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Our Favorite Garden Salsa Recipe

An abundance of tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and onions from the garden means it’s time to make our favorite garden salsa recipe. 

Our Favorite Garden Salsa Recipe

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Our Favorite Garden Salsa Recipe

As fresh ingredients ripen in the garden, I like to make several batches of this canned salsa. My family likes eating salsa year-round, and we share it with friends and neighbors. 

A jar of salsa in a salsa bowl and tied with a bow makes an easy and delicious gift.
Gardening for Beginners How to Start a Garden in 8 Simple Steps

No garden? No problem. Learn how to start one here, and then while you’re waiting for garden-fresh tomatoes to ripen, you can use tomatoes and peppers from your favorite market. 

Pepper Varieties - Types of Peppers

Not sure how much heat you like? Make smaller batches of salsa, and experiment with different types of hot peppers. 

Questions about canning? The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning is a helpful resource.

Important Note

I love improvising while cooking my favorite recipes, but when you are canning, it is crucial to follow the recipe and keep the same ratio of acid ingredients (tomatoes, vinegar, lime juice) and low acid ingredients (garlic, onions, peppers). 

Our Favorite Garden Salsa Recipe


8 pounds ripe tomatoes (choose meaty varieties such as Roma or Paste)

2 cups seeded and diced fresh Anaheim or poblano peppers

1/3 to 1/2 cup seeded and diced fresh jalapeño or Serrano chili peppers *

2 cups diced onions

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/3 cup tomato paste

5 cloves garlic – minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin seeds – toasted and crushed

1 teaspoon black pepper

* Use different types of peppers to adjust the heat level of your salsa, but remember to keep the total amount of peppers the same. Always wear gloves when handling hot peppers.


1. Wash tomatoes. Remove stem ends. To peel tomatoes, bring 4 inches of water to boiling in a large saucepan.

Immerse tomatoes a few at a time into boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skins start to crack. Immediately dip tomatoes into cold water, then drain in a colander.

Slip off skins, and discard. Remove and discard cores and seeds. Chop tomatoes.

Measure 15 cups of tomatoes, and place them in a large colander set in the sink. Allow tomatoes to drain for 30 minutes. (Don’t skip this step, or you will have runny salsa!)

Our Favorite Garden Salsa Recipe
Immerse tomatoes in boiling water
Our Favorite Garden Salsa Recipe
Immediately dip tomatoes in cold water
Our Favorite Garden Salsa Recipe
Drain peeled tomatoes in a colander

2. Transfer drained tomatoes to an 8-quart enamel or stainless steel pot. Bring to boiling; reduce heat.

Simmer, uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours or until tomatoes are desired consistency, stirring often. (Don’t skip this step or you will have runny salsa!)

Our Favorite Garden Salsa Recipe

3. Add peppers, onions, lime juice, vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, salt, cumin seeds, and black pepper. Return mixture to boiling; reduce heat.

Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Ladle hot salsa into sterilized jars
Our Favorite Garden Salsa Recipe
Wipe jar lids before putting on lids

4. Ladle hot salsa into hot, sterilized, pint canning jars leaving a 1/2 inch headspace (place any remaining salsa in the refrigerator for up to 1 week).

Wipe jar rims; add lid and ring. Tighten lids.

5. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling).

Remove jars from the canner; cool on wire racks. Makes about 5 pints. 

Want a printable copy of the recipe?


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