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Saturday, 1 October 2011

Bottled Salsa

I love farms. I found myself last Sunday driving back to the orchard to get a cart of fresh tomatoes.  I stocked up with about 20 pounds of tomatoes and drove home with a smile on my face.  I reminded myself that I would I need to get cooking or my fridge was going to run out of room! Don't forget, my fridge is still full of apples, although they are beginning to dwindle.

What was my plan? I have always wanted to bottle salsa but never really had the nerve to try it out. Making and bottling salsa was totally worth it.  I'm thinking about trying some different types of salsa! I’ll keep you updated! Something tells me I'll also be stocking up on my nacho chips.

Please don’t be afraid to try this if you’re new to bottling! If I haven’t explained something well enough, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and ask. Also, Youtube is a wonderful resource for “how to” kinds of stuff. I will admit that it takes about a half hour to prep the tomatoes – so make sure you are not pressed for time.

Bottled Salsa
Makes approximately 1500 ml or 6 250ml bottles. Adapted from "Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving" (2010).


7 cups chopped tomatoes (see note for directions before you start chopping!) I had about 13 tomatoes to get this.
2 cups coarsely chopped white onions It's important not to chop things too finely or it will get mushy later. 
5 jalapeno peppers
3 cloves of pressed garlic
1 can tomato paste
¾ cup white vinegar
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ tsp ground cumin


Blanch tomatoes. Take a large pot and set to boil. Prepare a large bowl of cold water and set next to your stovetop.  You will need a strainer or something to hook the tomato out of the water. Here’s what you do:
a.     Cut a small x in the bottom of the tomato (see photo)
Make your X!
b.     Drop tomato in the boiling water for 10 seconds making sure it’s fully submerged
c.      Take the tomato out of the boiling water and submerge in the cold water
d.     Remove the tomato and you should be able to slide the skin off with ease – you may also use a knife to peel if it doesn’t want to slide off easily. Remember to be careful – those tomatoes are super slippery and slimy once the skin comes off!
e.     Only blanch one tomato at a time

Peel, seed and coarsely chop tomatoes.
Wearing rubber gloves (don’t avoid this or you will have burning skin, eyes, or anything else you may accidently scratch!) remove seeds and finely chop jalapenos.
Combine tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, cilantro, and cumin in a large stainless steel saucepan.

Bring to a boil; boil gently stirring occasionally, until salsa reaches desired consistency, about 30 minutes.
Tomato Blanching Station

When you are boiling this on the stovetop, don’t be discouraged if it appears watery. Let it boil for the allotted time – and don’t forget to stir so it doesn’t burn on.  By the end, it ended up being a great consistency.

For bottling, I used the same sanitation technique as the Apple Butter.  Wash, rinse, and put in the oven on a cookie sheet at 300 for about 20 minutes.

Ladle hot salsa into hot jars within ½ inch from rim.  (see Apple Butter section for more details about bottling).
Once all bottles are sealed. Place in large canner pot. Water should completely cover the bottles. Bring the pot to a steady boil for about 30 minutes.

Remove bottles with the bottle gripper and place right-side up and let set for 24 hours.  Store in a cool, dark place.

I was worried that this wouldn’t turn out. I’ve made fresh salsa in the past but didn’t know what bottled would look like. It has more of a smooth than chunky texture. Here are some of the photos from the bottling process.

If you would like to know a Fresh Salsa recipe in addition to the bottling recipe - leave a comment! :) 


  1. Allison,

    I love your blog!

    I made salsa and bottled it last night! I try to do it every fall but I usually eat it so fast It only last a few months!

    I am thinking about trying to make a spicy mango salsa. Let me know if you have any good recipes!!

    Xox Jada

  2. Jada,

    So nice to hear from you! I'm glad the salsa adventure worked out :) I do have a bunch of salsa recipes - I'll check and see what mango ones I have and get back to you.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  3. Allison, I have the urge to bottle and have a lovely colourful pantry but bottling scares me - it seems like a lot of work. What are your thoughts and can you suggest something easy to start with? Keep up the good work - I think I'm going to try that cranberry pie this weekend.


  4. Jada,

    Here's a recipe for "Tropical Salsa" from the same book that I got my other salsa recipe from. I don't know what it's like, but if you make it, please let me know how it turns out...and take a pic for me :)

    Tropical Salsa

    12 cups (3000 ml) chopped tomatoes, about 6 lbs, 24 medium
    2 ripe mangoes
    1 can (19 oz/540 ml) crushed pineapple
    1 pkg Bernardin Salsa Mix
    1/2 cup cider vinegar


    Wash, core, seed and chop tomatoes; drain off excess liquid. Measure 12 cups. Peel, remove seeds, and coarsely chop mangoes.

    In a large saucepan, combine salsa mix and cider vinegar. Add remaining ingredients. Stirring continuously until well mixed, bring mixture to a full rolling boil; boil gently uncovered, 5 minutes.

    Once this is done, follow the same steps for sterilizing and sealing your jars. Please let me know how it turns out! :)


  5. Lisa,

    The most work in bottling is cutting and peeling the fruit or veggies - and that's not hard - it just takes some time! ;)

    I found the Apple Butter (posted here on the blog) easy because I felt like I couldn't mess it up in the slow cooker and have too many things happening at once and burning something on!

    I am going to make some bottled cranberry sauce and apple jelly so I will let you know how that turns out since I am still very new to this preserving. THEN I will let you know what is easiest :)

    I will warn you, bottles are sometimes hard to find in the fall with everyone buying them up. Buy more than you think you need in case you have a bit extra - and always save your bottles and you can reuse them and simply buy new lids/snaps.



I need something to make this taste a little more sweet ... leave a message! :)