(Used in this project: Circle Jar Labels in Custom style and Oval Labels in Love style.)

Every year I love to have a garden and experiment with growing different things. Last year I grew just a “salsa garden” with garlic, peppers, onions and of course tomatoes!  I ended up canning my own homemade salsa to give away as gifts. It felt so nice to be able to say I grew almost everything in my salsa myself (I did add cilantro, lemon pepper and vinegar from the store). I also made my own label for my canned salsa jars. My salsa garden conveniently was located at our Evermine office where we share a garden plot every year. To make my label, I had a coworker take a photo of me in my garden. Then I went to a website called, www.picnik.com, which allowed me to upload my picture and add in the text for free. I also included a small oval label on the jar that says, “Return Jar to Sally” so that people would remember to return their jar after they’ve enjoyed my salsa.

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I’ve been experimenting with different recipes to find the perfect salsa for years and still don’t think I’ve found it yet. But I’m getting close! Maybe this will be my year for perfect salsa! I’ve found recipes online and tweaked them (hence the lemon pepper). Here is the recipe based on my latest salsa batch. I doubled this recipe and added one bunch off ch0pped cilantro leaves and lemon pepper to taste during second cooking.

Easy Salsa Recipe

Yield: 10 pints.

• 24 cups chopped tomatoes (I blanched them the day before to remove the peels and drained the juice. Refrigerating them ahead of time makes for easier chopping.)
• 2 cups white vinegar
• 2 cups diced jalapenos (seeds and all)
• 2 cups diced bell peppers
• 2 cups diced onions
• 2 small cans tomato sauce
• 3-6 garlic cloves
• 1 tbsp canning salt

Bring tomatoes and vinegar to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for one hour, stirring often. Add all other ingredients and cook another 1-2 hours or more for desired consistency. Put in hot jars and process in a boiling water bath.

NOTE: An optional way of thickening the product is to simmer in a crockpot with the lid off until desired thickness. This helps prevent scorching.

Used in this Project:

More homemade gift ideas from Sally:

Blackberry Pepper Jam Friend Cards Jailhouse Brew

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Sally (8 Posts)

Sally has worked for My Own Labels for 6 years. She is the purchasing director and shipping manager and also helps out with other tasks throughout the day. Sally loves camping in the great NW and traveling to warm beaches. She also loves gardening, crafts and garage sales.


  1. How long does the salsa keep, and where do you store it? I would like to try this recipe, but I need it to be stored and for how long?


  2. I keep my salsa in my regular food cupboard for at least a year, because of the canning process as well as ingredients like tomatoes, salt and vinegar that act as preservatives. I used to make enough for 2 years when I had kids and there was always year around salsa! I found this information at the National Center for Home Food Preservation | Canning FAQs website

    How long will canned food keep?
    Properly canned food stored in a cool, dry place will retain optimum eating quality for at least 1 year. Canned food stored in a warm place near hot pipes, a range, a furnace, or in indirect sunlight may lose some of its eating quality in a few weeks or months, depending on the temperature. Dampness may corrode cans or metal lids and cause leakage so the food will spoil.

  3. Hi Sally, I have recently started making salsa, and sharing with friends and family. I mix together tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, onion and other ingredients in a food processor, however I don’t cook it or go through the process of sealing the jars. I think I’m really making gazpacho….but I’ve never heard of anyone canning cold soup! After putting the salsa in jars I refrigerate, and suggest that folks keep the salsa refrigerated. Most folks tell me that they eat it right away so there is not much to refrigerate. I guess I’m wondering if I should be worried about health concerns if I’m not cooking and sealing jars, and if what I’m making is really salsa if I’m not cooking it…..please advise.

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