Recipe: Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa

Sep 29, 2012 by     435 Comments    Posted under: Gardening, Other Recipes, Recipes
Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa

Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa

I love home canned salsa, especially when made from fresh garden tomatoes and peppers out of my garden. But I’ve always been frustrated with these salsas always being runny and thin, even if the recipe calls it chunky. I’ve also been disappointed with the strong vinegar flavor that most home-canned recipes usually have. Comparatively, the store bought stuff is always really thick and chunky, and never has much of a vinegar flavor, but inevitably, it never has a really good fresh tomato flavor. It’s been a lose lose battle for me between store bought and home-canned salsas for years.

Well I’m proud to say that that war has finally come to an end. I recently found a recipe in a canning magazine which provided the best of home-canned and store bought salsas. They simply called it, “Chunky Homemade Salsa.” I’ve tweaked it a bit, added a little extra, and renamed it to be more appropriately named, “Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa.”

Ingredients to Make a Perfect Home-Canned Salsa

  • 8 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped (seeds and all) fresh Anaheim chile peppers (roughly 3)
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper (for color)
  • 1/2 cup seeded and chopped fresh jalapeno pepper (about 2-3 large), plus 1 whole pepper, chopped (seeds and all)
  • 2 cups chopped onions (about 2 large)
  • 1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro (roughly 1/2 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 3 large limes)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (roughly 1/2 head)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground in a mortar and pestel or a coffee grinder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika

How to Make a Great Thick Homemade Salsa

If I had any complaints about this salsa recipe (which I don’t), it would be how long it takes to make a batch. There’s about 1.5 hours of prep time, plus around 2 hours of cooking time from start to finish. Because of this, I strongly encourage you to double or triple the recipe and just make a day out of it.

Each batch makes roughly 5 pints of super flavorful and very thick salsa.

Once you’ve dedicated your day to this cooking task (so very worth it), here’s the steps to follow in making your salsa:

  1. Wash tomatoes. Remove stems and cores with a knife. Bring at least 4 inches of water to a boil in a large kettle. Immerse tomatoes, a few at a time, into boiling water for about a minute, or until the skins start to crack and peel off the flesh. Immediately dip tomatoes into cold water, and drain in a colander. Slip off the skins, and discard. Coarsely chop the tomatoes; place in a large colander set in sink, and allow to stand for 30 minutes. This will allow much of the tomato juice to strain out. (place the colander over a large bowl if you wish to save the juice for something else)

    Strain Tomatoes

    Strain Tomatoes

  2. Transfer the drained tomatoes to a 7-8 quart stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 1.5 hours or until tomatoes are at the desired consistency, stirring often. You’re looking for the same consistency as a thin marinara sauce.
    Boil and Simmer Tomatoes

    Boil and Simmer Tomatoes

  3. Add tomato paste, lime juice, and vinegar. Stir until tomato paste is completely incorporated. The cooked tomatoes will thicken nicely from the added paste.
    Thickened Tomatoes

    Thickened Tomatoes

  4. Add remaining ingredients. Return mixture to boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
    Add Remaining Salsa Ingredients

    Add Remaining Salsa Ingredients

    Simmer Salsa

    Simmer Salsa

  5. While salsa is simmering, prepare your pint canning jars and hot water bath canner.
    Making Salsa

    Making Salsa

  6. Ladle hot salsa into hot, sterilized pint canning jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims clean with a damp towel; place lids on jars, and secure in place by hand tightening the bands onto the jars.
  7. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes (start timer when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner, then cool them on cooling racks or on a towel on the counter.
    Salsa in Water Bath Canner

    Salsa in Water Bath Canner

    Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa 3

    Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa 3

Makes about 5 pints.

*This salsa recipe is somewhere between mild and medium hot. You can omit some of the jalapenos if you would like more mild, or replace one or two of them with a habanero if you would like hotter.

Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa 2

Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa 2

Recipe by Jothan Yeager, September 2012


The Bald Gourmet finds a great thick salsa recipe, and makes it better with a few bald modifications.


4.9 from 90 reviews

Recipe: Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


This amazing home-canned salsa really is thick and chunky, just like store bought salsa! it’s packed full of flavor, and doesn’t have a strong vinegar flavor so typical of home-canned salsas. One bite and you’ll never reach for Pace again!
Recipe type: Salsa
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 5 Pints

  • 8 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 1½ cups chopped (seeds and all) fresh Anaheim chile peppers (roughly 3)
  • ½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper (for color)
  • ½ cup seeded and chopped fresh jalapeno pepper (about 2-3 large), plus 1 whole pepper, chopped (seeds and all)
  • 2 cups chopped onions (about 2 large)
  • ½ cup snipped fresh cilantro (roughly ½ bunch)
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 3 large limes)
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (roughly ½ head)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground in a mortar and pestel or a coffee grinder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon paprika

  1. Wash tomatoes, and remove stems and cores with a knife.
  2. Bring at least 4 inches of water to a boil in a large kettle, and immerse tomatoes, a few at a time, into boiling water for about a minute, or until the skins start to crack and peel off the flesh.
  3. Immediately dip tomatoes into cold water, and drain in a colander.
  4. Slip off the skins, and discard.
  5. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, then place in a large colander set in sink, and allow to stand for 30 minutes. This will allow much of the tomato juice to strain out (place the colander over a large bowl if you wish to save the juice for something else).
  6. Transfer the drained tomatoes to a 7-8 quart stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  7. Simmer, uncovered, for about 1.5 hours or until tomatoes are at the desired consistency, stirring often. You’re looking for the same consistency as a thin marinara sauce.
  8. Add remaining ingredients. Return mixture to boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  9. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  10. Ladle hot salsa into hot, sterilized pint canning jars, leaving a ½-inch headspace.
  11. Wipe jar rims clean with a damp towel; place lids on jars, and secure in place by hand tightening the bands onto the jars.
  12. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes (start timer when water returns to boiling).
  13. Remove jars from canner, then cool them on cooling racks or on a towel on the counter.

*This salsa recipe is somewhere between mild and medium hot. You can omit some of the jalapenos if you would like more mild, or replace one or two of them with a habanero if you would like hotter.

435 Comments + Add Comment

  • I’ve been making this recipe now for 3 years, twice a year. Just did another batch today. I go to a local farm and get all the ingredients fresh. I usually pick from 35-45 lbs of tomatoes and get enough salsa for the year, including family. I’ve tried quite a few, but yours is my favorite recipe. I make some mild, some spicy. Everyone that tries it loves it

    • Thanks Russ. I’m glad the salsa recipe has served you and yours so well. Thanks for commenting.

  • Thank you Bald Gourmet!!! I made this last year and everyone loved it. I did not print out your recipe last year so had to search again for it…but finally found it. I am going to try adding some of my green tomatoes in my batch this year. I will let you know how it turns out :)

    • How did the salsa turn out with added green tomatoes?

  • I LOVE this recipe and have been using it every season for several years.

  • We made 30 pints today. 2 triple batches. Long day. Impressed with the finished product to say the least. Turned 1/2 full jar sideways with lid off and and the salsa stayed in the jar. Now that’s thick and chunky. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing. Wife said I cant give any away.

  • Made this salsa last night and it is excellent! Followed the recipe exactly and couldn’t be more pleased. Even went out and bought a new jar of cumin seeds, toasted them and crushed them…added an amazing flavor to the salsa.

    Highly recommend this for anyone! First time canning for me and the directions were perfect and easy to follow. It made 5 pints with a little left over to snack on immediately. Thank you! This will become a yearly treat and holiday gifts for friends and family.

    • Glad you like the salsa Ronda.

  • I had never canned salsa before and randomly chose this recipe last year. The salsa was amazing!! I didn’t copy down your website and just spent a good 20 minutes googling until I found it again. I’m so happy I did. I had tripled the batch last year, and will likely make even more this year! Thanks!

  • I am tripling the batch because I have 26 lbs of Roma tomato’s! How many jalapeños would you add to make this salsa hot? Seeds or no seeds? Also I am making a mild too, how many jalapeño would you recommend for a mild salsa?

    • Hey Amanda. The recipe as is is fairly mild. If you want it hot, I suggest replacing one of the jalapeños with 1-2 habaneros.

  • From the photos I think you used red onions. Can you confirm the type of onion to use?

    • You can use any onion you’d like. I used red simply for the color is all.

  • Hi Sir,

    Dan and I would like to know if we can use frozen beefsteak tomatoes from last year’s harvest for this yummy sounding recipe. These tomatoes came right off the vine, washed, and put in vacuum bags. Do you think them being previously frozen would affect the flavor…and if not can the salsa once made be canned?

    Thanks in advance,
    Dan and Becky

    • Yes, I use frozen tomatoes all the time to make this salsa. Just takes a little longer to cook down to the consistency I prefer.

  • Excellent salsa and have made for several years. A slight modification. As recipe says, i use de-seeded, chopped tomatoes (sometimes skin on, sometimes skin off). But then seperately i make my own passata, using the strained juices and another batch of tomatoes as i have plenty. All put through sieve and boiled down to a thick consistency. This is added in instead of the tomato paste. Other ingredients are similar except i like a mild salsa so i go easy on the hotter chillies. Lots of fresh lime juice. In another variation i have sometimes included roasted tomatillos. All ingredients are from garden. Usually make large quantity, keeps well.

    • Thanks for commenting and for the tips Cleo1paw. Great ideas!

  • Hi! I’ve always wanted to try canning and salsas were my first choice. I searched the Internet last year for the best salsa recipe and came across yours with many rave reviews. I decided to take on the task this past summer starting with 2 batches and they were such a big hit! I made 8 batches in all this summer and wanted to give some for Christmas presents…although I’m very reluctant to share since they are so good. I did add sugar to offset heat a little bit but they still had a good kick to the flavor. I found my Anaheim peppers at farmer’s markets in North Carolina and Virginia. I could not find the Anaheim peppers anywhere in Maryland. I also used the fresh lime juice indicated in the recipe but used bottled lime juice in place of the vinegar. I read that lime juice had more acidity than vinegar and I was very leary of botulism since this was my first time canning. Plus, I didn’t want my salsas to taste vinegary like one of the reviewers mentioned. My salsas had a good balance of heat, sweetness and lime flavor to them. With my last 2 batches I ran out of the the pricier cumin seeds I bought from a stand alone spice shop and had to use a well known grocery brand instead. The pricier cumin seeds in my opinion made the salsas taste so much better. I could really taste the difference.

    I do have one question…do you know if this salsa recipe is safe to can in a steamer?

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  • This is a great recipe! Never fails.

  • I use my Crock-Pot to simmer down the tomatoes. I put the tomatoes in the Crock-Pot and go to bed. In the morning they are ready to make into salsa. Leave lid off if you want thick salsa, on for thinner

    • Fantastic idea Susan!

  • I love this recipe. I’ve been making it for the past two years. Better than any I’ve tried in thirty years of canning. Is it safe to double the recipe to save time? Thanks

    • Thanks Cheryl. I’ve tripled the recipe several times with success. Just be sure to taste salt and spice levels before processing to make sure things are right. One of my triple batches wasn’t salty enough once.

  • Omgosh…..this is so good! I only changed a couple things, I added 2 cans (6oz ea) of tomato paste, more of each spice plus about a teaspoon of Cheyenne pepper for heat since it was not spicy and I had no more peppers. This recipe is amazing! First time canning salsa on my own :)

  • […] chunky tomato salsa (w/Hatch green […]

  • if i were to use canned tomatoes how many cans and what size?

    • Sorry Rosetta, not sure.

  • I was wondering if i can keep the skin on my tomato’s?

    • You can, Denise. Just changes the texture.

  • I do not understand why a person would cook tomatos for 1-1/2 hours!!!?
    What about draining well enough and then bringing to boil and simmer for 10 -15 minutes, so that the ingredients aren’t cooked to death and there is still some freshness in them?

    • Cate, the reason for the time is to evaporate much of the liquid and to concentrate the flavors. Do what you want but the resulting salsa will not be what this recipe is designed to create – a thick and chunky salsa. If you want delicious thick salsa, follow the recipe as written. If you want watered down bland canned salsa, then by all means adjust the cooking time to your liking. However, there is no such thing as “freshness” when making canned salsa. The mere act of pressure canning for 15 minutes completely overcooks all the vegetables anyway.

      • In this comment reply you say ‘pressure canning’, but in the recipe you call for processing in a water canner for 15 minutes. Which is it?

        • Sorry about that. Yes, water bath canning.

  • […] Chunky tomato salsa – this was a hit last year, so I was looking forward to making more […]

  • I love this recipe and have been using it the last few years – thank you!
    Since, I’ve made this recipe several times, I didn’t read the instructions too closely (yes, shame on me). So, I added the vinegar and lime juice to the tomatoes/onions/peppers/garlic and simmered for 1.5 hrs. My salsa is super thick, which is what I want. Have you ever done this instead of adding the vinegar/lime juice after the 1.5 hrs of simmering? Any concerns you have with this?

  • Just awsome! I have made 2 batches this week, added more jalapeños to the second batch just to have a spicier salsa.
    Can you share with us your other most popular recipes?

    • Thanks Jennifer. My campfire pizza recipe is the number two most popular recipe on The Bald Gourmet, but surf around on the site. I only post original recipes that I deem exceptional so you can’t go wrong with any of them.

  • Love this! Do I need to change the processing time if I use quart jars?

    • Yes. Most Ball canning books state the time difference, so you can look there for reference. I believe it is double the time for quarts.

  • This recipe sounds awesome! I love corn and black beans in my salsa, would it be ok to add them to this salsa?

    • Hi Kathy. This salsa is indeed awesome. You should not put corn or beans in it however, as those low acid ingredients could through off the PH of the salsa and be unsafe for canning. Make as the recipe says, can/store, and then throw some corn and beans in after opening right before serving maybe?

  • I really don’t want to cook the tomatoes into a sauce. I would like it to be more of a relish type. Is there something that I can do different with this recipe to achieve this?

    • Not if you intend on canning it. The canned texture of this salsa is very thick though, so you might actually enjoy it. But if you truly want a relish, this recipe is not designed with the safety precautions associated with a relish.

  • Omg! Best salsa ever! And I am very picky when it comes to my salsa. I did roast my chilies first. And it did make the measurements off but I accounted for it and everything turned out wonderfully. I used banana peppers, Roma tomatoes green bells and sweet onions. And a lot of jalapeños. It’s hot but it’s really good
    Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. And for this wonderful recipe.

    • So glad to hear it! If you’re like me it will all be gone in a week. Enjoy and thanks for commenting.

  • Just trying this recipe today. Can you roast the chilis first before you put in In pot?

    • Sure thing Heidi. Should add a nice flavor.

  • Can you add sugar to this?

    • Sure shouldn’t matter

  • If I want to substitute Serrano peppers what would be your recommendation. Will removing jalapenos throw the proportions off? Thank you.

  • This recipe is, hands down the most delicious salsa I have ever made and one of the most delicious I have ever tasted. It is truly thick and not runny, which was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t change anything in the recipe, nor will I in the future. (except I doubled the recipe) I had planned to give most of them away as Christmas gifts, but instead I gave away more of my hot pickled carrots and kept a lot of these for my family!
    My final 3 words, yum, yum, yum.

    • I’m so glad you love the salsa recipe, Anita. Thanks for commenting.

  • Tripled this recipe a couple of times with 25 pounds of tomatoes and have gotten 14 quarts each time.
    I roast my tomatoes first and let the excess tomato juice drain before blending…I’ve noticed it helps with keeping it as a thick salsa.
    Its taken me 5-7 hours each time.
    It has turned out great each time…
    Everyone loves it!

  • I am going to make this but my mom is allergic to tomato paste is there something I can substitute or do i just leave it out

  • […] chunky salsa – I wasn’t satisfied with the salsa recipe I canned last month. This one is so much better! Whatever I did it was the perfect amount of heat, and the consistency is just like restaurant salsa. We will definitely enjoy this come winter. […]

  • I love this recipe. Question: if I don’t have enough Anaheim peppers, can I sub bell peppers without compromising the ph balance that allows for water bath canning? Thanks!

    • Hi Valerie. Yes, you can. Just make sure the measurements are the same. I interchange peppers all the time.

      • Thank you!

  • made this last year my first try ever canning was great so made a second double batch
    was fantastic and friends are always wanting a jar to take home

    I grew more Roma tomatoes and peppers this year so everything that could came out of my garden
    made a double batch and it is a too vinegary? Is there a way to fix this or does it need to sit longer, canned 6 days ago? I have enough ripe tomatoes and peppers to do another double batch but don’t want it to be too vinegary too.
    hopefully you have a suggestion because we have lots of friends wanting jars of my salsa…thanks to your great recipe.

    • Dang, sorry to hear that Rod. Not sure why it would be so vinegary. I just made a quadruple batch last weekend and everything turned out perfectly again. Double check your measurements is all I can think of. Glad to hear it is normally a hit recipe though.

  • This is AWESOME! I have been making salsa for 20 years and this is by far the best I have ever made. I used lemon juice in stead of lime juice it is great. I grew my own peppers and tomatoes. Thank you thank you.

    • So glad you like the salsa Lynette.

  • I followed Cassie’s idea with roasting the tomatoes briefly in oven for 18 minutes. Skin slipped right off. Microwaved half a dozen ears of corn, 3 minutes per ear, sliced off the kernels from the cob and added to the mix. Next year I will roast on the grille to see how that changes the taste. This is a nice mild to medium basic recipe you can tweet in so many ways.

  • has anyone tried the freeze whole and when solid run a trickle of hot water over tomato then slip skins off? the clear liquid can be taken out when they thaw

  • Made this salsa recipe today while watching college football. Great recipe! Easy to follow instructions, turned out very well! Thanks!

    • Thanks Russ

  • Lovely and congrats of the success of your salsa!
    I truly know what you mean about having a choice of ‘some homemade salsa’s’ verses a grocery chain brand.
    The first year I made salsa, I used the boiling water method of removing the tomato skins. I no longer do that!! For me, the way to go is to broil the tomato halves after coring and washing at 425F for roughly 18 min
    A little browning of the skin on top is desired. When done cover the tray with a cloth or piece of parment paper for about 10 min and those skins can be pulled off very easily. With this method there is less water taken in by the tomatoes inadvertently, making a much richer thicker salsa :-) The juice emitted from the tomatoes during the broil and given up by the tomatoes when they sit, I put ontop of the stove in a pot and reduce the fluid level by at least half. Add this back into the prepared tomatoes (we don’t want to lose any of the natural acidity of the tomatoes in it’s juice). P. S. I use lime juice too! It rocks :-) Guidelines in canning usually recommend lime juice in containers as opposed to fresh as the acidity can vary using the fresh fruits. Be safe and once again congrats! :-)

    • Great tips Cassie. Thanks for sharing.

  • This ones a keeper! Just started a garden this year and I didn’t know what to do with all the tomatoes and peppers I got out of it. I don’t cook often, didn’t know anything about making salsa or canning, but this recipe is easy to follow and if I can do it, anyone can. Expect a lot of complements on it when you share it! I will definitely make a bigger batch next go around. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • Cool comment. Thanks Joe

  • Awesome recipe, I had been using a family recipe for years and I wanted a change. This worked out great 34 pints later I can’t wait to share the bounty.

  • I am tasting this before it goes into the jars for the water bath. It tastes sweet? The tomatoes are a cross between roma and regular red tomatoes. Everything is garden fresh, any ideas of why it is tasting so sweet?

  • I was fortunate enough to come across this recipe several years ago and have not used another recipe since.
    Great texture (not runny) and great taste. Everyone that I’ve had try it says it’s the best salsa they have ever had. I make as is, however if it want it extra hot I add 1T ground habanero powder to the whole batch. I just ate my last jar today so thank goodness my tomatoes have finally started ripening! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Thank you for such a kind comment Jan. I’m glad you like the salsa. I’m waiting for my tomatoes to ripen so I can make a 2017 batch. I’m down to only 1 jar myself. Great idea on the habanero powder.

  • I made 15 quarts of this salsa last weekend. Just opened it today and it is AMAZINGLY good. I followed the recipe exactly and and I agree, it is somewhere between mild and medium. It is not hot. Perfect consistency and flavor. Now that I know how perfect it is, I have to make more while I still have tomatoes from the garden!

    Thank you for such a great recipe! This one is a keeper!

    • Awesome. Thanks Tye

  • Any idea how 8 lbs of tomatoes converts to baskets? Looking forward to trying this – great reviews!

  • Can I use corn starch as thickener instead of tomato paste? If yes, then how much do you think? I find sometimes canned paste creates a metal taste.

    • Hi Tina. Good question. I don’t know about cornstarch and what that would do from a canning perspective. Older cans of tomato paste often do get a metallic taste from the can, but new/fresh cans usually do not in my experience if that helps at all.

  • Finally!! A thick salsa! I found this recipe while searching the web I tried this & its perfection along with tasty. For those wonder why to use cumin seeds instead of the already ground cumin it really does make a difference. Toast in a dry pan & when you can smell it it’s ready to be ground up. aroma is awesome. I have finally found the salsa recipe that is a keeper. Thank you so much for your awesome pictures there was no guessing where I was at in the process of making this.Thanks again

    • Oh that’s great Liz. Glad you enjoy the salsa. Thanks for the note of appreciation. Happy to share.

  • I have a question regarding the Anaheim peppers. I seen on the internet some places rate this as a medium to hot pepper and others call it a mild pepper. I’m not a fan of hot or spicy peppers but I like the flavor of some. Is there a good substitute that is not as hot?

    • The Anaheims really are not very hot at all. They remind me of a bell pepper with a touch of kick. Nowhere near what a jalapeño is. But if you’re worried about it, just substitute with bells.

  • I made this last year with home grown walla walla onions and the yellow peppers. The salsa was wonderful although a little sweet. My girlfriend thought maybe the onions and the yellow pepper. Any suggestions as to what I might do to take the too sweet out? Other then that it was the best ever.

  • I am very excited to try this recipe. I, too, have made several batches of “runny” salsa; I like the thick stuff! I’m going to have a bumper crop of great tomatoes, so I will be busy! Thanks for the recipe!

    • You bet Devaney. Hope you enjoy

  • Hi, I am very excited to try this recipe but I have a question about your canning. I was very interested to see that while preparing your jars, you had them inverted in a fry pan. I have never seen this technique before as I have always boiled my jars in the water bath canner then returned them for processing after they are filled. Have you ever had any issues with chipping rims or cracking? Thanks Kate

    • Hi Kate. I have not. This is the way my mother taught me to do it and she canned this way for over 50 years. The steam sterilizes them, but boil them in your canner if your more comfortable with that. Either way works I’m sure. Hope you enjoy the salsa!

  • First time making salsa and this looks awesome. But I have what maybe a silly question. You drained tomatoes for 30 min. then put in large pan and bring to boil, Do you have any water in that pan or just the drained tomatoes, and if so how do you keep them from burning to bottom of the pan? Novice here thanks for patience.

    • No worries Bill. Good question. There is plenty of liquid still inside the tomatoes so you won’t need to worry about them burning. The heat will release the juices. Good luck, hope you enjoy

  • This sound soo good. Can I leave my skins and cores? I really like the part of the tomatoe..

    • Yes you can. The cites may add a bit more liquid though so it might not turn out as thick but still will be tasty

  • A-mazing! We moved to southern Italy and there is no salsa down here! I grew cilantro and as soon as it was ready to harvest, I tried the recipe. I made only half a batch since the peppers are different. I used roasted bell peppers and a very spicy paprika. I plan on making more and next year, I will plant anaheim and jalapeño peppers. But for now, we have salsa!!!!

    • Thanks for sharing Maria. This is perhaps the coolest comment yet on this salsa. Enjoy!

  • I just wanted to say my husband and I absolutely love this recipie! I was worried it wouldn’t be chunky enough. It was! Last summer was my first year canning and if I can do this anyone can. I will always use this recipie from this day forward! My only regret…I didn’t make it sooner at the beginning of tomato season. So I didn’t Make enough. Only got like 3 large jars and they didn’t last long. Next year I will start early and make more. Thank you for sharing your recipie for people like me!!

    • Thanks Michelle. My pleasure.

  • This is so amazing not one negative comment. Will be making this for sure. At the moment I have so many yellow cherry tomatoes and would like know if I could substitute these for the red. Thank you

    • Hi Janey. Yes you can. Just be sure to drain them well like the recipe says. Hope you enjoy!

  • I have canned a lot of salsa throughout the years with great success. This year I was looking for a recipe that was thick and a little crunchy and fresh tasting. The recipe is excellent and there’s no need to change a thing unless you want a hotter salsa. I can’t recommend the recipe enough!!! Thank you!!!

    • Thanks Gerri. Happy Holidays!

  • Thanks for this recipe! I haven’t tried it yet but it’s amazing how hard it is to find a canning recipe that isn’t runny or loaded with sugar.

    In the photos it looks like you used red onion. Is that your recommendation? And is that green pepper I see? Also, how fine do you cut the spicy peppers? I don’t want someone to get a big spicy mouthful!

    • Happy Holidays LP. I used red onion simply for color presentation. The flavor is the same regardless of onion color. Same for the peppers. As for the jalapeños, you’re right. Fine dice is the way to go.

  • I just made this salsa today. It is perfect.

  • My boyfriend and I made your salsa the other day…OMG!! We try a new recipe every year because we haven’t found one yet with a WOW factor…until now! Thanks so much for sharing. I just printed about 20 recipes off your website to try. Our search for salsa recipes is finally over, there’s no way you could improve on this one.

    • Thanks Tina!

  • I made this today and it was my first time making salsa to can. Did not have 8 lbs. of ripe toms so settled for 5, some were not fully ripe and I did add some tomatillos. I took the time to drain some of the fluid off and the results was nice firm tomatoes. Didn’t take the time to skin them either and they cooked up fine and did not in any way detract from the texture or taste. I love lime so, while I did use fresh lime juice from limes, I also added a bit of concentrated lime powder to give it a kick without adding fluid. I didn’t cook it for as long as suggested as it seemed to cook fairly quickly and I didn’t wanted it to be too mushy. Final touch was a bit more cilantro. Since I had hot chill peppers and jalapeño peppers from my garden I didn’t stint with those either…… it is fantastic. Thank you Jothan for providing such a great recipe that I could tweak to our tastes.

    • My pleasure Peggi. Glad you liked it.

  • Hi, just wondering if you need to heat the salsa up after opening the jar or can you get it cold?

    • Sorry I meant eat it cold.

    • I eat mine cold often

  • After years of canning different salsa recipes I went on a quest last year to make and identify the best salsa recipe. This was a serious test – my canning team (aka – my sister and best friend) can together and can a lot; and, salsa is the most anticipated and loved of our canning products. We needed to ensure consistently high quality batches of salsa year after year. Thus, our quest!

    We canned, labeled, taste tested, did follow-up surveys. We, our families, and our friends were the discerning critics for the process. Of the 6 recipes whose performance in previous canning adventures had qualified them to participate in this competition, this salsa was the clear winner!!! Every taste tester liked the salsa at each step – fresh, canned for a while, canned for a year. In fact, we had to keep back a single (hidden and disguised) bottle to use for the “canned for a year” competition. Our tasters loved this recipe so much that while there were plenty bottles of the other recipes around, this recipe was searched for every time they craved salsa. It is also very pretty in the jar; which, may be superficial, but is also satisfying at the end of the canning day!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. We love it. And, I cannot tell you how excited we are to begin canning, today, for the coming year. I have to admit that we are thrilled to be making only this recipe. Needless to say – so are our tasters!

    • Heather, this is awesome! Thanks for sharing your taste experiment with us. Glad mine was the winning salsa!

  • what do you do if you don’t have a canner, is there another way to do it?

    • A large pot works too. Just need to be able to submerge the jars by 2 inches or so.

  • I would give this recipe a six if there were that many stars. We downloaded it 2 years ago and my wife cans it every year. We still run out too fast.Each year she has made it hotter and hotter and it is wonderful. Thanks very much.

    • Your welcome Scotty. Glad you like it.

  • Hi!! First of all thanks for responding all the questions. I want to do this salsa. First timer canning and doing salsa. I have a question if I want to do just half sweet salsa and half spicy. Any idea. Also I’m a fan of measuring by ounces/cups not counting the quantities of peppers. Congrats on this total success salsa!

  • I tried this recipe for the first this year (and also my first time canning food). I followed the instructions but I only got one jar and a half (1L jar though). Is that normal? If not, what did I did wrong? The taste is very good though. I just wish I could have more cans of salsa!


  • We like spicy. I am making a batch tomorrow and have green peppers and jalapeños. Four, I believe. Can I add some cayenne pepper to make it hot…how much would you suggest? Thanks.

    • Cayenne is a great addition. How much depends on your tastes I suppose.

  • Hi, I just made this salsa a couple days ago and I was just wondering how long I need to let it sit in the jars before it reaches its peak heat level

    • It’s good right away. Eat up Ryan!

  • I am making this salsa now, can’t wait to try some! Any ideas on what i can make with the drained juice of the tomatoes. Hate to waste it if I don’t have to!

    • You can it to soups or sauces if you’d like. Or make a veggie drink.

  • I have a pressure cooker, does anyone know how long to cook in a pressure cooker?

    The water method is just too messy for me. Went crazy with the water bath last year …water everywhere :( :(

    Had many compliments on this Salsa, will be making forever :):)

  • Question, 8 pounds of tomatoes is that after draining or before blanching and coring etc?

    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Weight is before doing anything with the tomatoes.

  • What an awesome recipe! I had been looking for a salsa recipe for some time, found this one and made a single batch. My husband and I tasted it the next day and we both LOVED it. I made a double batch that same day because we knew that we would use that single batch long before fresh tomatoes were in season again. In the second batch, I cut back just a little on the cumin seed (3/4 teaspoon) and added an extra teaspoon of kosher salt. I have shared this recipe with my nieces, who then shared the salsa with their families. A new family favorite! Thank you so much Jothan!

    • Thanks Joann. Glad your family loves the salsa.

  • My husband and I have been using this recipe for our canned salsa for three years now. Your recipe is easy to follow and delicious. Our friends and family love the salsa as do we and I would never dream of looking for a different recipe. It’s perfect! Thanks for posting it!!

    • Thanks Jennifer!

  • LOVE this recipe!!! You are genius!!! Made it today, doubled the batch and didn’t change a thing except only had 4 limes so squeezed them for 1/2 cup of lime juice. Used 4 jalepenos, chopping only one fully and heat is spot on! Not to mild but with a kick! The flavor is so fresh and consistency is chunky:-)) made 13 pint jars!! Only hope I get 8 more pounds of tomatoes from our garden! By the way, I used combo of Roma and celebrity from our garden:-))) Thank you, bald gourmet!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • You are most welcome Mimi. Glad you love the salsa!

  • I made your salsa today. When my husband got home from work he saw that there was a little left in the bottom of the pot and scarfed it down. He said under no circumstances are we to share these jars with anyone! Excellent recipe. Thank you so much ! I tamed it down a bit by using less jalapeno and more bell pepper. It was a perfect amount of heat for us !!

    • Lol. Your husband sounds like a man after my own heart. Glad you guys love the salsa.

  • Hi ,
    can I add different Peppers like ghost peppers for more heat?

    • Absolutely!

  • I was wondering about cumin seeds…i have never used the seeds so am curious about toasting them. Could I use ground cumin?

    • Ground cumin works too. It’s just not as strong as toasted seeds.

      • So if using ground cumin instead of the seeds how much would you add

        • I don’t know, a little less I guess. Why not just use the whole seeds as suggested?

  • Thank you for this recipe. I started making this 3 years ago. I followed your recipe exactly and it was awesome! I have since made it my own with the different types of chilis I use and other seasonings and still people can’t stop raving about how good this salsa is. It truly is thick and chunky. It doesn’t taste like plain old chopped tomatoes. No, no. It’s…it’s…a perfect blend of ingredients that tastes the opposite of canned! It is cooked, but not that typical store-bought-canned taste. I made 3 dozen quarts one season hoping it would see us through the winter. Ha, was I wrong. It was all gone before we hit the middle of fall!! We use it on tacos of course, and even throw a few spoonfuls into ground meat to give our burgers a kick!

    And for those of you wondering, can you use canned tomatoes? Yes. I have used fire-roasted canned, too, to supplement the tomatoes I had on hand. I just add the canned at the end of cooking down my fresh tomatoes. I even made a batch with all my left over tomatoes from saucers, beefsteaks, cherries…I throw into a food processor with skins on. We like it with all the bits of skins, too. Cuts down the time by a lot for making big batches like me!

    Happy Salsa Making!!

    • what changes did you make to the recipe – just curious

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with the salsa and your tips. Glad you love it!

  • First let me say I normally don’t comment or rate recipes, as many times the raters did not even try the recipe and gives it 5 undeserved stars, “because the recipe sounds so good”, or “the pictures make me want to try it”. Or on the other hand they give a recipe only one or two stars after they completely change the recipe and then blame the author for a bad tasteless fare. Your recipe here as written needs to be changed completely (the name that is) you should call this “The Best Damned Freaking Chunky Salsa Sauce in the Universe !!” This stuff is good, and being a self professed Salsa connoisseur I am qualified to make that judgment! I did not add the cilantro as I don’t like the taste of it, and because I refrigerated it I did not add as much lime or vinegar as one would have to do for canning. The family loved it and also proclaimed this as some of the best Salsa they ever had. Have this recipe bookmarked and will definitely make again. Thanks for some good stuff! Oh by the way you look exactly like my brother Larry!

    • Ha! Thanks Terry. I love the new name of “The Best Damned Freaking Chunky Salsa Sauce in the Universe !!” If Larry is my doppelgänger, feed him some of my salsa! Lol.

  • This salsa is amazing!!! Thank you for the recipe!!

  • Can I use half pint jars instead? I am assuming yes but wonder if the processing time would be the same.

    Thank you

    • I think the time is the same Sue.

  • I didn’t finish the water bath. I had to quit, for one of the 1/2 pint jars broke.

  • Almost done with my first batch! Can you also used canned tomatoes for this recipe?

  • […] Recipe: Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa […]

  • My daughter and I made a few batches of salsa this past autumn. The flavour is good and we have gotten many compliments on it, however I personally prefer a thicker salsa. I am definately going to try your recipe next canning season. I prefer using a pressure canner, so need to know if there is any reason you may not recommend this.

    • Good morning Cheryl. If you’re looking for thick salsa, you’ve come to the right place! Our salsa is thick and tasty! The extra effort is well worth the results. There isn’t any reason you couldn’t use a pressure canner with this recipe. Let us know how it turns out.

  • Just got more compliments on your fantastic salsa! I am planning to make another batch tomorrow.

    • Thanks Sharon. I’m so glad the salsa is a hit.

  • Thank you for this great recipe. Best ever in the World of Salsa….. Just getting ready to make a few more batches now. Boys raided my pantry last year a few times so I definitely will be making more this year after the great harvest we had in the tomato garden!!!!

  • Is there a suggestion for a tomato paste substitution? I’d like to make this as home-grown as possible, without the addition of canned/BPA lined tomatoes from the store. Thanks!

    • Not that I can think of other that first making homemade tomato past and then using that. Sorry Kristen.

      • You can dehydrate tomato slices then chop them up and put them in whatever you would like to thicken. It works as an amazing substitution for tomato paste.

    • You can buy organic tomato paste in jars now, I use it all the time, can order online in not in your health food section.

  • Can I double this or do I need to make and cook separate batches. This will be my first time canning.

    • Hi Theresa. Yes, you can double or triple the recipe for a larger batch. This recipe takes more time than others, but is so worth the effort. You picked a good one to start canning with. I hope you enjoy the results!

      • Thanks, plan on doing this week. I’ll post back.

  • This salsa is fantastic! We made over 40 jars of it this summer, just varying the heat based on which peppers were maturing in the garden. We shared many jars with friends and family, but now my husband is jealously guarding the last dozen jars! Thanks for a really exceptional recipe!

    • You bet Peg. Glad the salsa is a hit!

  • This is my favorite salsa recipe! Thank you for sharing it. I has to substitute half lemon half lime today. That should be ok, right? Also, I doubled the batch and got 13 1/2 pints. Last year I also had extra than what the recipe called for. I weigh and measure everything precisely. I notice that after I strain the tomatoes and boil/simmer them that the consistency is still watery. Should I just squeeze the tomatoes after staining? This still should be ok to eat even though it made more?

    • Glad you love the salsa Maria. Yes, you should be fine with half lemon and half lime. Sometimes my batches come out with a little extra as well. You should be fine. Most canning recipes vary in quantity results from one batch to another. Par for the course I guess. Anyway, thanks for the comment.

  • This was the first time I have made Salsa. I have a bumper crop of tomatoes this year so was searching for recipes. Can’t tell you how many I looked at before I found this one! The thickness of the Salsa is what appealed to me. I was not disappointed! This is an excellent salsa. Time consuming but worth it. I’m a beginner and I’m sure it will be faster next time. My only regret: not enough ripe tomatoes to double the recipe. I got 6 pints and it won’t last long! Next time I plan to add a little more heat. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Thanks Pat. Glad you like the salsa

  • Love this recipe – First time I made it (double recipe) I was unable to find anaheims so I used more yellow and some red peppers. I had the family helping chop so we did it manually. The next batch (following the recipe ingredients exactly) I tripled and was on my own so opted for the assistance of the Cuisinart on all chopping except the tomatoes. It was equally as wonderful as the chunky version – much faster and easier on the forearms. This is a new family favourite and going fast…60 lbs of tomatoes next year.
    Excited to explore your other gems. Thank you!

    • You are most welcome Sarah. Glad you and your family like the salsa. I too have used my Cuisinart to save time and labor. I just did small amounts at a time and quick little pulses to try to make larger chunks. Worked OK but nothing beats a manual knife. Anyway, thanks for the comment. Happy eating!

  • I don’t understand why you have to cook the tomatoes for an hour and a half. If you’re draining them, that should reduce cooking time. There’d be absolutely very little nutrition left in these tomatoes don’t you think?

    • Hi Cate. The long cooking time after draining is to further reduce the liquid down, thus concentrating the flavors and making a thicker salsa. Do what you’d prefer though.

  • I have made salsa over the years and have always just frozen the batch in individual plastic containers until ready to use. Not very interested in the canning process anymore. Any problem with doing the same with your recipe.

    • I haven’t tried it but can’t imagine it would make much difference.

  • I was looking for a salsa recipe, but feel like i found a relative. My maiden name is Yeager and you are bald like my grandpa, dad and look a crazy amount like my bald brother. Did your family originate in Hungary? Santa Ana? Its not there anymore. Only respond if you are comfortable with this. Take care.

    • Hi Linda. About a year ago I got into family history work, so I can actually answer your question. My Yeager (Jaeger) ancestors originally came from Faltz Germany. They left in 1766 to settle the Norka river area in Saratov Russia, taking Catherine the Great up on her “generous” relocation offer. After years of struggle, many started leaving the area. My great grandparents left in 1890 to come to the U.S. They settled in Portland, OR. Others settled in Denver. So we may not be direct ancestral relatives, but could be connected somewhere along the lines.

  • This is absolutely amazing! Thanks for putting this out on the web. Will be the only salsa recipe we’ll be using. My neighbor has already finished the jar I gave him 2 day’s ago.

    • You betcha Vic.

  • I helped my hubby make this awesome salsa . First time salsa maker – definitely won’t be the last! His tomatoes did quite well this year and we made a double batch right away. We added some chopped pineapple and the pineapple juice, as it was a bit hot for us. My husband didn’t weigh the tomatoes and we ended up with 14 pints along with a few plastic containers. Being paranoid about food safety, is it OK that we ended up with that much and only used the required Vinegar and Lime Juice for a double batch? Also, do you think we can freeze some salsa that we didn’t seal up? Thanks for the recipe!

    • I’m glad you asked Patty. I’m not a registered food safety expert, so it’s probably best to check with your local canning extension office regarding the safety of your salsa. However, I can say that it is very important when making home canned salsas to keep your vegetable to acid ratio the same as what the tested/verified recipe calls for. If you didn’t weigh your tomatoes, and ended up with 14 pints instead of 10, there’s a chance the acid ratio is off. However, by adding pineapple and the pineapple juice, you added additional acid to your batch so you may be just fine. Additionally, home-grown tomatoes typically have higher acid content than store bought, but it varies by breed. If in doubt, just freeze your jars of salsa until ready to use.

  • I first found your recipe on google and was excited to post it on my pinterest board. This is my first time making salsa and I must say with your recipe it will not be the last. I grew my own garden this year, just for the purpose of making salsa. Everything else I had in my pantry. So glad I read all the great comments which convinced me that this was the perfect thick salsa recipe. I know the 12 pints I canned will not last long.
    I give this recipe 5 stars!!!!

    • Thanks Sherrie. Salsa gardens are the best. Hope your salsa turns out great!

  • We made this for the first time last year and have dreaming about it ever since! The only issue was that we didn’t make enough and the jars got eaten far too fast! We sent a couple of jars with my daughter to take to her dad when she visited across country and he and his wife have requested more this year! We will be tripling the recipe this year and it still will most likely be too little! We are extremely happy with the way it turned out with absolutely zero modifications. This year we will be adding a bit of kick with a jalepeno or two. Definitely a family favourite!

    • That’s great Terisa. Thanks for sharing!

  • I’m making this for the third time today. I fiddled with the peppers a little on each batch, as I have a few madly productive poblano plants this year. Given your mention of adjustments to the original recipe and my own subsequent pepper shenanigans, I let each of the first two batches sit for a few weeks after canning and then checked ph, and I’m pleased to report that both batches were unambiguously acidic enough for HWB canning. Oh, and delicious. I mean, really delicious, to the point where it’s difficult to express how good this salsa is without resorting to profanity. 200lbs and counting of tomatoes from the garden this year, and this is easily the biggest hit out of all experiments so far. Thank you!

    • Ha! Thanks for such a great comment Cassandra. I know what you mean about the profanity description. I seem to swear every time I crack open a jar. Thanks for the laugh. 200 pounds and counting? You have been a very busy bee this year!

      • Back again today, triple batch with 24lbs of Green Zebra tomatoes. Got a little lazy about this batch and accidentally discovered that leaving the cut tomatoes covered and draining in the fridge overnight seems to eliminate the need for a cookdown. I’m not even sure I’m going to add the tomato paste to this batch. Also, under cover of “taste tests,” I’ve pretty much managed to have salsa for breakfast this morning. That’s health food, right?

  • What type of paprika do you recommend for your salsa recipe?

    • I use mild, but you could use hot for added heat, or smoked for a bit of smokey flavor.

  • Hi Jonthan, I’m back to say yum.
    Just finished making the salsa with the lemon juice and it’s wonderful! Not vinegary tasting. I only planted sweet peppers this year so this is strictly a sweet salsa. Next year I’ll be adding hot peppers to the garden just for this recipe :)
    Thank you so very much, God bless.

  • Hi!
    When you say double or triple the recipe, can it all be cooked in one big pot or do I have to remake it every time like you would with jam to ensure the right consistency? Thanks!

    • You can do it all at once. That’s how I usually do mine too.

  • Just finished canning a batch of this salsa. Thank you for the recipe! I had some banana peppers so I used them in place of the Anaheim peppers. I also used roma tomatoes and San Marzano tomatoes (both plum tomatoes) from our garden. I did drain the juice from my cut tomatoes, but added some back into the pot while making my salsa because it was quite thick even before adding the tomato paste. I didn’t have any cumin seeds, so I added about a half a teaspoon of ground cumin. Wasn’t sure if this was too much, but it seems to taste fine. This is a great recipe.

    • Thanks Judy

  • We made a double batch – followed the instructions exactly. So… cup of lime juice for a double batch. We now have lime flavored salsa. This is WAY TOO MUCH lime juice!

    • Sorry to hear that Jim. I don’t know what to tell you. You’re the first that I’ve heard with this issue. Did you use fresh squeezed limes or bottled lime juice? Bottled is more intense. Anyway, at 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice the flavor should be present but not overbearing. You can replace the lime juice with vinegar in the future if you’d like.

  • I’m interested in trying your recipe, I only have lemons on hand and going out to find limes isn’t possible at this time. Can I sub lemons for limes?
    Last year I made a different recipe and I found it too vinegary tasting.
    I’m sure yours will be better :)

    • Hi Lucy. You can use lemons instead of limes, as the acid content is about the same. However, there is a flavor difference between the two of course. But unless you have a jar made with limes and a jar made with lemons, you will probably never know the difference. I hope you enjoy the salsa. Let me know how it turns out. :)

  • Is it a MUST to peel the tomatoes??

    • Hi Valerie. It’s not a must, but the skins aren’t a great texture in the finished salsa. Up to you.

  • i have already peeled my tomatoes and did not weigh prior. How many cups of tomatoes would be equal to your 8 pounds as called for in the recipe?

    • I’m not sure, but you can just weigh them after you peel and be close.

  • This is the 2nd time I’ve made this recipe this summer. I made a double batch at the end of June (12 jars) and I’m down to my last jar so I’m making another double batch. It has been a big hit with the entire family! Thanks for such a great recipe!

    • I’m so glad the sales is a hit with your family. Thanks for commenting.

  • Love this recipe! This is the second year we have done this salsa recipe and we have had nothing but success. I do use a variety of peppers instead of anaheims depending on what’s in the garden and always throw in a few cayennes. Thanks for such a easy and delicious recipe!

    • You are most welcome Jennifer! Glad you like it. Thanks for the comment. It’s always nice to hear from my readers.

  • I made it tonight…tried some off the spoon ….pretty tasty…I added some Serrano peppers and more jalapeños to make it more spicy…hands are burning but my mouth is watering….thanks…used tomatoes from my garden

    • Nice! Glad you tried the recipe.

  • Have you ever added fresh corn to this recipe? If so, how much and does it change the water bath time?

    • I have not. I’m not sure what adding corn would do to the processing time or safety. You might check with your local extension office to see what they recommend.

    • Did you find out an answer to the corn question? I’m curious too and would love to add it!

      • Hi Judith. So I called my extension office about the safety of adding corn to the salsa recipe. They said not to do it. Corn, black beans, and the like require pressure canning and are not safe for water bath canning. They recommended just mixing some corn into the salsa later when you open up a jar to eat.

  • I am going to try making salsa for the first time
    In the recipe What do you mean by one whole pepper ?

    • Hi Jane. One whole meaning seeds and all except for the stem of course.

  • I made a double batch last night and my husband can’t get over how delicious this recipe is! It truly IS thick!! I am in the middle of another batch only this time I tripled it. That way I should be done for a year. :) Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe and taking the time to experiment to find that “just right” recipe! I really appreciate it!

    • Thanks Mary Jane. Glad you enjoy it. You should try our peach lime salsa as well.

  • This is the second year I will be making this recipe. People have asked me for the recipe. Glad you have a share button. It is delicious!

    • Thanks Julie!

  • I am looking for to making this salsa and had a question about the bath. do you know how long and at what PSI I would cook this in a pressure canner?

  • I have been searching for a really good salsa recipe that’s thick and very delicious made this the other day and my family just went crazy I’ll be making a lot of it this year thank you so much.

    • You bet Melissa. Glad it’s a hit.

  • I have made salsa using this recipe twice now and its absolutely the best salsa I have ever eaten. I gave a jar to a few friends and they agree. They keep asking me when I’m making more. Luckily I have a large amount of Roma tomatoes from my garden this year. I planted extra so I would have enough to make this salsa. Thank you for this excellent recipe.

    • Thank you Kenny, and you are welcome. Thanks for the comment and compliment. Happy eating!

  • I made this recipe for the first time today. It was so good, I wanted to lick the pot!

    • Glad you like it Renee. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  • I’m a senior and do not grow a garden. How would I adapt this recipe to use hunts seasoned diced tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes?

  • I’m a senior and don’t have a garden. How would I adapt this recipe to using hunts diced tomatoes instead of fresh ones?

    • Good question Nancy. You will have better results using fresh tomatoes instead of canned. The canned tomatoes may not hold their texture well and not produce a thick and chunky salsa texture. You can use store bought Roma tomatoes instead of fresh garden tomatoes. They won’t taste as good of course, but will still do the trick.

  • turned out great. made second batch replacing the cumin with two other ingredients both smell great and made it a bit more chunky. we used a walla walla sweet onion. and organic cilantro. house was very aromatic. how long do you let them sit?

  • going to make my first batch tonight of this. My kids eat salsa and chips like its the best in the world. From all the reviews I saw, sounds like a winner. I wanted to spice the heat up, but wife said no! maybe will do my own batch since i like fire. will let you know how it turns out.

    • Please do let me know what you all think. It’s good with and without fire heat. :)

  • […] recipes before choosing this one: “The Best Home Canned Thick and Chunky Salsa” by the Bald Gourmet. It tastes absolutely […]

  • I never make comments on websites but I have to say that this recipe is really really good! I had to stray a bit because we did not have enough tomatoes from the garden, so I added about 30-40% roasted Tomatillos. Next time I will go and buy enough tomatoes so I can triple the recipe. This really is the best canned salsa I have ever made by a long shot! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Hey thanks Brian! We love hearing from satisfied readers. Glad you like the salsa! I hope you try some other Bald recipes too. They’re all delicious. We have some great outdoor recipes under our camping section, and loads of other tasty treats throughout the site. Enjoy!

  • Please help! My husband and I made one batch of this ridiculously amazing salsa last night. We plan to make another today. We do have some smallish air bubbles in a few jars. Is this a problem? We followed your recipe exactly, but will use our bubble removing tool this time. We can still give these as gifts, right??

    Should we tell our fam/friends to eat within 6 months? A year? I mean, we are halfway through the jar we opened last night…

    Also, I plant to document my first canning experience on my blog and will feature your recipe (by sharing this link). Can’t thank you enough for sharing this sugar-free, vegan-friendly salsa. Yum.

    • Hi Lauren. Your “small air bubble” batch of salsa should be fine. Eat and enjoy! As for storage time, most canning books tell you to store in a dark cool place for up to a year. That’s sound advice, as canned food starts to loose its nutritional value after that. However, I’ve eaten a few jars of this salsa that were 2 and 3 years old, and they still tasted great and had a good texture. They maybe just weren’t as “fresh” feeling. That all being said, if your gift recipients like salsa, it probably won’t last more than a week or two!

  • Just made this – excellent recipe! Very flavorful. Definitely a keeper!

    • Awesome! Thanks Lori.

  • I am looking forward to making this!!!! Tried the package mix from Walmart…very disappointed with the consistency….

    • How did the salsa turn out Marti?

  • Looks like an awesome recipe; we’re trying it tonight. All of our garden tomatoes and peppers are ready for the task. I noticed that some folks were wondering about the tomatoe pounds to cooked cups conversion. I found out that 2 1/2 pounds (1.1 kg) tomatoes = 3 cups chopped and drained fresh tomatoes = 2 1/2 cups chopped and cooked tomatoes = 2 1/2 cups canned tomatoes in puree or juice. You can also substitute apple cider vinegar (ACV) for white vinegar. We mixed up the peppers too, since we like it spicy. Looking forward to a positive result. Thanks Jothan, I’ll let you know how it turns out and we’ll have to check out other recipes that you’ve posted. Cheers!

    • Thanks Randman. Great conversion tips. Hope you like the salsa.

      • Well, the verdict is in! It’s simply the best salsa we have ever tasted, hands down! We used 10 pounds of tomatoes and adjusted your recipe ingredients proportionately. We used a combo of peppers (red chili, jalapeno, and red and green bell peppers). They produced just the right amount of heat. This amount of salsa yielded 7 pint jars and we devoured the little that was left over. We have more boxes of garden tomatoes and are excited about making another batch. Thanks again Jothan!

      • So is Randman saying 10 c. chopped and drained = 8 #s = 1batch? I’m not so good at math. Thanks for your help.

  • Do you think I could make this recipe with green tomatoes?

    • Hi Martha. I haven’t tried, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use green tomatoes. It’s my understanding that green have more acidity than red, so safety shouldn’t be a concern. They are obviously more sour, not being ripe, so you may have to adjust the sugar content accordingly. You may be able to skip the “draining” step as well, being that green tomatoes have less water in them than red rip ones do. Before you bottle and process, taste the batch and adjust your sugar and spices from there. The taste after cooking should be pretty much the same as after processing. Anyhow, if you give it a try, let me know how it turns out. I’m curious to know.

  • This made some damned good salsa! We had a salsa competition at my work and I needed a recipe that would make a lot of salsa. I had only made salsa once before and it didn’t turn out as good as this recipe. I omitted the yellow bell peppers simply because I didn’t care for them. I also added a small amount of sugar to give the salsa a bit of sweetness. This salsa won the competition! :)

    • That’s awesome David! Thanks for sharing. Winning salsa recipe indeed! :)

  • Hi just came across this recipe and will try but wondering if anyone has added fresh corn to the recipe??? I have corn from the garden I could use.. cant wait to try this……. I wish I wasn’t busy I want to try this today…..

  • A great recipe – thank you so much! A suggestion though – we did the chopping of garlic, onions, peppers, juiced the limes, and toasted/ground the cumin the night before. We put them in fridge but let them come back to room temp before we added them to the tomatoes. It didn’t seem so overwhelming the day of canning. Such a blessing to find this recipe. Thanks again!

    • Good suggestion Georgeanne. Thanks, and you’re welcome!

  • […] For one thing, salsa is serious business around here. I may have mentioned my Tostitos addiction at some point? And runny food processor made salsa is not going to cut it. I’m sorry, it’s just not. This recipe is the best homemade salsa EVER. […]

  • We have been looking for a good salsa recipe for years. Have tried several, but none can compare to this one. This salsa is incredible…simply the best blend of flavors! I’ve made two batches and plan to make another. My whole family loves it! Thanks for posting! :)

    • That’s awesome Sharon. Thanks for making my salsa recipe. Glad you love it. And thanks for the comment.

  • Hi there, wondering about processing time in quarts?

    I seem to be shy on pint jars this year and after reading all the great comments regarding the recipe I am hoping to try it out with doubling or tripling the batch and canning in larger jars.


    • Hi Rikki. My mother always told me to can quarts for 5 minutes longer than pints. But I always do 10 minutes to be sure.

  • Hi, looking for a new salsa recipe but am wondering if this recipe was tested for safety? (acid levels etc.) I try to be super careful with my home canning (usually use USDA recipes). Thanks for your time!!

    • Hi Patty. I have not personally had it tested, however, I took the original recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. I changed up the pepper mix, but left total pepper quantity the same. I added more salt, and added dried paprika. It is my understanding that the addition of dried spices/herbs doesn’t affect the overall acidity in canning, and neither does salt quantity. So, I am very comfortable with the safety of this recipe, and have been eating it for 3 years will no ill effect.

  • This is fantastic! It took me the better part of the day after shopping for ingredients, and it was worth every effort. I love thick salsa and this recipe is a winner. Thanks for making this available on your site.

    • Thanks for commenting Joanie. Glad you like the salsa.

  • Great recipe. Added 1 habenaro, 2 chile peppers, 1 jalapeno pepper. All with seeds left in them. Nice and spicy. Turned out fantastic. Will save this and use it all the time.

    • Cool, thanks for commenting Ray! Glad you like the salsa.

  • A friend is teaching me to can this year. She had found your recipe and thought it was the best she had ever made so we spent a day making it. We used whatever type hot peppers we found in three different
    gardens. It is fantastic and my husband won’t leave it alone. My neighbor loves hot stuff so I’m going to see if she’d like to get together and make a double or triple batch. Thanks for sharing

    • I love it! Thanks for commenting Yvette. Glad to hear the recipe is a hit. Isn’t canning great?

  • Hi,

    I wanted to know if I can substitute Romero Peppers for the Aneheims, I seem to be having a hard time finding them and these seem to be the closest substitute.

    Thanks for the help.

    • Hi Erin. I believe Romero peppers are real sweet, aren’t they? Aneheims are more like a mildly spicy green bell pepper. The Romeros will probably be just fine, but will make the salsa a little sweeter, which may not be a bad thing. A closer substitute would probably be poblano peppers or yellow wax/hungarian peppers. But the nice thing about salsa is that you can use any peppers you like….just keep the quantity measurements the same when canning.

      • We used Anaheim, Garden Salsa, Hot Yellow Banana, and Jalapeño
        Just right.

  • I make salsa every year. This is by far the best one yet!

    • Awesome, thanks Kay Lee!

  • Going to try this recipe this weekend. Happen to have some Hatch green chiles on hand and I’m wondering if I could sub the Hatch chiles for anaheims?

    • Hi Lenoir. You can substitute any chilies or peppers as you please. Just measure out the same amounts and you should be good.

  • ABSOLUTELY amazing! You, my friend, have a #1 fan! Delicious! Thank you so much! I am going to make some more next week to carry me through winter and spring! :)

    • Awesome Laura! Glad you like the salsa. I hope you try some other Bald recipes too.

  • Approx how many tomatoes or cups is 8 pounds?

    • Hmm….that, I’m afraid, totally depends upon the type and size of tomato you use. That’s why weight is important. So I can’t give you a better answer MaryAnn.

  • How many tomatoes is 8 pounds approx?

  • Just finished making this and it is awesome! We made 4 batches of it to last us through the fall

    • That’s great! Glad you love it.

  • I’ve been searching for a thicker than normal salsa recipe, and I think I’ve found it. What I may attempt at changing is the simmering the tomatoes for 90 minutes on the stove(that’s brutal in the heat of late summer). I think I’m going to try pressure cooking them for 45 minutes instead. This is how I make my lip-smacking marinara, and I am betting this is going to make for tasty salsa as well.

    I will let you know how it turns out.

    • Cool, please do Doreen. Half the time sounds wonderful.

      • Ok. I made the salsa yesterday and threw a jar into the fridge due to an improper seal. I spooned some of the salsa onto my avocado and eggs tonight, and it was divine. I had told myself just one day spent on making salsa, but I may make it two:)

        The pressure cooking idea worked out good but would work out better if I had only made the single recipe. I didn’t drain the tomatoes while prepping them; rather, I drained them for a few minutes after coming out of the pressure cooker. Next batch I make, I’m going to cook the tomatoes in the pressure cooker for 45 minutes, drain and add all of the ingredients back into the pressure cooker(one less dirty pot is a good thing).

        Great recipe!

        • Oh that’s great Doreen. I’ll have to try the pressure cooker myself. Glad you are enjoying the salsa!

  • Searched for hours yesterday looking for the best salsa for me to make. This topped my list and will be making it tonight. Thanks for sharing.

    • That’s cool Dereck. You picked a winner! Hope you like it and let me know how it goes.

      • So I made the salsa the other night. Everyone loves it. I added a extra haberno and one extra tomato paste. Squeezed out 6 pints. First time making salsa and your recipe nailed exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again

        • Awesome. Glad it turned out well and that you like the salsa Dereck.

  • Approximately how many cups of tomatoes does the 8lbs end up being? I prepped a bunch of tomatoes last night and have to measure in cups now!

  • Thank you for your recipe, we will use it.Have a wonderful day.

    • Thanks Joseph. Hope you enjoy!

  • Thank you, thank you for this recipe! This salsa is delicious and loved by not only my husband and I but our two little guys (ages 2 & 3).

    • Awesome! Glad your family enjoys the salsa Melinda. Thanks for leaving a comment. Hope you try some other Bald Gourmet recipes too.

  • best salsa recipe ever, and I’ve made my own for decades, but you recipe is superior in every way.

    • Thanks for the compliment Myrna. Glad you like the salsa. :)

  • Best salsa recipe that I have come by! Thanks so much for posting this one! I will definitely be using this one repeatedly.

    • Thanks Brandi. Glad you like it. Thanks for the comment. Happy eating!

  • Awesome salsa recipe! I will be using this year after year to preserve the tomatoes from my garden. This time I made a double batch, but I will probably quadruple it next time as it is a lot of prep work. Thanks for this great addition to my recipe book!

    • You are most welcome! Glad you love it as much as I do.

  • I made over 20 pints of this last year with a huge 10 dollar apple box full of tomatoes. This recipe was SO good. Really the best homemade salsa I have ever, ever had. I was just finding it again for this year. I’ll definitely print it out so I don’t lose it. The one tip I would give is to have extra jalapenos on hand, in case you want it hotter. I was worried about it being too hot last year, and it ended up not being quite hot enough. It was still super good though.

    • Thanks Cheryl. Glad you loved the salsa. Like you said, the recipe is pretty mild, but that way it’s a safe bet for all. I tend to add more jalapeños myself too, but the baseline recipe is a winner. Thanks for the comment. Come back again and try some other Bald Gourmet treats.

  • Glad to see someone knows how to make salsa that tastes like salsa.Most home-made recipes usually taste like tomatoes or are nothing but spicy hot. It’s kinda like you either blasted by the tomatoes taste or burn your taste buds off. Good recipe.Of course,being a Texan I modified it just a bit for the taste I’m used to.

    • Glad you liked the salsa Larry!

  • I have checked out all kinds of recipes online and your recipe is the winner I am gonna make a batch tonite I was wondering if I could use citric acid (food grade of course) instead of the lime juice and vinegar?

    • Cool, thanks Terri. It is a winner recipe for sure. You can use citric acid instead, but I’m not of the ratio. Keep in mind that the lime juice doublse as a flavor component. I prefer fresh squeezed for that, but do what you prefer or have on hand. The thick and chunky part will stay the same regardless. Hope you enjoy!

  • I am going to try this recipe. I have one but my husband finds it too runny. I don’t like canning so I freeze it. Do you think yours would be fine to freeze as well? I can’t see why not it will probably have extra liquid when unthawing which I can just drain. I just wanted your thoughts.

    From the reviews, I think I will try your recipe sooner rather than later, I just finished making a batch so I have 5 bottles in the freezer but we go through salsa fairly quickly.

    Thank you very much.

    • Hi Janet. I haven’t tried freezing my salsa so I’m not sure how it will be. Probably just fine would be my guess. I’m curious to know, so if you wouldn’t mind, please let me know how it works out. Thanks for commenting. Happy eating!

  • I made your salsa last year and it was awesome. For us here on the East Coast of Canada, we found that it required a little too much lime juice, but it turned out sooo good and I have had so many compliments. Thank you. Lillian

    • Thanks Lillian! I’m glad it was a hit.

    • When you make it again this year, you can substitute vinegar (distilled white or apple cider) for the lime juice. It changes the flavor a bit but is still good. Equal parts.

      • Thanks for the tip. I have planted 36 roma tomato plants and many pepper plants. My family and friends are looking forward to salsa again this year. I plan on making this great recipe again. Many thanks. Lillian

        • Cool, thanks Lillian. Glad your family liked the salsa. With 36 plants, you should be able get a very large batch!

    • Lillian…wondering where you are on the East Coast of Canada? I’m in Saint John but originally from Moncton:)

      • Janet: I used to live in Quispamsis, NB – my husband and I now live in Nova Scotia basically on the oceanfront – our retirement home.

  • Dunderhead here. I forgot to skin the tomatoes. They are all cut up and draining. Do you think it will work? Can I skim the skins off during the boil? Or just pitch and begin the correct way. That’s the problem with a 71 YO. Thanks for the assist.

    • Hi Carl. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The skins won’t really hurt anything other than the texture. Skimming them off the top sounds like a good idea, but I wouldn’t worry too much if you don’t get them all. Glad you’re trying the recipe.

  • Jothan, i couldn’t find Anaheim peppers today, could I sub Poblano’s? Do you.suggest any other peppers. Would that change the flavor? Thanks a bunch.

    • Good question Carl. Poblanos would work fine. Also banana peppers or Hungarian wax peppers. Or if nothing else, just add more bell peppers. Happy cooking!

  • The name says it all. Awesome salsa, Great flavor. We added serrano peppers in place of the jalapeños to make it a little hotter. Doubling the recipe we canned 7 qtrs. Everyone loves it. Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks Lori. I’m glad you liked it.

    • Lori, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Best salsa EVER!! I’ve already made 2 batches….we just keep blowing through all of it!! I wouldn’t use another recipe!!

    • That’s great Sue! Thanks for the compliment. Glad you like it.

    • Sue, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Thanks for this great recipe! My friend gave me a big box of her garden fresh tomatoes and I scoured the Internet looking for just the right recipe. I settled on your version and substituted a few of the jalapeño peppers with smokey chipotle peppers and it turned out very well for my first crack at homemade salsa! Thanks again for sharing!

    • You’re most welcome Janis. Thanks for telling me about your salsa. You picked a good one to start out with! It’s always nice to hear people enjoying my recipes.

    • Janis, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • I made a batch of your recipe and the family gives it the ‘four-peppers up’ rating! I am waiting for the last of our garden Romans to ripen and will make a double batch.

    • “Four peppers up” is awesome. Thanks Griff! Glad you guys liked the salsa. I hope you come back to The Bald Gourmet and try some of my other recipes too.

    • Griff, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Best home canned salsa I have ever had!! My garden tomatoes have been put to good use. Thank you so much for seeking out the recipe and tweaking it for the rest of us. I will now have to look and see what else you have tucked into your pages! I love to cook and try new recipes, so looks like a good site for me!

    • Thanks Janice! Glad you enjoyed the salsa. I hope you try some of my other recipes too. Lots of tasty things on The Bald Gourmet.

    • Janice, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Love this!!! I do the small batches. It does not last long at all. Heading out today to pick up more tomatoes as mine did not do well this summer. But I have 15+ pepper plants still bearing fruit in the middle of October in north east Ohio, from habanero to mexibells to sweets. I use 3 each of 3 varieties from my garden in this recipe. I leave skins on tomatoes and seeds in peppers! I ladle out excess tomato water for later use in other recipes. Once the pint jar is opened it usually ends up empty!!

    Thank you for this recipe!!

    • Awesome! Glad you like it Leslie! Your pepper mix sounds good. We just pulled the last of our peppers from the garden yesterday. We sliced them up (bells, sweet carmens, and pasillas) and mixed with sliced onions to freeze for future fajita meals. Gotta love having a garden!

    • Leslie, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Thanks for the great recipe… I am an “ex-runny salsa guy” thanks to your recipe! I have always received compliments on everything I can up, probably because I use fresh from the garden (or tree, or vine) fruits, veggies and herbs. Getting rockin’ flavor wasn’t my problem, consistency was… not any more.
    I canned 20 half-pints of your recipe today and tonight I’m already down to 18. The kids and their friends raved how it was the best salsa they ever tasted. I added three habs to the second batch and it had a pretty good kick.
    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. My only regret is that I found your recipe this late in the season and the 18 jars I’m left with won’t last very long!
    Happy cooking! ~Snick in PA

    • Awesome! Thanks Snick. I’m so glad you guys liked the salsa. It is a tasty recipe for sure. Welcome to the “ex-runny salsa club!” You should try my peach salsa recipe too. It may be even more delicious.

    • Snick, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Starting to make my first batch of this salsa! I can’t wait to try it.

    Two questions:

    I am not a huge fan of cilantro, can I omit putting it in? Or do you recommend something else in its place?

    What are your thoughts on adding some celery? I have tons from my garden.

    Thanks very much,

    • Niki, sorry for my delayed reply. I’ve been on vacation and away from connectivity. The cilantro is strictly for flavor so leave it out if you don’t like it. As for the celery, a little should be fine. Too much will change the Ph, which could mean unsafe storage. Just add a little extra lime or lemon juice to compensate.

  • Hi, just one question. Last week I canned 11 pints and it came out fantastic. But got to thinking. My batch got a little too think after the cook down. So I added a cup of water to the batch to give it a little liquid. Is that OK? I thought being drained it would be acceptable to add back a little water. Thanks again for the great recipe.

    • I would think the acid levels should still be within the safety zone, but you could test the ph level just to be sure.

    • Carl, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Hi! I look forward to trying a new salsa. Sounds wonderful! Can I use jarred, natural, preservative-free lime juice, or does it have to be fresh?

    • Hi Tina. You can used the jarred stuff just as well.

  • Something that might help cut the process of “cooking down the tomatoes” time. One day while searching for something to store chopped tomatoes in till I was ready to make and can my mother in laws bbq sauce “en masse” early the next morning, my eyes fell on my sun tea jug. I dumped the tomatoes inside and promptly filled both sun tea jugs that I had and set both in the fridge overnight. The next morning I had floating pulp and inspiration hit …. since the water boils off anyhow, why not cut out the proverbial “middle man” and drain off that water before (!) I started the cooking process??!!! You talk about making a huge difference in the amount of time! Wow! The flavor did not change and it still had some cooking time to it to cook off the liquid from the onions and peppers I’d added to it. And then I hit upon an idea to keep me from being tied to the stove to stir, stir, stir … my crockpot with the lid cocked to the side did an excellent job and I only had to stir occasionally, I canned 10 pints of thick bbq sauce last year and so far this year, 24 quarts of tomatoes. I have more than enough tomatoes to make a couple batches of your salsa. I will be using the same “liquid removal trick” and “crockpot cooking trick”. Give the trick a try, anything that frees you up to make more yummy salsa is a good thing! :D

    • Great tips. Thanks for sharing Sharon!

    • To rid the tomatoes of water…

      1. After skinning and cutting tomatoes, place them in a colander in the sink to let the excess water drain away.

      2. Put fresh cut tomatoes in your cooking vessel, then after 5 minutes place the colander on top of the tomatoes, press and then scoop out the water with a ladle.The water always goes to the top.

      • Good tip. Thanks DD!

  • We took this salsa with us last week on vacation in Myrtle Beach. My husband made the best spanish rice we have ever had. He sauteed butter, onion and added the rice and this salsa. OUTSTANDING! I canned 24 half pints, but don’t think it will last long. I may can more using diced tomatoes since we are out of fresh tomatoes.

    • Mmm…that rice does sound good! I’m gonna have to try that. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Linda, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • I made your Chunky Salsa yesterday. Had a little left after filling 5 pints. Cooled it and tasted. Fantastic. Was chunky and very flavorful. Hats off to you for working out a Salsa winner.

    A few questions. You mention coring. The Plum tomatoes I used were a bit big. Maybe 3 1/2″. After skinning, I cut them lengthwise into 4 quarters. And had to core each quarter. There was a lot of core on each one. Took a while to finish. Is that normal for smaller tomatoes? Any easier way?

    I added 2 small Habs (maybe an inch) seeds and all to the other peppers. Didn’t substitute. Is that too many peppers?

    Forgot to run the stick down the jars but after finished did see any air bubbles. Any problems with that error?

    Thanks again for the outstanding recipe. Love it and it will be my go-to from now on. Headed to the store for a case of tomatoes. Making a bunch.

    • Carl, thanks for the comments. Glad you like the salsa! As for coring, I usually just cut out the top stem/core, running my knife into the top of the tomato at an angle, essentially cutting a diamond shape out of the tomato, which includes most of the core. I do the same thing for any small tomatoes in the batch. But if yours are too small, just do the best you can. Small plum tomatoes often don’t have much of a hard stem/vine core anyway, so you may just be able to skip this step.

      You’re probably fine with the habanero add. I can’t imagine they added that much veg to the mix, but likely a great amount of punch!

      I too often forget the air bubble step. You and I should be fine, but it is a better practice to make sure you get the air out, as this could affect the headspace while processing, thus affecting the amount of processing time required to get all the air out. This recipe includes an extra 5 minutes processing time just in case anyway, so you’ll likely be fine with the jars you forgot on. Just try to do on your next batch.

      Thanks again for trying the recipe. Come back again and try some of the others. Happy eating!

    • Carl, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Just finished making this great salsa I love it my husband thinks I need to add more peppers. I did add some of my carrots from the garden. I had a bumper crop of Heirloom tomatoes and added lots of yellow, green, red and orange bell peppers for color. Thanks so much for the great recipe.

    • You’re welcome Connie. I assume you live in Alaska, if so, I hope this salsa helps keep you smiling all winter long!

    • Connie, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • When can I open it?

    • Right away. Crack some open and enjoy!

  • This salsa is amazing!!! Love the flavor. Added a little sugar to help cut down on the acidity, and varied the pepper mix due to availability, but the basic recipe is fantastic!! Thanks for sharing!!

    • You’re welcome Tina. I hope enjoy some of the other Bald Gourmet recipes too.

    • Tina, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Made this salsa recipe this weekend here in Canada..awesome awesome awesome!! Did a little tweak by adding a cup and half of diced mango on the last 10 minutes…wonderful..Thanks for the recipe

    • Thanks Tamara. The mango sounds good!

    • Tamara, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Do i add water when i cook tomatoes? How much?

    • Nope. The tomatoes have enough liquid in them already. You want to drain them before cooking, and then cook them long to get rid of as much liquid as possible. This is what gives the end salsa such a good thick consistency. Glad you asked Lise.

  • I made a mistake and added the vinegar before simmering the tomatoes…I didn’t do it for as long, maybe 30 minutes. Will the acid still be present for safe canning?

    • Yes, it should be fine. Especially if you used home grown tomatoes.

  • hi, this recipe looks sooo great i can not wait to try it!!! my question is can i substitute the lime juice for concentrated lemon juice or add more vinegar?

    • Hi Connie. The lime juice is completely interchangeable with lemon juice, and I’ve actually used both before with this recipe. The lime adds a better flavor, which is why I prefer it, but both provide the acid needed for canning. Enjoy!

  • I like you have made great salsa in the past and it was runny I am in the process of making your recipe now and just need to know when putting jars in water bath , do I put water over the top of jars to process? The picture shows less than that . Can’t wait to dig a chip into it!

    • Patty, yes. Please make sure you have the jars covered with an inch or two or water. This is needed to secure the sealing.

  • We made 32 pints of this salsa on Labor Day. Definitely would make good Christmas presents. I posted a picture on my Facebook page and credited you for the amazing results. We live in Jerome, Idaho and still have many tomatoes in the garden so may make another batch. The instructions and pictures are great.

    • 32 pints is an undertaking! Glad you like the salsa Nina. Thanks for sharing with your friends. I was making peach salsa myself. If you have a source for peaches, you may want to give it a tasty try. I posted it just the other day.

    • Nina, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • I made this recipe over the weekend – my first attempt at salsa. It’s fantastic. I ended up using green peppers because that’s what I had in my garden. The half-pint that I didn’t process starts with a mild sweet taste, followed by the pepper kick. Thanks for sharing this, along with easy steps to follow.

    • You’re welcome Anita. I’m glad your first attempt was a delicious success!

    • Anita, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • P.S. I am gathering my garden vegetables today to make your salsa tomorrow! Will let you know what we think! We have a large family so it will be a tripled batch (at least) to make several quart jars. So looking forward to it!!

    • Awesome!

  • Hello! Do you have a homemade canned spaghetti sauce recipe that you could share? I have made varying sauces throughout the years and have not found one that I love! If I were to buy a sauce in the store I would prefer Prego over any others, so that is the type of sauce I would like to can. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Wish I did, Tammy. We are actually going to start making some different canned marinara sauces to create the perfect sauce for The Bald Gourmet, so check back again soon. Our garden tomatoes are quite plentiful this year….

  • I made this today, and almost ate a pint by myself :) It’s a hit! I will be making some more this weekend and I’m thinking of adding some roasted corn to it.

    Thank you for a great salsa recipe.

    • You are most welcome Theresa. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Theresa, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

      • Thank you that will be helpful as I plan on making it again :)

        BTW here is a tip about canning from my Mom who has been doing it this way for years.
        If your are canning anything that goes in the jar piping hot, there is no need for a water bath.
        All you have to do is after putting it in the jar (has to be boiling hot) put the lid on, tighten it and flip the jars upside down till fully cooled.

        When fully cooled flip the jars over and re-tighten the lids.
        You will notice that non of the lids “spring back” seal is nice and tight.

        We just ate tomatoes she had canned in 2012 using this method, no spoilage :)

        • Thanks Theresa. People have been canning with your mom’s method for many years. And it probably does work well for your family. But it is not a recommended as safe process from the food safety police as it provides for a chance of bacteria growth in your canned jars. For legal reasons, I can’t recommended any process not blessed by the local food extensions. Sure you understand that. But I appreciate you sharing with me.

          • Absolutely! :)

  • Excellent!!! The wife and I just finished canning a double batch of the salsa, our first try, and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Awesome! You are most welcome. Thanks Stephen.

    • Stephen, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • I am working on this recipe now. Is there any reason you could tell me not to use canning jelly jars? There are just the two of us and I think they would be the perfect size.
    P.S. Thank you so much for this recipe. The prep and chopping have been so great for me. I retired a year ago after 37 years in education as a teacher and then elementary principal. I was in a real funk with the school starting and all the chopping and smells from the cooking have brought me right out of the funk! THANKS!!

    • Linda, glad the cooking saved your day! It always picks me up too. As for the jelly jars, they should be just fine. Just follow the same guidelines and leave the same headspace. I’ve canned this salsa in both pints and quarts, and can’t imagine the half pint jelly jars will make any difference. I think you can get away with less processing time doing half pints (just 10), but just do the full 15 minutes to be safe. It won’t affect the salsa any.

      • Thanks, I ended up with 24 1/2 pints. I processed them the full time and now they are “popping” away. The taste is PERFECT. My husband is having grilled chicken with a spoonful of salsa across the top.

        • That’s great Linda! Glad it turned out well. Enjoy!

      • Linda, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • I have a question. I noticed from the pictures that the tomatoes when cooked look like the consistency of tomato sauce, no chunks …..however in your last picture of the finished product there is lots of tomato chunks (my kinda salsa) – how is this done?

    • Hi Shirley. I think the trick here is the original coarse chop on the tomatoes. They will break down some as they cook, but many will keep together in nice bite sized chunks too. You have to stir as they cook so that they don’t scorch, but do so gently so you don’t break the chunks apart too much. Much of the liquid you see in the pictures will reduce, making a thicker salsa with chucks of tomatoes, peppers, and onions in it.

  • Used your recipe – produced 5 pints of thick and chunky salsa for canning last night. Had a tiny bit leftover that I just tasted – YUM! My changes – Didn’t have Anaheim peppers – so used “banana” type peppers (it’s what I had on hand!) and I only used 2 jalapenos, one seeded, the other everything. I had help with all the chopping, etc., so it was not as time-consuming as I expected. Thanks!!

    • Oh I’m so glad you like it Karen!

    • Karen, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • Just made this today.Great consistency, looks fabulous in jars. Made 4 pint jars for later use and 1half pint to eat SOON.
    Thanks for sharing recipe. I encourage others to try this. Worth the effort !

    • You’re welcome Ann. Thanks!

    • Ann, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • This recipe is FANTASTIC!!! I have tried others and have not been satisfied with the consistency. This recipe really does end up thick and chunky and delicious. I added some mini-bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange) and only used half the cilantro, (I made a double batch). Almost everything else I left the same and the consistency, flavor and spice was fantastic. I will use this recipe again and again. Thank you so much for posting!


    • Thank you Krisann. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

    • Krisann, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • We have made a lot of salsa over the years and thought we would try this recipe as we do not like thin, watery salsa. Not only does this salsa have excellent consistency, but it has the best balance of intense flavors we have ever canned. We did add a tablespoon of brown sugar for a tad bit of flavor.

    We will be making a lot more of this…thank you for the great recipe.

    • Awesome, Glen! Thanks for commenting. I’m so glad you liked it!

    • Glen, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • I love the look of this! I am all set to get started, but have no lime juice. I was wondering if I could tweak this by adding pineapple. I don’t know how that would hold up being canned.

    • From a flavor perspective, pineapple juice would work fine. However, when canning, the lime juice is for added acidity, required for safe long term storage. I don’t know how the acidity levels in pineapple juice and lime compare, but if they are the same, you should be good. Lemon juice is an equal alternative to lime, so you could try that instead. Hope that helps!

      • It does. I have lemon juice on hand. I was going to throw in some fresh pineapple chunks for the flavor aspect. Thanks!

  • I am going to make this salsa in a few weeks, but take out the Cilantro as so many of my friends don’t like it. I am also going to add a full cup of peppers because I like alot.

    I will let you know how it turns out. Just waiting for a few more of my peppers to ripen.

    Hoping for a thick sauce!


    • Mmm….Tasty. Enjoy, John!

  • I just canned 9 pints of this! It is so good. I roasted my peppers on the grill first and threw in some quartered cherry tomatoes right at the end- it is sweet, hot, and perfect! Thanks!

    • Awesome! Glad you liked it Robin

    • Robin, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • I was wondering I have a ton of Serrano and jalapeno peppers in my garden can I substitute the Anaheim chilies for serranos?

    • Shannon, anaheims are very mild, and serranos are pretty hot. I fear that if you substitute the anaheims with the serranos, the salsa will be too hot to eat. It might work out if you take out all the seeds and white ribs/pith. Just be careful.

  • I made your salsa last year and it was amazing. It was the first to go off the pantry shelf and I’ll definitely be making it again this year if my garden produces like it did last year. My husband likes strong flavors so I think I added more cumin and cilantro. We also really like the smokiness of chipotle so next year I think I may add some of those as well. :)

    I do have a question though – does this recipe meet or pass any specific canning requirements for salsa? Last year it didn’t stick around long but this year if I make multiple batches some jars may hang around a little longer than others and I’m always paranoid about the safety of canning salsa. (I never give it away unless its fresh and I know they’ll eat it right away…) Any comments would be appreciated!

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Awesome Barb! Glad it turned out so good. I do love this salsa recipe. Your modification ideas sound pretty good too. As for shelf life, I got the base for this recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens book, and mostly just modified the spices and such, so I would say its pretty safe. I’m still eating mine a year after it was canned and I haven’t killed myself off yet! You should be good for a year as well too.

    • Barb, I just added a Print feature to this salsa recipe post. Should make it easier for you for next time. Thanks!

  • I am confused on if I need to seal the jars prior to or after the water bath??

    • Once you ladle the salsa into the jars, place the lids and the bands on the jars and tighten with your hand. Once you have the lids on tight, place the jars into the water bath to process for 15 minutes. The bands keep the lids on place while the boiling water creates a pressure difference that actually seals the lids on the jars. Allow the sealed jars of salsa to cool and sit overnight. You can then take off the bands (leaving on the lids) and store the sealed jars of salsa on your pantry until you’re ready to open them up and eat them.

  • I have the same complaint that you did, my salsa was too thin and too vinegary…I can’t wait to try your recipe…but will be a few months down the road since we just planted the main ingredient “tomatoes”…

  • Hello,
    You say above “Bring at least 4 inches of eater to a boil in a large kettle.” What do you mean “eater” is this a typo? Please clarify.

    thank you,

    • Yes, water. Sorry about that Tony.

  • I made it… I just finished and the results???? We will see

    • Crack a jar open, Maria, and let me know how it turned out! I hope you love it.

  • I have never ever made salsa but, I can’t wait to make this…I will let you know the results.

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