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! 

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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

Description

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
Scale

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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!

Notes

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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Meet Alex Caspero

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. Jodi Denmead
      December 17, 2021 AT 11:52 am

      I made a Double Batch and It’s Amazing!
      This is a For Sure Hit for Any Occasion, or even in a gift basket!!
      Thank You So Much,This is in My Cook Book and Now My Go To Salsa Recipe!!
      Very Pleased
      Jodi

    2. Tiffany Byrd
      November 4, 2021 AT 6:49 am

      Could you add cilantro to this recipe? If so how much?

    3. Claudine
      November 2, 2021 AT 6:36 pm

      This is the very first time I have come back to a site to write a comment about a recipe I tried. I should do it more often as I know how much prep goes into this. That said, here I am. I am also grinning from ear to ear with pride as I devoured a huge bowl of fresh salsa to myself! Yes, this recipe is worth every effort. I found myself overloaded with tomatoes and jalapeños from my garden this year. Freezer is full and I was sitting here looking for something as I didn’t want to waist any. Boy am I happy I tried this! Thank you again, it’s fantastic!!!

    4. Cheryl
      October 28, 2021 AT 5:52 pm

      Can I use quart size jars instead? If so how long do I water bath them for?

    5. kathie
      October 26, 2021 AT 11:03 am

      help! I am confused. In the notes it states you can decrease the amount of jalapeños, but you cannot increase the number due to the ph balance. The very next sentence states if you want a very hot salsa, you can sub jalapeños for some of the green peppers. Isn’t that increasing the number of jalapeños? Do green peppers and jalapeños have the same ph? My tomatoes are ready for salsa making.

      1. Alex
        October 26, 2021 AT 4:21 pm

        Hi Kathie. Yes, you can’t increase the amount of total peppers but you can sub some of the mild bell peppers for the jalapeños to increase the spice level. For example, you could use 2 cups of green bell peppers and 1/2 cup extra of chopped jalapeño peppers as that would still equal the 2 1/2 cups of chopped green peppers.

    6. Michelle
      October 24, 2021 AT 1:13 pm

      Is it safe to add mangoes to the recipe?

      1. Alex
        October 25, 2021 AT 9:01 am

        Hi Michelle,

        Mangoes will alter the pH so I don’t recommend adding them to this recipe before canning.

    7. Dana Fitchlee
      October 24, 2021 AT 10:08 am

      This was my first year with an actual vegetable garden of my own. I was beyond nervous to make salsa’s, sauces and especially to can anything. I psyched myself out but finally used your recipe to make my first homemade salsa and try my hand at canning. I can’t say enough about this recipe. The only mistake I made was using 6oz of tomato paste instead of 12 but it was a welcome mistake!! I made 6 jars and they were gone within the month. My family (who has been farming and canning forever) was beyond impressed. Everyone loved it! I even have about 5 cups of tomatoes after my final pick this week and am going to try and make a half batch today. Definitely going to keep this recipe in my book!! Thank you 🙂

    8. Susan
      October 20, 2021 AT 3:51 pm

      Made this salsa today and it’s amazing. Perfect heat and tang to it. We used poblano peppers instead of green bell and it’s perfect he’s for us. It’s a keeper. Thanks for sharing.

    9. Melanie G
      October 17, 2021 AT 2:49 pm

      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!

      1. Alex
        October 17, 2021 AT 6:10 pm

        So glad to hear!

    10. Matthew Long
      October 15, 2021 AT 9:44 am

      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