The Best Homemade Salsa For Canning

The Best Homemade Salsa For Canning

If you want to keep summer around all year long, why not make homemade salsa for canning?  Fresh salsa is great, but only lasts a few days.  You can keep this recipe for 18 months on your shelf. After making canning salsa for MANY years, I have learned how to safely improve the flavor and texture.

I’m sure you will agree that this is one of the tastiest salsas you have ever tried. Whether you grab fresh tomatoes from your garden or have tons of tomatoes from the farmer’s market, this recipe can help you store the bounty of summer!

Bonus: no weird additives or plastics! This is a great recipe to add to MANY of your meals. For example:

 

  • Stir into your next batch of chili
  • Dip your tortilla chips
  • Add to a slower cooker with chicken and get a tender, delicious meal
  • Make a quick taco soup!
  • Blend with sour cream for an interesting dip
  • Add to tacos and burritos
  • Make nachos

How to Can Salsa

Canning salsa is really easy if you gather the equipment needed. I recently reviewed this equipment in my post about canning applesauce. If you are new to canning recipes, you will need a few essentials before you get started.

This will cost a bit the first time you do it, but each and every year after, it will be virtually free of charge. Are you new to canning?  Check out canning techniques here.

You will need the following equipment:

And the following fresh ingredients:

  • Hot peppers
  • Green chilies: I like poblano
  • Fresh tomatoes; I like heirloom tomatoes
  • Sweet onions or white onions
  • Citric acid or bottled lemon juice or lime juice
  • Whole cumin
  • Whole coriander
  • Salt
  • Tomato paste
Most recipes recommend that you scald the tomatoes to remove the skins.  This is up to you, but I skip this step. My recipe is a no-peel salsa recipe for canning. Why?  The peel is where a LOT of the fiber and nutrition is! Plus, keeping the tomato skin on makes for less food waste. I am not a fan of wasting food.

Peppers and onions are critical to enhancing the flavor here.  So are the extra spices!  They add flavor without burning up your tongue.

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Get the pH right

The very MOST important part of canning salsa, or any food that is canned in a water bath, is making sure you have the correct amount of acid to prevent botulism.

You can get away with less acid if you are canning with a pressure cooker or instant pot. You can use the following acids for canning salsa:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Bottled Lemon juice
  • Bottled Lime juice
  • Citric acid
    • 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice= 1/2 tsp. citric acid

For an acid choice in canning, it all comes down to pH. You need to bring the acidity down in a recipe to prevent Clostridium botulinum from growing.  Apple cider vinegar and bottled lemon and lime juice are all considered equivalent and 1 Tbsp of vinegar is equivalent to 1/2 tsp. citric acid.

Using citric acid in canning is my preference because it prevents the recipe from being too watery.  You will see recipes that are extra cautious with the vinegar too, which makes it really overpowered on vinegar flavor.

If a canning recipe calls for a cup of vinegar, you can use  2 and 1/2 tablespoons of citric acid. I am super cautious about canning. Hint: you can never be too cautious! A good guide and information about safe canning at your fingertips, consider buying the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.

When making homemade salsa for canning pH is THE most important factor in preventing botulism toxin. You can also buy test strips. You want the pH of your salsa to be at 4.5 or lower.  You can find these here:

Important Notes on Homemade Salsa for Canning

Too often, canning fresh tomato salsa recipes leave me wanting more flavor and intensity.  This recipe is delicious, complex, and full of fresh pepper and onions.

Removing the tomato skins is not recommended (by me) because it wastes food and is an extra step. In fact, no one has ever noticed the skins are on in my recipe!  This is an easy mild salsa recipe for canning. You can easily spice it  up more by leaving the seeds of the jalapeno in or by adding some cayenne pepper to taste.

While leaving the tomato skins on is NOT the way the USDA has tested it, I have never had a problem with it if following the recipe exactly.  It is critical you get the acid low enough and cook it long enough!

When making canned salsa recipe using fresh tomatoes, you can adjust the spices and salt, but do not adjust the amount of the vegetables used.  This can throw off the acid ratio, making it unsafe.

Tips: always have boiling water ready for topping off the water canner if needed. You can use Roma tomatoes, but I like a softer, sweeter heirloom tomato.  They definitely have more flavor than Romas!  If texture is what you are after, Romas are the way to go.

If the mixture tastes too acidic, you can add in a bit of sugar to cut the acidity. Keep in mind, jalapenos or other hot peppers can vary tremendously in the amount of heat they provide a recipe.

Taste and adjust to your preferences. Do you want hot salsa? Simply add in some cayenne or dried chipotle pepper for a smoky flavor.

You can make this a small recipe for canning salsa: simply adjust the serving sizes on the recipe. If you don’t feel like being creative with spices, you can always substitute Ball Fiesta Salsa Mix in this recipe for the coriander and cumin.

Another salsa seasoning mix for canning and fresh salsa is called Mrs. Wages All Natural Classic Salsa Mix. I personally love the complex flavor of whole coriander seeds. Ground coriander doesn’t cut it.

I recommend using a mortar and pestle to coarsely grind these flavorful spices. Extra spices are safe. Why?  They are antimicrobial. After all homemade salsa for canning does NOT have to be boring.  It does need to be precise with acid.

Freshly canned salsa stacked in a pyramid by The Healthy RD
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Tasty Canning Salsa Recipe

This canning salsa recipe is by far my favorite tomato salsa recipe for canning ever! It is think, chunky and AMAZING!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
28 mins
Total Time2 hrs 18 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: canning salsa recipe, canning salsa verde
Servings: 45
Calories: 24kcal
Cost: $1.50 per jar

Equipment

  • Water bath canner
  • Jar funnel
  • 8 quart or larger stock pot
  • Jar Grabber
  • Food processor
  • Ladles and spoons
  • Ball pint jars, lids, and rims
  • Cutting board and knife

Ingredients

Instructions

Prepare for canning:

  • Wash all jars and lids thoroughly with soap and water and rinse well. Place the jars on a baking sheet and keep them in a preheated oven that is set at 225 degrees F.
    Have fresh, new lids handy for the canning process. As long as they are clean, you do not need to heat them.
    You can re-use rims from prior canning.
    Add water to your water bath canner and bring to a boil. You can prepare the vegetables during this step. Once the canner is at a boil, you can reduce heat until you are ready to process the jars.
    Toast the spices: Place the coriander and cumin in a pan on moderate heat. Toast them until they are fragrant, being mindful not to burn. This will take 2-3 minutes.

Prepare for canning:

  • Wash all jars and lids thoroughly with soap and water and rinse well. Place the jars on a baking sheet and keep them in a preheated oven that is set at 225 degrees F.
    Have fresh, new lids handy for the canning process. As long as they are clean, you do not need to heat them.
    You can re-use rims from prior canning.
    Add water to your water bath canner and bring to a boil. You can prepare the vegetables during this step. Once the canner is at a boil, you can reduce heat until you are ready to process the jars.
    Toast the spices: Place the coriander and cumin in a pan on moderate heat. Toast them until they are fragrant, being mindful not to burn. This will take 2-3 minutes.

Prepare the vegetables:

  • Wash all vegetables. Wearing latex or plastic gloves, cut jalapenos in half and remove the seeds, if desired. The seeds are the hottest part of the pepper, so be mindful of your personal tastes. Cut the onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes in quarters. Peel the garlic, cut in quarters, or mince if you don't like garlic pieces.
    Add all of the vegetables into the food processor in about 4 different batches. Pulse the food processor until the ingredients are at your desired consistency, small to moderate chopped pieces are great.

Cook the salsa:

  • Place all of the vegetables, salt, tomato paste, and spices into your large stock pot. Season with salt and spices to your preferences.
    Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on a low boil for 20-30 minutes.
    Fill and close the jars: Set the jars next to the salsa in the saucepan. Use a ladle to pour the salsa into the jars through a canning funnel, leaving about 1/2-inch head space at the top. Dislodge any trapped air by running a wooden spoon through each jar. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean paper towel.
    Place the lids on, and screw on the rings securely but not extremely tight.
    Ladling salsa into canning jars by The Healthy RD

Seal the jars:

  • Make sure your water is at a boil in the water canner. Next, using canning tongs, gently transfer the jars to the canner until all the jars are in place. If you can't fit them all, don't worry. You can set them aside and process them after the first batch. You will want the water to cover the tops of the jars. If you need more, add boiling water until the jars are completely covered.
    Bring the water to a full rolling boil, and process for 20 minutes for pint jars. For quart jars, bump that up to 25 minutes. If you are at sea level, pint jars can process in as little as 15 minutes.

Remove and cool:

  • Using canning tongs, gently remove the jars from the canner and transfer them to a kitchen towel or cooling rack, again keeping them vertical. Do not set hot jars directly on to cool counter surfaces. Leave to cool, undisturbed, for at least 12 hours. If any of the jars do not seal when cool, reprocess using the method above, or refrigerate and use immediately.

Store:

  • You should make a label on the lid with the date of processing. After 24 hours, inspect all jars to make sure they all have a vacuum seal. Loosen or remove the rings and store jars in a cool, dark place. The sealed jars will last for up to 18 months

Notes

Tips: always have boiling water ready for topping off the water canner if needed. You can use Roma tomatoes, but I like a softer, sweeter heirloom tomato.  They definitely have more flavor than Romas!  If texture is what you are after, Romas are the way to go.
If the mixture tastes too acidic, you can add in a bit of sugar to cut the acidity.  Keep in mind, jalapenos or other hot peppers can vary tremendously in the amount of heat they provide a recipe.  Taste and adjust to your preferences. You can always make this a hot salsa by adding in some cayenne or chipotle peppers in adobo at the end.

Nutrition

Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 189mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1216IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

Want more salsa recipes? Some are homemade salsa for canning, including a salsa verde recipe and a Instant Pot salsa recipe too.  I have compiled 10 of my favorite recipes for you here.

Summary

The best homemade salsa for canning is the one that is made with care and love.  I am including some tools of the trade that will last forever. I include both the prices and products that I like. Until next blog!

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4 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    I literally survive on this in the winter. So good!

  2. 5 stars
    Looks great. Can’t wait to try it. Heidi’s recipes are always excellent.

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