Salsa Recipes

The reason I’ve never shared my salsa recipes is because salsa is one of the home canned foods that’s a bit controversial. UGA has the National Center for Home Food Preservation and they have a recipe here.  The Ball Blue Book has several recipes and I trust them.   The problem with salsa is that you’re mixing acidic foods and non-acidic foods and canning in a water bath.  If you want to make and can your own recipe, I’d recommend using the UGA recipe or one of the Blue Book recipes.  If you want to make a batch, keep it in the fridge for a few days and eat it all up, do anything you want.

Having said that . . I make salsa every year.  Have for at least 8 or 10 years and we’re all still alive and kicking.  You know what will happen this year now that I’ve made that bold statement!  🙁

I’m especially  not comfortable canning quarts of salsa with the water bath method.  The 4 quarts I canned the other night, I canned under pressure but in doing a bit of research for this post, I’m not even sure I’m comfortable with that so I stuck those 4 quarts in the fridge and have canned the rest of my salsa in pints using the water bath method.

As far as the recipe, I don’t  use a recipe.  Sorry!  I tried to measure and write everything down as I was making it but I just couldn’t remember to do it.  One thing that is certain — For every 5 pounds of tomatoes, I use 1 cup of cider vinegar and 1/2 cup of lime juice.  I weigh the tomatoes after they’re peeled and cored.  After that, it’s pretty much personal preference.  For every 5 pounds of cored and peeled tomatoes, I add the following .. in approximately these amounts.

Place the tomatoes in a pot that will not boil over when the ingredients begin boiling.  I quarter the tomatoes, quarter 3 medium onions, quarter 5 or 6 jalapeno peppers, add 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic (I buy mine already chopped).  Add 1 cup cider vinegar and 1/2 cup lime juice.  Simmer all this for an hour or two, depending on how much liquid is in your tomatoes and how thick you want your salsa.

Once the salsa is about as thick as you want it, I add 2 finely chopped red onions and 2 cups of chopped cilantro.  Add 1 tablespoon salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.  Pour into hot jars, place lids on and process in water bath canner for 15 minutes.

The only thing I do different when making salsa verde is I use tomatillos instead of tomatoes.  They don’t have as much liquid so I really don’t have to do much more than bring them to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.  I do not add the chopped red onion and I do add the cilantro in the beginning with the other ingredients.  Also, I add 2 teaspoons of cumin to the salsa verde.

Basically, as long as you’re adding the vinegar and lime juice in the proper proportions, just add whatever seasonings and herbs make you happy.

Comments

  1. 1

    Mary Beth says

    One thing I can add to this post. After working at the University of Missouri Extension office for a while, and working very close with the nutritionist there, I found out that using the Ball cookbook is a good idea, just make sure it is a newer version. I had an old canning book that my mom gave me. When I told the nutritionist the date, she had a slight stroke. A few years ago they changed the guidelines on canning. I would suggest you call your local Extension office to get the correct date on when the guidelines for canning changed, and update your books. It’s okay to throw away old Ball cookbooks. Oh, and follow those recepies to the “T”. The correct amount of vinegar and salt is critical.

  2. 2

    Annette says

    Judy, I have a question. My niece wants me to help her can some tomatoes with a pressure cooker that hasn’t been used in several years. Should it be taken somewhere, the extension service office maybe, to be tested? I haven’t canned for years either and it will be a re-learning experience. Reading your blog wants me to get back in the habit. I do freeze peaches and I plan to make your peach chutney this year. Thanks, Annette

  3. 3

    Amy says

    controversy – really? (Any links/explainations to back that up?) I’d rather not google for salsa controversy & find links on why Old El Paso is better than that stuff made in New York City. Or why fresh is better than canned, etc.

    When did using parafin go out of vogue? (Just kidding!)

    (Meanwhile, I am sticking to refrigerator/freezer methods – no storage for canned goods/canning equipment/supplies.)

    • 3.1

      Donna S in MI says

      Thanks Judy! The problem with the stuff I made last year was it was way too vinegary.

  4. 4

    Gwynette says

    I know what Mary Beth is talking about with Ball Blue books. I can summer squash every year for winter soups and casseroles. While googling some squash ‘stuff’ I saw the word ‘controversy’ and slowed down my reading. It’s supposedly not safe to can squash anymore (except as pickles with loads of vinegar). I checked the BBBook I bought last year, and sure enough, no squash recipes in there. I’m going to continue canning squash, because if I don’t get them in jars, they will overrun our house and eat US.

  5. 5

    Gwynette says

    I know what Mary Beth is talking about with Ball Blue books. I can summer squash every year for winter soups and casseroles. While googling some squash ‘stuff’ I saw the word ‘controversy’ and slowed down my reading. It’s supposedly not safe to can squash anymore (except as pickles with loads of vinegar). I checked the BBBook I bought last year, and sure enough, no squash recipes in there. I’m going to continue canning squash, because if I don’t get them in jars, they will overrun our house and eat US.

  6. 6

    says

    Thanks for all the info…unfortunately no space for canning jars here in FL..will have to look at finding some freezer methods…

  7. 7

    Laurie says

    I can quarts of stewed tomatoes every year. I add green peppers, onions and parsley to the peeled tomatoes and can them in a water bath. Never had any problem and I am not even adding any extra vinegar for more acidity. I am sure your quarts of salsa in the water bath would be fine. Think of pickles. The cukes/garlic don’t have any of their own acidity, but just the cup of vinegar and they are fine in a water bath.

  8. 8

    says

    Honestly, I never knew there was any controversy surrounding certain canning methods. I guess I have more to learn! Would these same controversies apply to canned spaghetti sauce? Our tomatoes are not ready, but will be in a couple of weeks. BHG magazine had an excellent recipe for canned spaghetti sauce that I want to try.

    Today it is jalapeno jelly and pickles heating up our kitchen. I had forgotten how bad jalapenos can smell when cooked!

  9. 9

    Melanie says

    Wow! You’ve changed your page. Thought at first I was on the wrong site. Very nice.

  10. 10

    Darlene S says

    Your site change is not as legible as before. The print is tiny and very faded on my monitor. I am old, but not yet blind! Maybe there is a sett ing I can use to make it bigger and darker for my “old: eyes.
    Thanks Dar