Canned Tomato Salsa

Learn how to can salsa using this delicious salsa recipe for canning, (complete with detailed canning instructions) using fresh tomatoes, green chiles, jalapeños!

Sometimes, during the summer, our tomato plants decide to have a party on the vine, so to speak, and produce way more tomatoes than we can possibly eat, even if we are eating them every day, sliced, salted, and served with a little balsamic or mayo.

What do you do with your excess garden tomatoes?

Canning salsa with excess garden tomatoes

Tomato juice or gazpacho are both great ways to use up lots of tomatoes. Or, if you like salsa, try canning some tomato salsa to enjoy throughout the year.

Pull a jar out in the middle of winter and use as a dip with tortilla chips (if the jars last that long, we go through salsa pretty quickly around here!)

Canning Salsa Ingredients

This canned salsa recipe uses specific amounts of ingredients, balancing the non-acidic ingredients with the amount of added acid needed to make the recipe safe. For one batch you’ll need:

  • 5 pounds of tomatoes
  • 1 pound of Anaheim green chiles
  • 3 jalapeños
  • 1.5 onions
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Seasoned with dried oregano, cumin, and salt and sugar

How to Can Salsa

Canning salsa is pretty easy if you have the right equipment. In addition to the ingredients, you’ll need a large stock pot or canning pot, a flat steamer rack to go in the pot for water bath canning, and 5 to 6 pint-sized canning jar with rings and lids.

To start, you’ll want to sterilize the jars and lids in a large pot of boiling water — the same pot you’ll use for water bath canning at the end of the recipe.

While you are heating the water to sterilize the jars, you can roast the chile peppers, and cook the tomatoes (blanch, grill, or broil). Once the chile peppers and tomatoes have been cooked and prepped, all of the salsa ingredients go into a large pot and simmered for 10 minutes.

Ladle the salsa into your sterilized canning jars, seal, and place in a water bath for 10 minutes.

Problem: Low Acid Foods – The trick to canning shelf-stable foods is the acidity. If you have the right amount of acidity, it creates an unpleasant environment for dangerous botulism bacteria to grow. When canning low acid foods such as green chiles, you need to either can them under pressure (using a pressure-canner), or if you use a simple water-bath canning process, add enough acidity to prevent bacteria from growing.

Solution: Vinegar – It is the vinegar in the salsa ingredients that make this salsa safe for canning using a water bath canning method. Tomatoes are already slightly acidic, and only need a little more acid to be safely canned using this method. But the chiles are not acidic, so they need more vinegar.

Note: If you pressure-can instead water bath canning, you can dial back the vinegar. And if you plan on eating the salsa right away, or freezing it, you won’t need as much vinegar either.

To balance the taste of the vinegar in the canning salsa, we add some sugar to the mix. This combination intensifies the flavor of the salsa and also helps the salsa from tasting too vinegary.

Have a surplus of tomatoes? Here are more recipes:

  • Fresh Tomato Salsa (Pico de Gallo)
  • Basic Tomato Sauce
  • Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
  • Homemade tomato juice
  • Gazpacho

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