Big Batch Salsa (For Canning)

Total Time
3hrs 30mins
Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs

My mom and I have made this salsa for years. This is the easiest way to can a big batch of salsa. Instead of cooking pots full of salsa on the stove and worrying that it will scorch on the bottom, this method slowly simmers one batch in an 18 qt. electric roaster (a church dinner style roaster). This is a thick, medium heat salsa that is slightly sweet. It is a staple in my holiday gift baskets. In fact, I get complaints from friends, family, and neighbors when I do not include it or if I run out before the next canning season! This year I made four batches - 52 quarts.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 15 quarts tomatoes, cored, peeled, and crushed (about 1 1/2 to 2, 5-gallon buckets of tomatoes)
  • 6 cups onions, chopped (about 4 large onions)
  • 2 cups jalapeno peppers, chopped (25-30 peppers, seeded)
  • 12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 34 cups white vinegar
  • 34 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 30 ounces tomato paste


  1. Fill roaster with tomatoes, crushing with hands or with an emersion blender as you add them to the pan.
  2. Add onions, jalapenos, garlic, vinegar, sugar, salt, and tomato paste. (Note: Sometimes I need to let the tomatoes cook down before adding the sugar, vinegar, and tomato paste so that it will fit in the roaster.
  3. Simmer 2 to 5 hours to desired thickness. Stir occasionally, scraping sides of roaster so that it does not burn. Adjust salt, sugar, and peppers to taste. You can add tomato juice if it becomes too thick.
  4. Ladle hot salsa into jars, leaving ¼-inch head space.
  5. Clean rim with damp cloth. Adjust two-piece caps.
  6. Place jars in a hot water bath. Process 15 minutes (pints) or 20 minutes (quarts), after water comes to a boil.
  7. Remove jars from hot water bath. After 12 hours, check seal, remove bands, and label.
Most Helpful

Thanks for posting this "easy" method to can such a big batch of salsa. I would have never thought to use my nesco but it was perfect for such a large batch which yeilded 12-1/2 quarts. It was just a teensy sweet for us so next time I'll use less sugar but otherwise, I added my personal touch using red bell peppers, cilantro and cumin. I also used equal amounts of "concentrated" lime juice in place of the vinegar. Perfect!

Chef Cameo September 13, 2010

Oh this is the best salsa so far on the net I did change it a bit will let you know how it turns out

louicewolf October 19, 2016

It was a popular item with friends and family

MBDesens August 30, 2009