How to Can Salsa


Here are my top 10 reasons to can your own homemade salsa:

1.       You will save money

2.       You will always have a quick appetizer to grab off your shelves and bring to a party or to open up for your family game night

3.       You will avoid (un)”natural” flavors and preservatives that come in the jar of salsa from the grocery store

4.       You could give them out as gifts at Christmas time

5.       You have control over the spice level in your salsa

6.       You will have something to do with all of those tomatoes growing in your garden or the ones that everyone else is giving you because they have too many tomatoes growing in their garden (it’s too bad you can’t make a salsa with all of those cucumbers and zucchini piling up on your counter….maybe Joe will write another post about canning pickles so that you can use all of those cucumbers and zucchini everyone has been giving you!)

7.       You will enjoy hours of fun in the kitchen with whichever loved one you have convinced to do the canning with you

8.       You may or may not have to clean salsa off the ceiling when you are done….oh wait, that’s not necessarily a good thing, is it?  Well, at least you’ll have a good story to tell! 

9.       You will have something to talk about during visits with your 99-year old grandmother

10.    You will feel really good about yourself and what you have accomplished…see below…


I always feel really good about myself after canning tomatoes because we use the leftover tomato juice in the bowl to make a homemade Bloody Mary that is like none other that I have ever tasted.  So fresh and delicious…and did I mention that it makes you feel good about life? 😉

Homemade Bloody Mary using leftover tomato juice after canning salsa


Here is the recipe that Joe and I use every year to turn tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic into a homemade salsa that we can enjoy all year long.  Last year, we started with 30 lbs of tomatoes and canned 30 pints of salsa.  So you can roughly count on a 1 lb-to-1 pint ratio. 


We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do!


Homemade Salsa
  1. 14 c tomatoes, washed and cored (no need to peel, chop, or drain them)
  2. 3 c onion, quartered
  3. ½ c chili peppers, optional
  4. 3 c green, yellow, or red sweet peppers
  5. 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  6. 1 c tomato sauce
  7. 1 c ketchup
  8. ¾ c vinegar
  9. 10 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  10. 2 ½ Tbsp salt
  11. 1 Tbsp chili powder
  12. 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  1. Place tomatoes, onion, peppers, and garlic in a large food processor and process until chopped. Set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large pot. Cook just below medium heat for 30-60 minutes, until the sauce is thick and dark.* Remove from heat. Add chopped vegetables to sauce and stir until combined.
  3. Ladle salsa into hot sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace at the top. Seal with sterilized lids and process jars inboiling water bath for 35 minutes.**
  1. (Makes 10 pints.)
  2. *If sauce is not thickening up at this point, add more cornstarch or arrowroot powder, stir and cook some more until thickened.
Life From Scratch

**NOTE: If this is your first time canning, it would be worthwhile to either check out Canning 101 on the Ball website or one of the Ball canning books.  We have this one and refer to it every year but it looks like a new version came out earlier this year so you could also try that one.