Kristan’s Salsa (for Canning)

September 14, 2012 — 59 Comments

canned-salsa

Another Friday, another salsa recipe, but this one happens to be our favorite! A few summers ago, my friend Kristan and I both spent a weekend at our houses canning salsa. Mine was so-so–watery and thin, and decidedly lacking in punch and panache. Kristan’s salsa was sublime–chunky and colorful, and full of deep, vibrant flavors! I begged her for the recipe and patiently waited until the following summer so I could make jars and jars and jars of delicious salsa. I think my husband and I canned close to 50 pints of salsa that summer!

I don’t know what it is that makes this salsa recipe so amazing. It has tomatoes and peppers and onions and spices like you’d expect, but they all come together to make a rich, satisfying salsa that captures the flavors of warm, sunny weather, and lets you enjoy them even in the dead of winter!

Kristan’s Salsa
makes approximately 9 pints
For anyone who hasn’t canned before, you can find wonderful directions on canning HERE on the Ball website. It is pretty important to read through the steps on jar sterilization and what-not before you start.
canned-salsa-2
7 pounds tomatoes
10 anaheim peppers
1/3 cup chopped jalapenos
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
5 cloves garlic
1 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon onion salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons cumin
2 Tablespoons garlic salt
2 Tablespoons canning salt
Chop and cores tomatoes and place them in a colander for 30 minutes to drain. Transfer drained tomatoes to a large pot and simmer, stirring frequently, for 1 hour. Blend with an immersion blender until mostly smooth. Seed and coarsely chop anaheim peppers. Place all peppers, onions, cilantro, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until mostly smooth. Add pepper mixture to tomatoes. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle into hot pint jars, leaving 1/2″ head space. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

59 thoughts on “Kristan’s Salsa (for Canning)”

    1. Hi Carol. I don’t think it has a particularly strong vinegar flavor. If you want to substitute lemon or lime juice for the vinegar, I don’t recommend canning it, but you could still eat it fresh.

        1. Hi Katie! I think that would work, although the finished salsa will probably be chunkier than mine is. You could always put it through the regular blender is batches if you want it smooth. Good luck!

  1. This is a very tasty recipe. I left the tomatoes, pepper and onions a little chunky. I like mine a little spicy so I doubled the peppers. Thanks for the recipe though.

  2. Tastes like our favorite mexican restaurant… a perfect use for all the tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro from the garden! Thank you so much… I made two batches yesterday:)

  3. Hi, Lulu! Sounds like a great recipe – for the highly detailed of us, would you mind estimating how many cups of chopped tomatoes you end up using? Depending on how one cores/chops their tomatoes, there could be great variability in the “usable” quantity yield. I am so excited to try this recipe, and I just don’t want to mess it up. 🙂 Thanks so much, Lulu!

    1. Hi Kato. Uhhhh…. I hate to guess at how many cups of tomatoes 7 pounds equals, and I always put it straight from my kitchen scale into a pot, so I can’t even ballpark it. BUT, what I usually do is core and coarsely chop my tomatoes, and then measure out 7 pounds. That should give you the perfect amount every time. Maybe buy or pick a bit more than 7 pounds to make allowances for the cores being removed. Good luck!

    1. Yes! We’ve been making this for a few summers now, and some batches separate. Maybe the tomatoes we’re just juicier in those batches, who knows! Give it a little shake before you open it, or stir it before you use it. Happy salsa-making!

  4. I love this recipe! I’ve been looking for a yummy salsa recipe to make and this hit the nail right on the head! This is so DELICIOUS. I added cucumbers to it cause thats what my grandma does and it made it even yummier! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Just made and canned the whole batch and realized I forgot the vinegar!! Ahh! Is it safe to can like this? If not do you think I can dump it out, simmer with the vinegar and then recan?

    1. I don’t like taking chances with canning, so as much as I hate to say it, I think you need to dump it out and add the vinegar, then re-process it. I know that stinks! The alternative is to keep all of it in the fridge and eat it quickly!

  6. I just made this salsa, can’t wait to try it! My first time canning and I used the NO WATER BATH method I found on youtube. So easy!
    You heat the jars in your oven at 215 degrees and heat your lids and bands in a boiling pan of water. Pour your boiling salsa into a hot jar directly out of the oven and put a lid on. It worked! My lids all sealed perfectly and it was SO much faster and easier!!

    1. Bethany’s, I can all my tomatoes using this open kettle method. I learned from my Mom 50 yrs ago who I’m sure learned from her Mom. Everything needs to be scalding hot, so I’m going to try this recipe and can as I normally do.
      Thanks for posting.

  7. What could i substitute for the immersion blender? Just a normal blender? I don’t have one. Should i take the skins off if i don’t have one?

    1. Hi Sharla! A normal blender would work just fine. I wouldn’t bother taking the skins off because I’m super lazy and cut corners as often as possible, lol. A food processor would work too.

    1. I usually just use whatever I can find in bulk, but my favorite tomatoes to use for this are paste tomatoes (romas, san marzanos, etc.). They don’t have a lot of liquid inside, so they make a nice, thick salsa that doesn’t separate. But it tastes delicious either way!

  8. I just made this recipe! There are hundreds out there but I chose this one because it was straightforward and easy. It is amazing! The smoky flavor from the cumin is different from store bought for sure and is just right. My husband and I ate some while it was warm and it was even better! I can see eating this on grilled chicken or fish too. Thank you for sharing this! We had grown our own tomatoes, jalapenos, oregano, and basil so it was even better knowing it was organically grown in our back yard!

  9. I tried this recipe because peeling tomatoes is The Worst Thing. However, after cooking and thoroughly blending the tomatoes, there were large pieces of peel in the mixture. I tried a spoonful for taste and was very put off by the peel. So I strained the mixture twice to remove the peel and ended up with a ginormous mess, and something I could proceed with. Despite the rave reviews here, and my wishes to the contrary, to get the product I want, I’ll have to stick to peeling tomatoes. Which is The Worst Thing, but maybe not quite as bad as a big mouthful of tomato peel. Your ingredient list was perfect and I love how it tastes.

    I’m considering short cutting next time with a few cans of peeled san marzanos. 🙂

    1. Hi Shelley. I agree–peeling tomatoes is the pits! I’ve never had trouble with the peels in this recipe, but I’m sorry you had such a hard time. I had a friend in college who made killer salsa with canned tomatoes, so it IS possible! Good luck!

  10. This is our second year making this salsa (we’ve also done the fresh which is delish as well!) I chose not to core and drain the tomatoes as we like a more watery restaurant type salsa. We threw the tomatoes in a food processor and then cooked for an hour. I then added all the other veggies, etc as the recipe suggested; it turned out great and was a time saver!

  11. I made this recipe twice last year and we LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it. But I made it again this year and it is sooooo vinegary? Help! What did I do wrong? I followed your recipe exactly. Is there such a thing as bad vinegar? ?

    1. Hi Bethany! I’m not sure why your salsa was too vinegary this time. Did you try it again after letting it cool? Sometimes it tastes a little weird to me if I eat it hot, but once it has cooled/had a day in the fridge, it usually tastes fine. I’m not sure if vinegar goes bad!

  12. Hi! I can’t find Anaheim peppers where I am; how many cups of chopped green pepper do you think would equal 10 of the anaheim peppers?
    Can’t wait to make this salsa!

    1. Hi Dana! I’m not sure what to have you use as a substitute. I wouldn’t use green bell peppers in their place because they have such a different flavor. Maybe mild green chilies? I would probably use 15 mild green chilies in place of 10 anaheim peppers.

      1. Hi Lulu, I don’t have green chilies here either, just red hot ones. It’s more the quantity of peppers I’m concerned about as there needs to be the proper ratio of acidic vs. non- acidic. If you chop 10 Anaheim peppers, do you know roughly how many cups that iis? Made the salsa today and I think with all the additional spices it won’t make too much of a difference what peppers I use. Iused 2 green bell peppers from my garden but it is clearly not enough 🙂
        Thanks for your thoughts,
        Dana

        1. Hi Dana. Anaheim peppers get pretty big, so I’d say 7 or 8 green bell peppers would probably give you about the same amount of chopped pepper as 10 anaheim peppers. Again, they really don’t taste the same though. Good luck with your salsa, and please let me know how it turns out.

  13. Thanks for the great recipe. I really liked it but it tasted a little salty to me. I weighed the whole tomatoes to make 7 pounds but I noticed you chopped them first and then measured. Maybe I would have had more tomatoes if I measured after chopping and it wouldn’t seem so salty. I’m thinking of reducing the canning salt to 1 1/2 Tbsps. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Cindy. 7 lbs of tomatoes is 7 lbs of tomatoes, whether they are weighed before or after they are chopped, so no worries there! I have found that the salsa tastes saltier when it is hot, but that after it has been canned and has had a chance to cool down, the seasoning is perfect for us.

  14. I used green bell peppers from my garden because I can never find the Anaheim peppers. Used the same amount of bell peppers and my family love’s it. I even forgot to put jalapenos in one batch, and my “mild” salsa lovers love it too. ?

    1. Hi Amy! I usually use Romas or any other kind of paste tomato I can find. They have less juice in them, so the salsa ends up thicker. It will turn out delicious either way, but that’s what we do. Best of luck!

  15. I can’t wait to try this. When you say core, do you mean digging out the top of the core or actually cutting the middle of the tomato out? Apparently there are a couple techniques that use the same word. Thanks!

  16. Can you use store bought tomatoes and chilies, I want to try this recipe but it’s May, will it taste different if there not fresh out of the garden? Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar?

    1. Hi Mariana! You can definitely use store-bought tomatoes and chilies. The salsa might not have quite as much flavor as it would otherwise, but you won’t have any problems with the recipe. I’ve never tried substituting vinegars.

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