Canning Salsa? 3 Things You Must Know

I didn’t can salsa for most of my adult life.  It’s not that I don’t like salsa – it’s one of my favourite foods.  I didn’t make it because canned salsa was mostly runny, watery and liquid – and that’s not salsa to me.


If you’re canning salsa, there’s 3 absolute tips that I recommend for the best results:

  1. Add the salt to your tomatoes or other fruit and let it sit for at least 3 hours in a warm spot in your kitchen.  This will allow the liquid to release from the tomatoes which will allow the tomatoes to retain more of their texture and assist with tip #2.
  2. When you are cooking your salsa (before canning it), simmer the liquid without the tomatoes for a few minutes.  This will thicken it’s consistency as well as make any remaining fluid much more flavourful (because it’s concentrated).
  3. When you make salsa, it helps to make 2 or 3 (I prefer 3) different recipes in a single session.  This way you can prep the tomatoes for your first recipe and while they are sitting in salt prepare your second and so forth.  I cut tomatoes for all 3 batches before the other ingredients and can process them one after another with no waiting time!


We’ll be sharing recipes for these 3 salsas over the rest of the week – by the weekend you’ll be ready to cook all 3!

What’s your secret for awesome salsa?

Looking for the recipes?

Leave a Reply

  1. I skin the tomatoes and then just cook them and they start to release their juice I ladle it out, I usually save it for another use. I keep ladling it out until it is as dry as I want, then I use a hand blender in it and blend until chunky. They I add the other ingredients. This makes a nice thick salsa.

  2. Get thee to a steam juicer – best way possible to get extra juice off tomatoes. I had NO idea that such a system existed, use it only for 2 months of the year and swear it saves hours of slaving over watery tomatoes (to say nothing about getting apple or pear sauce in half the time)

    • Haha! That’s awesome Ecoteri! When we eventually get a larger space a steam juicer is the first item on my ‘must have’ list! 🙂

  3. I’m looking forward to the recipes! Id the “Green Tomato” actually green tomatoes, or tomatillos? I’m looking for a good, tomatillo-based salsa verde recipe that can be canned and is shelf-stable after boiling water bath,,,

  4. What sayeth you about the advice to not thicken your salsa before canning because it may affect the heat penetration rate and therefore the safety of your product?

    • Hi Kate,

      I reconcile my recipes back to the National Center for Home Food Preservations (their Tomato guide, including salsa which they simmer for as long as 20 minutes) are here:

      I am not a food scientist so my advice would be to do further research and then do what you are comfortable with. My personal opinion is that boiling the sauce wouldn’t affect heat penetration (though I could be wrong of course) however if you boiled it too much you could reduce it and end up with lower acidity in your recipe once the vinegar is added.

      Either way, you could skip the quick simmer of the juices and salt the tomatoes in advance; you will not be changing the balance.

      Not sure if that helps? If you have further info, I’d gladly read it and look further in to it. 🙂

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    • Ahhh!

      Sorry Miya! We had a problem with the photograph; we’ll be posting early next week (Monday); I’ll send you a draft by email now. 🙂


  7. In the recipe you say to add the tomato water back to the other liquids, but wouldn’t that make the salsa verde very salty since the tomatoes were salted to bring out the excess liquid?

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