Fiery Roasted Salsa

By Amanda Paa – Last updated: August 15, 2021
4.62 from 50 votes
Garden tomatoes, peppers, and onions roast in the oven for ultimate flavor and spice in this salsa canning recipe. It's very easy to make because you don't have to peel the tomatoes!
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canned roasted salsa in ball mason jars, with cilantro next to it

Canning – a relaxing escape that gives me peace, enjoyment, and a feeling of accomplishment. Whether it’s Red Wine Fig Jam, or Hot Pepper Jelly, you’ll find me preserving something! 

Canning may seem intimidating, but honestly, it just takes one or two times to get the hang of it. There’s no better time than now to embark on your first experience. Grab your favorite summer produce, find a canning recipe that appeals to you, and preserve the harvest one jar at a time like I did with this Fiery Roasted Salsa.

ingredients for canning salsa, with tomatoes, garlic, peppers, onions

We’ve been blessed with a great tomato harvest this year in Minnesota. The vendors at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market are hauling them in by the bushel, waiting a person like me, who’s eyes are obviously bigger than their stomachs as they carry away 15 pounds of the bright red beauties.

I also bought tomatillos to make this canned Salsa Verde!

The first time I made homemade salsa about 3 years ago, I wasn’t wowed. I used a recipe from the Ball Canning Book and although the flavor was okay, it didn’t have the punchy, zest I craved. Additionally, the texture just wasn’t my favorite.

The perfect salsa to me: restaurant style that’s smooth but not runny, bold heat, and a background roasted, toasted flavor. I reached out to a friend, the preservation queen herself, One Tomato Two Tomato, had just the recipe that matched my requirements.

Tomatoes, chiles, and peppers are broiled until their skin is black which brings out their inherent sweetness and a dose of smokiness.

tomatoe, jalapenos, peppers, broiled on a sheet pan

To put my own spin on her Salsa de Chile recipe, I adapted the dry spices used and threw in a twist – espresso powder.

(When adapting certified and tested canned tomato recipes, it’s very important to only adjust spices/herbs for safety because of their finicky ph/acid levels. Read more about that here.)

salsa in a stock pot, preparing to be canned
canned salsa in ball mason jars, surrounded by a few tomatoes

The idea sparked from thoughts of mole sauce and really great chili, which all use a bit of chocolate to deepen their flavor, but for safety reasons I didn’t want to add chocolate.

And what gives an additional layer of flavor to chocolate? Espresso powder. I couldn’t resist using it in this canned salsa. And it worked beautifully. It brings out the flavors of the ingredients and they sing in harmony. Of course it’s optional, but I really think it makes this salsa unique.

The result – well, let’s just say chips and salsa has been my dinner for the last two nights and breakfast quesadillas have been my jam!

Note: This is the water bath canner I use. 

More Salsa Canning Recipes:

holding a jar of the best canned salsa
canned roasted salsa in ball mason jars, with cilantro next to it

Fiery Roasted Salsa

Garden tomatoes, peppers, and onions roast in the oven for ultimate flavor and spice in this salsa canning recipe. It's very easy to make because you don't have to peel the tomatoes!
4.62 from 50 votes
Prep Time :30 minutes
Cook Time :30 minutes
Total Time :1 hour
Yield: 6 pints
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 5 lbs tomatoes (1/2 heirloom/regular, 1/2 romas)
  • 2 lbs peppers – a mix of red and green bell peppers plus 6 hot peppers like jalapenos or cayenne, in the mix (depending on how hot you like it), to equal the two pounds
  • 1 lb white onions, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional, but really adds another layer of flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • Turn the broiler of the oven on. Wash & dry tomatoes and peppers. Spread whole tomatoes and peppers on a sheet pan and roast them under the broiler until their skin is blistered. Flip the ingredients and roast on the other side until blistered.
  • Core the tomatoes if necessary and remove the stems from the peppers. Leave the seeds and skin (this gives the salsa great flavor!)! Let them cool slightly, until you are able to dice the peppers, and set aside.
  • Blend the roasted tomatoes, all the juices from the pan, garlic, and ½ of the diced onions, in a blender until fairly smooth. (Leaving the blistered skins on gives the salsa that great smoky flavor).
  • Add blended mixture, diced peppers, remaining diced onions, apple cider vinegar, cumin, chili powder, espresso powder, black pepper, salt, and cilantro to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the salsa is simmering, prepare the hot water bath and heat the pint jars and lids. Ladle hot salsa into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1/2” headspace.
  • Wipe rims and add the lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes at a full rolling boil. Remove jars from water and let fully cool on a kitchen towel for 24 hours before touching.


Recipe adapted from: Adapted from Salsa de Chile por Mis Amigos.

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September 11, 2013


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  1. 5 stars
    My wife and I made this with some friends and family yesterday. We tripled the batch, then tripled that! 45lbs of tomatoes, 18lbs of peppers etc. We made a couple of changes. 1, I used 15lbs of red and green bells and 3 lbs of jalapeños to equal our 18lbs of peppers. 2, I added roughly 1/2to 3/4 cup of Mexican oregano. 3rd, we roasted all of the tomatoes on grates over lump charcoal and roasted all of the peppers on wood pellet grill. The total yield was 54 pints! All I can say is wow!!! I wish all 54 pints were in my pantry. It really is the best salsa I have ever eaten. My wife will not eat spicy food and we were worried the 30lbs might no too much. It was perfect. My wife and I are planning on making your Chile verde recipe this weekend. I will be adding Chile de arbol to have of it for a real kick. Thankyou for sharing these recipes, as we are new to the canning world finding this recipe was a home run! Thanks again

  2. 5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS and I’m not even a big salsa fan! I admittedly did not use the espresso powder just because I wanted to kids to have it, but it’s absolutely excellent.

  3. 5 stars
    I was searching for a roasted salsa recipe as my tomatoes, sweet peppers, and hot peppers did exceptionally well this year. This recipe is excellent! I did modify it slightly by using 1/2 regular vinegar and half apple cider vinegar, and I also added coriander and smoked paprika (roughly a teaspoon of each). I used a mix of all my tomatoes, and then the ancho poblano, jalapeño, and Serrano peppers we’d also grown. So glad I found this.

  4. 2 pounds of peppers PLUS 6 hot peppers? The hot ones are in addition to the 2 pounds previously stated? Or 2 pounds total for all the peppers? Thanks!

    • Hi Corrina! I have done some research on canning salsa in quarts and it seems this isn’t safely approved in a water bath canner because it can be difficult for the larger jars to reach the internal temps needed, in the middle of the jars. This is a good q&a on canning salsa safely.

  5. 5 stars
    I have made some great salsas but this is the best one yet AND it is so easy to make. I added some smoked paprika and based on a comment about red wine vinegar, I used that instead of Apple cider vinegar. I will never go back! This is my fav “forever” salsa! Thank you for this beautiful and rich bodied recipe!


  6. You mentioned to another commenter that the hot peppers are not roasted . Why not? Are they roasted separately or not roasted at all? P.ease update the recipe to reflect this. Thanks.

  7. 5 stars
    Excellent salsa. Adding 4 ghost (or reapers) peppers makes it hotter than most store salsas but still tolerable for non pepper heads. This is a staple recipe for me, thanks!

  8. Been roasting tomatoes,peppers,garlic and onions for salsa for about fifty years.would not make it any other way

  9. What is the shelf life of these jars of salsa? They probably won’t last long enough to worry about it but just in case.

  10. Hi there, can i substitute regular white vinegar or red wine vinegar for the apple cider vinegar? or should i substitute with lemon/lime juice instead?

    • Hello! You can use lemon or lime juice to replace the vinegar, but it MUST be BOTTLED lime or lemon juice, where the acidity is controlled and tested, at 5%. Juicing your own lemons or limes to use in canning is not advised because their acidity can vary.

    • Hello! You can use lemon or lime juice to replace the vinegar, but it MUST be BOTTLED lime or lemon juice, where the acidity is controlled and tested, at 5%. Juicing your own lemons or limes to use in canning is not advised because their acidity can vary.

  11. 4 stars
    Excellent recipe! The only tweek I do is roast all the onions, garlic, peppers and tomatoes on an open mesquite fire. The smoky flavor of the wood adds even more flavor to the end results. Thanks for sharing!

  12. 5 stars
    I was very impressed the first time I made it, but I’m curious, can I safely use tomatillos instead of tomatoes if I roast them and weigh out 5 pounds? I like the amount of peppers used in this recipe but NONE of the canned roasted green salsa recipes I find have enough peppers in them. This one would make an amazing green salsa if I could safely do that…

  13. 5 stars
    Can I use ANY type of vinegar as long as the acidity is 4 percent or more? I want a vinegar with a less strong taste next time. I substituted both pounds of bell peppers with poblanos and Anaheims and Shishitos. The results are delicious but the apple cider vinegar tastes too strong…

  14. I love this recipe and loved reading through all the comments. I do have a question: I have lots of anaheim green peppers from my garden, could I sub those (or some) instead of bell peppers? Looking to make salsa extra spicy!

  15. Hi Amada,
    I’m from Texas so when I stumbled across your salsa recipe I was delighted. Made it exactly according to recipe. But the apple cider vinegar really threw the taste for me. It was there in every bite. Next time, I will use same base recipe but substitute fresh lemon juice along with two to three tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Those ingredients were listed on all the jars of my favorite salsas. I LOVED the base recipe, has all the flavors I love. Thanks.

  16. I have tried many salsa recipes and this one is by far my favorite!!! We blew friends and family away when we shared our precious jars. Thanks for an amazing recipe – I recommend it all the time!

    • Hi! I don’t think it would be good to use smoked peppers and tomatoes because their acidity is different than roasted, which would affect the ph and thus, canning safety.

  17. This is a terrific recipe! Love the peppery, onion flavor with the nice texture & “secret” spice ingredient of espresso powder. In the past, I’ve made another roasted tomato salsa recipe. This one is so much better! Way easier since there is no need to halve the tomatoes & peppers before roasting nor waiting for them to cool or peel. (Except for the bell peppers.) so the processing time is much shorter. Yay!

    Mine turned out to be medium spicy, and has a zippy bite to it. I used 2 very large sweet green bell peppers & subbed in some large medium heat green chile peppers for the remaining bell peppers. I used 2 red jalapeños, 2 green jalapeños, and 3 mild chiles – a green, red & yellow. For a milder heat, I would leave out the red jalapeños & use all bell peppers.

    My beau wants me to keep it all this year rather than giving away some of the pints to salsa-loving family members. This is my new “keeper” salsa recipe, for sure!

  18. Hi there! I just made 4 batches of this salsa! I have 25 pints. Thanks for sharing.
    An interesting tip you shared- wiping the rim w vinegar- awesome!
    I think we will b set for the winter months! Just love opening jars of summer!

  19. This sounds amazing!! Can’t wait to try it out 😊 I do have a question though (I’m new to canning… As in I’ve never canned a thing, but I do have all of the equipment now… I’ve been researching & stocking up, lol)

    I love the flavour of caramelized onions… Is it possible to use that instead of raw onions? Or maybe a mixture of both? Not sure if it would affect the PH. I love raw onions, but thought I’d try the caramelized in the 2nd batch (let’s just see how well I do on the 1st batch 😉)

    Thanks in advance! I’m so hungry now…

    • The caramelized batch will not have the same PH, thus would not be safe for canning. Even though the onions are raw, they cook so long in the mixture that they don’t have the sharp bite you’re probably thinking of.

      • Thank you for the information! Good to know, especially because I’m SO new to canning… There’s a lot of info out there. I personally love raw onions in my salsa, salads, burgers etc. (red onions are my favourite), but my husband is a wee bit picky. I guess that’s means more for me 😊

        Thanks again, enjoy the rest of your day!

  20. This is, hands down, one of the tastiest salsa recipes I’ve canned. Thank you so much! I’ll be making this again! The addition of espresso was brilliant. I added a splash of lime juice to my batch (I figured you can’t go wrong adding more acid). Simply delicious! I ended up with 6.5 pints and ate the half pint while the 6 full pints were in the water bath.

  21. Can I sub more tomatoes for bell pepper poundage? Running low on peppers but have plenty of toms- not sure if that throws the acid out of whack though- thanks.

  22. Oh, this stuff is gooood! I don’t like raw onions so I threw them in the broiler and blended them with the tomatoes. Didn’t have instant espresso but put in some trader joes instant coffee. Nice and spicy hot. Will also make a good enchilada sauce.

  23. I can’t eat onions. Do you think I can omit them and still can this? It’s my understanding that onions are not acidic so it will still be fine for water bath canning.

  24. Thanks for the recipe
    2 questions
    – Instead of canning the prepared salsa, can the product be frozen in portions until needed
    – can i eat the salsa immediately after production?

    • Hi! Freezing the salsa would definitely change its texture, so I don’t recommend that. But you can definitely eat it immediately after production, once it is cooled.

  25. hi! I have an abundance of heirloom tomatoes in my garden (half Brandywine and half Moskvich). Could I use all heirlooms or do I need romas for some reason? Thanks!

    • The reason it calls for half romas is because larger tomatoes have a lot more water, thus affected the “runniness” of the salsa. If you can get your hands on some romas, I would, otherwise I would roast the tomatoes on a separate pan and drain some of the juices from then. Hope that helps!

  26. you talked about adding lemon juice to make it safe for canning. But I don’t see that in this recipe! Is it still safe to can if it was not added? Sorry new at canning! Thanks!

    • Hi Traci! I’m not seeing any mention of lemon juice? In this recipe, the apple cider vinegar is the acid that will make it safe for canning. As long as you added that you are good to go.

      • Ok Great!!!!! I clicked on the read more here, about the ph balance! Thank you so much for the info!! I am new at canning so I don’t know much! I made this recipe! My husband and I LOVE it!!!! Thanks again for the info!!!

    • I would love a garden too Lee! But for now I’ll just invade the farmer’s market every weekend :) You should totally try canning, it’s much easier than you’d think. We could even do it together!

  27. Made this today. . . so so so good! Sweet and spicy and a wonderful way to use all my tomatoes! Thanks so much for the recipe.

    • Kate, I really think you should. It’s so nice to have around come wintertime! Plus what I like about this recipe is that you don’t have to peel all the tomatoes. You keep the blistered skins on them and puree so you get a wonderful smokiness.