Canning 101 – Heirloom Tomato Salsa Recipe


This afternoon I made our first batch of homemade salsa using a rather large variety of our heirloom tomatoes.  The house smells like a  Mexican restaurant right now, and tonight I will be serving homemade refried beans, homemade tortillas, rice and lots and lots of yummy homemade salsa.  I found this recipe for salsa over at CDKitchen and it rocks.  The reviews were awesome and it tastes awesome too.

If you make this salsa, remember not to mess with the amounts of vinegar or lime juice.  You need to follow the directions to a “T” if you plan on using the water bath method to can your salsa.  Tomatoes need extra acidity.

Okay, go have fun.  I’m off to serve dinner!


8 cups peeled, cored, chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes
2 cups seeded and chopped fresh peppers {I used green peppers and a few jalapenos}
2 cups chopped onion
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice {I used bottled}



Bring a boiling-water canner, 3/4 full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

Combine all ingredients in a large heavy pot. Bring ingredients to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes {at this point my salsa was a tiny bit foamy on top.  But once I turned off the heat, the foam dissolved}.

Ladle hot salsa immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids and screw bands on. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. {Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.} Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 15 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary}. Yields 5 pints.

See More of my Canning Recipes HERE

Looking for a few more awesome canning recipes?  Check out Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. Amazon has it currently in stock and ready to ship.

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  1. Julie2 says

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to try this. I have been crossing my fingers hoping you would put up a salsa recipe and this one is perfect. I already have all the ingredients and will make it tomorrow morning.
    Thank you THANK YOU!

  2. Tessa says

    I got some tomatillo’s from my girl friends neighbor this year. I’ve never used them before and I’m looking for a good canning recipe for them. I found one online from “Ball/ Kerr” the canning people and it canned real well but the taste was not good! It was a “raw” sauce and it tasted raw! I think the tomatillo’s must need to be roasted first or something!
    I hope you can help me out with a good CANNING RECIPE for tomatillo’s!

    • Jen F says

      My friend who taught me to make tomatillo salsa always fried the salsa as the last step. She heated some oil in a stock pot until it was glimmering and then poured in the salsa and cooked it over high heat. It would boil and thicken up nicely then too.

  3. says

    OH….MY….GOODNESS!!!! This stuff is amazing! I knew it would be since you recommended it, so I made a triple batch. I got 8 quart jars out of it (I adjusted the canning time). I think I might need to make at least 16 more jars! We devour salsa at our house and this stuff if the BEST! :) Grow Tomatoes Grow!!! :)

    Thanks Mavis!

  4. Danno says

    Made this yesterday and found out that it was so good we had to make another double batch tonight. Kicked up the spice a bit as the heirlooms we got were extremely sweet and we wanted one for us and a bit of heat keeps the kids out of it a bit. Also have the pizza sauce recipe going in the crock right now. I hope it is as good as the salsa. Thanks for posting this.

  5. Emma says

    Hi Mavis I made this yesterday in some mason jars to test them out- I am running a canning workshop here in a couple if weeks as part of a permaculture community education program. Firstly the recipe is delicious although I added tobacco as I love heat. But the jars were great. We mainly use Fowlers jars in Australia but these were so much better. Just wondering if you or any of your readers know a cheaper source for getting to Australia. The cheapest I could find here is $30 for 12 pint size and no wide neck at this price. Any help would be great

  6. Emma says

    Also love your botulism PDF. Many people find it scary or confusing but botulism is ok if you understand the biology. The spores are common and really hard to kill except under pressure but they are not harmful at that stage. It is only once they start reproducing they make the toxin. So you can either kill the spores (hard) or stop them coming out of that spore state (easy with acid). But a backup defense you didn’t mention is to kill the toxin,which is heat sensitive, by boiling for ten mins just before eating

  7. Greg Griffin says

    I love it. I used a variety of tomatoes. All ingredients used were from my garden except for the limes, cider vinager, and salt. I tripled the recipe and used 2 pots to simmer the ingredients. I used 5 jalapenos and 10 serranos to give it a little heat. The salsa came out amazing. The texture, the taste, and the fact that I grew most of the ingredients had me joyfully giggling as I took the first few bites with a blue corn chip. Even with all those hot peppers, it came out mild, but VERY flavorful. I freeze a large batch of hot peppers so through the winter I can pull out a quart of salsa and chop up a hot pepper to give the salsa so kick. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!!

    • Greg Griffin says

      Oh, and I brought the salsa to 2 parties since making it last week and people are asking for the recipe and if I would sell them some salsa.

  8. MarinaRose says

    Hi Mavis…Awesome salsa! Just have a help question. I didn’t have enough peppers when i made this, so i substituted some chopped up cucumbers. The first batch of salsa turned out really watery. I’m wondering if this is even safe to eat?? I canned it last weekend. I’m afraid we’ll just have to eat it tonight with our dinner. Do you have any advise? Thank you!


    • Mavis Butterfield says

      I like to follow canning recipes to a T and have never replaced peppers with cucumbers in a canned salsa recipe. When in doubt, throw it out.

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