I look forward to canning salsa every spring and well into summer… often, I can be found daydreaming of this salsa recipe when I am planting seedlings in my garden soon after the snow melts! I can several dozen jars of this salsa every August, to enjoy throughout the winter. It’s delicious with tortilla chips, of course, but also useful for main dish slow cooker meals. One quart of this salsa, combined with a few pounds of spare ribs, chicken pieces, or a beef roast makes a fantastic winter meal after about 8 hours in a slow cooker set to “low.”
The mildness or spiciness of this recipe is entirely up to you. If you want mild salsa, stick with mild bell peppers. For just a bit of heat, add one or two jalapeno peppers with the seeds removed (wear gloves!). To really knock your socks off, add several jalapenos, habaneros, or Thai chilies, seeds and all.
Please make sure you review Crowded Earth Kitchen’s safe canning guidelines before you get started!
Ingredients (Makes 5 quarts or 10 pints)
18 cups chopped tomatoes (I started with 20 large tomatoes and 4 cups of whole cherry tomatoes)
6 cups assorted chopped peppers (I started with 2 jumbo bell peppers, 6 mild banana peppers, and 1 jalapeno)
6 cups chopped red onion (about 6 large onions)
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup chili powder (I used medium-hot)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups chopped cilantro
Bottled lemon juice (2 tablespoons per pint, 4 tablespoons per quart)
Step 1) Bring tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato paste to a gentle boil in a large stockpot. Add salt, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Stir to incorporate seasonings. Remove from heat.
Step 2) Ladle salsa into sterilized jars (see canning instructions) until jars are half full. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each pint jar, and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice to each quart jar. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP – it is very important to add lemon juice for food safety!
Step 3) Finish filling jars with salsa, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles by pulling a knife or canning tool along the inside of each jar. Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. Place seals and bands on each jar, and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
Enjoy throughout the winter!