Canned Salsa Recipe that Tastes Like FRESH Salsa

I’m so excited to share my favorite canned salsa recipe that tastes like fresh salsa!

This canned salsa recipe is tried and true. I have been making it for about 6 years, and it has turned out great each year!

I took a few different recipes I liked and mixed them together and subtracted some things to get the mother of all yumminess in a bottle. Trust me when I say that this is the PERFECT salsa recipe for canning.

This recipe is for a mild-medium salsa. You can make it spicier by adding more jalapenos… or milder by seeding your peppers, or taking some out all together.

This canned salsa recipe makes about 12-15 pints. If you don’t want that much salsa, or don’t have that many tomatoes and peppers on hand, go ahead and half it.

Canned Salsa Recipe

Yield: 12-15 pint jars

Canned Salsa that Tastes like Fresh Salsa

canned salsa recipe

This recipe is for canned salsa that tastes just like fresh salsa. It is mild to medium in heat, but can be adjusted by adding more or less tomatoes and peppers to taste. Unlike most salsas, you do not need to simmer this salsa for hours before canning. So it tastes very fresh!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 35 medium to large tomatoes (I prefer Romas)
  • 4 jalapenos (with seeds)
  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 3 onions (any variety)
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • juice of 1 lime (optional)
  • handful of cilantro (optional)


  1. Prepare jars by sanitizing them in bleach water, or in a hot rinse cycle in the dishwasher.
  2. Wash vegetables.
  3. Chop Peppers and Onions with a food processor or blender. Dump in a very large mixing bowl.
  4. Add spices and vinegar to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add Lime Juice and chopped Cilantro (optional) to the mixing bowl.
  6. Core and chop Tomatoes with a food processor or blender. You can peel beforehand if you'd like, but I rarely peel my tomatoes for this salsa recipe.
  7. Strain the juice from the tomatoes before adding to the mixing bowl. I like to catch the tomato juice and can it to use in soups.
  8. Combine all ingredients. Taste with a torilla chip. Adjust the heat by adding more tomatoes (for milder taste) or more jalapenos (for a spicier taste).
  9. Fill jars with salsa. Wipe the rim clean, and top with a lid and ring.
  10. Process jars for 45 minutes. (adjust based on altitude)


More detailed instructions are available at

For questions about processing times, canning, or how to can tomato juice, visit the USU extension website.

Canned Salsa Ingredients

  • 35 medium to large Roma tomatoes
  • 4 jalapenos (with seeds)
  • 3 green peppers (seeded)
  • 2 red peppers (seeded)
  • 3 onions (you can use red, yellow, whatever you have)
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • juice of 1 lime (optional)
  • handful of cilantro (optional)

All of these ingredients in this salsa recipe can be adjusted to your liking. You can omit the cilantro, lime, sugar, and any of the spices.

You can also add more or less tomatoes and peppers to adjust the spiciness of the salsa.

Canned Salsa Supplies:

Canned Salsa Instructions

Canned Salsa Recipe that tastes like fresh Salsa

  1. Prepare Jars

    Before you start mixing things up, get your jars out and start sanitizing them so they’ll be ready when you are. There are several ways to do this.

    I have found it’s easiest just to stick them in my dishwasher and push the sanitize button. Or if you don’t have a sanitize button, just run them through a really hot rinse cycle. sanitize mason jars

  2. Chop Peppers

    I use my food processor for a lot of the chopping. Mostly because once I touch a jalapeno, I can’t take my contacts out for a week! I am a wimp for spicey stuff, and I don’t want all that juice all over my hands.

    If you don’t have a food processor, try using the pulse setting on your blender, or just use an old fashioned knife and chop away!

    Start by chopping your peppers. I don’t like my salsa very chunky, so I gave it a GOOD chopping to get rid of any of those pepper chunks.
    You’re going to need a big bowl or pot to mix the salsa all up in. food processor peppers

  3. Chop Onions

    Next, chop the onions. I love the difference in color and flavor the red onion brings, so I used about half yellow onion, and half red onion. And I chopped it probably too much here. But it’s really up to you how chunky you want it.

    You will want to drain off any excess juice from your peppers and onions. This is already a pretty thin salsa, so if you don’t let the extra moisture run off, you’re going to end up with a REALLY runny salsa. onion food processor

  4. Add Vinegar

    After you have your peppers and onions mixed together and drained, add your vinegar. You need your vinegar because it adds the acid for canning.

    If you are using this as a fresh salsa, I would recommend leaving the vinegar out. But if you’re canning it, keep the vinegar. salsa with vinegar

  5. Add Spices

    Mix all of your spices into your onion/ pepper mixture. (garlic powder, cumin powder (optional), salt, cayenne pepper, sugar, brown sugar, and minced garlic) canned salsa recipe

  6. Add Lime Juice & Cilantro

    Lime Juice and Cilantro are completely optional. Make sure to chop your cilantro before adding.salsa recipe with cilantro

  7. Chop Tomatoes

    I used about 35 large Roma tomatoes. Romas are the best because they are really meaty and not as juicy. But use whatever you have.

    You can add more or less, depending on how spicey and how tomato-y you want it.

    Take a knife and core the tomato. And then quarter the tomato.
    Then you’ll need to chop the tomatoes. Again, I used my food processor. You can do them as chunky as you like. After all, it’s your salsa! tomatoes for salsa

  8. Strain Tomatoes

    Take a strainer, and strain a lot of the juice out of your tomatoes. In this photo, I show straining the juice down the drain, but I usually try to catch as much of the juice as I can. I will bottle this tomato juice for use in soups.

    I strain the juice because a lot of canned salsa recipes call for simmering the tomatoes for hours and hours so the juice cooks off.

    I don’t like the taste of cooked salsa, because I feel like it tastes more like a chili sauce than fresh salsa. So, since we aren’t simmering our salsa for this recipe, we’ll need to strain most of the tomato juice off.

    If you are using heartier tomatoes, like Romas, you won’t have hardly any excess juice. But if you use plump, juicy tomatoes, you’ll need to get rid of that extra juice.
    tomatoes for salsa

  9. Combine All Ingredients

    Add your tomatoes to your pepper mixture. Stir it all together and taste it. It should be pretty close to perfect, but you can adjust the heat by adding more tomatoes (for milder taste) or more jalapeno peppers (for hotter taste).

    Here’s my tip. Taste your salsa with a tortilla chip, because 99% of the time, that’s how I eat my salsa.

    If you are making your salsa to eat fresh, stop here. If you are canning your salsa, go to the next step. how to can fresh salsa

  10. Fill Jars

    Fill up your pint jars with the salsa. A jar funnel is absolutely necessary to keep your jars clean. how to can salsa

  11. Process Jars

    Make sure to get any air bubbles out of the jar. Simply run a butter knife around the inside of the glass until all of the air bubbles have escaped.

    Wipe off the mouth of the jar and put on your lid and ring.

    Place your filled jars into a giant pot of boiling water. The water should be over the top of the jars by an inch or two. Boil for 45 minutes.

    I use this Water Bath Pot  and it’s my very favorite ever! It has a rack so I can lift the jars out without burning my hands. I also have this canning kit, and it is SUPER helpful.  If you don’t want to buy the whole kit, you’ll at least want a jar lifter and a jar funnel.

    After processing, let your bottles sit on the counter at room temperature. Check your bottles after 24 hours and make sure they have sealed.

    You’ll know they’ve sealed if the top of the lid doesn’t pop up and down when you press on it. how to process canned salsa

fresh canned salsa

Don’t lose this salsa recipe like I did! You can pin this salsa recipe to your pinterest board, simply by hovering over the image above with your mouse and clicking on the “pin it” button that pops up.

And if you have more produce, try my recipe for how to can tomatoes and how to can peaches.


    1. I’m so glad you liked the salsa recipe. The reason you have to process this salsa so long is because it doesn’t boil before processing, like most salsa recipes. Other salsas go into the jar hot, so you just need to prices to seal the jars. With this recipe, you’ll need to heat the contents of the jar all the way through to kill any bacteria, so it is a longer processing time.

    2. Hello I just made a second batch, the first batch I used Amish paste from our garden with about 1/3 locally farmed and I should have not strained them. It did turn out great, however just a tad more juice would have been better. The second batch I used all locally farmed u-pick regular tomatoes and it came out much, much better after adjusting for our taste little more jalapeño peppers, a little more vinegar. I did not use any brown sugar and upped the salt a little maybe 1 teaspoon. I did strain the tomatoes but only a little so it retain more of the juices. I also added a tad more cayenne pepper. Both batches turned out great though, and it made about 18 pints on the first batch and not sure on the second(still processing).

  1. Hello there! I’m going to try your salsa recipe!!
    If I use quart size jars does that affect the water bath processing time?

  2. I had great results with this recipe with some minor changes. The sugar is totally unneeded, so I eliminated that. The spice mix was great, but it needed a tad more salt and I added the juice of an extra lime for that freshness she was talking about! It’ll taste fresh clear into fall, if it lasts that long 🙂

  3. Do you refrigerate the juice immediately or can it as well? Is there even enough left to can? I have so many questions. LOL

  4. I made this recipe last year and the salsa turned out great, but I broke 3 jars in the canning process. Can I start with warm water in the canner, so the temperature change isn’t so great and start the timer when they begin to boil? I wasn’t able to fill the jars quickly enough after sterilization.

    1. Hi Paula,

      I’m so glad you like this recipe. Yes! I do believe that would work to help keep your jars from breaking. You could also heat your salsa up a little bit, just know that the more you cook it, the less it will taste like fresh salsa.

      Thanks so much!

  5. Well, the salsa taste great for sure, but I only ended up with 5 – 500ml jars. Not sure how the recipe calls for 12-15.

  6. This is an amazing recipe! I have made numerous times and it’s is a forgiving, delicious and fool proof winner!! I tried running my tomatoes through a juicer to save time. The pulp was okay but worked much better when I just chopped some as well and it offset nicely. I’ve played with the spices with a few batches and had great results with all. Would highly recommend cutting out the salt and adding different Cajun or Smokey meat rub spices to get some different flavours.
    Also works well in pressure canner for those who have one!

  7. Since I do not garden and very new at canning ~ Can you use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes? And about how many ounces is 35 medium Roma tomatoes?

    1. Hi Pam,

      It really is 45 minutes for the water bath. I think in some altitudes, you could get away with less. But I like to be on the safer side when it comes to canning. Also, since we are using a cold salsa, the process time is higher than it might be if you have already cooked the salsa and have it hot in the jar.

      I like to leave 1/2″ for headspace. I find that it works pretty well.


  8. Does it make a difference what type of vinegar I use? I have white and Apple cider vinegar. Which gives it a better flavor?

  9. First time I have ever canned anything. My salsa looks amazing and all jars are sealed properly. My question is do I refrigerate them? How long do they last?

    1. Hi Annie,

      I am so glad they worked out so well! If the jars are sealed properly, they will be shelf stable. A cool, dark place is best. I like to use them within a year of canning, so I try to do a batch or two each year.


  10. I used this recipe for canning salsa last summer and it was absolutely delicious! Safe to say we did not can enough because we have been out for months now. Looking forward to making it again.

  11. Made this recipe this past weekend! Followed everything except for the peppers, just because we did not have them on hand at home. The salsa tasted amazing!! Thank you for the recipe.

  12. Anyone else’s attempt at canning this salsa result in tomato mush floating on top of a bunch of liquid? This does not look like salsa, let alone look appealing.

    1. Mine done the same thing , when it cools turn jar on its side, turning around and around, shake back and forth very easy to loosen up the salsa, it will even out & look like it’s supposed to, I think my first batch boiled to hard, & that caused it to push to the top of the jar, slowed the boil down on second batch and it didn’t do that. Hope this helps you, this made a big difference in mine, Family loves this salsa,
      Thanks for the recipe ♥️

    1. Pressure cookers are fine, too. When I looked last, Utah State University has and extension office that gives details on safe bottling techniques using both water baths and pressure cookers. I think the USDA also has info. You will just need to know your altitude to find out how heavy a weight you need/have to how long you process the bottle. It’s usually a little shorter than water bath processing.

  13. Since all tomatoes are so different and I’ve used most of my Roma tomatoes already what is the actual amt of prepared tomatoes you need for the salsa?

    1. It depends on taste, of how spicy you want your salsa, but I would say about 15 cups worth of tomatoes is a good starting point. Then you can add more tomatoes for less spicy salsa, or more onion and peppers for a spicier salsa. Just be careful because many varieties of tomatoes have a higher water content than Romas do, so you will most likely want to strain off some of the juice so your salsa isn’t so runny.


  14. Pro-tip. DO NOT put the jars of salsa into already boiling water. Add them with the warm water, then bring to a boil. The temperature difference between the uncooked salsa and the boiling water WILL cause jars to break in the pot. Cause that’s exactly what happened to me. But the recipe is perfect!

  15. I only let jars boil for 15 minutes because I read directions wrong. Do you think they are still safe to eat??? Can I reboot them if not?

    1. Depends on your altitude. Safe canning guidelines say that if you are at sea level, most salsa (in pints) should be processed for 15 min. Depending on the source, it’s an additional 5 min for ever 1000 feet above 3000 ft. I’m in Northern Utah, about 4400 ft above sea level, so I process for 20 min. Some sources say it’s 15 min at sea level and 2.5 min more for every thousand feet above 2000- essentially the same. Last off, timing begins when the water is at a full boil, not when you turn the stove on.

    1. Recipe doesn’t say to but I can see they’re peeled in the photos. I always peel because the skins aren’t pleasant to eat on cooked tomatoes. Although the salsa isn’t cooked before putting in jars, it certainly cooks in a 45 minute boiling water bath.

      1. If you use Roma tomatoes, you don’t need to peel (thinner skins), but.if you use beefsteaks, I would definately peel.

      2. It is personal preference if you like the skins or not. If I notice my skins are thick and tough, I will peel. If they are thin (Romas mostly are), then I don’t go to the extra effort.


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