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Author Notes: Canning your own garden salsa is a labor of love, but the results are spectacular, and you’ll never believe how much money you’ll save per jar! —Rachel (Simple Seasonal)
Makes 8-9 pints
- 10 cups assorted peeled and seeded diced paste tomatoes (about 8 lbs)
- 5 cups assorted seeded and diced sweet and/or green peppers (about 2 lbs)
- 1 cup assorted seeded and finely diced hot peppers (about 1/3 lb)
- finely chopped seeds of hot peppers to taste (be careful)*
- 5 cups assorted diced sweet onions (about 1 1/2 lbs)
- 1 head of garlic, minced
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
- Place 9 canning jars in the dishwasher and wash on high heat without soap in order to sterilize. If you don't have a dishwasher, boil the jars in a large pot for about 10 minutes. Fill a water bath canner or a large pot three-quarters of the way full with water and begin to bring to a boil over high heat.
- Prep and combine all of your ingredients together in a large pot, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer. When handling hot peppers wear disposable gloves, and don't rub your eyes. Before peeling tomatoes, place them in simmering water for 1 minute, and the peel should slide right off. Simmer for 10 minutes. If the salsa seems watery, simmer longer until it reaches the consistency you like. The longer you simmer it, the the thicker your salsa will be.
- While your salsa is simmering, place the head of a hand-held blender, a funnel, a ladle, a canning bubble remover, and a magnetic lid grabber into your boiling water. Sterilize for 10 minutes and then remove them with tongs and place them on a freshly cleaned dish towel.
- Using a hand-held blender, puree your salsa until it reaches the amount of chunkiness/smoothness you like.
- Place 9 lids and rims into a saucepan with water, and bring to scalding temperature (just before a simmer or a boil). Do not boil, as this can damage the seals. Allow them to sit in the water for 10 minutes before using.
- Remove your sterilized canning jars from the dishwasher. Being careful not to touch the inside of your jars, and using your sterilized funnel and ladle, ladle your salsa into each jar. Leave 1/2 inch headspace between the salsa and the top of the jar.
- Dip a clean paper towel into your boiling water and then use it to wipe the rims of your jars clean.
- Using a magnetic lid grabber, place the lids and rings on each jar, making sure not to touch the inside of the lid. To place the rings on the jars, screw them on until you start to feel resistance, and then loosen them about 1/8 of an inch. This is important because a small amount of air can be released while it's in the canner, which will create a vacuum as the jars cool.
- Place the jars into a water bath canner. Process by boiling for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes have passed, remove the jars from the boiling water using a jar grabber and store them someplace where they won't be disturbed for 24 hours. You should hear "popping" sounds as the jars seal. If you have a jar that doesn't seal, put it in the refrigerator and use it within 1 month. The sealed jars are shelf stable for 1 year if stored in a cool, dark space. It's best to store them with the rings off so that moisture doesn't get trapped under them and compromise the seal. Once opened, each jar may be stored in the refrigerator for 1 month.**
- * I used 1/8 tsp of minced hot pepper seeds which made a moderately hot salsa. **For food safety purposes, that acid and salt balance relative to produce was based on a recipe for Zesty Salsa from the Ball Blue Book. I have simply further explained the steps of the canning process for you, have added the step of pureeing the mixture with a hand blender, added seeds for extra heat, and added sugar and lemon juice. Always use canning recipes that have been tested for food safety. Never decrease acid, sugar, or salt in a canning recipe.