How to Make Freezer Salsa – Tomatoes

The tomatoes are coming in fast and furious and we know the dangers of frosty nights are just around the corner.  Sadly, there’s only so much fresh salsa we can eat at any given time – it’s time to squirrel some of that spicy chip enhancer away for the winter months.

freezer salsa

Canning salsa is definitely an option – you just need to follow a trusted and tested recipe to ensure you have the right acid content for water bathing tomatoes/salsa. I repeat – use a reliable recipe.  I know you can find anything on the internet, but why risk it? I use the recipes at the National Center for Home Food Preservation.  There are several to choose from, they’re delicious and they’re tested – everything you could want.

If you’re not feeling up to the canning process and you have some freezer space, why not try freezing some salsa? Freezing offers endless options and you get to control how much and what type of spicy peppers you want to toss in.  Here, I tossed in some cayenne and scotch bonnet peppers- oh yeah, baby!

a touch of hot pepper

What’s freezer salsa like?

Freezer salsa may not look as fresh and perky as fresh salsa, but it’s definitely a viable alternative to canning. There will be some watery liquid after it’s thawed.  It’s really not a big deal.  If you want to serve the salsa for chip dipping, simply drain off the liquid.  If you’re using the salsa in a cooked recipe, just use as is.

Just a caution, you can’t simply take fresh salsa and stick it in the freezer, you do need to cook it down first.  The longer you let your salsa simmer, the more liquid will evaporate and the thicker your salsa will get.  If you want to speed up the process, add a can or two of tomato paste during the cooking process.

salsa after simmering
freezer salsa no peel tomatoes
freezer salsa
Print Recipe
3.54 from 41 votes

Tomato Freezer Salsa

An easy way to always have salsa on hand – no canning required. You control the heat by changing the type and amount of hot peppers. The 8 jalapeno’s called for in this recipe keep things sane. Introduce some cayenne peppers to increase the heat, some chipotle peppers for smoky tones and some habaneros, scotch bonnets or ghost peppers for insane heat. What’s your preference?
Prep : 40 mins
Cook : 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins


  • 10 – 15 large ripe tomatoes 10 cups chopped
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 jalapeno peppers finely chopped (or other hot peppers)
  • 2 green peppers chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup lime juice or cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Core, seed and coarsely chop tomatoes. Peeling is optional. You should get about 10 cups.
  • Mix tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot peppers, green peppers, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, coriander, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper in large pot.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce to simmer and cook, uncovered until thickened to desired consistency, at least 45 minutes.
  • Allow salsa to cool completely.
  • Serve or fill freezer bags or containers leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Freeze up to 6 months.


If you like your salsa a little thicker or don’t have time to let it simmer to reduce some of the liquid, add in a can of tomato paste with the tomatoes.
This salsa is not suitable for canning.
Tried this recipe?Mention @GetGettyS or tag #GetGettyS

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 844kcal | Carbohydrates: 184g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 6914mg | Fiber: 51g | Sugar: 108g | Iron: 17mg
Course: salsa, Sauces
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: condiments, Salsa, side dish

Want to know more?  Want someone to show you the ropes?  Want to have a salsa making party?  Call me!  I’d love to come to your kitchen or to your community center and make some salsa with you.

Getty Stewart is an engaging speaker and writer providing tasty recipes, time-saving tips, and helpful kitchen ideas to make home cooking easy and enjoyable. She is a Professional Home Economist, author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, mom and veggie gardener.  Get Getty in your kitchen, at your conference or your community center today.

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  1. If I roast/ charred tomatoes and jalapeños and than add all the ingredients to make the salsa , can I freeze the salsa than

  2. What is the reason for coring and seeding the tomatoes? I had already cut them up before I decided to make the salsa so I could freeze.

    1. Hi Ruth,
      It’s really just personal preference. Seeding the tomatoes and using paste tomatoes makes for a less liquidy salsa. Coring is just because we prefer not to eat the tough core bit.
      Hope that helps.


    2. Would you say this recipe is about as hot as Medium salsa? I want decent spice without going overboard. Can I taste it for spiciness before cooking it or will there be a significant difference between the fresh salsa and cooked salsa?

      1. Hi Matt,
        I’d say it is mild to medium. You can definitely taste it for spiciness while cooking to judge the spiciness. During cooking the spiciness will just distribute more evenly and blend in better, so you’re not just getting heat when you bite on a piece of hot pepper.

    1. I’d say homemade salsa lasts in the fridge about 5-7 days. The longer you keep it out of the fridge when you’re using it, the shorter it will last. It’s best to pour a little in a small bowl for use and tuck the big bowlful back in the fridge right away.

    1. Hi Audrey,
      Did you know the hottest part of peppers are the white ribs or membranes (pith) on the inside of the peppers. They’re hotter than the seeds. The more of the ribs you leave on, the hotter the salsa will be. The seeds will add some spiciness since they’ve been rubbing against the pith. If you like your salsa on the mild side, cut out the white part on the inside and remove all the seeds.

        1. Hi Laura,
          Treat it like you would any other opened salsa. The Eat By Date website recommends 5-7 days for homemade salsa and 1-2 weeks for commercial jarred salsa that has been opened. I would aim for 7 days max.

    1. No, this salsa is not suitable for canning, the acidity has not been tested and with the addition of all those non-acidic veggies it is likely not below the pH of 4.6 required for safe canning. By canning a low acid mix like this you create a perfect environment for clostridium botulinum the bacteria that leads to botulism. When I can salsa I use recipes from the National Centre of Home Food Preservation. Be safe and enjoy your salsa!

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