Busy in the Kitchen: Canning Homemade Salsa

This is my busy season.

Between the gardening, the canning, and of all the things I try to squeeze as soon as the weather gets cooler, I’ve barely had time to sit down and think about what’s next on the list.

But that’s okay, because I’ve been getting a lot done…like making homemade salsa with the bounty from our garden.

Farmer D is already pestering me to buy tortilla chips.

Since I couldn’t remember in which book I found the recipe I used last year, I decided to try one I adapted from PickYourOwn.org.

Homemade Salsa for Canning

  • 15 lbs. meaty tomatoes (I used a mix of Roma and Amish Paste)
  • 3 medium onions
  • 6 hot peppers (I used a mix of Jalapeno and Hungarian hot – what to use depends on your taste buds)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 2 6-oz. cans tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin (or more to taste)
  • 2 Tbs. dried cilantro (or 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (or more to taste)

Clean, core and peel the tomatoes. Cut apart and remove the liquid and seeds (just roughly cut and squeeze them – they don’t have to be perfect). Place tomatoes in a colander for a few minutes to drain.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, chop the onions, peppers, and garlic to the desired size.  Dump into an 8-quart pot. Add the lemon juice, tomato paste, salt, sugar, black pepper, cilantro, and chili powder.

Place the tomatoes (in batches) into the food processor and pulse for a few seconds to break them up. Add to pot. Stir well.

Bring the salsa to a simmer (180 degrees F). Simmer and stir for 30 minutes.

A simmering pot of tomato goodness

Meanwhile, prepare a hot water bath, pint canning jars, lids, and rings.

(I ended up with 11 jars plus a small bowl for the refrigerator.)

Fill sterile jars with hot salsa, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Seal.

Place in the canning kettle – make sure the water is 1-2 inches above the jars.

Process for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.


Now that the jars are cooling on the kitchen counter and I’m just about done on the computer for the night, I can look at (for a whole 5 minutes before I fall asleep) some of the things I’ve accomplished today.

“Hey. Did you forget about us?”

The only problem is, there’s already a to-do list for tomorrow.


If you’ve never canned, it’s not hard.

(Though I won’t lie…it “can” be a bit time-consuming.)


Get a copy of the canning bible, The Ball Blue Book, or my personal favorite, Putting Food By, and start preserving!

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2 Comments on “Busy in the Kitchen: Canning Homemade Salsa”

  1. Yum. I have never canned anything. It seems daunting, but this salsa sounds awesome.

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