Canning Homemade Salsa

When the weather doesn’t cooperate and the tomatoes in the garden decide to split and rot, you buy some Roma tomatoes from the local market and spend your day canning salsa. At least that’s what my family did last weekend since we weren’t able to can tomato juice as planned and spend the afternoon poolside! This is the second time we’ve canned salsa and it feels like this might become a family affair every other year. I like it.


The first time we canned salsa, Allen and I had just adopted little Max and had him at my Grandma’s house for the first time. He and Louie (her dog) were running around the yard like crazy and Max would go tumbling down the hill, because he was just a 3 pound baby and couldn’t keep up with his new best friend. Seriously, too cute! He does much better keeping up now and wore himself out just like the first time. We rented a movie when we got home that evening and Max checked out…he literally went to our bedroom, hopped in bed and slept the entire time we watched a movie in the living room! He cracks us up! Do these memories call for a throwback photo of Max? I think so too. And you’re welcome. Awe!


So…we’re on a roll with canning lately. Let’s move right along to the ‘how to’ for salsa.

1. Prep your veggies!

  • Clean and chop the green peppers, onions, celery and jalapenos and mix together in an extra large bowl. Add the garlic to this bowl too.
    • You can chop your veggies the day you’re making salsa or even do this step the night before if desired; just save the garlic for the next day in that scenario.


2. Blanch, peel and slice your tomatoes!

  • Start by blanching the tomatoes in boiling hot water on the stove for 30-60 seconds, turning as needed. Once you take the tomatoes out of the boiling water, place them directly into cool water.
    • This process is going to help with the next step of removing the skin from the tomatoes. For the most part, you’ll be able to pull the skins right off. Use a knife to assist as needed.
  • Once the skins have been removed from the tomatoes, cut them in half vertically and remove the seeds. Work cautiously, because the tomatoes become slippery at this point!
    • We used a strawberry huller to remove the seeds; you can also use a grapefruit spoon or similar scoop.


3. Chop your tomatoes!

  • Now the tomatoes are ready to be chopped, how finely is up to you and depends on your preference of smooth or chunky sauce.
    • I suggest chopping by hand versus using a food processor or other chopping appliance that will speed up the process, but create too much juice.
    • As you chop the tomatoes, add them to a large measuring cup and then to a kettle from there, draining some of the excess juice.


4. Mix all ingredients together and cook!

  • Add your bowl of peppers, onions, garlic and celery to the kettle and gently stir to mix well. Add the vinegar, paste and salt and stir once more to mix everything together.
  • Move the kettle of salsa to the stove over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat and cook for 8 minutes, stirring regularly. After 8 minutes, stir in the brown sugar and cook for an additional 7 minutes before reducing heat once more to keep warm and simmer until the desired consistency has been reached.
    • The simmer time will depend on how thick you prefer the salsa, the longer it simmers the thicker it will be.
  • While the salsa is cooking, heat the oven to 200 degrees and start sanitizing your jars. They can remain in the oven until ready to be used. The lids can be sanitized at this time too by sitting in a pot of boiling water on the stove.


5. Fill your jars with salsa!

  • Once the salsa has reached your desired consistency, remove jars from the oven using an oven mitten and begin pouring the salsa into jars through a funnel. Fill each jar to the bottom of the neck.
    • You can work with 7 pints at a time, because that’s how many will fit into the cold packer insert.


6. Clean the rim of each jar!!!!

  • If you’ve read my previous canning posts you know the drill by now! After the salsa is poured, clean the rim of each jar with a dry paper towel to ensure not even a drop of salsa remains.
    • As I mentioned previously in the canning posts for green beans and tomato juice, any ‘debris’ on the rim of the jar will prevent proper sealing.
  • Add your lids and rings. Be sure to tighten well!


7. Prep your cold packer and finish the canning process!

  • Be sure the cold packer is filled with enough water to completely cover the jars (you can add more after they are placed in the cold packer insert if needed)
  • Add a pint jar to each designated spot of the insert and carefully drop the jar holder into the cold packer to submerge in water.
  • Bring the water to a boil, cover and set your timer for 16-18 minutes.


8. Remove jars, allow to cool and date

  • While the salsa is in this final cooking stage you can begin jarring up the next seven pints. When the first seven are done, carefully remove the jars from the cold packer using a jar lifter and place them on a heat resistant surface to cool.
    • Listen for the pop of the jars that signifies the true completion of the process.
  • Repeat with remaining jars until nearly all of the salsa has been used.
  • Use a permanent marker to write the date on the top of each lid. Store in a cool, dry place.


Favorite uses for this salsa:

  • For dipping way too many tortilla chips, obviously 🙂
  • Cooking chicken in the crockpot for tacos (add a packet of Ranch seasoning too, yum!)
  • As a topping on hot dogs or brats, just trust me…or rather my Dad who came up with this idea!
  • In homemade burrito bowls – which we had for dinner tonight!

Find the ingredient amounts and a recap of the instructions below. Happy Canning!

Homemade Canned Salsa

Step by step instructions for canning homemade salsa!


  • 6 quarts toamtoes Seeds and skin removed, then chopped
  • 8 celery sticks diced small
  • 3 large yellow onions diced small
  • 6 jalapeno peppers diremove seeds and dice small – for hotter salsa leave seeds and veins
  • 6 green peppers diced small
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp canning salt
  • 2 12 oz cans of Contadina tomato paste


  1. Clean and chop green peppers, onions, celery and jalapenos. Add to a large mixing bowl, mix in garlic and set aside.

  2. Blanch tomatoes for 30-60 seconds per batch, remove skin, slice in half vertically then remove seeds and chop. Drain excess juice as you measure the six quarts.

  3. Add tomatoes to the kettle on the stove.

  4. Add mixture of peppers, onions, celery and garlic to the kettle and stir with the tomatoes.

  5. Add vinegar, paste and salt and stir all ingredients together.

  6. Bring salsa to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 8 minutes while stirring regularly.

  7. Stir in brown sugar and cook an additional 7 minutes, still stirring regularly.

  8. Reduce heat to keep warm and stir regularly until desired thickness is reached.

  9. Place jars in the oven at 200 degrees for 5-10 min and lids in boiling water for 2 minutes to sterilize.

  10. Fill jars (working with seven pints at a time) to the bottom of the neck with salsa and wipe off rim using a dry paper towel. Place lids on jars, put rings on and tighten.

  11. Add jars to designated spots in cold packer filled with enough water to cover the jars completely. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-18 minutes. *Include ½ cup vinegar in water to make jars shine.

  12. Remove jars using canning tongs, sit on a heat resistant surface and allow to cool making sure all jars seal. Listen for the pop! Write the date on the lid using a permanent marker and store in a cool, dark place.

Recipe Notes

This will make around 16-18 pints of salsa!


Have a beautiful day!

3 thoughts on “Canning Homemade Salsa

  1. Pingback: Taco Stuffed Peppers – Halloween Edition | Pinch of Parsley

  2. Chris

    Canning lids have been reformulated now and boiling them b4 using them on the jars b4 hot water bath is no longer necessary. If you boil them b4 use, the lids will absolutely buckle. As for hot water bathing this sausa? I would check the latest recommendations from the Extension to find out what the ratio of veggies to tomatoes is, otherwise I would pressure these jars of salsa, based on the longest time of single veggie in the jars. All veggies have a specific pressure time…take the longest one and use that time.

    • wifey19

      Hey Chris! Thanks for the great feedback; I think we tend to overthink in our family and that’s why we do some extra steps that may not always be necessary 🙂 I’ll definitely check into details around veggie to tomato ratio and timing and hot water bathing based on that. Good info!!

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