Garden Fresh Chunky Heirloom Salsa (5 of 5) tomatoes peppers garlic with jars in back

Garden-Fresh Chunky Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Garden-Fresh & Chunky Heirloom Tomato Salsa (with instructions for canning!)

When it comes to preserving tomatoes, condiments are on the bottom of my list. We can live without salsa, difficult though it may be. Boring though some of our foods may be. I’ve got to be practical and with a crowd like this to feed, I realize that I need to make sure I have enough tomato sauce and roasted cherry tomato paste on the shelves so that I won’t have to depend on the grocery store to supply our needs first.

So last year, when our rogue, free-ranging flock decimated our tomato plants one peck at a time, there was no salsa for our shelves.

Well, that’s not exactly true. There were a few jars left from the year before. The year when I decided to try my hand at several canned salsa recipes to try to find our favorite. The few jars left were last year’s losers. The ones that didn’t knock our socks off so sat on the shelves. It turns out that the big winner was the one I had been canning all along. It’s chock full of garden-fresh, chunky heirloom tomatoes, sweet onions, jalapeño peppers, blocky bell peppers, and garlic as fresh as it can be- with the time out of the ground being numbered days. And because it’s chunky, there’s no pressure to get tiny, perfectly uniform dices. Which makes me happy because I’ll be honest, it kills me being caged indoors, in a steamy, sticky hot kitchen canning up the season’s best flavors when I know full well that the warm sunny days are numbered. And I have an evil, hated cottonwood tree that starts shedding it’s leaves the 2nd week of August to torture me with that reminder. How long do you think till that tree ends up going into the wood burner and something whose leaves cling to it for months longer goes in it’s place?

Garden-Fresh & Chunky Heirloom Tomato Salsa (with instructions for canning!)
Garden-Fresh & Chunky Heirloom Tomato Salsa (with instructions for canning!)

I realized that it was senseless to spend so much of my time miserable in the fly-infested house when a simple investment in an outdoor camp stove would put me out of my misery and bring joy back to my late-summer days. So I bought one. (And then I decided to buy one for you too! Make sure you check back next Monday (SORRY, GIVEAWAY ENDED) when I’ll be hosting a huge canning giveaway complete with an outdoor camp stove so you can set up your very own outdoor canning kitchen!!)

And the first thing you’re going to can when you get it?

Garden-Fresh Chunky Heirloom Tomato Salsa, of course!

‘Cause it tastes so crazy good! And feels so crazy good to have those gorgeous pint jars squirreled away for a season when it’s hard to even remember what a fresh tomato tastes like.

{Garden-Fresh Chunky Heirloom Tomato Salsa}

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Garden Fresh Chunky Heirloom Salsa (5 of 5) tomatoes peppers garlic with jars in back

Garden-Fresh Chunky Heirloom Tomato Salsa

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  • Yield: 5 pints 1x


  • 56 lbs. Heirloom tomatoes, chopped and with the seeds & pulp removed
  • ¾ lb. Green bell pepper, diced
  • ¾ lb. Onion, diced
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 Jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 1 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce (This one is seriously the best)
  • 1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


  1. Prepare all of the vegetables according to the ingredients list, tossing them into a large stock pot when you’re done.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, red wine vinegar, salt, cumin, and sugar and stir them in.
  3. Bring the salsa to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat then gently boil them, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes or until they reach the desired consistency. Be sure to stir them frequently.
  4. Ladle the salsa into pint-sized jars leaving ½” headspace. Wipe the rims and top with rings and lids.
  5. Process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.
  • Author: Reformation Acres


Garden-Fresh & Chunky Heirloom Tomato Salsa (with instructions for canning!)

Happy Squirreling,

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  1. Thanks for the recipe! Two questions: what do you do with the left over seeds and pulp? and Could one substitute apple cider vinegar for the wine vinegar?

  2. I’m used to canning with hot jars and sauce and they seal themselves. Can your salsa with heirloom tomatoes be done the same way with out a 20 min canner bath?

    1. I can’t advise you one way or the other on that because it’s not considered safe canning practices according to the USDA.

  3. Why parsley instead of cilantro? Can you use lemon juice instead of vinegar? Thank you for all of your articles they are great.

    1. You could do the sub on the herbs, yes. I LOVE cilantro but I don’t think the flavor comes through in canned salsa so I use parsley instead and add the cilantro fresh. I wouldn’t substitute lemon juice for the vinegar unless you’re NOT canning it. Vinegar has a standardized acidity whereas lemon juice can vary and affect the safety of the recipe.