Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pico de Gallo Salsa

Revised and Updated July 2021

I really love tomato salsas, but I also enjoy Pico de Gallo and make it fresh with local tomatoes every summer. There is nothing better than fresh, local, vine ripe tomatoes you either grow yourself or purchase at a local farm or farmers market. The taste is so unbelievably good, so I highly recommend making this recipe with local fresh tomatoes.

Pico de Gallo is technically a fresh salsa and not one that's traditionally canned. I really wanted to try and make some I could process and keep for many months on my pantry shelf (not that it will last that long), so I started experimenting.

Paste or Roma tomatoes hold up the best in this recipe, and they are not mushy in the finished product. See this link for more awesome salsa recipes.

10 medium to large paste or Roma tomatoes, diced (preferred since they are a meatier tomato, but I've also used homegrown cherry tomatoes)
1 medium onion, diced
2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup **Ball Fiesta Salsa Mix (or any salsa spice mix you like)
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp (per pint jar) lemon juice
** If you don't have any salsa mix add 1/2 tbsp each ground cumin, oregano and dried cilantro leaves (or fresh minced cilantro) or slightly more to taste.
May omit cilantro if desired.


Dice tomatoes, onion, and jalapenos, and place in a large bowl. Stir in salsa mix (or spices), salt, and lime juice, mixing well. Let sit 15-30 minutes so tomatoes begin to get juicy.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop the pico de gallo into pint canning jars. Top with 1 tbsp lemon juice concentrate, and evenly distribute the remaining tomato juice from the bowl into each jar leaving 1/2" head-space. Top with lids and rings tightening to just finger tight.

Process jars in a water bath or steam canner 15 minutes.

Remove jars and let cool on a kitchen towel on your counter-top 24 hours undisturbed. Jars are sealed when the button on the lid is fully depressed and won't move up and down.

Store in pantry for up to one year. Open jars must be refrigerated. Serve Pico de Gallo Salsa with your favorite chips or top on tacos, taco salads, and more. It's even awesome stirred into some steamed rice, taco meat for casseroles, and served with your favorite Mexican dishes.

Cooks note - the liquid may be below the top of the pico de gallo in the jars. Once they are processed, this is fine and will not cause the salsa to go bad. I also like to give mine a quick shake before serving.

Yield: 3-pint jars (recipe is easily doubled)

Original recipe adapted from Healthy Canning



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  1. This looks delicious. Should the lime and lemon juice be from bottled?

    1. Yes. You need controlled acidity to insure safety and natural fruit has varied acid levels.

  2. I am a new-be canner and worry about getting someone sick. I looked at the Healthy Canning recipe and it calls to boil the tomato mixture. Your recipe adds lemon juice. I've already made 9 pints and only now began to question. Can you explain how the lemon juice adds enough acid?

  3. I forgot to put the lemon juice into the jar before doing the water bath will it be ok?

  4. We love Pico De Gallo ,I am canning it. Thank you for the recipe

  5. Does the button on the lid have to be completely down when you take the jars out of the water bath? Should wait a few hours?

    1. The button should be fully depressed after 24 hours or sooner but not immediately out of the water bath.

  6. usually when canning it is recommended that hot liquid go into hot jars. This recipe doesn't mention cooking contents before putting in jars. Any problem with jars breaking by putting a colder jar in boiling water? thank you

    1. No, this is a raw pack method to avoid cooking it too long, which is allowed via the NCHFP and the USDA.

    2. This recipe is the best!!!!I love this recipe and will not use another for canning or fresh (I just leave the lemon juice out for fresh pack and use it within a couple of weeks). I did have a few jars break when canning it this way last year.

    3. Unfortunately I have had some jars break too over time. Normally they are older jars or jars with imperfections tha sometimes are not noticed.

  7. Awesome! I've been looking for a way to can my fresh raw jalapeños. So happy I came across this method.
    Thank you.

  8. I am excited for a cold pack recipe. Can I use 1tbs lime juice in a pint jar instead of lemon juice?