This Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe is made with fresh produce and a few canned ingredients, giving the best flavor of tangy sweetness. The easy recipe explains how to prepare a large batch of the best salsa using simple canning instructions.
It's better than any grocery store brand or restaurant-style salsa.
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Summer is usually the time for salsa making when fresh tomatoes are harvested in abundance. Whether they come from your garden or the farmer's market, making your own from scratch that suits your taste is a great thing to have stored in your pantry.
There's also a fall tomato harvest in some climates. But purchasing them in the grocery store can make salsa-making an anytime event.
Whether you like spicy, mild, smooth, or chunky salsa, there are so many different kinds out there to suit your taste. Like Salsa Roja or Verde, Fresca, and Tomatillo Salsa, not to mention those made with fruit and so much more!
Is Pico De Gallo The Same As Salsa?
Not quite. The ingredients in the two are very similar. Both of these Mexican dips contain fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, and an acid like lemon, lime juice, or vinegar.
The difference between them is that salsa is cooked, and pico is not making pico quicker to get on the table with a shorter shelf life. If you want more info on this topic, see this article from thekitchn.com.
Fresh Ingredients For Best Flavor
Here they are!
- Tomatoes - no canned tomatoes here; any fresh tomato will do, but Roma tomatoes are said to be the best for salsa.
- Yellow onion - either white, sweet yellow, or red onion is appropriate.
- Jalapeño peppers - 4 peppers with seeds and veins for a medium spice level.
- Green bell pepper - its mild flavor is sweet and balances the spicy jalapeno peppers.
- Garlic - cloves are pressed with a garlic press to evenly disperse their flavor.
- Apple cider vinegar - an acid is needed to help with preserving.
- Green chilies - these canned peppers and ground cumin add just the right Mexican flavor.
- Olive oil - enriches the flavor as it cooks to bind this fresh homemade salsa together.
- Ground cumin - a bright earthy, bitter-sweet flavor adds depth to the salsa.
- Salt - plain or kosher salt to enhance all flavors.
- Cayenne pepper - the amount used in this recipe is for a medium spice level, but certainly more or less may be used.
- Sugar - a little bit of granulated white sugar is needed.
The specific amounts for ingredients and nutritional information are in the recipe card below.
Instructions For Easy Homemade Salsa Recipe
Let's begin with placing the pint-size mason jars, rings, and lids into the dishwasher and setting the washer to sterilize. Or boil them in a large pot of water on the stove for 10 minutes. Make sure you are using canning jars for best results.
Then, process the tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, and green bell peppers separately in a food processor or blender and combine them in a large pot. Preparing separately helps to get an even chop of each vegetable.
For chunky salsa, chop the vegetables by hand or pulse lightly in the food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot of vegetables and stir to combine.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the flame and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes or until your desired thickness of the salsa; stir to the bottom of the pot often.
While the salsa cooks, fill a large, tall pot with tap water a little more than half full to process the filled pint jars.
Turn the heat on to medium-high under the pot of water and bring to a boil. This is for the canning process that seals the jars.
Remove the hot jars from the dishwasher or pot of hot water, and handle them with canning tongs and a towel, protecting yourself from the hot surface. Place them on the countertop.
Place a canning funnel over a jar for easy filling, then wrap a long towel around the jar. Twist the towel to use as a handle to grip the mason jar as you ladle the cooked salsa into the glass container. My clever Mama taught me this trick.
Here's an example in this Fig Pepper Jelly pictured above. It's another delightful homemade canning recipe. With Figs!
Fill each jar with the salsa, leaving an inch of space at the top.
Place a knife between the jar and the salsa to release any air bubbles in the jar.
Lay the lids on the jars and screw the rings (bands) on well to form an airtight container.
Place the jars into the boiling water using canning tongs; process the jars for 30 minutes. Do not put a lid on the pot. There will be some clattering going on, but this is normal.
After 20 minutes, turn the stove off and carefully remove the pints from the boiling water. Place them on a dry towel on the countertop to cool. See how easy this is?
The lids will have a concave center after being properly canned. That's how you know they're sealed successfully.
- Canned tomatoes may be substituted for fresh tomatoes, but fresh is always best.
- Substitute .5 teaspoon garlic granules or garlic powder per 1 clove for fresh garlic.
- Use vegetable oil instead of olive oil.
- Chopped green onions may be substituted for yellow, red, or white onion.
- In place of cider vinegar, white vinegar or an acid like lemon or lime juice can be used.
- Your favorite Cajun seasoning will add a punch of heat with or in place of the salt and pepper.
Storage And Shelf Life For Canned Goods
First, write the date on the jar lid to note when the product was made for future reference. Then, store processed canned salsa at room temperature in the pantry or cabinet shelf.
Theoretically, the jars' seal should be good forever if the jars are processed correctly. But they should be eaten within the first year after preparing for the best food quality.
Refrigerate the remaining salsa sealed in the jar after opening.
Wrap a long dish towel around the sterilized jar and twist the towel to use as a handle to grip the mason jar as you ladle the cooked salsa into it.
What are the ingredients needed to make fresh tomato salsa?
Tomatoes, spices, other fresh veggies like onions, garlic, peppers, an acid of vinegar or citrus juice, and fresh herbs. Herbs like cilantro or parsley add more Mexican flavor.
Any kind of tomato will do, but a firm tomato like Roma and Plum is best. They are flavorful and have less water for making a thicker salsa.
Chopping by hand with a sharp knife will do the job, and using a food processor gives quicker results and a finer chop.
Wearing plastic gloves is a safety precaution to prevent skin burns when handling jalapeño peppers. Add the whole pepper with seeds and veins for the spiciest taste. Remove the seeds and veins when desiring a mild salsa.
Favorite Ways To Serve Salsa
Here are a few suggestions on how and what to serve with this best salsa recipe. Of course, the options are endless!
- with your favorite tortilla chips
- next to a bowl of black bean dip with a big bowl of chips for game day
- a perfect topping for beef or chicken enchiladas
- on top of a Taco Tuesday taco or any day taco
- a perfect condiment for scrambled eggs
- use leftover salsa to add more flavor to the taste of Mexican recipes that call for tomatoes, like chili
More Canning RecipesPrint
- 6 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes (about 13 medium-sized)
- 1.5 cups or 1 large chopped onion
- .25 cup or 4 processed whole jalapeno peppers
- 1 cup or 2 chopped green bell peppers
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
- .25 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 8-ounce can green chiles
- .25 cup olive oil
- 1.25 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 teaspoons salt
- .5 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- Place half-pint jars, rings, and lids into the dishwasher, washing on the sterilized setting, or boil in a large pot of water for 10 minutes on the stovetop.
- Process tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, and green bell peppers separately in a food processor and combine them in a large pot.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot of vegetables and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes or until the desired thickness of the salsa, stirring often.
- While the salsa cooks, pour tap water into a large pot to process the filled jars or utilize the same pot used for sterilizing.
- Turn the heat on under the pot of water and bring to a boil.
- Remove the jars from the dishwasher after they have been sterilized and place them on the countertop.
- Wrap a towel around a jar and use the towel as a handle to grip the jar to ladle the cooked salsa into the jar.
- Place a knife between the jar and the salsa to release air bubbles from the jar.
- Lay the lids on the jars and screw the rings on well.
- Place the jars into the boiling water and leave the jars in the boiling water for 20 minutes to process.
- Remove jars to cool on the counter.
- Store at room temperature.
- Chop vegetables by hand or pulse lightly in the processor for a chunkier salsa.
- Write the date on the jar lid to note when the product was made for future reference.
- Store processed canned salsa at room temperature in the pantry or cabinet shelf.
- Theoretically, the jars' seal should be good forever if they are processed correctly, but they should be eaten within the first year of preparing for the best food quality.
- Refrigerate the remaining salsa sealed in the jar after opening.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: fresh tomato salsa
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