A chronicle of my adventures growing, preserving, cooking and eating from my garden and everywhere.

Canning good quality salsa is easy, but you have to use the right kind of tomatoes.  Otherwise you get a watery, thin version that is sorely disappointing in the middle of February.  And because of our friendly neighborhood pathogen named botulism, salsa needs to be properly acidified.  (If this is all old hat to you experienced canners, just skip to the recipe.)  Although salsa has acid from tomatoes, the other ingredients like onions, garlic and peppers are low in acid, presenting a perfect medium for botulism to multiply.  The recipe below is based on the USDA’s approved salsa recipe.  The only items I’ve altered are the dried spices, which you’re allowed to increase or decrease to taste.  Unless you are an experience preserver and are using a pressure cooker, do not change the ratios listed!

I chose this particular recipe because it uses weight instead of volume, which makes scaling accurately much easier.  Vegetables are heavier or lighter depending on their variety, particularly heirlooms, so volume measurements are hard to work with.  And since I grow my own vegetables, I can’t guarantee my Amish Paste tomato flesh will weigh the same as my hybrid roma (in fact, the paste is a good 20% heavier.)

Salsa de Chile por Mis Amigos Recipe

By Tammy Kimbler


2.5 lbs paste tomatoes

1 lb sweet peppers with 4-5 hot chilies in the mix (to taste)

8 oz onions

1/2 c cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ancho chili powder

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander seed, crushed


Spread tomatoes and peppers on a sheet pan and roast them under the broiler until their skin is blistered.  Flip and roast on the other side.  Blend the tomatoes, their juice and hot peppers in the blender until smooth.  I leave the skins on, as that’s where the nice charred flavor is.  Peel the sweet peppers and dice.  Dice the onion.  Add all the ingredients to a sauces pan and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.  While the salsa is simmering, prepare the hot water bath and heat the pint jars and lids.  Ladle hot salsa into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1/2” headspace.  Wipe rims and add the lids.  Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes at a full rolling boil. Yields 3-4 pints. 

Known to many for my incredible ability to organize, I tackle gardening and life with equal verve.  Obsessive, is that a bad thing?