Canning salsa

Asked September 11, 2017, 9:43 AM EDT

Hello. I'm wondering if I can make salsa to can without using vinegar. Can I use lime juice and/or citric acid? If so, how much? Thank you for your time.

Larimer County Colorado

1 Response


Unfortunately, it is not safe to make the substitution you ask about. You must find a salsa recipe specifically developed and tested for canning. Otherwise, you may freeze your recipe.
More information here:

Canning Salsa Safely. Salsa is a mixture of high-acid ingredients such as fruit or tomatoes, and low-acid ingredients like peppers and onions.

  • You may substitute sweet peppers for hot peppers, and vice versa, measure for measure when preparing home-canned salsa. You may also substitute colored peppers for green ones!
  • You may add tomato paste to thicken any tested salsa recipe without changing the processing time. [Hint: if salsa is thinner than you like, simply drain prior to serving!]
  • You can reduce the sugar or salt in any tested salsa recipe.
  • You may reduce the amount of low-acid ingredients such as onion, celery, or green peppers in a tested salsa recipe. But you may not substitute corn, black beans, etc. for ingredients that are being reduced.
  • You may not change or reduce the type (or amount) of acid in a tested recipe. Add a bit of sugar if the salsa is too tart.
  • There are no safe methods for canning salsa in quart jars. If you wish to store in quart-size jars, then refrigerate or freeze for the long-term.
  • You may refrigerate or freeze a salsa recipe that can’t be safely canned. If refrigerated, store for up to 2 weeks.
Some recipes here:
Also, Ball has several good recipes for canning salsa on their website: