Homemade salsa was the very first thing I ever learned to can. Levon and I had planted a couple tomato plants when we still lived in town, and I needed a way to use up the fruits.
I found this salsa recipe online, and I thought, “How hard could it be?” So I roped my mom into trying it with me – neither of us knew anything about canning – and we set off on the adventure together!
Turns out, it wasn’t very difficult at all! It is kind of an all day process (unless you prep the ingredients beforehand, which I recommend), but the payoff is soooo worth it!
We love this salsa recipe. It’s the perfect combination of spicy and sweet and is better than anything I’ve ever gotten from the store, hands down!
We started making this salsa five years ago, and we’ve been making several batches every summer since then!
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Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Homemade Salsa
(Adapted from this Rockin’ Salsa recipe from Allrecipes.com)
**Note: This is a canning recipe, but if you’ve never canned before, don’t worry! I’ll walk you through it!
Makes: 8 pints or 4 quarts (with some left over to enjoy right away! ? )
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 6 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped (Here’s the easiest way to peel tomatoes)
- 2 jalapeños (**Adjust to your taste! We like spicy salsa, so I use 2 whole jalapeños – seeds & veins included. If you want a milder salsa, remove the seeds and veins first)
- 3 green bell peppers, chopped
- 3 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2 T garlic powder (**this session I used half the amount of garlic powder and chopped up several cloves of fresh garlic. I like how it turned out!)
- 1 1/2 T salt
- 1 T cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot. (When I do a single batch, it barely fits in an 8qt pot.)
- Simmer for about 3 hours.
- Sterilize jars and lids.
- Fill jars to 1/4” of the top.
- Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes (pints) to 15 minutes (quarts).
Canning Tips & Instructions
I’m writing separate instructions for the canning part so that those who are already familiar with the process can get just the recipe. If you’re new to canning – here’s what to do! It really is pretty easy!
- First things first: Get yourself some canning supplies. You’ll need a canning pot with a lid, a rack to keep the jars off the bottom, canning tongs, and a funnel. A magnetic lid lifter is also really handy to have. When I started, I got this beginner’s canning kit that included all those things, and I highly recommend you do the same. You can find a beginner’s canning set on Amazon for less than $50!
- When your salsa has about an hour left to simmer, you’ll want to start your water boiling in your canner. Seriously. It takes that long!
- Sterilize the jars in the water for 10 minutes. You can sterilize your lids and rings in a smaller pot of hot water at the same time.
- Working with one jar at a time, remove each jar from the boiling water. Fill with salsa to within 1/4” of the top. Run a knife (or the stick included in your canning kit) around the insides of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim with a damp paper towel, top with a lid, and screw on a ring.
- Carefully lower the filled jar back into your canning pot.
- Repeat the process with the rest of the jars, leaving a bit of space between each jar in your canner. You should be able to fit 8 pints or 7 quarts.
- Return the water to a boil, cover the pot, and process for the allotted time.
- Carefully remove the jars to a cloth-covered surface to cool. You’ll want to wait at least 24 hours before moving them to their more permanent storage location.
- Enjoy! You just canned!! ?
Extra Super-Awesome Tip
Now that I’ve been using it for a couple months, I can officially gush about how awesome this thing is! I LOVE it! It’s electric, so it can sit on my counter, saving precious stovetop space. It heats up the water much faster than my traditional canner, saving me time & energy costs. Plus, I can use it as a canner OR an extra large cooking pot, which really came in handy when we made a double batch of this salsa!
This canner is seriously amazing. If you’d like to learn more about it, you can find my full review here.
If I’ve already sold you on it’s awesome-ness, you can snatch one up here!
For more recipes & canning tips, visit one of these posts:
For more recipes without the canning, visit one of these posts:
- How I Made 11 Freezer Meals in Only 2 Hours!
- 4 Weeks of Glorious Gardening: What to Do With All That Produce!
- 10 Simple (But Delicious) Ways to Prepare Asparagus