Earlier this month, Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products, invited me to Indianapolis to learn how to can. I’ve always wondered about canning, and I’ve always been too intimidated to try on my own, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn! As it turns out, home canning isn’t as complicated as it seems.
On Friday, Jessica (canning expert and star of the brand’s YouTube videos) showed us how to make a berry jam. On Saturday, I learned how to make this corn and cherry tomato salsa in their test kitchen on Saturday—on Facebook Live, no less.
My live cooking session landed on the brand’s annual #CanItForward day, which is a day to learn more about canning and how to preserve summer’s harvest to enjoy all year long.
This year, they also launched the Ball Collection Elite 16 oz. Sharing Jar. With the purchase of each set of four pint-sized Sharing Jars, Newell Brands is donating four meals to Feeding America.
I came home and made their corn and cherry tomato salsa all on my own, in a set of Sharing Jars. This salsa is crazy delicious and tastes like summer. I’m trying to decide if I want to share these jars with friends or keep them all to myself to enjoy this winter! Is that terrible?
This recipe calls for five pounds of cherry tomatoes (a lot!). That said, if you have a salsa-worthy party coming up and don’t want to bother canning the salsa for later, you could make a full batch and store it in the refrigerator. As long as you polish it off within a week, that should work fine.
I learned some fun facts about canning from Jessica and wanted to share them with you.
- Don’t adjust or adapt canning recipes because they are only validated for safety as written. Get your canning recipes from a trusted resource, such as Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products, and do not fiddle with them while you’re making them.
- If you have a glass stovetop, you might not be able to can on it. Check with your manufacturer before you try. I have a glass stovetop, so Newell Brands sent me the Ball® Fresh Preserving electric water bath canner to use.
- Acidic foods (like salsa and jam) can be canned with a hot water bath. Low-acid foods (like chili or stew) require a higher canning temperature to be safe, and the only way to reach that temperature is with a pressure canner.
- Higher altitudes require extra processing time (meaning, the jars need to spend more time in boiling water).
- Always wash new jars and lids before using and be sure to dry the lids carefully to avoid rust or scratches.
- Lids (the round part that you place on top of the jar) are one-time use only and can be purchased on their own. Mason jars and bands (the part that you screw onto the jar) can be reused.
- Canned foods are safe for one year to 18 months, depending on the type of lid (longer if the seal stays intact and there is no corrosion, although the food’s nutrients and color will degrade with time).
- Store canned food in a cool, dark place between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Corn & Cherry Tomato Salsa
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 pints 1x
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Canning
- Cuisine: Mexican
This corn and cherry tomato salsa recipe is bursting with fresh summer flavor. This recipe yields about 6 (16-ounce) pint jars.*
- 5 pounds cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 cups corn kernels (about 2 large ears fresh, but frozen thawed is fine)
- 1 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup fresh lime juice (about 3 large or 4 medium limes)
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, optional
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 6 Ball® (16-ounce) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands*
- Prepare the boiling water canner. Heat the jars in simmering water until they’re ready for use. Do not boil. Wash the lids in warm soapy water and set them aside with the bands.
- Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a large stainless-steel or enameled saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Ladle the hot salsa into a hot jar, leaving ½-inch of headspace. Remove the air bubbles. Wipe the jar rim clean. Center the lid on the jar. Apply the band and adjust to fingertip-tight. Place the jar in the boiling water canner. Repeat until all the jars are filled.
- Process the jars for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off the heat; remove the lid, and let the jars stand for 5 minutes. Remove the jars and let them cool.
Recipe excerpted from Ball® Canning Back to Basics, published by Oxmoor House (2017), with permission.
*Yield variance: When Chef Sarah developed this recipe, it yielded about six pints. However, my batch filled just four pint jars. Jessica explained to me that yields are approximate and can vary depending on how the produce is prepared and the moisture content of the produce.
Tomato selection: The brand’s recipe developer told me that you can substitute any variety of tomato for the cherry tomatoes, if you’d like.
Lime juice safety: The use of fresh lime juice in this recipe is for the purpose of fresh flavor and has been verified as safe by scientific testing.
▸ Nutrition Information
This post was created in partnership with Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products. I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!
Lindsey of This Miss Cooks
My fiance & I have all the canning equipment we need to can but we’ve gotten such a late start on pulling things together this year! Definitely need to give this recipe a go. :)
Let me know how it turns out, Lindsey!
Cassie Autumn Tran
Salsa is an obsession of mine–I love it on EVERYTHING! Even though pico de gallo is so much easier for me to make, I think this recipe will definitely be worth it!
I think so!
This salsa sounds delicious! I have a question, though. Corn is a low-acid vegetable which usually requires pressure canning. Is it safe to can this salsa in a water bath?
Hi Lee Ann, the recipe has been tested and verified to be safe. I’m guessing that the acidity of the other ingredients is sufficient.
This is a Ball recipe
Hi there. This recipe looks fantastic and my garden is overflowing with cherry tomatoes. I am curious if you know about how many cups (either chopped or not) is 5 lbs of cherry tomatoes? Would love to make this recipe and want the proportions to be right. Thanks
Hi Leila! Cups are so approximate and canning requires precise amounts for safety, so I would really advise weighing the tomatoes to make sure you have the right amount. I have a food scale from Amazon that was about $12. I hope that helps!
I made Salsa many times but followed the same traditional procedure. Never tried to innovate any new way. I must say, Corn & Cherry Tomato Salsa is a new twist to my boring salsa. Thanks for sharing. :)
You’re welcome, Deepika!
Fascinating stuff about the low acid foods and high altitudes. I don’t do much preserving (canning?), but still interesting to know. Best wishes from Berlin from a fellow dog-lover.
Yeah, I found the whole process really educational. It’s all very scientific!
Super! Thanks for that information.
Thank you for sharing your adventures in canning, I think I’ll give this recipe a try when it comes to putting up tomatoes. one important note, you cannot safely can in a pressure cooker it must be done in a pressure canner
Oh, good to know! Thank you, Erin. I didn’t know there was a difference.
Perfect for those Labor Day BBQs!
Welcome to the world of canning, Kate! When I was a lot younger I did a ton of canning, and really enjoyed it. Canning is not complicated, and the tips you have listed cover all the important issues. I had a paperback book put out by Ball (this was back in the 1980s), that had recipes for all sorts of canning. I’m not a big fan of tomato-based salsa, but this one sounds like I would enjoy it. Which reminds me, I made your Homemade Salsa Verde yesterday, (with no jalapeños because mine went bad) and it came out wonderful. I love that it doesn’t need the heat to taste good.
Thank you, Susan! I’ve been really enjoying this new technique, especially how science-based it is. It reminds me a lot of baking in that sense. I’m so glad you enjoyed the salsa verde! And maybe, just maybe, this one will change your mind about tomato-based salsas.
Are the tomato skins a problem?
They add extra texture, but they don’t bother me at all. If you don’t love texture, you might like the salsa better if you use larger tomatoes and chop them.
Do i have to use a pressure canner?
No, the recipe specifies a water bath canner.
I was at a loss as to what to do with the massive amounts of grape tomatoes my garden was putting out. After giving away tomatoes until my neighbors cried uncle, I started looking for recipes and found this.
I made the recipe with four pounds of grape tomatoes and a pound of small Roma tomatoes from my garden. I was excited to find that the ingredients listed were all items from my garden!
I yielded 7 pints. This is summer in a jar! So fresh and wonderful.
Fresh garden tomatoes, delish! Thanks for sharing.
Do you have a lot of canning experience. think I did something wrong? I didn’t have a scale to measure my tomatoes so I estimated. When I was done it tastedike such strong lime I didn’t bother to finish the canning process. I was going to cut up some more tomatoes and try to dull down the lime. Is that ok? Should I skip the canning if I do that? I was not sure how to find out!
I love this salsa and try to make some every summer with my home-grown tomatoes. This year I made a double batch. I use it as the base for a quick, weeknight chili. I poach eggs in it for breakfast. I poach fish in it for dinner. I ladle it on top scrambled, fried, or boiled eggs. I use it to top tacos, mix it into hot pasta, and, oh yes, I dip into it with tortilla chips. It is awesomely ambidextrous.
How many cups is the 5 lbs?
Hi Simone, you would be best weighing this as the volume by cup can vary slightly. I don’t have the by cup for this one.
Is it possible to can this using quart size jars? I love this recipe thanks
Hi Rachel! So glad to hear you like this recipe. I would stick with the pint sized jars, just because I know for sure they work and that the recipe as written has been validated for safety.
Love this recipe … about to make my 2nd batch using beef tomatoes (peeled) from my big crop! I zing it up with a bit more chilli Thanks for sharing!
Delicious! I used grape tomatoes that I roasted and also roasted the jalapeños and garlic. I then gave them a few pulses in the food processor before heating all of the ingredients.
I can’t wait for the flavors to meld together after canning. This yielded a little over 4 pints.
Can I use citric acid or does the lime do the trick
Is it possible to substitute canned corn from the grocery store instead of fresh or frozen?
Hi Lisa! I wouldn’t recommend canned here. But, if that’s all you have be sure to drain it first.
How long can you keep the canned salsa on the shelf?
Hi! This one is meant to be stored in the refrigerator.
Hi! I made this and did the water bath canning method and put it in the fridge. How long does it keep in the fridge?
Hi there. Is it safe to substitute the red onion for yellow or white?
Can’t wait to give this a try.
You could try white if you like.
Just a quick question! Are you supposed to peel skin from cherry tomatoes first? Thank you!!
No need to peel!
We just did a batch of this, let my wife test it while I was filling the jars and she raved. She a salsa snob so that’s a 5* right there!!
Thanks for this.
That’s great! I’m happy you enjoyed it, Tony. I appreciate your review.
I hate cilantro so I am making this and leaving it out !
Can you use part lime and part lemon juice…just asking for what i have on hand.
Sure! It may just change the flavor some.
I made this salsa with my chocolate cherry and brown berry cherry tomatoes …it is fantastic.TY
Corn doesn’t agree with me so I found your Roasted Summertime Salsa in your cookbook. It’s great. My question is can that recipe be canned? Thanks much
Hi Sally, I’m glad you found something that works for you. Unfortunately, it isn’t meant for canning.
Can I use more corn in this recipe?
Hi Sarah, If you prefer that would be fine. Let me know what you think!
I didn’t think you had to refrigerate canned salsa until you open it?