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Homemade chipotle salsa in jars.

Spicy Chipotle Salsa

For a spicer salsa, omit the guajillo or cascabel peppers and use 16 dried chipotle peppers, about 2 ounces. This makes a VERY spicy salsa. Recipe adapted from, "Not Your Mama's Canning Book." by Rebecca Lindamood. Page Street Publishing (2016)
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 pints
Author Elizabeth Barbone


  • 12 dried chipotle chile peppers, stems removed
  • 12 dried guajillo or cascabel) chile peppers, stems removed
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 pounds tomatillos; husks removed and washed
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes; cored and washed
  • 1 large onion; peeled and quartered
  • 1 head garlic broken into individual cloves (don't peel the garlic but remove any excess papery skin)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt (do NOT replace with Kosher salt)


  • 6 glass pint canning jars, lids, and bands
  • water bath canner or deep pot
  • large sauce pan
  • blender


  1. Prepare your jars for canning and set up your water bath. For more information on this, visit FoodInJars.com
  2. Place a large pot on the stove. You'll use this for cooking the salsa.
  3. Set up your blender or food processor.
  4. Wipe the dried peppers with a damp paper towel. This removes any dust that might be clinging to the surface.
  5. Place the half the dried chiles in a large dry skillet. Cook over medium heat about 30 seconds per side. You want the chiles to be aromatic and pliable. Repeat with remaining chiles.
  6. Carefully place the warm chiles in medium glass or stainless steel bowl. Cover with two cups boiling water. If your chiles are floating out of the water, place a small plate onto the chiles to weigh them down. Soak until softened, about 20 minutes.
  7. While the chiles soak, place the tomatillos, tomatoes, onion, and garlic onto a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until the tomatoes and tomatillos are softened. They should look blistered and blackened in a few places. This takes about 15 minutes. However time will vary depending on your broiler.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven. Set the garlic aside. Place the onion into the waiting blender.
  9. Invert a rimmed baking sheet over the tomatoes and tomatillos. If you don't have a second baking sheet around, place the tomatoes and tomatillos in a large bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. You want the plastic wrap stretched across the bowl, not laid on the hot tomatoes.
  10. While you wait for the tomatoes to cool, transfer the soaked chiles and hot water to the blender. Puree the chiles and onions until smooth. Pour the mixture into the waiting pot.
  11. Peel the cooled garlic and tomatoes. The skins should slip easily off both the garlic and the tomatoes. It's okay if some of the skin sticks.
  12. Puree the roasted tomatillos, tomatoes, and garlic in the blender. Work in batches if you have a small blender. The texture is up to you. I think this recipe works best as a smooth, almost sauce-like salsa. Pour the tomato puree, vinegar, sugar, and salt into the pot along with the chile-onion mixture. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent the salsa from scorching. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until the salsa thickens. You want it to be about the consistency of a thin ketchup. This takes about about 15 minutes.
  13. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Using a chopstick or other non-metal tool, remove air bubbles and remeasure headspace. If needed, ladle more salsa into the jar. Wipe rim with a damp paper towel. Center metal lid on the jar. Secure the lid with a metal band. Twist on only to "finger tip tight." Do not over tighten.
  14. Using canning tongs, lower the jars into the water bath canner. The water should cover the jars by 2-inches. Process for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude as needed. When the time is up, carefully remove the jars and place on a towel-covered counter. Allow to cool undisturbed for 24 hours.
  15. After 24 hours, check that jars have sealed. The lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. If any jars did not seal, store those jars in the refrigerator and eat within one week.
  16. Remove the metal bands, wipe down the jars, and label. Store the salsa in your pantry, out of direct sunlight.