Salsa So Good They Steal It

This bright salsa is full of flavor: made from roasted tomatoes, mixed peppers, sweet onions and just the right amount of seasonings. This is not a frilly or fruity salsa, just a really good one that captures the fresh flavors of our favorite summertime vegetables.

We fill our canner with this salsa several times every Summer, but are lucky if our supply makes it through winter. We can’t ever seem to make enough of it, no matter how hard we try. Our family loves salsa. Who else loves salsa? Tomato craving teenagers that raid our pantry every time they stop by for a visit.

I am very blessed with a large extended family that is full of teenagers. When they were little and cute, these kids would always check to see what assorted jams and jellies I had stashed in my cabinets. I always made plenty of jelly for them and I was so happy to see their sweet little faces gobbling down those jelly sandwiches. Now, they are not so little and they are going for my salsa! So, I don’t think they are so cute anymore. If they don’t start returning my mason jars, I might just text them a link to this blog post and tell them to make their own salsa.

Making and canning salsa is really quite simple. The high acidity of salsa makes it a safe food for water-bath canning.  Because the acidity is needed for safety, the quantities listed for vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice should not be lowered in salsa or other water-bath canning recipes. These are necessary ingredients to ensure the product is safe for canning, and without the correct amount of them, the salsa just wouldn’t taste as good.

It is also very important that salsa is cooked prior to canning. Skipping the cooking process will not create canned salsa that tastes like fresh salsa. Enjoy fresh salsa in the Summer and enjoy this delicious safely canned salsa the rest of the year.

ingredients for salsa


Yields 6 pints

  • 8 cups roasted, skinned, seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cups assorted diced peppers (notes in directions)
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 4 cups diced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup lemon/lime juice, I used 2 lemons and 3 limes
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotle Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

tomatoes on baking sheetDirections

  • Roast tomatoes: Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side up on lightly oiled baking pan. Roast in pre-heated oven @400 for at least 15 minutes. The longer you roast them, the richer the flavors will be. Don’t be afraid to get a little char on them. This is flavor. The amount of char/smoky flavor is up to you. Roasting tomatoes not only adds flavor, it removes excess water from the fruits and makes them a breeze to peel. When the tomatoes have cooled enough to handle, remove skins, cores, and most of the seeds. All of the juice that comes out during this process should not go in the salsa pot. You can always save the juices for other things, but too much tomato juice makes watery salsa. This salsa recipe will sit on a chip the way it should.
  • While your tomatoes are in the oven, chop onions. I prefer sweet onions in my salsa. But, use whatever onions you have.
  • Chop assorted peppers. Pepper selection is the fun part of making salsa. If you want heat, go heavy on the jalapenos or add habaneros. If you are making salsa for sensitive people and/or toddlers, use only sweet bell peppers. I used 2 large jalapenos with seeds, a handful of Jimmy Nardelo sweet peppers, and a few bell peppers. The greater variety, the more complex your salsa will be. It is fine to use the seeds of some peppers, but, try to not include bell pepper seeds. If you are working with spicy peppers be sure to wear gloves.
  • Juice Lemons and Limes. You should use a total of 1 & 1/4 cup acidifying liquids. This includes lemon/lime juice and apple cider vinegar.
  • Gather all seasonings listed. You can add seasoning and add hot sauce if you wish. Chipotle hot sauce is very mild, so, if you want to bring the heat just use your favorite hot sauce instead.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. While the salsa is simmering, prepare your water bath canner.

salsa in jarsCanning Process

  • Clean mason jars and prepare water bath canner.
  • Ladle the hot salsa into your pint or 1/2 pint jars leaving 1/2″ headspace.
  • Clean jar rims and apply canning lids and rings.
  • Process in water bath canner for 15 minutes. Higher altitudes may need additional processing times. Please refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation Chart for adjusted times. Also note, the 15 minute processing times starts when the canner comes to a full rolling boil. For a step by step tutorial on water bath canning, visit .



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