Tomatillos Mexican Husk Tomato

Best Loved Canned Salsa

Canned Salsa Recipes
Tomatillo Green Salsa | Chile Salsa

Everyone loves fresh homemade canned salsa recipes and if you cannot stand the store bought varieties, then a great solution is to make your own. The process of canning can be quite time consuming.

mexican husk tomato, nightshade tomatillo

The resulting reward is so fantastic you will wonder “Why haven’t I done this before“. You will love sharing your own family labeled canned salsa recipe…”Capt’n Salsa’s …hmm …” that sounds nice.”

The best way to start is with a little help from the experts at the USDA, for example, they have many tried and tested recipes to choose from and the canning salsa recipes, here are just of sampling of what you can find in the USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning.

First, there are a few “Safety Rules to Follow”

Most salsa recipes are a mixture of low-acid foods, such as onions and peppers, with acid foods, such as tomatoes. These salsa recipes have been tested to ensure that they contain enough acid to be processed safely in a boiling water canner.

Homemade Salsa Ingredients


The type of tomato you use often affects the quality of salsas. Paste tomatoes, such as Roma, have firmer flesh and produce thicker salsas than large slicing tomatoes. Although both types make good salsas, slicing tomatoes usually yield a thinner, more watery salsa than paste tomatoes. Salsa can be thickened by adding tomato paste.

Delicious Roma Tomato

Canning is not a good way to use overripe or spoiling tomatoes. Use only high-quality tomatoes for canning salsa or any other tomato product. Do not use tomatoes from dead or frost-killed vines. Mediocre quality or overripe tomatoes will yield a very wretched salsa and may spoil.

Where recipes call for peeled tomatoes, remove the peel by dipping tomatoes into boiling water for 30-60 seconds or until skins split. Dip in cold water, then slip off skins and remove cores and seeds. You may substitute green tomatoes or tomatillos for tomatoes in any of these recipes.


Peppers range from gentle to fiery in taste. Very hot peppers are as a rule small (l to 3 inches long); mild peppers are typically bigger (4 to 10 inches long).

Anaheim, Ancho, Hatch, Colorado Jalapeno

Anaheim, Ancho, College, Colorado and Hungarian Yellow Wax are mild pepper varieties. Choose a mild pepper when the recipe calls for long green chiles. Small, very spicy peppers provide a distinct taste to salsas.

Jalapeno is the most popular favored pepper. Other varieties include Serrano, Cayenne, Habanero and Tabasco. Use rubber gloves when you cut or dice these peppers because they cause extreme irritation to the skin.

Do not touch your face, particularly the area around your eyes, when you are working with hot chiles.

You may substitute bell peppers for some or all the long green chiles. Canned chiles may be used in place of fresh. Use only high-quality peppers. Do not increase the total amount of peppers in any recipe. However, you may substitute one type of pepper for another.

The skin of long green chiles may be tough and can be removed by heating the peppers.

Usually when peppers are finely chopped, they do not need to be skinned. Hot peppers, such as the jalapeno, do not need to be peeled, but seeds are often removed. If you choose to peel chiles, slit each pepper along the side to allow steam to escape.

Peel using one of these two methods:

Oven or broiler method – Cover the hot burner, either gas or electric, with heavy wire mesh.

Place peppers on the burner for several minutes until skin blisters.
After heading, place peppers in a pan and cover with a damp cloth. (This will make peeling the peppers easier.)

Cool several minutes; slip off skins. Discard seeds and chop.

Caution: Wear plastic or rubber gloves while handling hot chiles.


Tomatillos are also known as Mexican husk tomatoes. They do not need to be peeled or seeded, but the dry outer husk must be removed.


The acid ingredients used in salsa help preserve it. You must add acid to canned salsas because the natural acidity may not be high enough. Commonly used acids in home canning are vinegar and lemon juice. Lemon juice is more acidic than vinegar, but has less effect on flavor. Use simply vinegar that is at least 5% acid and use only bottled lemon juice.

If you wish, you may safely substitute an equal amount of lemon juice for vinegar in recipes using vinegar. Do not substitute vinegar for lemon juice. This substitution will result in a less acid and potentially unsafe salsa.


Spices add flavoring to salsas. The amounts of spices and herbs may be altered in these recipes. Cilantro and cumin are often used in spicy salsas. You may leave them out if you prefer a salsa with a milder taste. For a stronger cilantro flavor, add fresh cilantro just before serving the salsa.

Fresh Cilantro

IMPORTANT: Follow the directions carefully for each recipe. Use the amounts of each vegetable listed in the recipe. Add the amount of vinegar or lemon juice listed. You may change the amount of spices, if desired. Do not can salsas that do not follow this or other research tested recipes.

(They may be frozen or stored in the refrigerator.) Do not thicken salsas with flour or cornstarch before canning. After you open a jar to use, you may pour off some of the liquid or thicken with cornstarch.


Follow manufacturer’s directions for preheating lids. Fill hot sanitary jars with the heated salsa, being careful not to leave any salsa on the rims. Wipe jar rims with a sanitary, damp paper towel. Put on lids and screw on metal bands.


Processing in a Boiling Water Canner

1. Use a rack to keep jars from touching canner bottom and to allow heat to reach all sides of the filled jars.

2. Place jars into a canner that contains simmering water.

3. Add boiling water if needed to bring water 1-2 inches above jar tops. Don’t pour water directly on the jars. Place a tight-fitting cover on canner. (If you use a pressure canner for water bath canning, leave the cover unfastened and the petcock open to prevent the pressure buildup.)

4. Bring water back to a rolling boil. Set a timer for recommended processing time. Watch closely to keep water boiling gently and steadily. Add boiling water if necessary to keep jars covered.

5. Remove the jars from the canner immediately after timer sounds. The food could spoil later if jars are left in hot water too long.

Cooling Jars

Put jars on a rack or cloth so air can circulate freely around them. Don’t use a fan and avoid cold drafts.

Do not retighten screw bands after processing.

Testing for Seal

Verify each jar for a seal the day after canning. Jars with flat metal lids are sealed provided that:

1. Lid has popped down in the center.

2. Lid does not move when pressed down.

3. Tapping the center of the lid with a spoon gives a clear, ringing sound (this is the least reliable method).

If a jar is not sealed, refrigerate the contents and use soon or reprocess. Reprocess within 24 hours. When reprocessing, the salsa must first be heated to a boil before packing in hot jars. Wipe jar rims clean. Use a new lid and process for the full time listed.


Wipe jars. Label with the date and the contents of the jar. Remove the screw bands to avoid rust.

Store jars in a cool dark place. For best eating quality and nutritive value, use within one year.

Heat, freezing temperatures, light, or dampness will decrease the quality and shelf life of canned food.

Before Using

Before opening each jar, look for bulging lids, leaks or any unusual appearance of the food.

After opening, check for off-odor, mold or foam. If there is any sign of spoilage, destroy the food.

Tomatillo Green Salsa
  • 5 cups chopped Tomatillos
  • 1½ cups seeded, chopped long green chiles
  • ½ cup seeded, minutely chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 4 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, discretionary
  • 3 tablespoons oregano leaves, discretionary
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and stir frequently over high heat until mixture begins to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2O minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Ladle hot into pint jars, leaving ½-inch head space. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner 15 minutes at 0-1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes at 1,001-6,000 feet; 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.
  3. Yield: 5 Pints


The only changes you can safely make in these salsa recipes are to substitute
bottled lemon juice for vinegar and to change the amount of spices and herbs.

Do not alter the proportions of vegetables to acid and tomatoes because it might make the salsa unsafe.

Source: Reprinted with permission from the University of Georgia. Andress, E. (2001). USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning. Athens, GA: University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension Service.

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