Cherry Tomato Salsa

Filed in Canning and Preserving, Pickles by on August 31, 2020 29 Comments

Turn backyard cherry tomatoes into a colorful – and tasty – salsa.

Cherry tomatoes are colorful, easy to grow, and prolific. So every year I find myself planting several different kinds. This year, I put 10 cherry tomato plants in the ground and they have blessed me with lots of tomatoes. LOTS of tomatoes. There are tiny red cherry tomatoes. Medium sized yellow cherry tomatoes. Beefy purple cherry tomatoes. And what can only be described as a promiscuous cross between the purple and what was supposed to be green cherry tomatoes. The vines are starting to look like Medusa’s hair, wildly writhing all over the place, so it was time to cut them back, and harvest the tomatoes for salsa.

If you avoid making salsa because of all that peeling and seeding of tomatoes (I can’t be the only lazy home food preserver, can I?), cherry tomato salsa is the answer. The end result is a bit juicy, but you can thicken each jar as you open it if you like. I usually use the loose salsa as is, but it only takes a few minutes to thicken the salsa with a little cornstarch. DON’T thicken it before canning.

This recipe makes a mild-medium salsa. Although there are no additional spices, the flavor is fantastic, due to those sweet cherry tomatoes!

Not sure how to properly use a water bath canner? Check out my free tutorial here before canning your salsa.


Cherry Tomato Salsa

Turn backyard cherry tomatoes into a colorful, and tasty,salsa.
5 from 3 votes
Servings 4 pints


  • 7 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 3 1/2 cups chopped Anaheim peppers
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons pickling salt
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice


  • Wash tomatoes and peppers before chopping. Peel onion and garlic.
  • Chop cherry tomatoes (I usually cut them in half or in quarters, depending on size), peppers, onion, and garlic.
  • Combine all ingredients in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Ladle hot salsa into pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Wipe jar rims with damp paper towel.
  • Cover with two-piece lids. Process in water bath canner for15 minutes.
  • Makes about 4 pints of salsa.
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About the Author ()

Renee Pottle, an freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at Find her professional food writing info at

Comments (29)

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  1. Crystal VanVleet says:

    This also makes great bloody mary mix.

  2. Anna Renstrom says:

    5 stars
    Made a batch of salsa following this recipe. It is delicious! I’m still making more and canning it. So glad to have a great cherry tomato recipe, as I have tons of cherry tomatoes!

    • admin says:

      Anna, glad you like it. I am sad this year – not enough cherry tomatoes to make any myself! It’s a paste tomato year here. Enjoy!

  3. Patti says:

    I am ready to go but just realized I have no limes, will lemon juice do?

  4. Teri C. says:

    Why couldn’t you process your tomatoes in a blender to get rid of skins? Then cook your tomato salsa.
    I have cooked tomatoes that were cut in larger chunks and pain stakingly fished out as many skins as I could.
    I don’t use a recipe but just add chopped onions, sliced jalapeños or what ever hot peppers you have available, salt, pepper, garlic, a splash of white vinegar and crushed dried cilantro. I cook or slow boil, stirring often until it cooks about have down. It can easily scorch so keep stirring at a slower boil. I sterilize all my jars ready and kept in the hot water with lids. My tomatoes or salsa are screaming hot and I fill the hot jars with the boiling tomatoes and place lids and bands on. I wait till next morning to check for sealing. 99% of the time they seal just fine. Most of the time it doesn’t take long to hear the pinging of the lids.

    • admin says:

      Teri, I am so glad you asked! First up, check out my “Changing Your Salsa Recipe” post coming later this week for a longer explanation.
      You can process your tomatoes in a blender, but then you have tomato puree. Tomato puree needs a longer water bath canning period, added lemon juice, and no other salsa-like ingredients like onion and peppers. I have not found an approved salsa or taco sauce recipe that calls for pureed tomatoes.
      Also, I implore you – do not can salsa made without following a recipe. It is potentially life-threatening. Approved recipes have been tested to make sure there is enough acid (vinegar or lemon juice) for safety. Onions, peppers, cilantro, etc are not safe to water bath can unless they have the correct amount of acid added. Sterilized jars and sealed lids are great, but not enough to ensure product safety. As my Master Food Processor instructor always said, “A sealed jar isn’t necessarily a safe jar!”
      Thank you so much for bringing this topic up. It is an important one!

  5. Carina says:

    Hi! Can you add cilantro to this? Thanks!

    • admin says:

      That sounds delicious, but – no, you can’t add cilantro to this recipe. It is set up to follow an approved recipe; one that does not include cilantro – which is a low-acid ingredient. Watch for my “Changing Your Salsa Recipe” post later this week for more on this.

  6. Patti Beam says:

    Do you have any issues with the skins? I made tomato jam and I did not like the skins. I can’t see skinning all these cherry tomatoes and just wondered how the skins were in the finished product. By the way the recipe sounds wonderful.

    • admin says:

      Patti, skinning cherry tomatoes would be torture! No, I don’t mind the skins at all. But I do use small cherry tomatoes, or quarter the larger ones. Sadly, this year I don’t have enough cherry tomatoes to make any – and it’s my favorite salsa. Try a small batch and hopefully the skins won’t be a problem. Good luck!

      • WBG says:

        5 stars
        I’ve pushed some of the tomato skins through a sieve, and left some. They seem not as bothersome when there’s a small amount.

  7. Heather graham says:

    Can I use cherry tomatoes that I have frozen?

    • admin says:

      Heather, you could try. As long as the measurements were taken before they were frozen. The salsa may be a bit thinner but you can always thicken each jar as you open it. Don’t add thickener before canning though. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

      • Maurica says:

        I have tried your recipe, i think it taste wonderful. The only thing i did different is i blanched then for just a few minutes and took and if you squeeze then while cutting then most of the juice and seed pop out. I had real good luck with it.

      • Susie says:

        Hi there! May I ask why the measurement should be taken before being frozen? I washed a bunch, froze them on sheet pans for a day, then threw them in a gallon freezer bag before thinking to weigh or measure. Am I out of luck?

        • admin says:

          Susie, if the tomatoes are frozen individually then you can just measure them when getting ready to cook. But if they are frozen while all stuck together, they have to thaw before being measured, and that throws the ratio off.

          • Susie says:

            Thank you for the response!!
            I made the salsa today with my frozen tomatoes. Since I laid them out on a sheet pan to freeze they were individual little frozen balls. Quick pulse in the food processor while frozen and they measured out perfectly!

          • admin says:


  8. Yong says:

    My husband and I do not eat spicy foods. Can we omit the peppers, and still can this safely?

    Thank you!

    • admin says:

      Absolutely! Or you can use the same amount of sweet bell peppers instead of the Ahaheim and jalapeno peppers.

  9. Kathy Morgan says:

    Do you have to use citric acid to can this salsa since its a tomato salsa?

    • admin says:

      Kathy, no citric acid needed. The vinegar and lime juice provide enough acidity.

      • Kathy Morgan says:

        Thank you, I made my batch of salsa, but I tasted it as I put it in my canning jars. Mine tasted extremely strong vinegar. Im new to canning, but followed the recipe exactly. Any thoughts on what I did wrong or how to fix it?

        • admin says:

          Kathy, as long as you used the correct amounts of ingredients I am sure you did nothing wrong. Most pickled products mellow a bit as they age. Let the jars sit at least 3 weeks after processing and then taste again. I bet it will be perfect! If not, it could be that the tomato variety is quite astringent. Don’t reduce the amount of vinegar and lime juice though; it’s there to assure a safe product.

          • Kathy Morgan says:

            Thanks much! I was thinking that might be the case! It looks beautiful! Thank you for responding so quickly.

  10. Cynthia pope says:

    5 stars
    Came out so good thank you for sharing we have had a ton of cherry tomatoes this year.I could not find Anaheim peppers so I used green and jalapeno instead came out great

    • admin says:

      Cynthia, that’s great! I am down to only one jar left. Thankfully it will soon be cherry tomato season here.

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