Make Ahead

Roasted Poblano Salsa

August 25, 2009
5 Ratings
  • Makes 6-8 pints
Author Notes

This is a zippy salsa with many levels of flavor. I've been told you can't open a jar without finishing the entire thing. It's great served with chips, but can also be used to make an enchilada-type casserole for a quick dinner. It does require a pressure canner for shelf stable pints, but I've also had success freezing in ziplock bags. I've been working on this recipe for awhile and have never shared it before. Please let me know what you think. - MrsWheelbarrow —MrsWheelbarrow

Test Kitchen Notes

The roasted poblanos and fresh jalapeno add just the right amount of heat to this salsa. A quick boil brings all the flavors together. MrsWheelbarrow's salsa is a project well worth the chopping and canning. - Stephanie —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped, and drained (about 15 lbs.)
  • 2.5 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1.5 cups roasted, peeled, seeded poblano peppers
  • 3-5 jalapenos, chopped (depending on personal preference for heat)
  • 6 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons kosher or canning salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 16 ounces tomato paste (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. In a large (I use a 12 qt) non-reactive stockpot, mix all ingredients.
  2. Bring to a full, rolling boil that cannot be stirred down and boil hard for 10 minutes.
  3. Using standard, safe canning practices (clean, hot jars, one-use lids and rings, etc.) pour into pint jars.
  4. Pressure can at 10 lbs of pressure for 30 minutes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dianna Surman
    Dianna Surman
  • Susan W
    Susan W
  • John Moran Jr
    John Moran Jr
  • SKK
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
My new book, PIE SQUARED. Irresistibly Easy Sweet & Savory Slab Pies is available for preorder and on shelves October, 2018.

49 Reviews

Tamara August 1, 2023
I've been peeling, chopping, dicing all afternoon and my 15 lbs of tomatoes ended up being about 20 cups... drained! Did this happen to anyone else?
MrsWheelbarrow August 1, 2023
What kind of tomato? Did you drain off all the excess liquid? I’m surprised.
Tamara August 1, 2023
Better Boys from my garden. Should I have removed the pulp?
MrsWheelbarrow August 2, 2023
When I prep tomatoes for canning, I make an X in the base, dip in boiling water, peel, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and juices, then hand crush the meaty tomato.
Tamara August 2, 2023
Ahhhh, makes sense! Will do next time! Thank you!
Jo M. September 4, 2021
Also I did not use tomato paste but used 1-2 pint jars of my roasted tomato sauce which is a thicker sauce. I also use a Turkey baster to take off extra liquid and reduce on a high boil to almost nothing and add in to the sauce. Very thick sauce:))
Jo M. September 4, 2021
Do you have to use so much sugar?
MrsWheelbarrow September 4, 2021
It’s 1/3 c sugar for 8 pints, or 3/4 tablespoon per jar. If that is too much sugar, eliminate it. I added it for balance. This is a recipe I worked in for years to achieve the right balance of heat and acid. The sugar is essential IMO.
Beastaccino September 23, 2020
Thanks for a pressure canned salsa recipe without a ton of tang! That is what has held me back from canning salsa before. I do have a couple of questions: 1. Can you eliminate the sugar and have it still be safe to can? 2. How can I safely make the salsa less thick? I didn't add the tomato paste thinking it would make it too thick. It still turned out very thick.

Thanks again and I look forward to making your salsa verde.
MrsWheelbarrow September 23, 2020
It’s designed to be a thick salsa, and other than eliminating the tomato paste, I’m not sure how to thin it out. You can eliminate the sugar and still safely pressure can it.
Beastaccino September 23, 2020
Thanks. So dumb question, what if the juices weren't drained from the tomatoes?
MrsWheelbarrow September 28, 2020
You can give that a try! It's possible the watery parts of the tomato will separate from the salsa in the jar. If you do try this, please come back to let me know how it went.
Jenn August 24, 2016
Hi Cathy, I am new to pressure canning, I have been canning for a long time but all my recipes can be done in a water bath. I was so excited to try to recipe but I am a little concerned because I lost some liquid while in the pressure cooker and there salsa stuck on the neck of the jars. All the jars are sealed. Please advise if they are still good!?!?
MrsWheelbarrow August 24, 2016
Hi Jenn - Good for you! Pressure canning is the bomb. Seriously, chicken stock? Beans? You're going to be so happy. You've experienced siphoning with the salsa jars. This happens when the heat/pressure spikes. It's also the result, sometimes, of overfilled jars. The air has to siphon out of the jars in order for them to seal, sometimes the salsa gets going and it comes out, too. (I'm assuming the rings were finger-tightened.)

As long as the seals are good (test by removing the rings, lifting the jar by the flat lid - it should stay sealed - and then washing the jars very well in soapy water), you're good to go.
JC October 17, 2015
Can you use organic, canned tomatoes? I have the rest from my garden but the tomatoes have had a hard summer here in WA state, extreme heat early, cold too soon in the evenings. Please let me know, thanks -looks like a wonderful recipe.
MrsWheelbarrow August 24, 2016
Yes, canned tomatoes work very well for this recipe.
Dianna S. October 5, 2015
Cathy! This recipe is absolutely delicious. I didn't can (because I'm a little afraid of canning) but the four jars I made are almost gone (I made it on Saturday!). Quick question about the tomatoes--once you've roasted and peeled them, do you drain them? I did and ended up with a delicious, chunky style. But when I was considering the 8lbs, I didn't know if that should be weighed as raw or already roasted and peeled.
Susan W. October 5, 2015
I'm glad you asked this question. I've been meaning to ask for a year. I did drain mine and drank the delicious juice. My guess is that she meant with 15 lbs, you end up with 8 cups. It seems it worked that way for me last year.
MrsWheelbarrow October 5, 2015
Susan, Exactly! 15 lbs generally measured out as 8 cups
MrsWheelbarrow October 5, 2015
Hi Diana, I do not drain the salsa because the consistency is just right for the ways I use it. Also, when pressure canned it cooks more and gets thicker. Also, did you use the tomato paste? That makes it thicker, too.
Susan W. October 5, 2015
I drained more than half and it seemed just right for my use. Have you ever drank the juice from fresh tomatoes? Oh my...stuff dreams are made of. :)
Dianna S. October 6, 2015
Got it! I did use the tomato paste and honestly, I'm almost scared to change anything it was so good. But--I'm still a little confused (I'm sorry!) just to make sure I have this right:

I should use 15lbs of raw tomatoes, and once they're roasted and peeled, they should measure out to about 8 cups, with juice, is that right?

My concern is that, since I'm new to canning and the proportions seem so important) that I'm not measuring things correctly and things might be dangerous.
MrsWheelbarrow October 6, 2015
Yes. Expect to get 8 cups of crushed tomatoes.
AKOS August 31, 2015
Just finished making my first batch! Am very pleased with what I have tasted. I ended up with 11 pints! Maybe because I did add the tomato paste and possibly my homegrown tomatoes were extra juicy. Lovely salsa with just the right amount of heat.
MrsWheelbarrow August 31, 2015
so glad you like it!
Susan W. August 26, 2014
I have this bubbling away on the stove. I was lazy, so I bought roasted and peeled hatch chiles from Whole Paycheck. I'm not a canner (yet) so besides the pint that we'll gobble in no time, the rest will go into my freezer.
MrsWheelbarrow August 26, 2014
It goes so fast in my household! Hope you love it!
John M. August 19, 2014
I made this the other day. I added a couple of habenaro peppers, roasted garlic and a couple Anaheim peppers. Cut down the brown sugar. I am going to make another batch without sugar, and adding either peaches or mango.
MrsWheelbarrow August 20, 2014
John, I am TERRIBLY concerned with the alterations you have made to this recipe as you have potentially affected the SAFETY of the product. If you have not canned this, there is not an issue -- kept in the refrigerator or the freezer you'll be fine. On the other hand, if you have canned it, please dispose of it immediately. I cannot guarantee the acidity or density has been maintained, and tomatoes, garlic, onions and peppers are LOW pH (HIGH acid) and all may harbor botulism. I cannot stress this enough. Changing canning recipes is a very dangerous habit.
MrsWheelbarrow August 20, 2014
Argh. I meant high pH, low ACID.
SKK July 31, 2012
For my daughter's night before the wedding sleep over with her bridesmaids, Mom and good women friends I had a taco salad bar. I made your salsa, and didn't can it. Cut the recipe down a little. It was so, so good. I cooked it down, like a tomato paste but not that thick..Made it a day ahead and it was the hit of the party. Can't say enough good things about your recipe! Also have never seen anything like it anywhere.
MrsWheelbarrow August 1, 2012
Wonderful story! And I do think my salsa is unique, but the base is a variation on a salsa that's been 'round the web forever
SKK July 8, 2012
I have made this before and I am making it again! Delicious.
MrsWheelbarrow July 8, 2012
Thank you! I'm down to my last jar, so I know it's time to make it again. We easily consume 24 pints each year! I make a less spicy version and use it as an enchilada sauce. Fill and roll the enchiladas with anything - leftover chicken, spinach and cheese, rice and vegetables, beans - line them up in a baking dish. Pour a jar of salsa over the whole thing, add some queso fresco or other fresh cheese and bake at 350 for about 40 min.
SKK July 8, 2012
Wow, great idea! Thanks for the recipe for the enchiladas!
SuCasa August 9, 2011
I want to can salsa without lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, and/or citric acid. That's not a lot of vinegar you have. You think since it's pressure canned, it could be skipped??
MrsWheelbarrow August 9, 2011
Possibly. The acidity requirements are reduced when you take the salsa to 241°, so in theory it should be fine without the vinegar. To be certain, if there is a Cooperative Extension office in your County, you might ask them. I have to say, I think the vinegar adds some balance...
ajhendr September 7, 2010
Is it possible to can this recipe using the boiling-water method? If so, how long would the processing time be? I'm new to canning. Thanks!
MrsWheelbarrow September 7, 2010
This recipe would not be safe processed in a boiling water bath, as there's not enough acidity and must be processed at 241°. It's very tasty - try making a partial recipe? It will keep in the fridge for about a month. Or you can freeze it.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 2, 2010
This looks wonderful. I just saved it to make it. I love anything with roasted poblanos, and really like the flavor combination you have going on here! Congrats on the EP!
MrsWheelbarrow September 2, 2010
Thanks, Suzanne. Wish you lived closer - I'll be making this twice this month at canning classes.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 2, 2010
Oh rats! I wish I did too! I would love to take one of your canning classes. I've done some, but still consider it largely uncharted territory for me. I'm taking a 1-day class later this month from June Taylor out here in Berkeley which I'm hoping will help.
MrsWheelbarrow September 2, 2010
June Taylor? Oh, am I jealous. Officially green green green. Have a great time.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 2, 2010
Thanks Cathy! I'm actually really excited.
MrsWheelbarrow August 25, 2010
Thanks for the testamonials, Christine & Rivka! Looking forward to making more of this salsa for the larder. Last year, I went through 24 pints!
Rivka August 25, 2010
maybe we can jar some during our canorama Sunday...
MrsWheelbarrow August 25, 2010
I was planning on it, actually. :)
Rivka August 25, 2010
I'm the lucky recipient of a jar of this delicious stuff (Mrs. Wheelbarrow brought it for me when we met up for lunch) and it's truly some of the best home-made salsa I've ever had. The fiancee killed the last of it while I was at work, and I was left only with an empty jar to clean. Thrilled to have this recipe!
cheese1227 August 24, 2010
I"ve had this. It's great!