Fresh Homemade Salsa for Canning

"A unique blend of peppers, onions and cilantro give this homemade pico de gallo type salsa it's deliciously fresh taste. Serve fresh or bottle to preserve."
photo by Probably This photo by Probably This
photo by Probably This
photo by debbie.vinklarek photo by debbie.vinklarek
photo by Curtis D. photo by Curtis D.
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by Lindsey M. photo by Lindsey M.
Ready In:
2hrs 45mins
16 pints




  • Wash all jars, lids etc in the dishwasher.
  • Always wear gloves while preparing salsa!
  • Prepare tomatoes by soaking tomatoes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes to split and loosen skins. Peel and chop all tomatoes, drain excess juices off in a strainer or colander before adding to extra large bowl. (I half or quarter the tomatoes, then process briefly in a food processor before draining off juices, I like the tomatoes kind of chunky).
  • Dice or cube all onions and peppers into the same bowl. Add chopped cilantro. (I do all the onions, peppers and cilantro in a food processor - I keep them kind of chunky also).
  • Once all the vegies are in the bowl, stir in the lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Taste to see if it is as hot as you would like it - if not add 1-2 more hot peppers tasting after each addition. Keep in mind as it sits for a while it will get a little bit hotter.
  • Bring all ingredients to a boil in large pot & simmer for 15 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking.
  • Fill jars leaving about 3/4 inch at the top. Wipe off tops of the jars before putting lids on. Screw lids tight then turn back about 1/4 turn.
  • Process in steam canner (not pressure cooker / steamer) or boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Cool jars.
  • Before storing, test each jar to be sure it has sealed by pressing down on lid, it should not move.

Questions & Replies

  1. Can I use lime juice instead of lemon juice and does it change anything if I take out the bell peppers?
  2. I went through all of the questions, and could not find this question. In order to can this recipe safely, must I use the sweet bell peppers ( Green, red, orange, yellow, etc)?
  3. Should I just cut recipe in half if I dont to make this much? I only want to try with a few pint jars at first since I'm new to canning.
  4. Do you have to use cilantro as my family doesn't like the taste?
  5. One last question, can I use canning salt instead of regular salt?


  1. Just a comment. Several people have asked in the Q & A forum if the cup of lemon juice is necessary. It definitely is, as tomato varieties now lack the acid that tomatoes used to have, and it's not considered safe to can them without an acidifying agent such as bottled (not fresh) lemon juice. You could use vinegar or citric acid, but lemon juice tastes better and citric acid is not as easy to find as lemon juice is. This is similar to a recipe I have used, which is really tasty with the lemon juice.
  2. Hello Ladies , I have spent most of my life canning. Not only for a hobby purpose, because I do love cooking and canning and enjoy preparing delicious for my adult children to enjoy a taste they have known since childhood. I have always had to put gardens out and put food up on order for my family to survive. It's our way of living and enjoy yruing new recipes. I absolutely love this recipe and have also read every comment and couldn't agree more with each one. It's not the quality of the recipe that some were disappointed in ,rather the lack of precise detailed information that was so dearly needed in the ingredients as well as directions. The acid contained in bottled lemon juice already contains the preservatives needed . If you prefer it to be without lemon you can replace it with white distilled vinegar 5 0/0 acidity. Vinegar along with salt work together in preserving foods. It's also a very good idea to always bring it to a boil for at least 15 minutes. Turning heat down as needed to med high heat stirring occasionally. That's why I don't drain my tomato juice, because it will vaporize within the 15 minutes. To avoid any sticking , I always rather use the natural juice from fresh vegetables and keep the flavor instead of possibly having to dilute it with water . It's important to cook your ingredients to keep from any spoilage and risk of any food poisoning. Not to mention the 15 minutes of cook time brings those amazing flavors together making this recipe a wow factor.
  3. My husband had never canned until now. This Salsa recipe was excellent. Just the right amount of peppers for heat. We omit the salt for heart reasons. This is excellent. Great flavor.
  4. Simple ingredients, easy to make and VERY flavorful! We used heirloom tomatoes from our garden (Bloody Butchers, Marglobes and a few Mortgage Lifters). Also used lemon and lime juice instead of just lemon juice otherwise we followed the recipe as given. We made a little more than 7 pints (canned) and also had a bit left over to enjoy fresh. <br/><br/>We hand chopped everything because we like our salsa a bit more chunky than you'd get with the food processor. Also recommend using a slotted spoon to drain off the extra liquid when putting it in jars for canning. <br/><br/>Thanks for sharing the recipe. Just goes to show you that delicious food doesn't have to be complicated . We'll definitely make more before the end of the gardening season!
  5. very good salsa. Do not put tomatoes in cuisinart. they get too chopped up. I like my salsa a little thicker, so I will drain some liquid when using. otherwise good.


  1. Instead of using canning salt I used fine sea salt in it's place, and it turned out fabulous
  2. I make this salsa year after year and can never make enough to satisfy the demands of friends and family. The only thing I alter is that I half then bbq the Roma tomatoes to remove the skin and add to small cans of tomato paste to thicken it up a little.
  3. I followed recipe with the exception of adding 5 roasted anaheim peppers that were skinned and deseeded for an amazing flavor. Also added one 6oz can tomato paste to intensify color and tomato flavor. The best salsa EVER!!!!
  4. This is a great starter recipe. Here are some of my changed based on what i already had. Used apple cider vinegar instead of lemon added equal amont of chopped apples as green peppers. No chili peppers, one cup of chopped jar jalapeño. Gave it a mild/medium heat. Replaced dried cilantro with two bundles of fresh chopped. (For me one would do but hub insisted). Used a bushel of tomatoes and doubled recipe. Be sure to drain well. Made 15 quarts.
  5. I made this last night. I didn't add the chili peppers though and I used a ton of cherry tomatoes instead. Turned out amazing!! I did have to strain it to get a lot of the juice out but it was worth it! SOOO GOOD!!!



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