How to make your own canned salsa

by J.D. Roth

J.D. and I already have our favorite fresh salsa down to a science, but we only get to enjoy it for a few short months when real tomatoes are in season. In order to see us through the rest of the year, I went searching for a canned salsa recipe that we’d like just as much.

Starting with a high-rated post on RecipeZaar, I’ve adapted this to our taste and the crops we grow (Anaheim and jalapeno peppers as well as the tomatoes), but you can play around with the heat by varying the types of peppers.

In the interest of full disclosure, the original recipe site has a few comments saying that the posted recipe doesn’t have enough acid to be safely canned in a boiling water bath. They suggest increasing the vinegar to a full cup or processing the jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 30 minutes.

On the other hand, there are plenty (200+) readers who say they have used this recipe for years and never had a problem. It’s only my second year with it; last year’s jars showed no problems. It’s up to you, but to be on the safe side, be sure not to decrease the vinegar, salt, or lime juice or alter the ratio of tomatoes to other ingredients. More lime juice or vinegar can be added if you like your salsa a bit more on the sour side. I hope you enjoy it!

Kris' Salsa

Canned Salsa (Medium-hot)

  • 8 cups very ripe tomatoes, cored & chopped (no need to peel or seed)
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mild green Anaheim-type peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle chili (optional– or you can add more for super hot salsa)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoon canning salt (also called pickling salt — it has no iodine)
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce (homemade or from the store)
  • 12 ounces tomato paste (homemade or from the store)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Chop tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic and chipotle chilis by hand or in a food processor. Make it as chunky or fine as you like. In a large non-aluminum pot, mix everything together except the lime juice and cilantro.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Continue boiling 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro.

Fill six pint jars (or your choice of jars) with hot mixture. Wipe rims and add lids and screw-bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Make sure the boiling water is deep enough to cover the jars by at least one inch, and start timing when the water returns to a boil after adding the jars.

Makes about 3.5 quarts (7 pints). Check the jar seals. If any haven’t sealed, you get to eat that right away! Keeps in the fridge for several weeks once opened.

If you want a very mild salsa, start by omitting the chipotle, cutting the cumin to 1 teaspoon, and removing the seeds from the jalapenos. Once the mixture has cooked for about 5 minutes, give it a taste, and season to desired “hotness” by adding the cumin, jalapeno seeds and chipotles (with or without the adobo sauce in the can). The recipe as listed makes a medium-hot version.

Updated: 20 September 2008

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