The best homemade Salsa


This is the best homemade salsa in my opinion. It’s ready to eat but it’s also great for canning and enjoying later. The recipe does not make a huge amount of salsa, so if you have an abundance of tomatoes, feel free to double, triple or quadruple the recipe.

Canning takes a bit of time and effort but the rewards are wonderful. You will have fresh salsa to enjoy throughout the year or to gift to friends and family. This year I made a small batch (below) but already I am regretting that as I have only a few jars left.

Dig out the tortilla chips and enjoy this fresh and flavorful salsa anytime you feel the desire. This salsa is balanced in flavor yet can be customized as well. If you don’t like cilantro, don’t put it in. Salsa is one of those condiments that can be adapted to your palate. Naysayers may not agree with me, but I really think that a good salsa recipe is one that can also be modified. Like I said before, if you don’t like cilantro, don’t use it. If you like super spicy, add more jalapenos.

Canning is a great way to preserve food. Salsa is one of those foods that cans well as long as the safety aspect of the processing is adhered to. Food safety is paramount and the PH level of salsa must be right. Don’t let that scare you.

The type of tomatoes you use is not as important in this recipe as the method does. The tomatoes, whichever variety you chose, need to be peeled (blanch first) chopped, cored and drained. I feel this results in a less watery salsa.

Peeling tomatoes is not fun, but it is necessary. This is probably the worst and most time consuming part of preparing the salsa itself. I like the traditional method of scoring an X in the end of the tomato then dropping them into boiling water for one minute (until the peels start to lift), then removing them and peeling off the skin. Once the skin is off I then remove the white core and seeds of the tomato before chopping.

Once the recipe is done, I fill my sterilized jars and process the salsa to enjoy later.

homemade salsa

The Best Homemade Salsa

This salsa is easy and delicious. It is great for canning and stocking your pantry for the winter and is full of fresh summer flavors.
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 pints


  • 1 Canner or large pot for processing the finished salsa
  • 6 pint sized jars washed and sterilized
  • 1 large mouth funnel for filling jars
  • 1 jar lifter for placing and removing jars from the pot
  • 1 medium saucepan for cooking the salsa


  • 10 cups peeled, cored and drained tomoates, Chopped *I use Roma *4 small roma tomatoes will yield about 1 cup.
  • 3 cups onion, chopped white or red (whichever you prefer)
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped green bell pepper* (optional) *any color will do if you don't like green
  • 5-6 Jalapenos, finely chopped remove seeds and membranes for mild salsa, leave them in for spicier
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin *up to 1/2 tsp more if you like the flavor
  • 2 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp pickling salt (or canning salt)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro *optional (some people don't like the taste of it.
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar *optional depending on how sweet your tomatoes are
  • 1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce *necessary for safe canning to achieve proper PH
  • 6 ounces tomato paste *optional *for a thicker salsa


Preparting the tomatoes

  • Put a pot of water on the to boil
  • prepare a bowl with ice and water (ice bath)
  • Score the bottom of your tomatoes with an X
  • Once the water is boiling put the tomatoes in and simmer for one minute
  • remove the tomatoes after one minute and place in the ice bath
  • When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin; it should come off easily now. Chop the tomatoes.

Preparing the Salsa

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stir often.
  • Fill your hot and sterilized jars with the hot salsa to within 1/2" of the top. Wipe the rim then place your clean lid and ring to seal.
  • Do not over tighten the lids (air need to be able to escape while processing) Tighten them just enough to seal them.
  • Process in a water bath (or steam bath canner if you have one) for 15 minutes. If you are above 1000' elevation to 3000' then add 5 minutes to the processing time. Add another 5 minutes if you are between 3001' and 6000' and add a further 5 minutes if you are 6001' to 8000' (total 30 minutes)
  • Carefully remove the jars once the allotted time has elapsed and let the cool to room temperature on a towel.
  • Check to make sure they have sealed correctly by pressing the top of the lid; it should be firm and you should not be able to press it down. If you can, then the jar did not seal properly and will have to be refrigerated (or re-processed).


I like to use roma tomatoes as they are less watery and easy to core.  You can use any variety or combination of tomatoes you like, just make sure to peel and drain them.  
I often omit the cilantro as some of my family does not enjoy the flavor, you can use it or not without significantly affecting the flavor of the salsa.  
Keyword canning, easy salsa, fresh salsa, fresh tomato salsa, homemade salsa, salsa, tomato
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