Monday, September 10, 2012

Homemade Canned Salsa Recipe

Every year about this time, we start getting tomatoes from our garden. So many tomatoes, that we really don't know what to do with them. Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches become a staple. (Goodness, is there a difference between a BLT with a hothouse tomato and a BLT when the tomato and lettuce come from your own garden!) Plus we put up a few plain tomatoes for use in spaghetti sauce and chili and the like.  But the main thing we do with our tomatoes? MAKE SALSA!

If you've never canned homemade salsa before, I encourage you to try it just once. Salsa can be so expensive to buy from the store, and nothing tastes quite as good as the flavor of your own garden-fresh peppers and tomatoes in your salsa.

After trying different salsa recipes for the past few years, I've settled on one that I like. It contains lime juice, where most salsa recipes call for only vinegar, and more sweet peppers than most salsa recipes recommend, but my family really loves this recipe.

8 cups of tomatoes, blanched, peeled, chopped, and partially drained
2 cups sweet peppers
3 mild peppers
Hot peppers to taste
6 gloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large onion
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1 TBS Salt

Combine ingredients and heat in large pot until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes before canning. Pour salsa into hot jars and seal. Process jars for 15 minutes in hot water bath.

(Notes: Homemade salsa tends to be rather runny, so I drain about half the juice from my tomatoes and then can it. This makes for less soupy salsa, but you still get to use the juice, so it's not like you're wasting anything. Sweet peppers can be green, red, or orange bell peppers, but I recommend you add some more eccentric peppers to enhance the flavor. We grew wax peppers in our garden this year, so that's what the majority of sweet peppers are. And we usually do two versions of salsa, one with just mild peppers for me, and one with lots of hot peppers for my husband.)

And there you have it! The most delicious salsa recipe I've found. The key to this salsa is the sweet peppers, garlic, cilantro and other things you add to the salsa to give it extra flavor. Once you've got a good flavor base, add the hot and mild peppers all you like.


  1. I've never made salsa, I only eat it. You can't go wrong with Cilantro and lime.

    I have a friend from Peru who prefers lime to vinegar most often in dressings and sauces. Though she was pretty discouraged by what passes for a lime in Missouri when she first moved here. :)

  2. I can well imagine the difference between Peruvian limes and US ones. :-) My philosophy is whenever you're cooking something, you can always fix it by adding more garlic and salt!

    And you should totally try salsa, Andrea. But get someone to help you the first time, because it does take a while. I actually process my tomatoes one day and then do the salsa the next. That makes it less time consuming as well. It's hard to find the time when you've got little ones about.

  3. I love to make salsa each year! I also have had great success with peach salsa--another reason to go peach picking:)

    One thing you might want to add to your recipe: how big the jars should be. Different size jars (half pint, pint and quart, for example) have different processing times in the water-bath canner.

  4. Oh, good point, Sarah. I've been using mostly quart size jars and having no trouble with the sealing after 15 minutes in the hot water bath.

    Peach salsa sounds great! I've had some from the store before, but it's not warm enough for peaches to grow around here. We get a lot of apples, though. :-)

    1. That's the last fruit we pick here. I plan on going out next week and getting a mix to can applesauce (four recipes' worth usually will last us until next apple season). Yum!