Canned Tomato Salsa

Before starting, prepare your workspace so that it is clean and uncluttered. If you don't want to roast your own green chiles, you can sub with about two 7-ounce cans of green chiles, chopped. This recipe uses specific amounts of ingredients, balancing the non-acidic ingredients with the amount of added acid needed to make the recipe safe. Do not increase the amount of green chiles beyond 1 1/2 cups, or decrease the amount of tomatoes less than 7 cups.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 5 pints


  • 5 lbs of tomatoes
  • 1 lb large Anaheim green chiles (5-6 chiles)
  • 3 jalapeno chilies, seeded and stems removed, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro (including stems)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon to 2 Tbsp sugar or more (to taste, depending on how sweet your tomatoes are)

Canning equipment needed:

  • 5 to 6 pint-sized canning jars, with rings and new lids
  • A very large stockpot or canning pot (16-qt)
  • A flat steamer rack on which to place the filled jar for the water bath canning, so that they don't touch the bottom of the pan and crack from excess heat

Canning equipment recommended:

  • Canning tongs to make it easy to lift the jars in and out of boiling water
  • Rubber or latex coated gardening gloves to make it easier on your hands for handling hot jars


1 Prepare for canning. Place steamer rack in the bottom of a large (16-qt) stock pot or canning pot. Place new or clean mason jars on the rack. Fill the jars with water and fill the pot with just enough water to come to the top of the jars. Heat water to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. (Keep the jars warm while preparing the salsa.)

Have a kettle half filled with water ready to boil, to use to sterilize the jar lids a few minutes before canning.

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2 Roast the Anaheim green chile peppers until blackened all over. The best way to do this is directly over a gas flame on the stovetop (see how to roast chiles over a gas flame.) If you don't have a gas cooktop you can broil the chiles, or blister them on a grill.

Note that it is not essential that the chile peppers be cooked through, only that the outer tough skin is blistered and blackened. This is what will help with flavor. Also it will make it easy to peel the chiles.

Just put the chiles near a heat source until blistered and blackened, and turn them so that they get blackened on all sides. Then place the chiles in a brown paper bag (or in a covered bowl), close the bag and let the chiles steam in their own heat for a few minutes.

Then gently rub off the outer skin and discard. Cut away the stems and remove the seeds and any prominent veins.

Chop up the chiles and set aside; you should have 1 cup of chopped chiles. Do not use more than 1 1/2 cups of chopped chiles.

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3 Prepare the tomatoes. You want the tomatoes peeled, and there are several ways of doing that. Blanching them is easiest; grilling or broiling will result in more flavor.

To blanch them, score the ends of the tomatoes and place them in boiling water for a minute.

If you are going to grill or broil the tomatoes, I recommend coring them first. Grilling is best with whole plum tomatoes; grill them on high direct heat until blackened in parts and the peels are cracked.

Broiling works with any sized tomato. Just cut them in half and place the cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Broil until the peels are blackened in parts.

Remove the tomatoes (from water, grill or broiler) and let cool to the touch. Remove and discard the peels. Cut away any cores if you haven't done so already. Chop the tomatoes taking care to save any juices that may come out of them.

Starting with 5 pounds of tomatoes you should end up with about 8 cups of chopped tomatoes and juices. (You must use at least 7 cups of tomatoes.) Place them in a bowl and set aside.

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4 Put all of the ingredients into a large (8-qt) stainless steel pot. (Do not use aluminum or the acidity of the sauce will cause the aluminum to leach into the sauce.) Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes.

5 While the salsa is cooking, place the jar lids in a bowl and cover with boiling water to sterilize.

6 If you want your salsa to be more smooth than chunky, use an immersion blender to pulse it a few times, or working in batches ladle about half of it into a blender and purée.

7 Adjust seasonings. If too acidic to taste, add more sugar to balance the vinegar! If too sweet, add a bit more vinegar.

8 Ladle salsa into canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Wipe the rims with a clean, dampened paper towel so that there is no residual food on the rims.

Place canning lids on the jars. Screw on the lid rings. Do not over-tighten or you may not get a good seal. Air does need to escape from the jars during the next step, the water bath.

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9 Place the filled and lidded jars back onto the rack in the large stock-pot of hot water you used to sterilize the jars in step one. You may need to remove some of the water from the pot to prevent it from overfilling.

Cover the jars with at least 1-inch of water. Bring to a rolling boil and process for 15 minutes (20 minutes for altitudes 1000 to 6000 ft, 25 minutes above 6000 ft). Then turn off heat and let the jars sit in the hot water for 5 minutes.

Remove jars from the water bath and let sit on a counter for several hours until completely cool. The lids should "pop" as the cooling salsa creates a vacuum under the lid and the jars are sealed.

If a lid has not sealed, either replace the lid and reprocess in a water bath for another 15 minutes, or store in the refrigerator and use within the next few days.

Remember to label the cans with the date processed. (I use a Sharpie on the lid.) Canned salsa should be eaten within a year.

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  • Courtney

    Is it possible to adjust the peppers (and also the vinegar amounts) to increase the spice level? Or should you add cayenne or red chili flakes to accomplish that?

    The recipe calls for de-seeding the jalapenos. If you want more heat, just add in some of the jalapeno seeds. Do not reduce the vinegar amount. ~Elise

  • Dawn

    Looks great! In response to Courtney’s question about vinegar – I wouldn’t reduce the amount because the acidity may not be high enough for canning safely, but it would be perfectly OK to increase it a little.

  • Nyssa

    Was there a certain breed of tomatoes you used specifically for canning?

    I think plum tomatoes work best, that said, for this batch I used a mix of plum tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and just plain ole tomatoes. ~Elise

  • Betsy C.

    Is it possible to substitute lime juice for the cider vinegar? I really do not like the tang of vinegar in salsa!

    Not if you plan to can it for shelf storage. But, if you just want to make some to refrigerate and use fresh, then sure. It’s probably not a one to one substitution. I would add it to taste. ~Elise

  • tommy2rs

    When the tomatoes over run our ability to consume them I’ll can, freeze, sauce, juice, and salsa them also. One other thing I do is to slice, dehydrate, then smoke them. Once they are nicely smoked I put them through the spice grinder to make smoked tomato powder for various uses. Adds a nice smoky flavor to soups, stews, dips, sauces or even chili.

  • Georgia

    Sounds like a very easy recipe even for someone like me who has never canned before. How do you store them? Do they have to be kept in an area with a specific temperature?

    You can store them in a cupboard or pantry with your other canned goods. Away from light. Keep them relatively cool. ~Elise

  • Elizabeth


    I am going to make your salsa this weekend. I made your tomato pie last weekend it was awesome! What type of salt do you use for the salsa; kosher, sea salt, table salt etc. Thanks for your help!

    I use Kosher salt for just about everything. ~Elise

  • Keith Nyitray

    I made this yesterday with some of my homegrown tomatoes and it came out incredibly tasty! I did, however, use a tad more more cilantro and garlic than the recipe called for.

    Unfortunately, one jar didn’t seal properly but guess what I’ve been snacking on all afternoon!

  • Allison

    Do you think this recipe would work just as well in a pressure canner instead of a water bath canner?

    Yes, and if you used a pressure canner you wouldn’t need to use as much vinegar. I don’t have pressure canning instructions though. ~Elise

  • clara

    I’m canning my salsa now and it tastes VERY sweet. Will this disappear overtime?

    No, you may want to add more vinegar. ~Elise

  • Clara

    Thanks for the quick respond. One other question – I wasn’t in the kitchen while the salsa was cooling, so I never heard a pop. Is there a way to tell now whether or not the jars sealed correctly?

    Yes. If you gently press your finger on the top of the lid, it should feel firm. If it moves up and down, it isn’t sealed. You can try this on an empty, unsealed jar with a lid for comparison. ~Elise

  • Elaine M

    Just finished making it with Hatch Chiles. Turned out fabulous. Problem is my DH probably won’t eat store bought anymore.

  • susybel

    I also have a ton of tomatoes this year. I have been making spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes and salsa for the freezer. I used to can my salsa but I’m too lazy to do it now. I find freezing it is simple and the salsa is great when thawed.

  • Emily

    I made this salsa over the weekend and was really happy with the result! However, I could not find a steamer rack at my local store, but a woman working there recommend that I just set a small towel on the bottom of the stock pot. That method worked really well for us and is a great substitute in lack of a steamer rack! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Wayne

    Made the salsa this weekend, first time canning. The directions were outstanding and the whole process was successful taking about two hours start to finish. Would like to tweak for taste by adding lime juice and more heat – I used some jalepeno seeds. Any recommendations on how much lime juice and by addiing do I need to adjust amounts of other ingredients? How about more heat?

    You can add more lime juice, as much as you want, as it is very acidic, and it’s the acidity that keeps the canned salsa safe. As for the heat, I would just taste the salsa and keep adding seeds until you get to the point of heat you like. Do note that jalapenos are notoriously un-uniform. In other words sometimes you get some peppers that are crazy hot, sometimes you get peppers with no heat. You really should taste them first, to check, before you put them in anything. ~Elise

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Elise!
    I made your salsa today and it is the best salsa I have ever had! Thanks for posting the recipe :)

    • Plane Jayne

      I use a variety of peppers (mild to super hot) to get a depth of heat. I make mild, medium and hot. I do taste the salsa throughout the process, and add more peppers as needed. I find that my salsa is too runny. I do drain the tomatoes before I start the salsa, but I still need to cook it at a slow temperature for about 2 hours. I am going to squeeze the juice out of it today to see if that helps. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • kristen

    Hi there! I’ve just discovered your blog today (thanks to a recommendation from Liana Krissoff in Canning for a New Generation)! I am wanting to try this salsa but can’t find Anaheim chiles. Would using poblanos adversely alter the acidity or would that be an OK substitution?

    I think you would be fine with poblanos. You would just use fewer of them. ~Elise

  • Momma Roar

    I just made this – doubled it because of my abundance of ‘maters in my garden! It’s wonderful! I love taste the apple cider vinegar adds! Thanks for the wonderful step by step directions to make it and can it.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Leigh Ann

  • Linda G

    I used organic apple cider vinegar that is unfiltered. Does that affect the acidity?

    Should be fine. But to be sure, look at the label. It should be at least 5% acidity. If it is lower, then you shouldn’t use it. ~Elise

  • bobmcnally

    I have been making salsa for years and bring the salsa to a boil,the jars in a boiling bath as are the lids. After I can the jars I do not do the hot bath just let them cool. This has worked for me and I have recently opened and consumed a jar from 2004 am I lucky or good?

    • Debi

      I have canned tomatoes like that for years because that’s the way my mother taught me. And I’ve always had great success. But it is not recommended by most experts. The secret to canning that way is that EVERYTHING has to be hot, hot, hot. The salsa needs to boil for quiet a long time. Not just brought to a boil. Therefore the tomatoes will be mushier than if you just boil them and process in the boiling water bath. The jars and lids need to be extremely hot, too. You, obviously, know what you are doing. I wouldn’t recommend this method unless you are a very experienced canner.

    • ti

      I do the same thing with tomato juice. My grandmother taught me. We stew the tomatoes, run them through the mill, and bring the juice to a rolling boil 10 minutes or so, fill in hot jars from the oven, and let rest on the counter. They all pop (I’ve never had one not seal). I’ve used them a good number of years afterward, and they are just fine. :) Glad to hear I’m not the only one that does it the “old” way!

  • Rachel

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and technique! This year I’ve made my first attempt at putting up veggies and fruits, and I’m still not very confident. Good recipes are hard to find as well, believe it or not. I can’t wait to try this one out!

  • Heather

    Made this last night. I doubled the recipe and it made 11 pints. I also added a touch extra sugar, salt and cumin, and I minced up a habanero to add. Tasty!

  • Kathleen

    OMG OMG OMG I made this last night and I don’t recall having salsa that tasted this good!! Thank you so much for this recipe. I am bummed that I didn’t find it earlier when I had been canning stewed tomatoes. I might just have to head back to the farmers market on Tuesday and get more.

  • Michael

    Can I use fresh oregano instead of dried one?

    Yes, use twice as much. ~Elise

  • Kathleen

    When I was canning this salsa I had a little bit that wouldn’t fit into the jars that I had, so I ate the salsa right away with chips. It was the best salsa I had ever tasted. That was back in September. I have been hoarding the jars for very special occasions because I like it so much. Last night my daughter, whom is moving 9 hours away, asked me if she could try some. I reluctantly took out a jar and when we tasted it we both agreed that it was too sweet for our tastes. I was very surprised at this because it was heavenly back when I made the batch. I would like to try making this again, but I don’t want it to be sweet like that. In your opinion, can I leave out the sugar? Or should I use regular vinegar? If I use regular vinegar, should I put less in the recipe? Or simply add more peppers? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Hi Kathleen, you can reduce or leave out the sugar, but don’t cut back on the vinegar, if you are planning for shelf storage. ~Elise

  • Kris

    For those who’ve asked about subs. lime juice for vinegar, according to this: and one can subs. lime or lemon juice for vinegar but not the other way around. Bottled lemon or lime juice is more acidic than vinegar. So, substituting a cup of bottled lemon or lime juice in this recipe should be fine.

    It may be too acidic, taste-wise, if you sub all the vinegar with lemon or lime juice. ~Elise

  • Meggie

    I would cut the vinegar portion in half next time. Way too acidic!

    If you cut the vinegar, then do not can it for shelf storage. The vinegar is needed to provide enough acid to prevent botulism. I balance the acidity by adding a bit of sugar, without the sugar I find the salsa to be too acidic for my taste. ~Elise

  • Gina

    Ruined all of my gorgeous vegetables with amount of vinegar in this recipe. It just has a vinegar taste. It is super disappointing and waistful. Cut the vinegar in half or use lime juice as others have suggested…or another recipe. Terrible!

    • Elise

      This is a canning recipe and requires vinegar, unless you pressure can. Most people don’t have a pressure canner and rely on water bath boiling to finish the canning process. The 212°F temperature of a water bath is not high enough to kill dangerous bacteria in low acid foods. There isn’t enough acid in tomatoes to can them safely without vinegar if you are using the water bath method.

      I cannot emphasize this enough, do NOT reduce the vinegar amounts in this recipe! Add some sugar to offset the vinegar taste, but do not reduce the amount of vinegar if you are planning to can using a water bath method.

      If you cannot stand the vinegar taste, and adding sugar doesn’t help, then I recommend purchasing a pressure canner and using that to can tomato salsa.

      • Jim

        Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that 212 F (boiling) for a sufficient period of time DOES kill the dangerous bacteria, but you can’t be certain not to reintroduce them in the absence of a sterile environment?

        • Elise

          No, the 212F boiling temperature is insufficient to kill botulism bacteria, for that the temperature you need is 240F which you can only get through pressure canning. That is, if you don’t have enough vinegar or acid. If the mixture is acidic enough, the botulism bacteria cannot survive. In jam recipes, the fruit is naturally acidic and the sugar in the recipe will also kill bacteria (sugar sucks the H2O out of the bacteria cells, if there is enough sugar), but this isn’t a sweet recipe, so we have to rely on acid, which we are getting from the vinegar. See and for more details.

          • Julie

            We have canned regular old tomatoes for storage with a tsp of salt per qt and have never had a problem… is it because of the salt that it is safe, or is this method not recommended any more as well??

          • Elise

            Hi Julie, it’s the acidity in the tomatoes that keeps them safe when you can them. Usually it’s recommended that you add a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar to the tomatoes just to make sure that the acid level is high enough. 1 teaspoon of salt for a quart isn’t enough to help preserve the tomatoes.

    • cbellscoutsatrout

      I’m with Gina… We just doubled this recipe and ALL came from our garden except for cilantro. So basically we just watched our garden grow these beautiful vegetables for the last few months (best year ever for our garden) so that we could turn them into vinegar soup! I hope to god the canning process has eliminated some of that vinegar flavor because I am embarrassed to even give some away to friends and family. WHY didn’t I listen to the warnings on this thread!? VERY Disappointing, something is wrong with this recipe… WAY to much vinegar.

      • cbellscoutsatrout

        I would like to say I appreciate your timely responses to your readers Elise… Just can’t get over what we have just done to our beautiful harvest that took months to grow. Besides the HOURS of labor making the salsa. I would suggest anyone using this recipe to try a half batch with store bought veggies BEFORE you sacrifice your harvest. Thanks

        • Michelle Sloan

          I’m confused about the too vinegary comment, while you can”t do less vinegar, add more sugar or tomatoes. I just made a double batch with 16 cups of tomatoes and doubled the sugar and am getting rave reviews. I roasted the tomatoes which gives them a lot of depth and added to the flavor.

          • Bill

            Agreed, doubled the batch and added NO sugar… FABULOUS!!!
            However… I do have rather sweet tasting tomato’s

  • gina

    Lemons and limes are more acidic than vinegar, but a cup is too much. Its insanity.

    • Elise

      Tomatoes vary in their levels of acidity and sweetness, depending on the time of year, the type of tomato, and the specific growing conditions. If your salsa is too acidic in taste, add more sugar. If it is too sweet, add more vinegar. If you do not like the taste of vinegar, you can use lemon juice, but the proportions are probably different because of the different levels of acidity. You’ll have to consult a canning book, such as one put out by Ball, for the exact amounts. Again, this is a safety issue, mostly because the salsa includes roasted chiles which are not at all acidic! That’s where you will get your botulism if you don’t add enough acid to the salsa. If this were just a tomato canning recipe, all you would need is a tablespoon of lemon juice or so, because tomatoes are naturally acidic as well as sweet.

    • Jennie

      Gina, for perspective, some similarly sized salsa recipes call for 1 1/4 cups of vinegar! Avoiding and preventing botulinum toxin is vital to one’s health, errr and potentially one’s life as exposure to this bacteria can kill, hence use of vinegar. . . . Elise, thanks for your great blog and this recipe. I’m canning salsa for the first time with a pressure canner (I’ve used a water bath in the past), so I realize I could have put in less vinegar but hey, I like the flavor. ;-) Thanks again!

  • tif

    Amazing! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. Easy to follow and it’s now my go-to. I was able to get all the ingredients from my garden except cilantro. My tomatoes are super sweet this year so I didn’t even add sugar. I’ve made 2 batches so far and I hope to harvest more tomatoes for a 3rd!

  • Colleen

    I have a steam canner I have used for years instead of a hot water bath. Does the time change for processing?

    • Elise

      I don’t know. I don’t have a pressure canner. I think there are other variables at play here, the weight level that produces the pressure, and the altitude. I would consult a canning book that details what you need to do for pressure canning.

  • Todd

    I shied away from canning salsa, after making a small batch with the Ball mix. What a huge disappointment! But after our tomatoes starting coming in like a flood, I started to look for a home made recipe and chose this one. WOW! This recipe is great! I can’t wait till it sits for a while, like a fine wine. Of course, I never can leave anything alone. I like my salsa mild, so I dropped the jalapeno to 1 for a double batch. Puts just a little bite to it. I also added 1 – 6OZ can of tomato paste / patch to thicken it up a bit. Then, in the last half of the batch, I added a half bag of Market Day frozen corn (the stuff you get from the schools). Should be outstanding. A double recipe made 7 quarts for me.

  • Sara

    I ended up with 4 quarts and didn’t use any peppers other than the jalapeños. I added 1 c. Of vinegar per instructions. Will this be ok?

    • Elise

      Hi Sara, the instructions call for 1 cup of vinegar to go with 5 pounds of tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups onions, 1 to 1 1/2 cups of green chiles, and 3 jalapenos. This recipe produces about 5 to 6 PINTS of salsa. If you have 4 quarts (12 pints), that tells me that you started with a heck of a lot more tomatoes than 5 pounds. Canning recipes for low acid foods, if you are going to water bath can them, need to be followed precisely, otherwise, pressure can them, or store them in the refrigerator.

  • Christy

    Can I add roasted corn to this?

    • Elise

      Not without more vinegar. If you want to add corn, I would swap out an equal amount of the onions and/or chiles. If the total combined amount of low acids foods (onion, chiles, corn) stays the same in proportion to the tomatoes, then you don’t have to change the amount of vinegar.

      • Christy

        What would I change the vinegar to if I wanted the same amount of chiles & onion? Not to be difficult- but wondering…

        • Elise

          I don’t know. That’s why I suggest cutting back on the chiles and onions. If I were to take the time to figure it out, I would weigh the chiles and onions in the recipe and make a ratio with the vinegar, then weigh the amount of corn I wanted to add and add a proportional amount of vinegar. Good luck!

  • Christy

    Alright, thank you!

  • Christa

    Would I be able to eliminate the Anaheim chilies and just use the 3 jalapenos without affecting the recipe? I personally don’t care for too many peppers in my salsa.

    • Elise

      You can eliminate the Anaheim chiles, though of course it will affect the taste of the salsa. If you eliminate the chiles you will probably want to cut back the vinegar. I would use 2/3 of a cup of vinegar instead of a whole cup if I did not add the Anaheim chiles. I would also add an additional cup of chopped tomatoes. Please note that I have not made this salsa without the Anaheims and jalapenos. I recommend looking for a published recipe somewhere else, that has the ingredients in the proportions you want.

  • Chris

    This was my first go at from-scratch salsa and just my second salsa, period. (Used the Mrs. Wages’ mix a couple weeks back.) Not only is the recipe very easy to do, it’s fabulously delicious! My tomatoes must have been very sweet, because I couldn’t even taste the vinegar and really didn’t need to add the sugar at all. Can’t wait to make this again! As an added bonus, I froze the roasted tomato and chile skins and will grind them up for addtional flavoring in chili or pasta sauce this winter.

  • Craig

    I didn’t have five pounds of tomatoes I halved the recipe, but I ended up getting 4.5 pints. I used 1/2 the vinegar. Should I start over?

    • Elise

      Did you measure how much chopped tomatoes you had before cooking? 5 pounds should have yielded 7 to 8 cups, 2 1/2 pounds should have yielded 3 1/2 to 4 cups. I don’t know what to tell you about what to do here, as I don’t know how you ended up with 4 1/2 pints if you started with 2 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, and halved everything else. I certainly wouldn’t throw it out though, just refrigerate it.

  • Beryl Flora

    Can I substitute the Anaheim peppers with green peppers? I was unable to find Anaheim peppers. If so, should I still roast them first?

    • Elise

      You mean green bell peppers? I suppose so. And yes, you should roast and peel them first.

    • Becky

      I am curious how this salsa turned out with green peppers? Also, is it necessary to peel them, or could I leave the skins on? I’ve never roasted peppers before, and I have an assortment of bell peppers I had planned on using in my salsa this year. Would that taste OK, do you think? Or should I try to hunt down some Anaheim peppers?

  • Chris

    Could I substitute roasted jalapeños instead of the anaheims? I’ve got oodles from the garden and love hot salsa.

  • Judy

    If you like vinegar straight up then this recipe is for you. I don’t know what I was thinking when I read this recipe. The last time I used vinegar in a salsa recipe I swore I would never do it again. So I am going to add more tomatoes and juice to cut the vinegar taste and then freeze the salsa. Then carefully read recipes before I invest time and tomatoes in a recipe.

    • Elise

      Hi Judy, this is a canning recipe and requires the vinegar to offset the lack of acidity in the chiles to keep the salsa shelf stable. If you make salsa that you intend to freeze instead of keeping in a cupboard, then anything goes. No vinegar necessary.

  • Julie

    You may have already addressed this, but am I understanding that if I pressure can the salsa I can greatly reduce the vinegar?

  • Joni

    I made your salsa today and it’s great. I used 5 lbs of tomatoes but ended up with 4.5 cups of chopped tomatoes because I missed the part that said to reserve the juices therefore ended up with only 3.5 pints. Will that have an effect on the acidity level? Should I have added more ACV? I’m thinking I may freeze this batch!

    • Elise

      If you added the amount of vinegar the recipe calls for you should be fine on the acidity.

  • Mark

    I used your recipe last night. It is the best (and hottest) salsa I have ever made. I love it! I’ll be making two more batches tonight. Thanks for sharing!

  • Donna

    Just made this, barely got 5 pint jars out of it, but if my taste test before canning is any forecast, this will be the best salsa ever. I used a couple more jalapenos, a couple more cloves of garlic (they’re so small!), and a few of the tiny extra hot peppers from this one plant in our garden.

    Had a bit of a problem getting the Anaheim peppers to scorch and then peel, but they added body to the sauce. Needed to add the juice from the 5 pounds of raw tomatoes to make 7-1/2 cups total. Looking forward to eating this, although I doubt it will last 3 months much less 6. Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Katie Garrett

    I’m going to try this salsa and was just wondering if I could add extra onion like a 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup also could I add some lime juice along with the vinegar?

    • Elise

      Hi Katie, if I were adding more onion, I would also increase the acid by a bit, and yes, you could add some lime juice with the vinegar.

  • Linda24/7

    I just made a batch of this absolutely WONDERFUL salsa!!! I’m not one to follow recipes to the letter but I came pretty close on this one with GREAT results. Your tips about ingredient amounts and timing were perfect.
    I did change the amount of onions and cilantro: 1/2 cup shallots and 1 and 1/2 cup of cilantro. This still equaled 2 cups for those ingredients. I’m allergic to onions and shallots in small amounts are not offensive to me.
    For the peppers I used 3 Anaheims and 2 poblanos. That resulted is a richer, smokier pepper taste.
    Bottled lime juice was perfect. Added a little more sugar at the final tasting.
    In closing, I HIGHLY recommend broiling the tomatoes. The flavor is enhanced and “peeling” involved picking the skin up with my fingers.
    Thanks so much.

  • Cara

    Great, yummy recipe – thanks, Elise! Starting my second batch after a successful first batch….but now I see I’m low on apple cider vinegar. I’m wondering if white vinegar can be substituted?

  • Kandice

    Can I make this salsa the night before and can it the next day if I bring it to a boil before I can it?

  • Kandice

    Thank you! :)

  • cbellscoutsatrout

    Welp… I have nothing to say about Vinegar so there’s that. ;-)
    I am wondering if I can use 1.5 pint jars instead of 1 pint jars? I plan to double your recipe. Any reason you can think of why I can’t do that or maybe even quart size?
    Thanks Elise!

    • Elise

      You can use whatever size canning jars you want. I find pint sized to be the most practical for the amount of salsa that we use at a time.

  • Lennon

    How will it affect the taste if distilled white vinegar is used, rather than Acv? Is it pretty important, you think?

  • Ashley

    I seriously cannot believe the comments on this about it being too vinegary. This is my second year using this recipe, and we absolutely love it. It is the best home-canned salsa I’ve ever tasted, and all those I share it with agree. I guess if you hate vinegar… don’t use this recipe? It has never even crossed my mind that it has a vinegary taste. You are only adding 1 cup to about 10+ cups of other stuff!

    Love love love it and am hoping 10 batches will be enough this year, last year we ran out and I almost cried! :)

  • Lennon

    I just made my second batch today. It is wonderful! I went ahead and got some apple cider vinegar, though. I think the flavor of it is better for salsa. My first batch was rather spicy (and delicious!) since I added the seeds from two of the jalapeños. The batch I made today was mild, and without the seeds. I’m going to be making a few more batches before tomato season is over, I love it!

  • Debi

    I started canning this summer and discovered I’ve been severely bitten by the canning bug!!!! Fruit butters first and now moving on to Salsas; I live in El Paso, Texas and have enjoyed home roasted salsa for years so I searched high and lo for a roasted salsa designed for canning. Talk about timing, today, I’m picking up my Bountiful Basket and ordered an add-on of 25 lbs of tomatoes. Elise, I am soooo excited with your recipe which I originally found from visiting Melissa’s blog; I will be canning this afternoon with chips in hand for leftovers.

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes!!

    • Debi

      UPDATE: On my third batch and my husband loves the flavor!!! Elise, thanks again!!!

  • Ryan

    This was the first time I’ve ever canned and I think it turned out pretty well. It’s a little sweeter than I prefer, and not quite as spicy as I want, so next time I will probably add some jalapeño seeds. I did a half recipe since my stockpot isn’t really big enough for 5 pints.

    My only advice to people is definitely make sure you save all the excess liquid and whatnot. My headspace was off by about a quarter inch in each jar by thinking it would be okay if I didn’t keep *all* the juice. I’m not dead from botulism yet though, so I think my 1/4 inch discrepancy wasn’t too terrible.

  • Sharry

    I am new to canning and relatively new to homemade salsa. I make a corn and black bean salsa that my family including my 5 kids just love, however it cant be canned so I looked around for a recipe that had things we like in it and that could be canned. I just made it and honestly I agree with the vinegar thing. I just added 1/4 cup of lemon juice and added some more sugar and spices it was perfect. A little bit tangy spicy and sweet. I think it will be a hit. I looked into adding more spices to canning recipes and it is ok and wont change that acidity of your salsa if you use dried spices. I added 1 1/2 t cayenne pepper 1 1/2 t garlic salt (reduced salt to 1 1/2t) an extra 1t cumin and an extra 5T sugar to give a little extra sweetness that my kiddos like (So 7T sugar total). I always taste test as I’m going and adjust everything to my own taste. I would recommend doing that before you can everything only to find you don’t like it.

  • Jodi Haen

    I’m allergic to onions, so I wanted to make my own salsa,because I love salsa, can I just leave out the onions, or is there something I can replace onion with?

    • Elise

      Hi Jodi, are you allergic to all alliums or just onions? If it’s just onions you could sub shallots or chives. If you are allergic to all plants in that family then I would just skip them.

  • Ronnie

    Could I substitute bells for chile peppers? Thanks!

  • Stephen

    How long should this keep in the fridge in a sterilized glass jar? I don’t have materials for canning.

    • Elise

      Hi Stephen, I would compare it to buying a jar of salsa at the store, opening the jar, closing it, and putting it in the refrigerator. It should last that long. How long is that? A month? 2 months? Depends. When you see mold, throw it out.

  • Sara Davis

    Can I substitute the jalepeno chilies with Poblano peppers?

    • Elise

      Hi Sara, poblanos are much bigger (and less hot) than jalapeno chiles. I would substitute one poblano for the 3 jalapenos. Also you need to blacken and peel them the same way you do the anaheim green chiles. They have a thicker peel than the jalapenos.

      • Sara Davis

        Thank you! The salsa came out great! I doubled the recipe using 10 lbs of tomatoes and a little over 2 lbs of peppers. For the peppers I used a combination of Anaheim and Poblano, charring and peeling them as recommended. I left in some seeds to compensate for the lack of jalapenos. I also used a cherry tomato called Bumble Bee. It’s a big cherry type, but roasting and peeling was not feasible so I just cooked them with the other ingredients and then used an immersion blender for a smooth texture. I did not add sugar. I ended up with 9 pints for canning and about 2 more for immediate consumption. At first, I did taste the vinegar, though I didn’t think it was unusual or unpleasant. But the next day- wow! The salsa was super-delicious, sweet and pleasantly hot! I will definitely be making this a summer canning tradition! Thank you for the excellent recipe, and for keeping up with the questions and comments after all this time!

  • Eva Harris

    I just finished making my first salsa recipe using your advice! I have been canning veggies this summer but didn’t know how to handle the sudden amount of tomatoes that exploded this last week from my garden! I kept the jalapeno seeds just for kicks and WOW! Love the salsa!!! Verrrrrry spicy but delicious!! Thank you for a forever recipe! Also your measurements were spot on! I was able to scrape the bottom of the pot and top off the last pint with a 1/2 inch from the top! Thank you again!

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks so much for this recipe! This is my third summer making it and I love it! I made 2 batches the first year and we ran out so last year we made a huge amount and gave out this along with salsa verde for Christmas. I can’t understand people complaining about the vinegar. Maybe because I add the jalapeño seeds and replace 1/2 the Anaheim peppers with hot peppers, but suggesting to lower the acidity in a canning recipe is crazy. Btw, I make the recipe faster by roasting it all on baking sheets in the oven and throwing it into a big pot (skins and all) and then puréed it all together for restaurant style salsa. No chunks. Thanks again!!

    • Elise

      Hi Elizabeth, great idea to blend the peppers for restaurant style. Love it! The trick with dealing with the vinegar is to add sugar if the salsa tastes too acidic. If you are willing to do that, there’s no problem. If not, then for some people the salsa will be way too acidic tasting. For me it’s just the way I like it, but to each her own, right?

  • Shelby Johnson

    Has anyone tried using Ball citric acid in place of the vinegar? I like the Mrs Wages salsa that adds vinegar but I also like the restaurant style salsa recipe that uses canned tomatoes, rotel and the rest of the ingredients that you are using in this recipe. I am looking forward to trying this recipe – one batch with the vinegar and another smaller batch with the citric acid. I will post my results. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Karen Korinke

    WOW! This is possibly the second best salsa I’ve ever had! It was a bit sweet to me, I should have skipped the tiny bit of sugar that I did add. I do not taste the vinegar at all, but now I am worried that I may not have added enough since I added a can of corn and some extra onions. I did about 1 1/4 c. Is there a way to know if the salsa is compromised when I open it? I also added chipotle powder, which made it close to perfect for my taste. I do not have enough garden tomatoes coming, but I will get more at the store and make another big batch or two. Thankyou for all the info on the canning and acidity–my husband told me it was easy, but I didn’t believe him. Your recipes are ALWAYS trustworthy for me, thankyou so much Elise!

    • Elise

      Hi Karen,
      I’m so glad you like the salsa!
      The risk when you can low acid foods without enough added acid is botulism, which is deadly, and practically undetectable. I would refrigerate the cans that you’ve made, or eat them up quickly. Or you can try pressure canning them (requires a pressure cooker or canner). Pressure canning increases the temperature of the salsa high enough to kill any bacteria.

  • Stephen

    I’ve made this salsa three times now. It’s the best I’ve ever tasted, which isn’t surprising since it’s the only homemade salsa I’ve ever had and homemade food usually tastes better than store-bought. I didn’t have an oven the first time I made this, so I had to blanch the tomatoes to remove the skins. Broiling the tomatoes results in a much more flavorful salsa. Also, I like a lot of heat, so I used mostly jalapeño peppers for the chiles. The vinegar and the sugar worked out just fine for my taste. And as said in my first comment, I don’t can it. I just keep it in the fridge. I think this is a great, simple, tasty recipe.

    I do have one bit of criticism. The prep time is said to be 20 minutes. It takes me at least two hours to get the tomatoes and peppers ready to throw in the pot, and that’s with another person helping out. I’m curious as to how long it takes everyone else to prep this. Any suggestions to speed things up?

  • KB

    Hi! I am just trying this recipe for the first time and I was wondering how l might be able to add in some Green Bell Pepper for more variety of veggies in this salsa. Do I need to adjust anything? Thank you!

    • Elise

      Hi Kali, if you read through the comments you’ll see the issue with adding more low acid vegetables like peppers. Bell peppers are just like green chiles when it comes to acid levels. If you add them, then you have to add more vinegar. That’s why you have to follow canning recipes precisely. I don’t know how much vinegar you would have to add if you added other vegetables. I suggest that you consult a canning book. Or, you can pressure can the salsa, in which case you don’t have to worry about the acid levels, as the higher temperature that is achieved in pressure canning will kill any deadly botulism bacteria.

  • marilyn

    I Have hesitated to make salsa because I didn’t want to use vinegar in it, but this year my bumper crop of tomatoes made me decide to try it. After putting all ingredients in but the vinegar I tasted it and loved it. I dumped in the vinegar and wondered if I’d ruined it…but continued to cook it then process it. It is delicious and I was so pleased!! Like another comment said, 1 cup of vinegar to the other 10 cups of ingredients was not too much and I only used 1 tsp of sugar. I do prefer fresh salsa/pico de gallo so will have that in the summer, but will be so excited to have this on my shelves during the rest of the year. Can’t wait to make a few more batches, as I still have plenty of tomatoes!

    Thank you for your recipe and your awesome, detailed instructions! I do agree with Stephen….it took me 3 hours from washing and coring the tomatoes to taking the jars out of the canner. I’m sure it will be quicker next time, now that I know the routine!! Ohhhh, and thank you for the info on broiling the tomatoes!! Loved that step and the taste!!

  • Carol Cripps

    My sister and I made this salsa last weekend, and the recipe is a keeper! We won’t be using any other one from now on. We used two poblano peppers, since the milder green chiles aren’t readily available in our area, and made up the pound with bell peppers, which we also charred. It made a medium-intensity salsa that is very, very good, and very fresh tasting. Our last jar wasn’t quite full, and we decided just to eat it, and it was gone by noon of the next day. We will be making more, and soon, as tomatoes are just reaching their peak here. We also used slicing tomatoes and the consistency was a little more watery, but we just cooked it for about two minutes more to reduce it. Loved the sweetness of the cider vinegar in this, too: it really complemented the heat of the chiles!

  • Becky

    This recipe sounds perfect! Canning salsa tomorrow and just making sure I can drain the juice from the tomatoes for a thicker salsa. Could I just measure out 8 cups of diced tomatoes? Also would I reduce tomatoes if I wanted to add tomatoe paste as well? Thanks for your help!

    • Elise

      Hi Becky, I have not tried draining the juice from the tomatoes or adding tomato paste so I don’t know what to tell you. I’m guessing as long as whatever you measure out equals the same measurement that’s in the recipe, it should work fine.

  • Bre McStone

    Why save the juice? I didn’t see in the recipe to add it in so what do you do with it?

    • Elise

      Hi Bre, use any of the juices that come out of the tomatoes in the salsa. Don’t discard. Add them to the pot with the tomatoes.

  • Melanie Case

    Elise, this recipe is awesome. I’ve used it three years in a row and have been very pleased. One strange thing happened this time, though: although I followed the recipe exactly, this batch tastes overwhelmingly like the apple cider vinegar. I even double-checked the recipe to make sure I hadn’t accidentally tripled the amount or something. The end result is almost inedible!! :-(

    Do you have any ideas on what may have happened? Thanks so much.

    • Elise

      Hi Melanie, it’s all about the balance of acidity and sweetness. Perhaps this year your tomatoes are more acidic than prior years, or not as sweet. So then the vinegar flavor is going to come through more. Just add more sugar. Plain white sugar. Until the salsa is more in balance.

  • Troy

    I’ve made this twice. Awesome recipe. I make it pretty much to spec except I add some smoked paprika and some ground chipotle and ommitt the cilantro because I hate it. I also add one teaspoon of lime juice per 250ml jar just for extra canning protection. Thank you and great recipe.

  • Jodi

    My sisters, mom and I made your salsa this weekend. It was so delish before cooking and processing. I have not tried it yet after, but I am hopeful it is just as good. Thanks so much for this recipe. We have been trying year after year different recipes. I think this one is our keeper:)