Let’s Salsa!

I have zero groove, but let me tell you, I do a happy dance when I eat homemade salsa. I haven’t made much canned salsa in the past, sticking with fresh Pico de Gallo instead. This year, with an abundance of tomatoes, it was time to make some salsa….and it is YUMMY. Here is my recipe for canned salsa.


Please note that I grabbed stuff from the garden, so these are a very loose outline. Feel free to adjust to taste.

  • 9-10 cups fresh tomatoes diced (I used romas & big beef tomato mixture)
  • 2 cups onions diced
  • 2 cups sweet peppers (I used green bell peppers and banana peppers)
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 5-10 cayenne peppers
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped (we like just a hint of cilantro rather than an overpowering flavour of it)
  • 2 tbsp pickling salt
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • OPTIONAL: 1 can tomato paste (if your salsa is too watery for your liking, this will thicken it while maintaining flavour)
  1. Peel all your tomatoes however you prefer to peel them. Personally, I use a water bath and find that cold water in the sink works just fine, no ice bath needed. Once peeled, dice the tomatoes, removing the seeds and liquids as best you can. The romas don’t have much liquid, but the big beef tomatoes I used required some squeezing to remove excess liquid.
  2. Chop, mince & dice all your other ingredients.
  3. Combine all the ingredients, except the tomato paste, in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Grab some chips and taste test to make sure the flavour is to your liking. Adjust as necessary. If it is a little too watery for your liking, add the tomato paste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Fill your jars, wiping the rim before sealing the lid.
  6. Process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the jars carefully and let cool on a rack to room temperature. Check all the lids to ensure they sealed.
  8. Try not to eat all the jars in the first week. Ha!

I was so busy making this, that I forgot to take photos of each step. It is a bit time consuming, but completely worth it!


From the day I met Kurt, his go to snack is often nacho chips and salsa. I feel like I couldn’t go wrong having those two items in the house. It is still a wonder why I have not made more salsa. I have a few times, and I can never quite get it hot enough for his liking. I am fairly certain that this one will once again not be hot enough. I am going to triple the amount of fresh cayenne peppers in the next batch I make him. Worst case, I have dehydrated cayenne peppers from the garden that I will sprinkle in his bowl of salsa whenever we enjoy some of it.

I think adding the cilantro is also a game changer. Neither Kurt or I are fans of cilantro, so I generally never used it in past canned salsa. However, the pico de gallo needs cilantro in it and we realized that just a bit makes the flavour profile so much better. When I decided to do this canned recipe, I made sure to add bits of cilantro then taste, then added more, then tasted, and so on, to ensure we didn’t end up with something that was overpowered with cilantro. If you aren’t a fan, try just adding a little bit as seasoning.

Personally, chips and salsa has grown on me. I’ve alway enjoyed it, but don’t need to eat it that often. With this salsa, I think that will change. Fresh homemade salsa is just so much better than store bough. The pico de gallo has me snacking constantly until it is gone. I have a feeling this salsa will be the same way. Plus, about 90% of the recipe was directly from our garden the day that I made the salsa. Perhaps that is why it tastes so good.

I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you make any adjustments to the recipe and what your results are. I am always looking for ways to improve the recipe!


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