#1 Best Homemade Salsa Primo

If you have been searching for an incredible Salsa recipe – look no further! I have the #1 Best Homemade Salsa Primo recipe for you.

I never grew up on salsa but one year when I lived in Colorado, I went to a local Mexican restaurant that makes their salsa by hand – always fresh. Of course, I loved it and experimented with making my own. Then traveling to Dallas, I went to a Mexican restaurant with some friends. They kept raving about their homemade salsa here so I tried it. But they forgot to tell me how hot it was too. I felt like my tongue was on fire and the hostess immediately brought over a few packets of sugar and said to open it and put it on my tongue. She said the burning sensation will go away – and it did! Who knew you could use sugar to relieve the burning from very spicy salsa.

But I had to admit the flavor was really good. She told me what was in it and suggested I use Jalapenos rather than habanero peppers. I have done it by removing the skin and without. I don’t remove the skin and you would never know. It also saves a step.

Homemade Salsa

So I was on a quest to make my own salsa at home. I experimented with different spices and decided on one. But over the years I wanted something with more flavor and just a “kick” at the end. I took my previous recipe and expanded on it and the result is amazing! My #1 Best Homemade Salsa Primo is loaded with flavors, very balanced and you will be able to taste the different ingredients as you taste it.

Salsa is a pretty big thing these days and it comes in all different flavors. But I’d bet you will fall in love with this one and won’t want to buy from a store (besides who wants all the added preservatives).

The best homemade salsa

I used to freeze my salsa but lately, I am running out of freezer space, plus I wanted a longer shelf life. Freezing does not give you a very long shelf life. So I had to amend my recipe slightly for canning. But the flavor is still the same. When canning you need some acidity to it so it does not spoil and to prevent botulism. You have to have the perfect level of pH or it will not produce the right results. This recipe will give you perfect pH.

Start by chopping the tomatoes into large chunks. You want to use a combination of Roma and canning tomatoes. When selecting tomatoes, don’t just buy a box – inspect each one and select nice firm tomatoes without bruises or black spots. Black spots can be the beginning of mold within the tomato. If I don’t have enough from my garden, I go to my favorite farmer’s market in Michigan – Blocks Greenhouse. They have great-tasting tomatoes.

Next prepare the jars for canning. Sterilize jars and lids (with rings). While the salsa is cooking, place the jar lids in a bowl and cover with boiling water to sterilize. Place steamer rack in the bottom of a large stockpot. Place new or clean mason jars on the rack. Fill the jars with water and fill the pot with just enough water to come to 1/2″ from the top of the jars. Heat water to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. (Keep the jars warm while preparing the salsa.)

Combine all the ingredients into a large stockpot, bringing it to a nice boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, continually stirring. If you want a thicker sauce, you can cook 5 minutes longer.

Begin to fill your sterilized pint-size canning jars. Filling to within 1/2″ from the top. Make sure you fill to 1/2″ or it may not seal properly. Before placing the lids on, wipe the rim of each jar clean making sure there is no salsa that has dripped on the rim. Seal with the lid and ring and finger tighten only. Using the canning jar tongs, lift each jar and gently place in the pot of boiling water on the canning rack. Repeat until the canning rack is full. Important note: Do not place jars in the canning water bath without the rack or the jars will bump into one another and can cause breakage.

When I used to live in Colorado I had to always remember to add additional time when canning. If you live in a high altitude, process accordingly: Add 5 minutes if you live at 1,001 to 3,000 feet; add 10 minutes for 3,001 to 6,000 feet, or add 15 minutes for altitudes of 6,001 to 8,000 feet.

After the appropriate amount of time, carefully remove the jars from the water and place them on a towel (to not burn your counter or anything else). The towel cushions the very hot jars. Let cool to room temperature. You will start hearing the lids pop signaling they are sealed. Finish tightening the ring but not overtighten. If one of the jars did not pop yet, press on it, making sure it is firm and not popping back up. Should the center not press down firmly without popping back up, you can re-process it for 5-10 minutes or refrigerate.

Completed canned homemade salsa.

You are now ready to enjoy this incredible #1 Best Homemade Salsa Primo! I would wait a couple of days before opening your first jar as the flavors continue to meld together and will have a richer taste. But if you can’t wait – trust me you will love it.

Extra Notes:

For Tomatoes: My recipe calls for 10 cups of chopped and drained tomatoes. I actually used 9 large canning tomatoes and 9 large Roma tomatoes. If you use smaller size tomatoes, you will need more. But for this recipe, these are the quantities of tomatoes I used. It is probably around 6-7 pounds but the size matters.

Salt: I do not use canning or pickling salt. Instead, I used kosher salt. I used less than I had previously as we try to watch our sodium intake. So if you like it a little saltier you can add 1/2 Tsp. more. Or if you prefer less that’s ok too but you will need to add a little. Just make sure you are not using added iodine or any other additives.

PH Factor: It is important for canning that the pH levels are safe. You do not want to alter the amount of acidity (vinegar). You can substitute some of the vinegar for bottled lemon juice but it MUST be bottled for the proper pH. Spices do not affect the pH in any way so you can add other spices if you desire.

Increasing Quantity: You can double this recipe.

#1 Best Homemade Salsa Primo

#1 Best Homemade Salsa Primo

Yield: 7-8 pints
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This is the best salsa recipe you will make. Perfectly balanced with all the right flavors.


  • 10 Cups chopped and drained tomatoes * (9 large canning tomatoes and 9 large Roma)
  • 3 Cups chopped onion (about 3 small/medium)
  • 1 Cup diced green pepper
  • 3/4 Cup diced red pepper
  • 4 jalapenos, membraines and seeds removed, finely chopped (leave some seeds in for extra spice)
  • 4 -5 Tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 Tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tsp. ground black pepper (from a grinder)
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/3 Cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 Cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Key Lime Juice
  • 1 - 16 oz Can of low sodium tomato sauce (this is mandatory for pH level)
  • 8 oz tomato paste (if you want a salsa not as thick omit)


  1. Sterilize all the jars prior to filling the jars. Leave jars in somewhat warm water. Place the lids into a large bowl for 15 min and cover with boiling water before filling the jars.
  2. Start heating up the water bath canner. You want the water boiling prior to inserting the jars.
  3. Remove the top core and chop all the tomatoes into somewhat large chunks (not too large)
  4. Chop the onions, green and red peppers, and jalapenos. If you want a spicier salsa you can leave in some of the seeds.
  5. Combine all the ingredients into a large pot, bringing it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, constantly stirring. When done, use an immersion blender to chop up the bigger pieces to the consistency you want. Remove from heat.
  6. Start filling the sterilized canning jars using a funnel. Fill to within 1/2" from the top. Make sure to wipe each rim of the jars, then seal with the lid and ring. You want to be sure there is no tomato residue from filling the jars on the rims.
  7. Begin processing the jars in a water bath canner for 15 minutes.
  8. When done, carefully lift each jar with the canning jar tongs and place it on the towel. Cool to somewhat room temperature. You should start hearing each of the jar lids pop as they begin to seal. After a bit lightly press on the top of the lid to be sure it is sealed. If the center of the lid can be pressed down and up, it is not sealed yet. Reprocess in the water bath canner or refrigerate.
  9. You can now tighten the lids if they are loose. Let cans completely. The salsa flavor continues to meld together the longer it sits. You can enjoy the salsa when completely cooled or wait a couple of days to enjoy the wonderful flavor.
  10. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips (or homemade)


See notes on the web page for tomatoes, salt and pH.

This recipe can be doubled or even halved. I have also tripled this recipe and works great.

Did you make this recipe? We'd love to hear from you!

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Michele Wallace

Entrepreneur and author of A Plant-Based Revolution.com. Michele has also earned her Plant-Based Nutrition Certification from eCornell University. The book is an easy and complete guide for those wanting to get healthy and offers step-by-step instructions, including over 85 delicious and healthy recipes.
A Plant-Based Revolution is dedicated to whole food plant-based nutrition.

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