Homemade Home-canned Salsa (better than store bought)

 home made home canned salsa

As I mentioned in a previous post, we’ve had A LOT of tomatoes and jalapenos grow in our garden this year.  We have so many tomatoes and jalapenos, we’ve made salsa three times!  And each time it’s been a double batch!  I think I’ve perfected the recipe (even my picky eaters agree) and I’ve created THE BEST homemade salsa recipe.  We may not even need to buy salsa this coming year.

The real problem is going to be using up all the salsa.  But not really because there are so many different ways to use salsa…

I was a little nervous about making salsa by myself.  My first attempt (years ago) wasn’t a great success, and tasted more like the base of spaghetti sauce than salsa.

I made a batch with my sister following her recipe.  And then when I made the second batch by myself, I didn’t have a recipe.  I pulled out all the salsa recipes I’ve collected over the years.  Did a little pinterest research, of course… And developed this recipe that tasted good the first and second time I made it.

The biggest time consumer for homemade salsa is all the chopping.  Tomatoes take a little bit of time to prep, but not tons.  Peppers take a llooonnggg time to chop.  Then the rest is easy.

I’m going to share the tips first because I never seem to find the tips for a new recipe until after I’ve already skipped that step and generally messed it up.

better than store salsa

*Blanch the tomatoes first. 

Blanching is simple and the easiest way to prep the tomatoes.  Stick the whole tomato (skin, top, everything) right into a large pot of boiling water.  You can use a spoon to set them in, or just hold onto the top to gently set it in the water.  You don’t want to splash because it is boiling water.  After the skins have split (just a couple of minutes) pull the tomatoes out of the pan and put them right into a sink full of cold water.  I have a pan with a built in colander so I can pull just the colander part out and set the tomatoes into the water.  You can buy a similar one here.

*Use gloves when chopping the peppers.

Green and red bell peppers won’t cause your hands any harm, but the jalapenos and habaneros will.  Anaheim, banana, or any other mild pepper shouldn’t create any problems either. If you get the oils from the jalapenos, serrano, or habaneros on your fingers they will start to tingle.  This tingling will pass to any other skin you touch, and the oils don’t wash off well.  I have read that you can rub some sour cream, or even stick your fingers in tomato juice to help alleviate the burning.

*Let the tomatoes cook down for several hours before adding the rest of the ingredients.

I did this the first time on accident.  I didn’t have all the ingredients or time to chop the peppers when I put the tomatoes in and they had cooked down several hours before I added the rest of the ingredients.  This allows the tomatoes to become thicker without losing the flavor of the other ingredients.  It’s a tastier salsa and much more like store bought.

Okay, now that you know about those tips beforehand, I’ll give you the recipe.  But only if you promise to use those tips…promise?  Okay.

Homemade Home-Canned Salsa


A roaster oven of tomatoes (about 30 or so)

6 onions chopped

20 jalapenos mostly de-seeded and chopped (the more seeds and ribs the hotter it will be)

4 habaneros mostly de-seeded and chopped

1 1/2 c green and red bell pepper (about 4 total), de-seeded and chopped

3 anaheim peppers de-seeded and chopped

3 banana peppers de-seeded and chopped

3 red chile peppers de-seeded and chopped

1 c white vinegar

1/2 c lemon (or lime) juice

1/3 c sugar

10 cloves of garlic

1/3 c chopped cilantro

1/4 c salt

1 1/2 tsp pepper

1 1/2 tsp cumin

3 (small) cans tomato paste


Prep the tomatoes by blanching, removing skins and tops, and chopping into quarters.  Place in roaster oven and allow to cook at 250 for several hours without the lid.  Add the onion, all varieties of peppers, and stir.  Allow to cook at 250 for about 1 hr.  Add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, and cumin.  Stir and allow to cook for about 1 hr at 300.  Add the tomato paste and stir.  Allow to cook until salsa has reached desired consistency.  You can use an emulsion blender if desired to have smaller chunks.

Use a canning funnel and scoop salsa into hot, sanitized canning jars.  Wipe the rims.  Add hot lids and rings.  Process in a water bath for 25 minutes if using pints and 40 minutes for quarts.

the best homemade salsa

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About Anne Banks

Hi, I'm Anne! I am an active learner on this crazy road called life. I love learning about anything, but currently spend most of my study time researching parenting tips and improving health. I get excited about crafting, reading, running, baking, and spending time with my three crazy boys (in no particular order, and sometimes at the same time)! I love sharing what helps me get through the day, and I hope my tips help you!

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