Use this easy home canning recipe for Basic Salsa with fresh tomatoes, onions, and peppers to keep fresh summer flavors in your pantry all year round. You can make it as mild or spicy as you like and add it to all your southwest recipes!

I’m on a canning kick around here. How can I not be with all the great produce that’s available this time of year?

You are watching: How To Peel Tomatoes For Salsa

Today I’m sharing my basic canning recipe for salsa. The tomatoes are still coming in and peppers are ready, too, so it was time to go ahead and put up a few jars of this deliciousness to keep on hand for the winter.

It’s so nice to open a jar of homemade salsa when it’s cold out and be able to taste those fresh summer tomatoes once more. Mmmmm. A jar of this in my Salsa Chicken recipe in the middle of, I have to say it’s just fabulous.

This recipe makes five pints. That’s just about right for our household. If you want to make more, you can double or triple the recipe. Just make sure that you keep the same proportions to guarantee that it’s safe for canning.

Be sure to can enough to use in all your favorite southwest recipes! Of course, it’s great as a dip with tortilla chips, but it’s also fantastic added to tacos and burrito bowls, or even in chili.

Jump to:

  • Why We Love This Recipe
  • Ingredient Notes
  • How to Can Basic Salsa
  • Prepare the Jars and Lids
  • Prep the Tomatoes
  • Prep the Remaining Ingredients
  • Cook the Salsa
  • Fill and Process the Jars
  • Cool Completely
  • Tips
  • FAQs
  • 📖 Recipe

Why We Love This Recipe

  • Fresh tasting, homemade salsa any time of year.
  • Great way to use up garden tomatoes.
  • The sense of accomplishment you get from making and canning your own!

Ingredient Notes

  • Tomatoes (I prefer Roma (or paste) tomatoes for salsa, but you can use any variety that you grow or purchase)
  • Onions, green bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, garlic (typical salsa ingredients)
  • Tomato sauce (enriches the tomato flavor)
  • White vinegar (I prefer white vinegar because it has a more neutral flavor; it’s posible to use apple cider or other vinegars but the acidity MUST be at least 5%)
  • Sugar (to help mellow and off-set the vinegar flavor)
  • Pickling salt (used for clarity in the finished product – table salts can cause cloudiness)
  • Parsley and cilantro (you can use all parsley or all cilantro)

How to Can Basic Salsa

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Before you start, get everything you need together. All your jars, lids, kitchen towels, produce, knives, canner, funnel. Everything. It’s so much easier than having to run around looking for something while you’re in the middle of a canning session.

Prepare the Jars and Lids

Prepare the jars, lids, and rings as usual. You can review how I manage this part of the process in my Favorite Kosher Dills post. Fill the canner about ⅔ to ¾ with water, bring it to the boil and hold it there until ready to fill the jars. Add your empty clean jars into the canner and let them sterilize while you prepare the salsa.

There is a good bit of prep work involved in this recipe. It’s not difficult at all, just peeling and chopping. And you begin by preparing your tomatoes.

Prep the Tomatoes

I prefer Roma tomatoes for salsa but I also had a few yellow tomatoes on hand, so I included them as well. You can use any combination and type of tomatoes you like.

To make peeling the tomatoes easy, simply drop them into boiling water for one minute. Then drain them and put them into cold water for a few minutes.

The skins will slip right off. It makes the peeling so simple!

Prep the Remaining Ingredients

I debated about whether to include all the chopping and mincing photos here for illustration purposes. After thinking it over, I decided that if you cook at all you certainly know how to dice peppers and onions, so I’m sparing you having to scroll past 15 photos of chopped vegetables!

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Chop the tomatoes, onions, green pepper, and jalapenos. I used three medium sized jalapenos for this amount of salsa because we like ours fairly mild. You can add up to nine jalapenos if you like it hotter. You could also substitute a hotter pepper such as serrano if you like, but don’t add more than the equivalent of about nine medium size jalapenos so you don’t upset the pH balance of the recipe and make it unsafe for canning!

Finely mince the garlic. Combine all the ingredients in a stainless steel or enamel saucepan.

Cook the Salsa

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring frequently. Your house will smell like the most delicious Mexican eatery by the time this finishes cooking!

Fill and Process the Jars

Working with one jar at a time, carefully remove a jar from the canner and ladle in the hot salsa to within ½ inch of the rim (headspace). Wipe the jar rim with a moist paper towel and apply a lid and ring (just finger tight).

Return the filled jars to the canner and lower them into the boiling water. Begin timing when the water returns to a boil. Process 20 minutes for both half-pint and pint jars.

Cool Completely

Remove the hot, processed jars of gorgeous salsa from the canner and set them on a kitchen towel or something similar to give them a little cushion. Let them sit until completely cool – at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. Test to make sure you have complete seals and then store the jars in a cool, dry place until ready to use.

Allow the salsa to sit for four weeks before using. This will allow the flavors to mellow. Use within one year of canning.


  • After cooking the salsa and before ladling it into the jars, give it a taste. If you think it could use a little more sugar to neutralize the taste of the vinegar, you can add up to one additional tablespoon.
  • If you want to add additional vegetables such as black beans or corn to the salsa, add those after you open the jars for use. Do not add additional items to the recipe. This can throw off the pH balance and make your salsa unsafe for canning.


Jars of finished canned salsa sitting on a kitchen towel.

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📖 Recipe


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