Learn how to make your own homemade salsa with this easy summer canning recipe! This plum habanero salsa recipe combines peak summer produce in a sweet and spicy way. Serve it on fish, chicken for a main dish, or enjoy it as a snack with crispy tortilla chips.
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Sweet tart, fruity and spicy, this plum habanero salsa pulls together the best fruits of the summer season. Made with fresh plums, tomatoes, and spicy habanero peppers, this easy summer canning recipe is the perfect salsa to enjoy a taste of summer now and beyond.
You might be surprised by how easy it is to make and CAN your own salsa! There are a few steps but only a handful of ingredients. So let’s get started.
You will need
Red or black plums
Bottled lime juice
4 (16 ounce) Pint Jars
Saucepan or stock pot for cooking the salsa
Water Bath Canner or a large, deep stock pot with a lid and rack
Jar lifter and headspace checker
Clean kitchen towels
NOTE: I am using the smooth sided jars simply because I prefer these to the ones with the fruit design. You can certainly use the decorated one but just make sure you’re using the actual pint size jars since that’s how this recipe was tested.
This recipe has a few steps, but it actually comes together easily and quickly. I’ve included the full, detailed recipe below but want to call out a few of the key steps here.
Once the produce is all washed, prep the tomatoes and pop into a hot oven.
Lightly roast the tomatoes
This is a great recipe to use up garden fresh tomatoes.
Though some salsa recipes call for roasting the tomatoes to get a char, we aren’t going to take this one that far.
The goal here is to lightly cook the tomatoes, start concentrating that summer tomato flavor and to be able to slip the skins off easily.
Place the cored and halved plum tomatoes cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast. Once cool enough to handle, gently slip the tomato peels off and chop the tomatoes.
TIP: For consistency, chop the tomatoes and plums about the same size.
Use red or black plums
Plums are in season in the summer to very early fall. They are the sweetest later in the season, so now is a great time to pick some up. Now is the perfect time to get plums while on sale and available at your local farmers market and bottle them up for this salsa.
You can use red or black plums in this recipe. Black plums will add a richer color. Both add sweet-tart flavor.
Be sure to wash the plums. Pit and simply dice the plums about the same size as your chopped tomatoes.
Canning homemade salsa
Once the tomatoes, plums, onion, and habanero peppers are chopped, it’s time to cook, then can the salsa!
The tomatoes will release a lot of liquid. But this recipe also uses lime juice and optional tequila. The lime juice is key.
Make sure to buy the lime juice in the bottle to ensure the salsa has a consistent level of acidity. Do not use freshly squeezed lime juice.
REMINDER: Once you’re done processing, remember to set the hot jars onto a towel. Space the jars at least one inch apart to allow plenty of room for them to cool properly. Let the jars stand 12-24 hours.
Scroll down for the full recipe and more tips.
Adjusting the heat
This salsa recipe has some flexibility. You can use 2-3 habaneros for this recipe depending on how spicy you want it to be. Remember too that the peppers can have a range. Some will be hotter than others – even in the same batch.
You can further control the heat by removing the habanero seeds and ribs. I kept mine at two habaneros for this first batch of salsa but I’ll probably increase to three next time.
TIP: Use gloves when chopping the habanero peppers. The hot pepper oil tends to stick to your fingers and doesn’t wash away easily – even with soap and water.
About habanero peppers. On a scale of mild to extremely hot, habanero peppers are just one down from the top. Habaneros are extra hot.
These red or orange peppers can be 100 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper and will immediately add spice and flavor to any dish.
Habanero peppers are pretty easy to find at the local supermarket in most major cities. You can also find them by visiting a Caribbean grocery store or international farmers’ market.
Peppers are very easy to garden, so you might even be able to grow some in your own backyard.
This plum habanero salsa pairs well with lots of different dishes.
I like it simply with tortilla chips. The salty crunch with the sweet, fruity salsa is the perfect flavor balance and one of my favorite new snacks!
But there are lots of ways to enjoy this salsa.
- Spoon it over grilled fish, chicken, or pork dishes.
- Add fruity flavor to turkey burgers or wraps.
- Add a sweet, spicy topping to veggie or fish tacos.
Take a jar of salsa to your next barbecue, or open one up for girls’ night in. Pour into a bowl and serve with plantain or tortilla chips, fresh cucumber slices, and jicama for dipping.
If the plum tomato combo is not for you, try this milder, sweeter Pineapple Jalapeño Relish recipe.
How will you use this recipe? Please let me know in the comments or on Instagram. I’m always looking for new ideas!
Plum Habanero Salsa
- 2 lbs. tomatoes, cored and halved
- 3 lbs. firm-ripe plums, pitted and diced1
- 1 medium red onion, diced, about 1 cup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon tequila (optional)
- ⅓ cup bottled lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed (or 1 teaspoon ground coriander)
- 2-3 habaneros, minced
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Halve tomatoes and place on a baking sheet cut side down. Roast for 20 minutes then turn tomatoes over and roast for an additional 10 minutes. Let cool. Slip skins, then roughly chop.
- Prepare a boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use, do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside with bands.
- Combine tomatoes with remaining ingredients in a stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer, cook stirring frequently until plums soften and salsa thickens, about 20 minutes.
- Ladle hot salsa into a hot jar leaving a ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight. Place the jar in the boiling water canner. Repeat one by one until all jars are filled.
- Process jars 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool for 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal. They should not flex when the center is pressed.
*Disclosure: This blog post was previously shared as a sponsored post with the Fresh Preserving Division of Newell Brands and the recipe used with their permission. The post was updated in June 2023. All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.