How to Can Salsa

This recipe for homemade canned salsa will allow you to enjoy garden fresh ingredients all year long.

canning salsa

canning homemade salsa

Cook up and preserve some delectable homemade salsa with ingredients straight from your garden.

Cook up and preserve some delectable homemade salsa with ingredients straight from your garden.

Why You Should Can Salsa

Fresh veggies, bright herbs and the delightful heat of the occasional habanero straight from the garden are all good reasons to combine those ingredients in a homemade salsa.

Safe Salsa-Canning Know-How

For safe-canning some vegetables require the addition of acids to knock out most bacteria, molds and enzymes. The addition of acid in the form of vinegar or lemon or lime juice will lower the pH, making your canned salsa less hospitable to bacterial growth.

Recipe Variations

Variations on this recipe include roasting the tomatoes before use, experimenting with herbs or leaving some or all of the seeds in when adding the jalapeno to bring the heat. If adjusting the recipe, though, be attentive to the ratio of tomatoes and other vegetables to the acidic elements (vinegar and lime juice). Balance is essential for a safe and successful preservation of the low-acid harvest.

Sterilizing Canning Jars

Sterilizing Canning Jars

Use a large stock pot to sterilize canning jars.

Photo by: Shutterstock/Hans Geel

Shutterstock/Hans Geel

Safe Canning Directions

1. Prepare the jars and lids you will be using to can your salsa by washing all jars and lids thoroughly with soap and water. Rinse well.

Canning Supplies

Canning Supplies

A pot and canning jars used in sterilizing canning jars.

Photo by: Shutterstock/Jenn Huls

Shutterstock/Jenn Huls

2. Fill a large nonreactive (such as enamel) canning or water bath canning pot with enough water to cover the jars by at least one inch and bring to a simmer.

3. Using a pair of canning tongs, gently lower the jars into your canning pot using a jar holder to keep them from hitting the sides of the pot and cracking. Allow the jars to fill with hot water.

4. Add warm (not boiling) water to a small saucepan. Place the lids in the water. Have an additional kettle of water on to boil.

5. Prepare your salsa recipe (see below)

6. Using canning tongs, carefully remove the jars from the canning pot and place them on a towel to avoid cracking them on a hard surface. Carefully pour the water back into the canning pot.

Using a Funnel to Fill Canning Jars

Using a Funnel to Fill Canning Jars

A green funnel is used to fill canning jars neatly.

Photo by: Shutterstock/Joyfuldesigns


7. Turn the heat under the canning pot to high. Use a ladle to pour the salsa into the sterile jars through a canning funnel, leaving 1/2-inch headspace at the top. Run a clean chopstick (but a metal or plastic utensil is prefered since wood can harbor bacteria) around the inside of the jar to dislodge any trapped air.

8. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel. Place the lids on, and screw on the rings until just finger-tight.

9. To seal the jars, use canning tongs and gently transfer the jars to your canning pot, taking care to keep them vertical. When all the jars are in the pot, there should be at least 1-inch water covering them. If you need more, add water from the kettle until the jars are sufficiently covered.

10. Bring the water to a full rolling boil, and process for 15 minutes.

11. To remove and cool the jars, use canning tongs to gently remove the jars from the canner and transfer them to a kitchen towel or cooling rack, keeping them vertical. Note: Do not place hot jars directly on cool counter surfaces.

12. Leave the jars 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.

13. Label and store your salsa by adding a label to the lid or the side of your jar, noting the date it was canned. Remove the rings if you need to use them again or leave on and store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

'Big Guy' Jalapeno - Hot Peppers - Pepper Varieties

'Big Guy' Jalapeno

'Big Guy' jalapenos aren't for the faint of heart, producing huge, 5-inch long peppers. Maturing in about 70 days, slice 'Big Guy' into big batches of salsa or try pickling them.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Burpee

Image courtesy of Burpee

Canned Salsa Recipe

  • 8 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy pot and bring to boil at medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes.

Refrigerate after opening.

Additional Canning Tips

  • You can add dried spices to your salsa recipe before canning without affecting the recipe.
  • Use unblemished, firm tomatoes for canned salsa. Italian paste tomatoes like Roma and San Marzano tend to work best.
  • Many cooks add fresh chopped onions, cilantro, diced peppers and other ingredients when serving their canned salsa for complexity and depth.

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