Best Salsa Recipe Ever! graphic

Best Salsa Recipe Ever!

I was looking for my blog post to share my most delicious salsa recipe with a group on Facebook and discovered I have never actually made such a post.

I ain’t gonna lie, it takes forever… so get a friend to help you. Are you ready? Strap on those aprons, get a large glass of wine or your favorite beverage and let’s go!


I’d love it if you wanted to pin the image here with the heading to Pinterest!




Wait no more, your dream salsa recipe… I now bequeath to you. You’re welcome 🙂

lots of tomatoes on counter

Start with tons of tomatoes – homegrown are the best!

Best Salsa Evah

  • 9 cups tomatoes – peeled, chopped and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups green peppers
  • 1 cup jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 T cumin
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 cup canning salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 12 oz can tomato paste

Mix all together and bring to a slow boil for 10 minutes

Seal in jars and cook in hot water bath for 10 minutes. Voila! Goodness to feed your hungry soul and belly.

I’d consider this medium hotness. If you want hotter, add more jalapenos or cayenne peppers to the mix. The more seeds you leave in, the hotter it will be. Of course if you want it milder (sissy) cut way back on the jalapenos and get a lot of the seed out.

(more detailed directions for blanching and canning below)


I usually get 8 pints plus one half a pint that I eat right then! 😛

This recipe doubles just beautifully. I have also skipped the hot bath all together and have just frozen the salsa with no complaints. I like the canned version though because it saves room in the freezer and you can eat it the second you get a hankerin’.

 Below are the photos I took along the way with explanations.

Here is one of my favorite slicing tomatoes, Mexico, but it makes a great salsa tomato too! It’s an heirloom tomato which I always grow and I think tastes better.

A big red flavorful heirloom tomato called Mexico

A big red flavorful heirloom tomato called Mexico

This next heirloom tomato is just a show stopper for productivity. It gives and gives.

Lots of small heirloom tomatoes called Stupice

Lots of small heirloom tomatoes called Stupice

Next, for a little drama…

homegrown organic jalapenos

You gotta have a little heat! Jalapenos do the trick!

slicing up jalapenos

Make sure to wear gloves while slicing up jalapenos and don’t touch your eyes!

You have to skin the tomatoes for the salsa, so that means blanching. Blanching is easy and goes fast if you’re prepared with pots all around and cleaned off counter top… ahem. I should listen to my own advice. Think assembly line.

So you know how to blanch, right?


Here’s how, it’s easy.

Clean your tomatoes first…  and get a couple big pots to a rolling boil (so you can do many at once), have several empty bowls ready to accommodate the skinned and the unskinned. You’ll also need a garbage bowl for the skins. Get a really large bowl next to the stove and have cold water in it (that’s my pink bowl in the photo below). I add ice because it heats up so fast. Have tongs handy, drop a few tomatoes down into the boiling water (not too many) watch carefully and as soon as you see the skin crack – it just takes a minute – use your tongs (or laddle) to fish the tomato out of the boiling water and plunge it immediately into the cold water. This way it stops the cooking process and you can handle the tomato. The skin will really just peel away in your hands.

Occasionally, I’ll get a tomato that just is stubborn and doesn’t want to crack. I think I’ve let it boil a few minutes then thought it was cooking so I pulled it out even though I didn’t see cracks. I just needed to pierce the skin with my knife and the skin came right off. So don’t think you can’t peel them even if you don’t see cracks. Don’t cook your tomatoes to mush! They get cooked a little later after everything else gets thrown in the pot, too.

You have to work quickly, you don’t want to actually cook your tomatoes. The silver bowl in the photo and the ice cream bucket contains already skinned tomatoes ready to be chopped. The white bucket contains my clean tomatoes ready for the hot tub and the white-ish bowl in front of the pink bowl is for the tomatoes I’ve taken out of the ice water bath and ready for me to peel. Finally, the blue bowl is my garbage – the skins and cores that will go in my compost pile.

blanching tomatoes

The blanching process goes fast

Below are tomatoes skinned and ready for chopping. (this was a double batch, I think)

tomatoes skinned and ready for chopping

Naked and afraid… haha

Oh yum, this is already looking fabulous!

stirring cooking salsa

Salsa is getting cooked before being put in jars

After it’s cooked I always scoop a ladle full and test it out. You know, to make sure it’s okay *wink*

So while you’re salsa is cooking, quickly get all your pots in the sink and you should’ve already had your jars clean and preferably sterilized. To sterilize, just let them sit on their side in a simmering pot of water – all sides! Pull out with clean tongs and sit up ready to have the salsa ladled into them. Leave headroom about half an inch from the top when filling the jars with the hot salsa. Make sure you wipe the rim off with a clean dry towel to make sure you get a seal.

Next, they go into their hot bath which is different than canning in a pressure cooker. This is a large canner with the rack in the bottom and fits all the jars in their own space as to not clink together while in the canner. So first, you want to get a lot of water boiling – enough to fill half your canner. Then fill your canner with water halfway (with the rack in it) and get that boiling, then add your cans with their lids and rings on just hand tight – don’t over-tighten. Carefully, add the canned goodness into their slots in the rack and gently pour the boiling water you have (on the stove waiting) until it just covers the lids about an inch. They need to be submerged. Let it boil 10 minutes or according to your canner and then very carefully remove your cans with a jar lifter.

I set them out on a long board, with plenty of air space between them and as they cool the seal will pop. Oh, how I love that sound! Pop! If you happen to get one that doesn’t seal, just put it in the fridge to eat first.

jars of salsa in a hot bath

Everybody in the hot tub!

Jars of freshly canned salsa cooling

Jars of freshly canned salsa cooling

Soon, you’ll have goodness of your very own to give away and share or ready to eat whenever you like.

I happen to love pineapple salsa. So once I tried to make my own. Notice I say once. That’s because in the end, I could not even tell there were pineapples in it. I couldn’t taste it. I don’t know if the other flavors over powered it or what but unless I come across a tried and true recipe that I’ve tasted, I’m not making it again. Until then, if I want pineapple salsa, I’ll keep buying Newman’s Own.

makings of pineapple salsa

Getting cocky with pineapple – save the pineapple or eat it while you’re making salsa

So, if you’ve got tons of tomatoes, I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think. Take this recipe and put your own spin on it, but whatever you do, be ready for people to tell you that you should sell this stuff at the farmer’s market. Yeah right… It’s so labor intensive I’d want to charge $20 a can! But it’s worth it for yourself 😉

Check out other recipes I’ve shared by clicking on recipes in the category drop down menu to the left. Thanks for visiting!

Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page in the menu at the top. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts.

If you would like to keep up with what I’m doing, I have a newsletter e-mailed about once a month that gives you special status for invitations, birthday greeting and more. I’d love for you to add your email to my Friends and Collectors list!

paintings by Jaime Haney

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