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How to Can Salsa

Learning How to Can Salsa is not terribly difficult and you can make it exactly like you prefer. It’s a great way to preserve the harvest from your garden.


We love salsa in this household. I canned a lot of it last year.  And I plan on canning a lot more this year. Canning salsa is not a difficult task. And a great way to be able to eat your garden harvest throughout the year.

The first steps and the last steps of canning diced tomatoes are very similar to the first and last steps of How to Can Salsa. 

Things you will need:
Large pots
Water bath pot
small pot
Large bowl
Clean & sterile jars
New jar lids
Jar rings
Jar lifter

1. So let’s begin with peeling tomatoes. Fill a large pot with water about half way to 3/4 full and bring to a boil. Fill a sink with ice water. Gently slice the skin of the tomato on one side. Place in water. Allow to sit in water for 1-3 minutes. Remove and place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Repeat this process until you have blanched all the tomatoes. Meanwhile, remove tomatoes from ice water once cooled and peel skin.

2.  Slice tomatoes in half and remove seeds. Dice according the size you would like them in the salsa.  They will end up smaller than what you dice them at this point. Place diced tomatoes in a second large pot. (Blanching, peeling, seeding, and dicing tomatoes takes me about 2 hours. I usually do this the day before and store them in the refrigerator.)

3.  Wearing gloves seed and dice all the peppers.  If you would like the salsa hotter, you will want to leave some seeds in. Add to the pot with tomatoes

4. Dice onions and add to the pot.

5. Add all remaining ingredients to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

6. In your water bath pot, add enough water to have at least an inch of water above the jars once added. Bring to a boil.  

7. In a small pan, add water and lids. Heat over medium heat. You don’t want to boil these. The lids now do not have bpa in them and boiling water will break down the sealant on the lid and it won’t seal as well.

8.  Once salsa has simmered for at least 20 minutes, using funnel fill sterile jars leaving 1″ head room. Wipe rim of jar and place lid and ring on jar.  Gently place jar in water bath.  Continue until the water bath is full. Place the lid on and bring back to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes if you live below 1,000 ft, 20 minutes for 1,000 – 6,000 and 25 if you live above 6,000 ft for pints.

9.  Remove from jars from the water bath using lifter and place on a towel on the counter or table.  Allow to cool for at least 12 hours. Do not check the lids for sealing until the jars have cooled completely. Touching the top could artificially seal it and cause problems later. Jars often pop when sealing, but not always.

10.  Once jars have cooled completely, run your finger over the top to feel for a divot. If the center of the lid pushes up and down, it is not sealed. You can put it in your fridge to use soon.

11.  After all jars have sealed, remove rings and store. Leaving the rings on can also cause an artificial sealing. If a jar unseals and the rings are on, the ring could cause it to artificially seal. When using the salsa later, be sure to check the seal once more. If the center of the lid moves up and down, do not use the salsa.

Let’s talk a moment about clean & sterile jars. There are a couple ways to accomplish this. 

  1. Wash the jars, place them in a large pan of water on the stove and boil them. Pull out one jar at a time as you use it. 
  2. Run the jars through the dishwasher with a heat dry cycle. Pull one jar out at a time as you use them. Make sure to shut the dishwasher door quickly to keep jars warm. 

I prefer method 2 because my stove is not very big and I already have 3 other pans on the stove.

Yield: 6 quarts

Canned Salsa

Canned Salsa
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Canning time 1 hour
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes


  • 12 lbs tomatoes (you will end up with 19 cups of diced tomatoes)
  • 8 Anaheim peppers
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 3 large onions
  • 1/4 cup canning salt (be sure to use canning salt, not iodized salt)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 6 oz tomato paste


  1. Peel, seed & rough chop tomatoes. (This takes about 2 hours.)
  2. Seed & dice peppers. Wear gloves while doing this.
  3. Dice onions
  4. In a large pot, add all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Follow directions above for canning.

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