Wonderful, Wonderful Salsa


Post by community member:

I used to spend a nice little chunk of change on a brand name of salsa that we particularly loved. As a canner, I knew that I could can my own salsa, but every attempt, every recipe, just fell far short of the flavor we loved and expected.

Four or five years ago I ran across a recipe that I had found online in 2003, printed, and had shoved in a drawer. There was no ‘author’ mentioned for this recipe–the title was “Wonderful Salsa”. I found it, made it, canned it. One taste led to a pint being devoured between two of us in about 5 minutes. I knew I had hit the motherlode! I shared my joy on Canning2 and within a short time there was practically a fan club for this recipe. It’s become “Dede’s Wonderful Salsa” on Canning2 but it’s not really ‘mine’–I guess I am just the fan club President! I have not purchased even one jar of commercial salsa since I canned that first batch–it’s THAT good. You can use fresh tomatoes (scald, peel and chop). You can use peppers with a heat level that will take the paint off your car–just stay within the measured amount of peppers listed in the recipe. Make it as written or make it your own!

How to make Wonderful Salsa:

8 cups tomatoes–you can use three 28/29 oz. cans tomatoes, well drained (I buy petite diced when I can find them on sale)
2 ½ cups diced onion
1 ½ cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced hot peppers (I usually use all banana peppers–you can use the heat level you prefer)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. canning salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
29 oz. can of tomato puree
1 ½ cups tomato sauce
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

Drain the tomatoes well.

Add the onions and peppers.

Add the seasonings.

Mix everything together.

Bring slowly to a boil and continue to boil gently for ten minutes (or less–be sure the onions and peppers remain somewhat crisp).

NOTE: At this point you could cool and refrigerate to use without canning if desired.

One person at my house prefers a much smoother salsa, so sometimes I pulse some of the mix in a food processor a few times and can that separately.

Pour into hot jars, cap with hot rings and lids. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Yield: 7 to 8 pints.


Note: Get the printable recipe here!

You can also find Dede at Yahoo’s Canning2.

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  1. GrannyTrace says:

    looks fantastic..just canned for the first time two weekends ago. and want to can salsa with all the tomato and peppers I am growing.
    Thanks..can’t wait to try!! yummo!!
    Granny Trace

  2. CindyP says:

    Looks wonderful, Dede! Can’t wait for the tomatoes to be ready!!!!!!

  3. kellyb says:

    This is good stuff. Last year we made 144 pints and there are none left. I was canning the first batch and my son came thru the kitchen, grabbed a chip and took a bite of the salsa. His immediate reaction was (please note, I’m going to use strong language here) “This is Damn good salsa”. Guess what my family calls this now? It is good stuff.

  4. corazon says:

    I have always known that salsa to be called “annies salsa” she is over on the harvest forum website and has had this salsa tested by the powers to be so it is safe and YUMMY


    8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
    2 ½ cups chopped onion
    1 ½ cups chopped green pepper
    3 – 5 chopped jalapenos
    6 cloves minced garlic
    2 tsp cumin
    2 tsp pepper
    1/8 cup canning salt
    ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup vinegar
    16 oz. tomato sauce
    16 oz tomato paste
    Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil, boil 10 minutes. Pour into hot jars, process at 10 lbs of pressure for 30 minutes for pints.

    Makes 6 pints

    if I want to process in a BWB up the vinegar to one cup and process 10 minutes in BWB.

    You can safely leave out the cumin abd/or the green peppers but do not increase the cilantro

    NOTE: To repeat what Annie said, the Extension agency no longer recommends canning in quarts or pressure canning her salsa (probably because they don’t have the resources to test it). For those who have made it in the past, the pressure canned recipe called for a smaller amount of vinegar.

    So, to update, make Annie’s salsa with a full cup of vinegar, can only in pints and boiling water bath for 15 minutes. (From Carol)

  5. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Corazon, We’ve all found recipes and made them our own with changes to suite our tastes. (ours and our families) wvhomecanner has obviously found one that works for her and has generously shared it with us. As she said, “Make it as written or make it your own!” like she did with the one she found years ago, she clearly said the original wasn’t some secret family recipe passed through the generations. 😉

    Many recipes share the same ingredients, in much the same quantities too! The quantities are similar or the same because the ratios to each other balance in a way that is pleasing to most of us. That’s just how it works. Thanks for the extra one that might help give other people ideas, though it might be more appropriate to post it yourself in the recipe section?

  6. CindyP says:

    It’s not entirely the same recipe, there’s been discussion on it on Canning2 and on the forum at CITR
    http://chickensintheroad.com/forum/the-canning-pot/mrs-wages-salsa-mix/. Dede is a known chopper of salt (YAY!) and this recipe has given us the option of using commercially canned tomatoes, puree, and sauce (which in part could be the difference in vinegars????).

    Still can’t wait for fresh tomatoes!!! 😉

  7. corazon says:

    I only posted that to give credit to Annie whose salsa is a tested recipe. Making a canning recipe your own by tweaking things gets into dangerous territory and is not recommended at all. You can tweak different peppers but not quantity for instance. I will post this in the recipes as you suggested.

  8. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    I did specify to stay within the listed amount of peppers but adjust the heat of the peppers. Glad to know that the additional recipe posted here was approved by the PTB. That’s a feat to get a home recipe approved! It’s only a bit different than the one I started with and I omitted the paste and added the commercial puree to increase the acidity and as a bonus we really liked the consistency with the puree. In either version the seasonings are the same and yes it sure is a yummy salsa! The one I found was said to have been posted years back on Recipezaar by someone named Dorene and was copied and reposted. Dunno. Just know it’s a keeper 🙂

  9. Valerie says:

    Dede, thanks for the recipe I can’t wait to try it. For those of you with more experience, what to do if we like salsa really mild? I have really bad GERD, and can’t eat spicy stuff, I buy mild salsa at the store for instance. Thanks in advance, Val

  10. Pete says:

    Valerie, just reduce the amount of hot pepper, if need be to the point that there are none in it at all, if that is what you must do. If you can tolerate bell peppers, substitute them for the same volume.

    Another possibility is to be sure to use only red (ripe) hot peppers, the more mild varieties like perhaps pimento, as they tend not to be quite as hot as when they are green. Also, wearing gloves, remove as much membrane and seeds as possible to reduce the heat. It’s very tedious work but soooo worth it! I use a curved paring knife for that job. Of course, for ourselves, we use all the seeds, most of the membrane, and enjoy the heat.

  11. Valerie says:

    Thanks, Pete. We both love red bell peppers, so I’ll use plenty of those, maybe just a bit of a mildly hot variety.

  12. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Pete’s exactly right Valerie. You can use all red bell peppers if you’d rather for no heat and better digestibility. Or for a tiny bit of spice you can even use canned green chilies in place of the hot peppers. Just do not increase the *amount* of peppers or onions. You can substitute within the amounts or take away. No adding – or the acidity will be lowered and that’s not a good idea at all!

  13. Janis says:

    This looks really great, and I can’t wait to try some! I like that one can use canned tomatoes also.

  14. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Janis, with canned tomatoes you can make this any time of year as long as you can find the peppers. And even here in WV I can always find them, and usually on sale or in the ‘seconds’ baskets. So no going without! lol


  15. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    A happy note to add here: David (tractor57) tested this recipe after making it with commercially canned tomato products (whose label states that citric acid has been added) and the pH was 4.1 – more acidic than the required magic number of pH 4.6 for safe preserving via boiling water bath.

  16. lotsofharts says:

    I made this for the first time this year. We absolutely love, love, love this salsa! I will never purchase salsa from the store anymore. We didn’t have many tomatoes this year other than cherry tomatoes and my husband had been after me to make him some salsa. I was so glad that I came across this recipe. Alot of my friends have asked for the recipe, which I have shared. Thank you so much! I look forward to using more of your canning recipes!

  17. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Hooray! Really glad it hit the spot for your family too! Which reminds me – we’re almost OUT!


  18. prvrbs31gal says:

    Can’t wait to try it! Thanks.

  19. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Welcome, Lanette – let me know what ya’ll think of it!

  20. partyonpatio says:

    Does anything need to be changed if I use all fresh tomatoes rather than canned?

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