb heirlooms for this salsa. Grab a bucket of uglies and make salsa!

I’m writing this recipe as one to be canned, but you don’t need to. It will make a lot of salsa but you could also pour it into jars and gift it to friends without canning. However– don’t be intimidated by the canning process. It couldn’t be simpler and you don’t need any fancy equipment to do it.

bowl of chopped tomatoes

Prep all of your ingredients ahead of time

This makes it much easier in the long-run. The only difficult thing is removing the skins from the tomatoes ahead of time. To do this, make an “X” in the bottom of the tomatoes, then place in boiling water for 60 seconds. Then, remove the tomatoes from the water and place directly into a bowl if iced water to shock. The skins should slip right off. (I use my spider to transfer the tomatoes from the boiling water to the ice water without getting splashed.)

To make things easier, you can use your food processor. I did one batch chopping everything by hand and one roughly chopping using the food processor and they results were really similar. If you want your salsa to have more texture, then I recommend chopping the tomatoes by hand and using the food processor for everything else.

The Salsa Canning Process 

Put everything into a large stockpan and simmer for at least 30 minutes until it thickens. Taste it! It will taste awesome; I highly recommend grabbing a few spoonfuls and enjoying with chips while it cooks.

Pour into your prepared jars. I use a funnel to keep things clean, but just make sure you wipe the top of the jar clean before putting the tops on. Place the tops on the jars and process in a hot water bath for 30 minutes. Remove, let cool and that’s it! (I use these tongs and they are the only piece of equipment that I highly, highly recommend if you are going to can. Makes things a lot easier.)

It’s a little bit of work upfront, but the results are so worth it. Plus, good salsa is ridiculously expensive and if you can make your own for just a dollar or two a jar, it’s worth it!

the best homemade salsa

Is this salsa recipe safe to can? 

Yes. This recipe was developed by a Master Canner and has been in my husband’s family for 40 years. It has also been verified by the OSU Home Food Preservation center. 

Can you add in more peppers?  

You cannot add in more peppers, but you can substitute the type of peppers. This salsa recipe for canning uses 2 1/2 cups of chopped bell peppers along with 3-4 medium jalapeños. If you want more heat, then I recommend subbing in some of the chopped bell peppers for spicier peppers. When I make this hot, I usually add 2 cups chopped bell peppers and 1/2 cup of chopped jalapeños. 

Can I use less salt? 

Yes, salt does not affect pH levels so you are welcome to use less salt than written here. 

homemade salsa for canning

If you make this recipe, come back to rate it and leave a comment. Seeing you make my recipes makes my day! You can also use the hashtag #delishknowledge on social media. 

If you like this best salsa recipe for canning, then you will love my Creamy Jalapeno Salsa and my Black Bean and Mango Salsa! 

homemade salsa for canning

The Best Homemade Salsa for Canning

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pints of salsa 1x
  • Category: canning, sauce, condiment
  • Method: canning
  • Cuisine: American, Mexican Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan


The BEST homemade salsa for canning. Have fresh tomatoes? Then you’ll want to make this salsa, either hot or mild. It’s so delicious and inexpensive to make!

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pints of salsa 1x
  • Category: canning, sauce, condiment
  • Method: canning
  • Cuisine: American, Mexican Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pints of salsa 1x
  • Category: canning, sauce, condiment
  • Method: canning
  • Cuisine: American, Mexican Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 9 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes (they must be peeled first, see directions below)
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped white onion
  • 4 medium jalapenos, chopped (see notes)
  • 8 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 teaspoons canning salt
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste


  1. Remove the skins from the tomatoes. To do this, make an “X” in the bottom of the tomatoes, then place in boiling water for 60 seconds. Then, remove the tomatoes from the water and place directly into a bowl if iced water to shock. The skins should slip right off. (I use my spider to transfer the tomatoes from the boiling water to the ice water without getting splashed.)
  2. Make the salsa. Place all of the ingredients in a large pot (you will need a 10qt. saucepan for this batch, or split the ingredients among 2 saucepans) and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until thickened and cooked.
  3. Prepare cans to be sealed. Ladle the cooked salsa into clean, sterile jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a damp, clean, paper towel, then place lids on top. To make filling easy, I highly recommend a wide funnel designed for canning jars.
  4. Process using a water bath. To do this, bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Your saucepan needs to be tall enough to have the water cover the jars by 2 inches- though the jars will displace some of the water as they are added.
  5. Add the jars to the water bath and cover with a lid. Process for 30 minutes, then remove. I use these tongs to make things easy.
  6. Let the jars sit for 24 hours. The salsa will remain good in the jar for up to 18 months… if you can keep yourself from eating it all before then!


For a hot salsa, I use 4 jalapeños with the seeds. For a milder salsa, seed 1-2 of the jalapeños before chopping. For very mild salsa, seed all of the jalapeños. Remember that the heat will lessen as the salsa sits, so I tend to error on being spicy then not. It’s hard to correct spice level so if you don’t like things spicy, then start with only 1 jalapeño and go from there.

However, note that you can decrease the amount of jalapeños but you cannot increase for pH balance. If you prefer a very hot salsa, then you’ll want to sub in a hotter pepper for the jalapeños OR you can sub jalapeños for some of the green pepper.

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Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.


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  1. I am so happy I picked this recipe to make. We only seeded half the jalapenos and the salsa came out perfectly. It’s delicious. Thank you for this recipe!

  2. Great recipe! I took it a step further and made my own paste from a pile of cherry tomatoes that split and got soft from too much rain. I also substituted most of the green pepper with poblanos from my garden and also added some corn and a couple cayenne. For seasoning I added some smoked paprika, fresh ground black pepper, and chili powder. It turned out pretty amazing

  3. Absolutely delicious salsa! I used a mixture of serrano and jalapeño peppers and the seeds from two habaneros (ensuring I didn’t add any extra peppers per instructions). The habanero seeds made it the perfect heat. My son and I may eat all of the salsa within two weeks and we doubled the recipe!

  4. This is hands down the best recipe for salsa I have ever made or tasted. It’s worth every bit of effort it takes to make it. And like you said it’s drinkable.

  5. I simmered more than 30 for a thicker sauce, I didn’t have any canning salt on hand so I substituted it with Kosher salt ( 1 tsp canning salt = 1.5 tsp kosher salt).
    Thank you for such a wonderful recipe, it was a total hit at home !

  6. This is the best salsa ever. I am fairly new to canning, I have made 3 diffrent salsas before. I will look no more this is the best salsa I have ever tasted. Im so proud that it was something I made!!

    Thank you for the recipie, I will pass it along.

  7. Hi,
    I am excited to make this salsa recipe and will be canning it. Can you offer some guidance about cilantro? Have you added it prior to canning, if so, was it dried? How much would you use and would it be added prior to simmering or just before canning? Does Cilantro affect the acidity level?

    Thanks so much for your help, I’m trying to process tomatoes tomorrow.

    • Hi Adonica, I don’t recommend adding in fresh cilantro as it will affect pH but you can use dried. I haven’t done that so not sure how much, but I would go on taste.

  8. Hi I made your salsa and it is delicious. Just wanted to know my son had me put a whole habanero pepper in the sauce while simmering. It was not chopped and was taken out when ready to process. Is this ok??? I don’t want to use if it is going to affect the end produce

  9. This recipe was a big hit with my husband and kids. We use it in all our mexican dishes. It’s also great to just eat with chips. It’s so good!

    I made this last canning season. I had a great crop of tomatoes and put away 40 pints. This year I barely had enough tomatoes to make 8 pints….which is a bummer. Glad that I have a couple pints left over from last year :).

  10. Can I add some fresh lime juice to the salsa before I cook it? Does that throw off the pH too much? Thanks

  11. The best salsa recipe, easy no sugar and so fresh looking and tasting!!!
    I cut back on salt, I used 4 tsp of coarse ea
    Sea salt.

    Thank you

  12. Fantastic Recipe!Only one question my kids like the one cup of lemon juice instead of vinegar, can I add a few red onions with white or yellow , was wondering about ph level , Thanks for recipe

    • Hi Pam, the bottled lemon juice will increase the acidity. There is some wiggle room with this recipe for safety, but if you want to add in red onions then I’d recommend doing so in the 2 1/2 cups of onions called for.

    • Hi Brenda, no you can’t omit the pasta as commercial paste contain citric acid which helps to lower the acidity to make it safe for canning.

  13. I made this recipe for the first time. We have already gone through half of it in a little over a week. I only used 1 jalapeno. The next batch I will do 2 of them. You are SOO right!!

  14. Today was my first time ever to can! Thank-you so much for your detailed instructions. It turned out well, and I look forward to enjoying it. It will be given as Christmas gifts along with other homemade items.

  15. Hi, just to be clear, when I say pickling vinegar, that’s what it’s called, the ingredients say white vinegar but the acetic acid is 7%. It’s still on the stove and I’m not going to can it until I hear from you just incase I have to throw it out.

  16. This was the first time I have ever made salsa. It was wonderful! My friend said it was the best salsa she has ever had. I used farmer’s market tomatoes and to peel, I broiled them. Super easy (just time consuming). I love cilantro, so after reading not to add fresh cilantro, I omitted, but add when serving. In my opinion the cilantro makes the salsa that much better. This was a great recipe and I plan to make another batch next weekend!

  17. I made this recipe 2 times last month and my aft kids loved it so much that they asked me to make more. I was happy to find the same recipe. I need to find a way to save it as my go to recipe. We all loved it. Mild and spicy.

    • This is the best salsa I have ever tasted. It’s just amazing! Please don’t let the vinegar in it deter you. I can’t stand vinegar, but you can’t even tell it’s in there when it’s all done! I’m making my fourth batch since finding this recipe a couple weeks ago. I literally cannot stop eating it! I did add fresh cilantro (which surprisingly did not turn brown) before reading in the comments that it’s not recommended, so I’m a little worried about that. And I also replaced the salt with garlic salt for more garlic flavor. I’m fairly new to canning, so I hope this is okay. All of my jars sealed okay. Is there a way to tell after canning, whether it’s safe to eat?
      Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

  18. I added fresh cilantro After I read in the comments that you do not suggest using fresh. Have I ruined it now? Should I freeze it? Help

    • Hi Sue, how much did you use? I don’t recommend adding fresh cilantro as it will change the pH level. You can grab pH strips to test your salsa to see where it’s at, or you can freeze it.

  19. I noticed in a few of your comments that you mention “4 garlic cloves” but the recipe states “8 large garlic cloves”. Which one is correct? I already canned up some of this recipe with 8 cloves, so hopefully it’s safe. Thank you for this great recipe!

  20. I’ve never commented on a recipe before but this is just so good. I’m making my 3rd batch right now. I use my wife’s Roma tomatoes (about 30 of them). The only thing Ive changed is adding a handful of corn. Thanks for sharing.

  21. LOVE your salsa recipe. I tried it last year for the first time and it was a huge hit. Working already on this years batch

  22. Is it safe to say that dried herbs don’t change the PH balance? Meaning, if I added dried parsley, oregano..etc. The PH would stay the same? Lime and lemon juice is equally the same? Plus when you say cloves of garlic…my cloves that I grow are really large. I grow Hardneck garlic, and get about 4-5 cloves per bulb. Perhaps I should use a pressure cooker to be on the safe side?

    • Hi Nott, correct– dried herbs have shown to be safe but fresh isn’t recommended. Bottled lime and lemon juice have a lower pH than vinegar and therefore can be used instead if you prefer. You are welcome to use a pressure cooker if you’d like, but I have built in wiggle room into this recipe to make it safe (ie, the original recipe calls for a little more onion and bell pepper but I decreased it before publishing it because I know that measuring amounts can vary depending on the person and wanted to err on the side of caution.) For garlic, I’d use your judgement based on what we’d consider to be a “normal” clove from the grocery store. If your garlic is 2x the size, then I’d just use 4 instead of the 8.

  23. If I’m blending it alkyl, Is it 9 cups tomatoes before I throw it in the food processor or can I measure the 9 cups after pulses?

    • I can’t believe I’m going to ask this after having my garden tomatoes coming out my ears this past month, but I’ve used them all, so can I use drained canned diced tomatoes? Also, if I wanted to add in some lime juice, how much do you think would be a good amount? Thanks!

      • Hi Denise, I would assume that canned tomatoes will work I just can’t confirm the taste/texture as I haven’t tried it. If you want to add lime juice (I’d recommend bottled for standardized pH) then you can do so in place of some of the vinegar. I haven’t tried to add lime juice so not sure of amounts, but several readers have in the comments and enjoyed the taste.

  24. Just made this receive for the first time, delicious!
    Any chance you would consider also listing the ingredients by grams?

  25. I’m kind of stressing myself out with the PH balance… I put about 2 cups (maybe 1 and 3/4) of chopped green pepper and 5 jalapeno peppers, will that even it out? Also… what makes a jalapeno pepper medium? How do I know if it’s not small or large? I don’t want to screw the ph balance up

    • Hi Addie– there is wiggle room in this recipe on purpose. The original recipe had a little higher levels of both onions and green peppers but I reduced them when including it here to give some room for error. 2 cups of green pepper and 5 jalapeños will be fine. I’m going to weigh a jalapeno and update the amount in grams.

  26. I used my tomatoes (overloaded) from the garden this year. Definitely recommend using a food processor to dice up all the other ingredients. By the time I peeled skins from my tomatoes I was exhausted. I made 1.5 batches and got 9 jars but I let mine simmer far longer than 20-30 minutes because we like a thicker salsa. Husband and I did dig into it already and he’s mentioned a few times “THat’s good!!”. Definitely a recipe I will be keeping for the future.

  27. This recipe is on point. This is my second year making it in large batches and all who try it, love it. Only feedback would be that prep of ingredients takes WAY longer than 30 minutes. Carve out an afternoon from start to finish.

  28. I garden and use fresh tomatoes. Unfortunately, they don’t always ripen at the same time. Also, the whole scalding the skin off doesn’t seem to fit me very well. I get splashed and it’s messy.

    So, as the tomatoes ripen, I clean them up,cut out bad spots and stems, put them on a cookie sheet with parchment and throw them in the freezer, whole. When I have enough for a batch, I take them out, run warm water over them and walla, the peal comes off like a charm.

  29. We love your salsa recipe, made more tonight but we are having a hard time getting lids for canning. How long will this last in the refrigerator?

  30. A friend made this salsa and I can’t recall ever eating anything as good! It was fabulous and I can’t wait to make my own batch! I will be freezing my batch, tho, since I don’t can.

  31. I too would like to sweeten this to tone down the vinegar flavor..does the addition of sugar (1/3 cup to 10 cups tomatoes) alter the ph to the point of causing issues?Thanks.

  32. I’m not a lover of spicy hot salsa so at my husband’s insistence, we used 4 jalapeños. Surprisingly it was actually perfect.. not too hot but with just a little “bite” to make it interesting. I followed your recipe but added sugar to taste because it was almost too “tangy”. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!

    • Kosher salt would be fine. Typically in canning recipes it is recommended to use canning salt or kosher salt without any additives because the additives can cause cloudiness. That’s a concern mostly when pickling but shouldn’t be a noticeable difference here. That said, fine salt may be too salty so I’d recommend starting with 4 teaspoons to taste, then adding more as needed. The amount of salt doesn’t change the pH level so you can add more or less as needed.

  33. A bit of work cutting everything up for Chunky salsa but soooo worth it. Perfect with 4 jalapenos — has zip but not scalding. My husband, kids and grandkids all raved that this was the best salsa they’d ever eaten. I made 2 batches last month and we have only 2 jars left.

  34. This sounds great and I want to try it. However can I add chopped cilantro to the pot of tomatoes while cooking?

    • Hi Natalie, that will increase the pH level and therefore I don’t recommend adding fresh cilantro. You can add dried if you want cilantro in this recipe.

  35. Do I need to do a WB to seal?

    Asking bc I can spaghetti sauce and use a different method. You keep clean jars in 225° oven and lids boiling on stove, ladle the hot sauce into jars (pull out only 2 at a time, same w lids & rings) and since everything is already hot….by the time I’m filling jars 5&6, the 1st ones are starting to pop sealed.

    Can I use this method for your salsa recipe as well??

  36. I’ve used many recipes but this is my new favourite. It’s a keeper. The simplicity is greatly appreciated. My jalapeño peppers were on the large side and I removed most of the seeds and still used 4. And it’s a tad more spicy than I am used too.

  37. Hi there,
    As im making this delicious recipe, I realized I only have 8-10oz of tomato paste. Would that still be enough to safely can? If not, can I put the salsa in the fridge tonight and heat up with more tomato paste tomorrow and still can it? Dont want the batch to go to waste!!

    • Hi Leisha, the tomato paste contains citric acid which helps to make this recipe safe to can. I’d follow the amounts listed here– you can heat up what you made today along with the additional paste needed.

  38. New to canning here. I am sure I measured everything carefully, but only ended up with 6 pints. Does the simmer before you can sometime produce less of a yield? 2 pints short seems like a lot so I am worried that it maybe not be safe to consume. Thoughts on this? I did add all of the vinegar and had plenty of tomatoes. I used a food processor for the onion, garlic and bell peppers.

    • Hi Alaina, the longer than you simmer, the more reduced the salsa will be and therefore you will get less. As long as you measured all of the ingredients correctly, it’s safe. I usually get ~7-8 pints but if I simmer it for longer to make it thicker, then I get less.

  39. Hi! made this fantastic salsa yesterday! Miss calculated the time and finished in the middel of the night … Must remember for next time 🙂 Just one question; the nutrition facts, is the grams refering to each serving? Or is it 1.2 g fiber per 100 g ?
    Maybe a dumb question , but I’ll rader ask , always eager to learn!
    I’m frome Norway, so my english spelling is not exsactly top notch, sorry!

    • Hi Linda, no I don’t recommend omitting the tomato paste. The paste contains citric acid which helps to increase the acidity of this recipe and make it safe to can.

  40. First time making salsa. This recipe is delish! Followed recipe exactly and it is amazing. My husband isn’t a salsa fan but can’t stop eating this. Thank you for sharing!!

  41. Would it be ok in this recipe to grill or roast the veggies other than tomatoes and add them in to the tomato cooking process a little later on to develop different flavor? Would this affect the PH and make it unsafe for canning?

    • Hi Ti, it’s not safe to eliminate the tomato paste in this recipe. You can add dried cilantro but if you want to add fresh then I recommend doing so after you open a can.

  42. I was a bit leery of this recipe as I’m not a fan of green bell peppers. My fears were absolutely unfounded. The combined ingredients sing, and the final product is a masterpiece. I made a double recipe, and am contemplating making more.

  43. This was my first time canning salsa. This is a good, easy recipe. And quite delicious! I didn’t have quite enough tomatoes, so I did 2/3 of the recipe, which yielded 5 pints. I used two largish jalapenos with the seeds. It’s pretty kicky, but not overwhelming. Thanks!

  44. My husband and I just made a 1/2 batch of your delicious salsa for eating right away… The salsa is SO good we are planning to make a full batch for canning tomorrow~ Yum! (We just left out the hot peppers because we don’t enjoy hot). We made your recipe as written, but are wondering: 1) Can we delete the salt altogether and still can the salsa safely? My husband has CKD, so no salt would work much better for us. 2) Any problem with deleting the hot peppers? Many thanks! We’re looking forward to sampling many more of your recipes:-)

  45. I made this salsa today and find it to be a bit too acidity….can I add sugar, if so, how much would you recommend

  46. This was my first time making salsa. I reviewed many recipes and decided to use yours. So glad I did. It turned out AMAZING! I did modify it by adding Cilantro. Will leave some seeds in from the jalapenos next time to add just a tad bit of heat. I am not a spicy person. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Printed and added to my recipe binder!!

  47. Me and my hubby made this together and we love it! It’s the perfect recipe. Easy to follow and so delicious! We love eating it, may or may not have gone through 2 pints already. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  48. I made this today with my garden tomatoes. Excellent! Followed the recipe, but I did add a little cumin (to my taste) and a bit of cilantro. This recipe made me about 6 pints.

  49. This turned out really good ! I doubled the recipe and chopped my peppers and onions a bit finer and got 13 pints Can’t wait to try it. I was brought up that you could NOT open something that you have canned until the first snow ! I live in Colorado so shouldn’t have to wait too long. I hope.

  50. This is my third year canning salsa and this is my go to recipe! My family loves it! Great and easy instructions to follow. Thank you so much!

  51. Oh my gosh! I just made this salsa and it is the best recipe I have been able to find in a very long time. I followed all of the directions and quantities and it turned out perfect. It’s clear that you put a lot of time and research into putting together the perfect salsa recipe. I look forward to seeing other recipes from you!

      • Thanks a bunch, Alex! I’ll follow the recipe. I’ll let ya know how it turns out, Sounds so yummy, I can’t wait! Have a fantastic weekend. 🙂

      • I just finished making a batch and it is delicious! I may cut back on the salt just slightly next time I should have read all the comments first though as I used pickling vinegar. My label does say extra strength 7% acetic acid. Also has a disclaimer to use volume called for in recipe (which I did) and not to reduce. This should be safe correct?

        • Hi Jacqueline– yes, if it’s 7% strength than it will be safe. And you can adjust salt as much as you’d like as it doesn’t change the pH level.

  52. Excellent salsa recipe. One batch will not last nearly long enough. My tomato plants are still producing like crazy so more to come!

      • Can I use home made tomato paste? Is the pH coming from the thick tomato or is there something else contributing to it that I would need to make sure my tomato paste has? I freeze paste so it is just plain tomato.

        • The commercial tomato paste contains citric acid which helps to lower pH and make this safe for canning. I don’t recommend subbing homemade for this reason.

          • You can add additional citric acid. When canning tomatoes it is 1/4 tsp for a pint; 1/2 tsp for a quart

  53. This sounds amazing! I’m eager to try it…wondering if I can add lime juice and some spices (like cumin and chili powder) if I want more flavor? Also….assuming that I can use the steam canning method on these with the steam canner I have? (I’m a pastry chef and used that method for years for jams and pickles). Many thanks!

  54. Can you add other seasonings like cayenne or chili powder? Could you add tobacco sauce and also not mess up ph balance?

    • Hi Dawn, you can add in cayenne/chili powder as desired. I don’t know about tobacco sauce– my assumption is that because it’s vinegar based it’s safe, but I’m cautious on making any changes to a tested salsa recipe.

  55. I tried this recipe with my wonderful over abundance of homegrown tomatoes just now – it is fantastic. It is my new best Salsa recipe. Thank you.

  56. Oh my goodness! Better than any jar salsa I’ve ever had. I’ll be passing this recipe on to my family and friends.

  57. I am getting ready to make this and I want to use my Anaheim peppers to substitute for some of my bell peppers and jalapenos. How would I incorporate them into the recipe?

      • I am looking for a canned jalapeno salsa recipe that does not have tomatoes in it but only find recipes that include tomato. I prefer to use only jalapeno, bell peppers, and onion. Could I eliminate the 9 cups of tomatoes & tomatoe paste in your recipe and replace with the other ingredients in your recipe as long as I don’t go over the 9 cups of tomatoe this calls for? Thank you!

        • Hi Amy, no this would not be safe. Onions and peppers are considered low acid food and you’ll need to find a recipe that’s been tested to ensure safety.

    • Hi Lynne, as this is a tested recipe I don’t recommend changing the quantities of items that will effect pH; like tomatoes and mango. I’d instead go with a tested mango salsa recipe that’s safe to can. You can do that if you want to eat it fresh or freeze it, but not can it.

  58. Could I use kosher salt instead of pickling salt? I have so much of it I would like to use up.

    Thanks, can’t wait to make this on the weekend!

  59. I made this last weekend and this weekend and tried some that I refrigerated and it’s delicious! My question is, I used Heinz all in one pickling vinegar on the first batch and the second batch I did half that and half regular white vinegar bc the first batch was a little salty and I realized the pickling vinegar has added salt. I did not realize the all in one vinegar was only 2.5%. Will my salsa be safe to eat? Could I buy ph strips to test when I open them to use?

  60. I Sean another with lime juice! If I was to add lime juice to this what would it do? Would it change flavour?

    • It’s safe to use lime juice, but not sure about the flavor. I haven’t used lime juice before but I know some readers have. The salsa really doesn’t taste “vinegary”! I know the vinegar ingredient is off-putting, but it doesn’t come through in the finished recipe.

      • I should add that BOTTLED lime juice is safe. Commercial products like bottled lime juice have a standard pH and should only be used in canning– not fresh lime juice.

        • Is this the same for the lemon juice used in the water bath canning? ( I only have fresh lemon at the moment.

  61. So glad I found this recipe! So many others are watery or overly vinegar tasting. This recipe has the consistency and acidity of store bought salsas while maintaining the sweetness of fresh tomatoes. The only thing I would do differently next time is use less salt than I did this time. So yummy!

    • I’m excited to try this recipe! I plan to pressure can rather than water bath. What would you recommend for pressure and time? Thank you!

  62. Hello! I’ve never made salsa or canned anything but after looking at this recipe & instructions, I’m ready to try! I have an abundance of hot peppers from my garden- Super Chili, Serrano & Thai Dragon. No Jalapeños. How do I sub in my peppers as they are much smaller than medium Jalapeños? I’d like to make a batch of mildly hot & one of very hot. Thanks for your advice!

    • Hi Pam! 4 jalapeños will equal ~1/2 cup chopped, stems are removed. I’d use that as an equivalent for your other hot peppers. Of course, with very hot peppers you may not want to add that much, but I’d use it as a max amount for safety.

        • Hi Racheal. Tomato paste is needed for both canning safety and the overall texture. If you want to omit it, then I recommend freezing the salsa instead or enjoying it without canning. Adding cilantro will change pH as well, but it’s great mixed in when you open a fresh jar.

  63. I’m really out of place in the kitchen, but I had a hoard of tomatoes from a neighbor and this recipe looked yummy. It was soooo good that we ate all 8 pints before we could share. Haha! So, we got more free tomatoes and made a triple batch. So amazing!

      • The “add comment” button isn’t working for me. So sorry I’m posting on a reply!
        I thought I had a ton of Roma’s from my garden, turns out after skinning & removing the white stem I only have 4 cups
        Is it safe to supplement store bought canned tomatoes ?
        I’m only trying to make half a recipe.
        Thank you!

        • Hi Heather– store bought tomatoes should be fine for taste though I haven’t tried it yet and can’t guarantee results. As fas as canning safety, should be OK as most store bought tomatoes have additional citric acid to lower pH.

  64. The only suggestion I might make (before I get started on your recipe) is that you change “The salsa should keep for up to 18 months before being opened.”…to something more like “The salsa will remain good in the jar for up to 18 months…IF you can keep yourself from eating it ALL much sooner than that.”
    The reason I say this is, that at first reading (and possibly after one or TWO passes) it looks as though you’re saying “keep the salsa for a year and a half before being opened.”

  65. My husband accidentally added 8 bulbs of garlic instead of 8 cloves. It tastes great but can it still be canned safely with this amount?

    • It’s hard to say without testing the pH– this recipe is tested and verified for safety so any changes that make it more low acid may not be safe. Alternatively, you could pressure can the salsa or freeze it.

  66. Just finished the water bath! This is our first time canning. We re-read the recipe and realized we forgot the onions. That’s what happens with three little helpers. Is it still safe to store?

    • Sorry couldnt get the leave comment button to work so used reply. Just canned this recipe and its very good. I did however use about 8 to 9 tablespoons of lime and about 3 tablespoons of wild black cummin…your thoughts…oh and apple cider vinegar as i like the flavor better.

  67. I am starting to make this today. Before I boil the tomatoes. About how many average tomatoes per lb. I don’t have a scale. Thank you.

    • You can omit the onions, but they provide a lot of flavor. If you think that you don’t like onions in salsa, then I’d recommend reducing them.

  68. I had one jar that did not seal. You said to discard it but could we just eat it now? It has been in the fridge. It is a great recipe. Thanks

  69. I don’t usually like homemade salsa but this one is a winner in my opinion! I made a half batch just to try it and we love it. The only thing I added was 1/4 Cup of Sugar to the half batch. Does adding sugar make it unsafe for canning?

    • Why does it seem like last year I added a teaspoon or a tablespoon of lime juice to each jar before filling and water bathing? I used the same exact recipe. Also is it safe to add cilantro?

      • You are welcome to add in more lime juice if you’d like, but the recipe hasn’t changed. Adding fresh cilantro may make the salsa unsafe to can, but you can use dried cilantro if you want. Using dried also won’t effect coloring once canned– fresh cilantro will brown.

  70. I know people who put there Hot filled jars in the Microwave oven to bring it to a boil then put the lids on to seal them is this ok. They don’t do the water brth

  71. One more question – I was thinking of trying this with roasted tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic instead. Would that impact ph level and would you recommend it or no? Thank you!

  72. Hi! I made this salsa last week and have more tomatoes to use. If I wanted to add more bell peppers onions and garlic, is there a ratio you can give me for how much more vinegar I would need to add to the amount of extra peppers, onions and garlic? I like my salsa REALLY chunky with those items! Thank you for a great recipe!

    • Not skinning the tomatoes will effect the texture of the salsa; you can try without skinning them but the salsa won’t be as smooth. You cannot add more peppers as it will make the salsa too low acid to safely can in a water bath.

  73. Lot of 1sts this summer. Went all in with a 20×50 garden. Today was 1st time canning. So this mornings harvest lead to making this recipe x3. So 27 cups of tomatoes, 7 1/2 peppers etc etc.

    Veggie wise, Everything but the onion and garlic were picked from the back yard.

    Have 12 qt containers cooling after water bath.

    Was a long day, yet so far seems worth it.

    Thanks for recipe.


  74. I made this for the first time and it is so good. I was wondering if I add a little black pepper and cumin will that be safe?

      • I really wish there was a 6th stare to rate this salsa, we only use 1/4 cup of bell pepper and the remainder all HOT peppers. Second year in a row making this amazing salsa and I have a list of friends literally begging me for more. Best salsa ever

  75. Love this recipe! Made a small first batch but now I’m ready to make a big one! I have a super novice question, after going through the canning process, how/where do you store the cans? Thanks!

    • Hi Bree! I make about 60-80 jars every year. It takes a few days to finish them all— but my husband loves salsa and finishes a jar or two every week! We also gift them. I store them in my basement!

      • I swear we go through it that fast as well and I’m so excited to have this amazing salsa year round! Thank you for letting me know, that’s so awesome!

  76. Plum tomatoes and jalapeno peppers were the only items I needed to buy for this recipe, but I only made half a batch. This is the first time I’ve ever used jalapenos, so I didn’t realize they would make my fingers burn. I have them soaking in a bowl of milk, now that the salsa is all finished and the dishes are cleaned up. Even with leaving out all the jalapeno seeds, this salsa is “medium”, rather than “mild”. I’ll probably be sharing it with my spice-loving friends.

    • Hi Norma— thanks for the feedback! The seeds are the spicy part of the pepper and some jalapeños can be hotter than others. Next time if you want a more mild salsa, remove the seeds before chopping the salsa. You can also omit the jalapeños entirely.

  77. Not sure if my comment posted because I don’t see it, so here I go again:

    Is it ok to use fresh cilantro in this recipe? Thanks!

        • Fresh cilantro will brown as it cooks and cools. It shouldn’t alter the flavor, but it may be unpleasant to look at. Alternatively, I’d recommend adding in fresh cilantro once you open a jar.

          • I made this and it tastes exactly like Pace Picante salsa. It’s delicious. I’m making another batch in the morning. I pressure can instead of water bath. 11 lbs 25 minutes for pints. Thanks for a great recipe.

  78. Good Morning!
    I’m pretty new to canning and really haven’t found a salsa recipe I really like. I came upon yours this morning and would like to try it out this afternoon, but had a question first. After it cooks for 30 minutes is it alright to put 1/2 or all through my processor to make the chunks smaller. I’m not a huge fan of large chunks. Thanks!

  79. I can my tomatoes in the oven. Heat oven 275 degrees, quarts 45 min pints 30 min turn oven off. Let cool completely. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR OF OVEN UNTIL COMPLETELY COOL. I usually leave mine over night. I don’t know why you can’t do salsa the same.

    • I was going to ask the same question. But I oven can with cold oven bring it to 250 degrees for 55 minutes and cut off. Like you said and let them cool down in the oven. Is that ok for canning salsa. Is oven canning like WB.

  80. Came out excellent! Maybe a tad less vinegar than the recipe calls for as it makes it a bit “watery.” Next round of jars, I’ll be subbing in a Habanero or two in place of the Jalapenos

  81. Hi…I think I’m going to really like this recipe! I’m new to canning and have gone over the top planting tomatoes this year! About how many tomatoes or cups of tomatoes would I have to add to make up for leaving the paste out? I know it may be a little thinner but I’m going to try to simmer it longer to boil off some of the water. Please give me your thoughts. Thanks a bunch!

    • Hi Wendy! This recipe has been tested for safety using both fresh tomatoes and tomato paste; I’d be hesitant in changing those ingredients without further pH testing as they both affect pH levels. Are you worried about the paste flavor?

      • Hi…yes I don’t like the taste of tomato paste in salsa. Could I sub puree? Any ideas? Thanks for your help

  82. I’ve read most comments but haven’t seen this question, what is canning salt and can I use a substitute? I have table salt, Himalayan pink salt, and kosher. Also, do you taste vinegar in finished recipe? Vinegar and salsa don’t seem likely partners in terms of taste in salsa. Ihave the brand Mrs. Wages citric acid. Can I use this at all in recipe? I have canned salsa in past but was never fond of any recipe I tried, so I am excited about this recipe. I don’t have jalapenos but picked fresh Serranos last night and will use them.

    • Hi Marcy, you can substitute kosher salt for canning salt as long as it doesn’t have any anti-caking agents, Morton brand usually does but Diamond Crystal doesn’t. I don’t think this recipe tastes like vinegar, but you can replace with bottled lemon juice if you’d like; citric acid may work though not sure of the correct exchange.

      • To those of you who do not like the idea of using vinegar, I can salsa every year. As the salsa sets, the vinegar does not taste.

        • To everyone worried about the vinegar. It is probably needed to insure that the phone is right for save preserving of salsa. Most directions for even tomatoes recommend vinegar or some acid to insure safe product

          • Yes, as tomatoes are low acid you must have enough acid (like vinegar) to make this safe for canning. If you omit the vinegar, then you can enjoy the salsa right away or freeze it, but it will not be safe to can.

  83. Absolutely loved this as I made 2 batches last year. I’m sharing your recipe with my mom as she loved it when I gave it to her last year. The only think I changed was that I used Anaheim peppers instead of green pepper as that’s all I had at the time. First one canner last year with fantastic results.

  84. Hi Alex,
    Thank you for posting this recipe. I make this recipe may be either reducing the green peppers and onions slightly, however I add coriander and cumin too. Is it okay to add a 1/4 cup- 1/3 cup of sugar? I appreciate your help.

  85. I used this recipe and my family loves it. I didn’t change anything. It’s beautiful in the jar. My sons have already opened and eaten 3 jars. I have made 28 so far and plan to do as many as I can make. I also used a jar when I made meatloaf this week. It was super good. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

  86. Hello. I made this last year and we loved it so I am making it again. I tripled the recipe but did not have enough bell peppers. I see that you say not to add more peppers but what about adding less? Thanks!

  87. Hi Alex! I’m an avid home cook, but am new to canning. I love spicy food. Why can you not add more peppers to this recipe?? How would you make your picked super spicy?

    • Hi Lindsay, thanks for the note. You can’t add more peppers to this recipe as it will affect the pH levels BUT you can swap in the bell pepper for spicier peppers if you want more heat. As long as you don’t go over the total amount, it will work.

      • Thank you for this reply. I was wondering about the bell peppers because neither one of us likes them. So I will adjust approx. with jalapeños

  88. I like to can with lemon juice, so do I use 1 cup of lemon juice instead of the vinegar, or a combination of vinegar and lemon juice?

    • Hi Susan, bottled lemon juice has a lower pH than vinegar and will work in this recipe whether you want to do all lemon juice or a combination. I do recommend bottled lemon juice for a standard pH level.

  89. I’m in the process of making your 40 year old salsa recipe.
    I intended to use my charred re, yellow and green bell peppers I grilled. I would feel more confident if I could get your opinion before adding them to my pot. With a little luck I’ll receive a reply in a timely window.
    Excited with SALSA!

  90. Wow! 242, now 243 comments!
    I’ve been canning for years and have never liked my own salsa. I think that has changed with this recipe. So don’t judge. This time around, I used 3-28 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes, which equaled approx. 9 cups tomatoes. The Univ. of Minnesota Extension says it’s ok to do this. I added 3 tsp of cumin and an extra tsp of salt. I also used 3 tsp of crushed garlic from the jar. I used 1.5 cups of green bell peppers, 4 small jalapenos, and 2 tiny habaneros. Everything else is by the recipe.
    Here’s my deal. I hate the vinegar taste. I’ve always hated it. When I make it fresh, I use lime juice. Can you suggest a tested alternative to the vinegar?

    • Glad you like it, thanks Tricia! Yes, you can substitute lime juice (or lemon juice) instead if you like that as lemon and lime juice are slightly more acidic than vinegar.

      • Really? I had no idea about lemon/lime. I’d definitely go for lime next time. Although it seems that 1 cup of anything is going to really alter the taste. Since I used canned tomatoes, do you think that changes things regarding acidity?

        • Canned tomatoes are going to have added citric acid, which will decrease the need for additional acid in the vinegar/lime juice. However, I’m not sure how much to decrease and hesitate advising as I haven’t tested it. Do you have pH strips? They are fairly affordable and you can use them to determine how much you need to add. I know you can use less lemon/lime juice than vinegar but not sure what the difference would be with canned tomatoes.

  91. I am trying canning for the first time and I was wondering if it doesn’t work, does it have to be discarded or can I open the jars and freeze the salsa instead?

  92. Thank you for the yummy recipe. My sister discovered and shared it with me. Can you double the batch when cooking?

  93. Hi! This is my first time canning and I am excited and nervous, there is so much I do t know… this recipe was super helpful. I wanted to know if I have more salsa than cans, can the salsa be cooled and eaten right away without a water bath process? Thanks!

  94. We absolutely love this recipe. We are going to make it for the third time today. We opened one of our previous jars and thought it would last a week, it lasted one evening, it was so delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  95. I have an abundance of cherry tomatoes from my garden and don’t know what to do with them. Can I use them in this recipe? I wouldn’t be peeling them though. Would it still turn out ok? Or should I use them for a Bruschetta recipe?

  96. I just wanted to write and tell you that this recipe is perfect and it gives simple but very comprehensive directions! I made it in early September and just opened a jar. I do a recipe using it…grilled catfish with salsa and cheddar cheese on top….it is a wonderful meal and with my homemade salsa (thanks to you)is the ultimate yum!! Thanks for the recipe and will be making this recipe again next year. BTW, it is so nice to see that more people are getting back into canning! Cudos to them!

  97. The flavor in this recipe is very good however 6 teaspoons of salt makes it TOO SALTY! That’s almost a tsp/pint! I cooked a double batch, drained off 3 quarts of liquid after cooking down to get the right consistency and got approximately 13 pints, just wish I would not have followed the recipe on the salt, way too salty. Had to add more tomatoes and vinegar to tone it down, I would say for one batch 3 maybe 4 teaspoons of salt.

  98. Sorry I couldn’t go through all the comments to find my answer. lol Just made the salsa recipe. Tastes good so far. How long does it last in fridge before and after processing? Have leftovers and just wondering for the rest. Thank you!

  99. My first time trying your recipe. My question is…..you mention adding spices. What are you adding? Cumin? Pepper (red, white or black)? Anything else? Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Hi Nick! Completely up to you– I typically don’t add in spices, but you are welcome too and you’ll notice that some readers do. If you were to do so, I’d recommend a little cumin and possibly some dried cilantro.

  100. Hi Alex…I’m quite new at ALL OF THIS..lol..Do I need to take out the seeds and juice from tomatoes? I know..dumb question, and likely obvious. Thanks in advance!

  101. Hi! I made this and had no problem.however you may want to advise people to chop the tomatoes before putting it in with the rest of the ingredients. I noticed that my salsa was thun so I added additional tomato paste and some cumin to my batch and it worked great! Thank you for the recipe!

  102. About the canning. I finished making the salsa and have it in the jars after processing. Do i need to let the salsa cool down so the jars don’t steam up before sealing the jars?

  103. Couple questions
    1. Followed recipe to a T except used only two jalapeños. I see in your comments that is ok.
    2. I used precut garlic bits that is in a jar. Is that ok?
    3. Can I add some lime juice? 1/4 cup and still water bath?
    Thank you. I’m new to canning and I will invest in a pH tester next.

  104. Hi Alex, this recipe looks amazing. I will be giving it a go this week 🙂 My husband really likes corn in his salsa. Would I be able to add that to this recipe? What about beans? or should I look for a different recipe that incorporates these ingredients? If so, do you have a recipe like with corn and beans?

  105. Hello! We love your salsa and have made three batches so far. On my second batch I accidentally forgot to put in the tomato paste. Do you think this is still okay? Also, I am new to canning and super nervous about it all. I don’t need to add citric acid to this recipe correct? We usually put in less jalapenos than it calls for as well.

    Thank you!

  106. My recipe is very similar but with my overload of garden tomatoes I omit the tomato sauce/ paste, use 18 cups tomatoes, and cook the salsa on the stove for 2 hours to evaporate more water.

    Thanks for all your great cooking tips! I’ve used so many of your recipes over the years.

  107. I failed to read the whole blog, just the recipe. I was going for hot, so I added the seeds to all four jalapenos. Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near hot – it’s barely even medium. My question is – now that they’ve all been processed, is there anything I can do to fix it? Open them back up, add something to spice it up, and then reprocess it with new lids? It’s delicious, just not enough heat.

    • Hi Teri– shoot! Sounds like your jalapenos were mild, which can happen. I’d typically recommend adding in more jalapenos, but you need to be careful with how much you add as too much will make this unsafe to can. 1-2 more for the entire batch should be OK.

        • Hi Teri, yes- that small amount shouldn’t make a difference with the pH. If you add more than 2, I’d add in bottled lime juice to help increase acidity.

  108. I have made this since 2018 a great recipe my friends love it so much they want to pay me for canning them some the first year I took the seeds out of the jalapenos but last year I I didn’t took less of them to get the flavor I wanted I highly recommend this recipe

  109. Wait – so you can’t eat the salsa until after 18 months?? Or do you mean eat before the 18 months? The last sentence in the recipe made me do a double take.

    • Hi Mikayla, sorry for any confusion. If canned and stored properly, its shelf life is about 12 to 18 months. Salsa older than this is safe to eat if the jar is in good condition and the seal is intact but the quality may start to deteriorate. I canned 62 jars last month, and we’ve already gone through 15! 🙂 I’ve never had them last more than six months, so I can’t speak to how it tastes after 18 months.

    • Hi Cole; you’ll need to use tomato paste not only to thicken the recipe but to add in more acid. If you omit it completely, then I’d recommend adding in bottled lemon or lime juice (1/2 cup) to balance the pH and make it safe for canning. However, the salsa will be much more runny than shown here.

  110. Hello! I just finished canning the salsa and realized that I only used a 6 ounce can of tomato paste instead of a 12 ounce can. Do I need to open them up and re-process? I did add an additional quarter cup of lime juice to the recipe.

  111. I have a couple questions? Are there other acceptable methods to sterilize jars first?
    2. What products will help u reduce ph if your ph is to high? Or to low?
    3. Is there a way to be sure your at correct Ph without a tester ?
    4. About how many pint size jars does this recipe make ? And how should they be stored ?
    5. Lastly could I add avocado or pineapple/ mango to half the batch ? How would I regulate ph then ?

    • Hi Heather! Yes, you can sterilize jars in the oven. You need enough acid to balance the ingredients in this recipe; I use vinegar and the citric acid that’s in canned tomato paste but lemon juice or lime juice can also work to help reduce pH levels. This recipe is safe for canning if followed correctly; I don’t advise changing too much as described in the post above as it’s easy to make it unsafe for canning if you add untested, lower pH items. Once your jars are sealed, then I store them in the pantry or the basement. I don’t recommend adding in fruit like mango as it’s pH is around 5-6, which is higher than is safe for canning. You would need to add in additional acid and since I haven’t tested that for safety, I don’t know how much you would need.

  112. Hey! This might be a dumb question but I have never done canning before so I am just going to ask! When you boil the jars, you put the salsa in first right?

    • No such thing as a dumb question! I first boil the jars and lids in the water to sterilize them, then you fill with salsa, cover and place back into the boiling water to process. If you are new to canning I HIGHLY recommend this set— it has a special canning tongs to make lifting jars in and out of the hot water and a funnel for filling the jars without spilling the salsa. Let me know how you like the recipe!

  113. Hi – sorry to ask a pretty basic question, but have you tried making this with roasted and peeled peppers? I’ve read several articles about the acidity of peppers and it seems that roasting them INCREASES acidity, so I think it would work!! What are your thoughts?!

    • Interesting! I haven’t heard this— but I bet roasting first would have a sweeter,
      Delicious flavor. As long as you don’t increase the amount, roasting before shouldn’t be an issue! Let me know how it turns out.

  114. I just made two batches. We love it and so does everyone else. I make it quite mild. I only get 6 pints of salsa, however. I can’t quite figure out why? I do start with 9 cups of chopped tomatoes.

  115. I just made this and it is delicious! I found it a little on the salty side so I added about 2 more cups of tomatoes and about another 1/3 cup vinegar. Should I be worried about the ph level?

    • It should be OK as both of those are acidic– but, I might throw in a few tablespoons of bottled lemon or lime juice just to be on the safe side.

  116. I see that you recommend tomato paste for thickening, but its what I don’t like about salsa. Will leaving it out affect the safety of the canned salsa? If so, can I substitute
    the same amount of tomato sauce?

    • Hi Hannah! You could add in corn if you didn’t want to can it; but the corn has a ph level of ~6 and therefore would alter the acidity in the salsa and might make it unsafe. The pH of this salsa is 3.7 and anything under 4.5 is safe to can. I don’t know how much corn would affect it, but I don’t recommend making those types of changes unless approved by a Master Canner or tested to ensure the pH is safe.

      • PH testers. are cheap these days. Anyone that is a regular seasonal hot bath canner should have one. Way too many things effect PH. You either have to follow recipes that have a very low PH than what is needed just to CYA. Best to KNOW. As an example simply using a different type of tomato or one grown differently can effect its acidity.

        Its as simple as dipping it into the sauce and then you know without having to have PH a point or two lower than needed that effects taste if not desired.. That simple tool makes just about anyone a master canner along with a book on listed ingredients that can be canned.. Done,

          • That’s awesome. Once I got an electronic one I test all my recipes and record the PH in my recipe file.

            I noticed you had another similar salsa recipe on the site from back in 2012. Only real difference is 1/2 cup more onions and 1/2 more green bell pepper (3cups vs 2.5 of each). Same 1 cup white vinegar for PH adjustment.

            Now the types and ripeness of the ingredients used can affect PH. I tested it using all ingredients from our garden other than the vinegar. PH came out after canning @ 4.3-4.4PH. So it seems safe but there is less of a safety window.

            List of vegetable varieties:

            Tomato: (even mix)
            Amish Paste, San Marzano Redorta, Jersey Devil, Opalka, and Mortgage Lifter.

            Bell Pepper: King of North & Ozark Giant. (used green)

            Brown Jalapeno Pepper (2 green, 2 ripe brown (3/4 seeds used)

            Cortland (White Onion)

            Metechi Hardneck (Rocambole)

            Lucy’s Naturally Distilled White Vinegar (5% Acetic Acid)

            So if someone wants to use it should be safe. Adding just a tablespoon of lemon juice should remove any doubt and bring it to estimated 4.0ph and do very little to taste.

            But both recipes are great just one having lower ratio of tomato’s to onions and peppers.

            I look forward to trying more of your recipes.



          • Thanks, Tim! Yes– that recipe is one I’ve used for years, but as I got a higher (but still safe) reading when I tested it, I decided to create one that had a better margin of error with less peppers and onions. 4.3pH felt a little high to me, especially for a salsa recipe that was fairly popular on the internet. Hence why the new one with slightly different measurements.

    • Hi Cheryl! You can add in dried cilantro, and I’d recommend adding in fresh cilantro when serving. When cooked into the salsa, it loses it’s flavor and will turn dark– that’s why I’d recommend a dry spice instead. Yes, you can double this recipe! I usually triple it when I’m making several jars (just canned 62 quarts of this last week!) but be warned that you will need a very large pot!

  117. Looking through the comments and your response, you mentioned that if you leave the bell peppers out it’s not safe for canning. You don’t even have bell peppers mentioned in the list of the ingredients??? Why would it be unsafe to can? What purpose does the bell peppers serve for canning. Canning any vegetable requires a vinigar or lemon juice to preserve. Or so I’ve always be told. Can you explain the bell pepper purpose and why it was omitted in your recipe but you state is required for safety?

    • Hi Susan. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of chopped green bell peppers. You can reduce the amount of peppers; but you cannot increase. There is vinegar in the recipe for canning, though you can swap in lemon juice or lime juice in an equal amount as those are a lower pH than vinegar.

      • From the comments I am super excited to try this recipe. So I am looking at making this recipe next week but will use a pressure cooker. I have read you can lesson the amount of vinegar if using a pressure cooker. What are your thoughts on that? I also don’t understand adding tomatoe paste if I am going to simmer the salsa. Won’t water evaporate out and the salsa thicken on its own? What is the purpose of the tomatoe paste? Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

        • I haven’t tested this recipe with a pressure cooker, so I’m not sure of the change in vinegar. It’s my understanding that pressure canning can use higher pH recipes, but I don’t know the conversion for this recipe. The tomato paste helps to increase the acidity (as commercial tomato paste also contains citric acid) and to thicken; I don’t recommend omitting it. While the salsa does thicken while simmering, the paste really helps to thicken it.

  118. Very excited to try this…..one question though. If I decrease the number of jalopenos, do I need to add more green pepper?

      • This was a hit with the family! I just added a little dried cilantro and ground cumin. I am making a second batch now, ty!

  119. Hello. I don’t have my own garden to grow tomatoes. I will have to buy these at the market. I am wondering about how many tomatoes 9 lbs is. Any ideas? Sometimes, about this time of year, our grocery store has large baskets of Romas for sale just for this purpose..but I’m not sure how many baskets to buy. Also, why is it that you have to include bell pepper to be able to can? I like bell peps, but I just wondered. Thank you. 🙂

    • Hi Cindy! It really depends on the size of the tomato; usually 5-6 romas will equal a cup, depending on size. I’d error on grabbing more than less.

  120. Could I add cubanelle peppers to this without messing up the canning?

    What about 1-2 habaneros per batch?

    Thanks! Looking forward to using once all my tomatoes come in!

    • You can substitute any kind of pepper for another. For canning you can also reduce the amount of peppers, but never increase. Adding more peppers will make the salsa less acidic and increases risk of botulism. For more information on safely canning and for tested recipes check out the National Center for Home Food Processing website.

  121. I made this Salsa for a family BBQ, it was gone by the end of the day and I received many compliments. I just made my second batch to serve to company tomorrow night! Great easy recipe!!!

  122. I grow my own hot peppers and like my food spicy. As far as canning, would there be any issues with increasing the number of Jalapenos to 5 or 6? How about substituting 2 or 3 Habaneros or a single Trinidad Scorpion pepper for the Jalapenos? I don’t *think* the peppers really affect the pH, but I’m still new to canning.

    • Hi John! You can substitute the peppers, but I don’t recommend increasing them in the overall recipe. Let me know how it turns out– I love spicy salsa as well and planted a few habaneros this year. Would love to know how you like it by adding in those.

  123. Can I leave out the bell peppers? Would it still be safe to can? Sounds yum

    • Hi Susan! You can reduce or omit the green peppers– though I do think it adds to the flavor! As others have mentioned, they cook down a lot and this salsa doesn’t taste “peppery”

      • Thank you for this reply. I was wondering about the bell peppers because neither one of us likes them. So I will adjust approx. with jalapeños. What would the ratio be for that with the jalapeños.

        • If you omit the bell peppers completely, you can add up to 2 cups of jalapeños, but unless you like very spicy salsa I’m not sure you’d want to do that. Therefore, I’d add by taste. Start with a few more (remember that removing the seeds will make it milder) and then add more from there, if needed.

      • I strongly dislike bell peppers but I don’t notice them in this recipe. Don’t let the peppers deter you from this great salsa.

  124. I only want to can this in 1/2 pint jars. Do I still process 30 minutes or less since I’m using smaller jars?

  125. Came out great!!!!! I think I messed something up on the canning part though 🙁

  126. I made this salsa this summer and canned it. After it was done cooking I used an emersion blender to break it up. I put it out this thanksgiving with chips. Everyone loved it even my daughter who hates tomatoes. Will definitely make it again next year.

  127. This recipe is very similar to the one I use, except it has 2 cups celery, 2 cups peppers and 2 cups onions. I like to use a mixture of vinegar, lime and lemon juice. Cumin is nice to add too!

  128. Hi Angie, This is similar to the recipe I use, except I add cilantro and use lime juice instead of vinegar for the acidity (prefer the taste of citric over acetic acid). For those people that want to add additional fruits or other additives that might affect the pH, I believe if enough acid is added to lower the pH below 4.6, it should be OK. However, there are plenty of resources available on the internet to assure safe canning. Thanks.

  129. I froze leftover tomatoes (two weeks) and found this recipe to use them up. They were soft after defrosting, so I decided to puree them. Strained the liquid off, them threw them in the ninja with the garlic, 4 seeded and 1 whole cayenne peppers, and about 3 tablespoons of cilantro. Ended with 11 cups of puree. Added bell peppers, onion, vinegar and sea salt and cooked until veggies were firm, but no longer crisp. Water-bath for 40 minutes (5000 ft elevation). Made 6 pints plus a sample bowl. Sample was just a little vinagery for my taste, but the wife loved it. I might try lime juice instead of vinegar next time. Awesome, easy recipe. Made it while watching football on a lazy Sunday.

    • Update: opened the first jar. Vinager taste has mellowed, can taste the bell peppers better and the heat has gone up a notch. Just needed a little time to blend. Gonna have to make more to share ’cause this batch is mine!

    • Hi Michael- love the idea of using frozen tomatoes! We always have a bounty in the summer and have never thought to freeze them. Thanks for the comment!

  130. This recipe looks really yummy! I was originally searching for a mango salsa.. do you think this recipe would still be awesome if it were adjusted and i added mango’s? thank you 🙂

    • Hi Angie, I’d be hesitant to add in additional fruits as it may change the ph balance of the salsa and therefore affect safety.

  131. Fantastic recipe. I like the measurements in cups since tomatoes are so variable in the amount of seeds they have. I did not have green pepper in the garden this week and I’d canned all my jalapeño, so I used all poblano for the pepper/chile and the heat turned out perfect for my taste.

  132. Great base recipe. I used this recipe and added cilantro, oregano, turmic, chili powder and pepper. Came out great! I’m making another batch today with habaneros! Great recipe, thank you for sharing!

    • I’ve consulted my home canning book and it says that other types of onions (red, yellow, white) can all be substituted for each other in equal amounts, but nothing on shallots. If you do, then I would do an equal or lesser amount– not any more.

  133. I just finished my second batch of this yummy salsa. This is an excellent recipe that I will always use. The first batch I only had fresh Pasilla peppers so substituted for green bell peppers and I used one jalapeno, it came out great, very mild. The second batch I used Bell peppers and 3 jalapenos no seeds. It’s so yummy. The next batch will be with a lot more jalapenos, and I’m going to leave a few seeds in it for a more spicy version. So glad I found you and your amazing salsa recipe.

  134. Has this recipe been tested for safety? I’ve been reading about safe canning practices and making sure recipes especially salsa test at a high enough ph that that aren’t at risk of botulism.

  135. So do you put in all the juice from the tomatoes or chop and drain the juice off before cooking?

    Recipe sounds simple and amazing!

  136. Very easy and good! I just finished up a triple batch! Tastes like our local Mexican Restaurant’s salsa! Yummmm! I have never made salsa before and this was easy! This will be a keeper recipe!

  137. I’m new to canning and having some issues! 1) My pot is not tall enough. I had 2” of water over the top of the jars, but then the water would not stop boiling over. 2) You said to boil for 30 mins, is this boil on high? Or is a lower temperature boil acceptable…as long as it is boiling?
    I used orange and red tomatoes and it came out kinda sweet. Will see how it tastes after canning.

    • I reduce the heat to a low boil for 30 minutes- any that didn’t pop, then reprocess again. Orange tomatoes are sweeter than red tomatoes!

  138. Is it possible to leave out the onions? I have a food sensitivity to it. I would be willing to add more peppers in place of them if you think that would keep the ph levels the same.

    • Hi Barb- you can decrease or omit the onions if you wish. It won’t affect safety if you include a lesser amount, but it will likely affect flavor– I haven’t tried this, so can’t verify the taste.

  139. I only have two tomato plants and therefore not too many tomatoes at one time.
    Right now, I have about medium size tomatoes.
    I would like to try your salsa recipe and wonder how many times I can cut the recipe in half?
    Or, can I freeze the tomatoes until I have more and then make the salsa?
    Also, I would like to know if I can use 1/2 pint jars as these are so much easier for me to handle and would require less tomatoes.
    Thank you

    • Can I substitute canned tomatoes for the fresh? I have an abundance of peppers, garlic and onions grown on our farm but low on fresh tomatoes. If possible do I just go by serving size? Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Sandy- it should work. I’ve doubled (tripled) this recipe before and it works great but I’ve never tried to halve it. And yes, 1/2 pint jars should be OK- the size of the jars shouldn’t matter. Keep me posted on how this turns out!

    • Not sure you are even suppose to add anymore peppers or more onions than recipe says to use or it will throw the ph level off. How accurate do we need to be to make sure that we can all make safe salsa? And I have used 1/2 cup bottled lime juice and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar In my recipe I do use a little sugar to taste to even out if needed . Sugar and dry spices will not effect ph level. As I was told. But I think using a measuring cup to measure choppped tomotoes and veggies is pry the best way I have found for me . I use ninja blender than measure out what I need . And yes you can surely make Liquid out of any solid with a ninja blender ,so pulse three or four times and check for what you like for consistency. And for me I have only used small to medium tomotoes never have used Roma’s yet.

  140. We made this salsa this past weekend and it is amazing. My husband took some to work to get other opinions and all said it was comparable to a mexican restaurant salsa. They all loved it as well. athbaks for the recipe and we will be making a lot more of this yummy gooness!!

  141. We made this over the weekend. We’ve already eaten 3 jars! Will be recommending this to our friends.

  142. I am currently making this recipe and it is simple and easy! Simmering right now, added 2 jalapeños and it’s not too spicy. The one question I have is that, after doing some reasarch on water bath caning, I noticed that this recipe doesn’t state how full to fill the jars and I’ve never canned anything before so I’m not sure how vital of a step this is.

  143. I have just started making hot sauces and salsa. I only have a ninja blender which is perfect for the hot sauce, but it makes my salsa a bit too thin. Would a processor make it a bit more chunky?

    • Hi Rick- the food processor has a wider base so it wont purée the tomatoes as much as a narrow blender, like a ninja. It should be Ok, though might be a little thin. You can also do most of the vegetables in your ninja, then hand chop the rest to balance the texture. My mother-in-law only hand chops the vegetables because she likes her salsa very chunky, but I don’t mind a thinner salsa using the processor!

  144. My hubby and I used to go to a restaurant in LA and they had the best Salsa. This recipe tastes exactly the same. I made some today and he asked if I had gone on a trip without him lol. It is so easy to make and tastes awesome. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Hi Denise, we used a different variety that we bought from a farm. However, any tomato should work as you are dicing them for measure. I typically use roma when I make sauce and find that they tend to be much cheaper than beefsteak.

  145. I only heard maybe 3 pops while the jars were in the water bath; out of 12 jars. Does that mean they did not seal? After they stand and cool for 12 hours, can they still pop? Maybe I tightened the lids too much before putting in the water bath?

    • Hi Patty- shouldn’t be an issue. They will seal as the cool. Any that don’t can be reprocessed, though I would use a new lid in case there was an issue with the seal.

  146. I just made this recipe and it could not have been easier. I only used one jalapeño…. I wanted to add more but my wife said no way. I still have quite a few tomatoes left over so I may make another batch. And add one more jalapeño or just add one without shedding it first. I thought it s but salty but will let my son, daughter in-law and grand daughter decide. I am taking a jar up with me this weekend.

      • I used brown sugar. Maybe half a cup. I didn’t really measure. Added to Tate’s. I Only Used 1 jalapeño without seeds. This had enough heat for our liking. Turned out great. Also I used frozen diced onions and frozen diced green peppers and added chopped Italian parsley since that is what I had on hand. Tastes amazing

  147. I made this recipe over the weekend, and couldn’t be easier. I used a food processor for all the chopping which was a great timesaver. I followed the recipe, except I had about 2 1/2 cups of green bell pepper and 1/2 cup red bell pepper. I also used about twice the number of jalapenos and seeded them. It came out mild, but super delicious! I filled 3 pints and 10 half pints with a bit left over for immediate snacking. Thanks so much for posting this!

      • Hi Susan, this recipe has been tested with vinegar. Lemon juice, lime juice and vinegar are commonly used as acidifiers in home canning and must be added to reduce the pH. Typically, you can use lime (or lemon) in place of vinegar as they are slightly more acidic than vinegar.

  148. For 9 cups of chopped tomatoes, do you know about how many pounds of tomatoes that requires? I’m looking forward to trying this recipe out.

    • Ha Laveena,

      It’s difficult to say exactly pounds, but roughly 5 pounds (I calculate that 1 cup chopped tomatoes is roughly 200g)

  149. Can’t wait to try this! Do you think that I could put in a couple canned chipotle peppers? And maybe some of the sauce in lieu of the tomato paste?

  150. Can you use kosher salt instead of canning salt? I have another recipe that said I could but I love this recipe because it’s more simple in ingredients but I don’t want to mess up the ph balance by using something different. Our Walmart didn’t have canning salt and I didn’t feel like traveling 30 minutes to another store to obtain some.

  151. Hi, I was wondering if this recipe has been tested? I have canned other tested recipes with tomato paste and lemon juice, but I don’t like the lemon taste. I might like this better because of the vinegar.

  152. Once this seals, how long does it last on the shelf?
    I have read so many recipes and I just want to make salsa.
    We have a women’s ministry and we have planted 5,000 tomato plants.
    We have canned over 600 jars of pickles. Is salsa the same way??
    I read somewhere that you have to put your jars in the oven?!?!

    • I don’t put my jars in the oven. I process them in a hot water bath without pressure canning them. We make this every year with 75+ pounds of tomatoes and it’s always a hit. The jars typically last at least a few years, but they won’t make it that long. 🙂 We are always done with our batches by December!

  153. I am in the process of making this and it seems a little watery. Should I pour some of the liquid off and put in more tomato paste?

      • Can I substitute canned tomatoes for the fresh? I have an abundance of peppers, garlic and onions grown on our farm but low on fresh tomatoes. If possible do I just go by serving size? Thank you for your help.

        • Hi Karin- it should work. Canned tomatoes are lower in ph than fresh because of the canning process, though I don’t know how the flavor will be as I’ve only used fresh.

  154. Do I boil the jars the whole 30 minutes, or do I just put them in boiling water at first, turn off and let them sit in the hot water 30 minutes?

  155. Hello! Can you give the amounts of the ingredients in ounces in addition to cups? When measures are in cups for chopped vegetables they can be misleading.

  156. Sounds tasty and fun! Why do you discard those with a bad seal? Why not either eat immediately or refrigerate? Thanks!

    • Hi Karen- if you keep them in the fridge after canning then you can eat them. I left mine on the counter overnight so if any didn’t seal, then I would have thrown them away just be safe. Luckily- they all did! 🙂