Whether you have a garden or not, chances are you know someone who does. And if that’s the case, then you know that come summertime, there is an abundance of zucchini.
So, what can you do with all that zucchini? Well, you could make pickled recipes like this zucchini salsa.
While pickling may seem like a daunting task, there are many simple recipes available online. The key is to use fresh, crisp zucchini and to follow the canning instructions carefully.
Common Questions Asked When Making Zucchini Salsa
While zucchini salsa is simple to make, there are a few things to know before getting started.
Should I Peel the Tomatoes?
One question that often comes up when making zucchini salsa is whether or not to peel tomatoes.
The skin of the tomato does add color and texture to the salsa, but it can also make the salsa difficult to eat.
In general, it is best to peel the tomatoes for zucchini salsa so that your guests can enjoy the flavor without having to worry about the skins.
Can You Use Frozen Zucchini?
Can you use frozen zucchini to make salsa? The answer is yes, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First of all, you’ll need to thaw the zucchini and then strain it to remove any extra moisture.
Otherwise, your salsa will be watery and not as flavorful. Secondly, frozen zucchini won’t have the same texture as fresh zucchini, so it may not be ideal if you’re looking for a chunky salsa.
But if you’re in a pinch and need to use up some frozen zucchini, go ahead and give it a try!
What Kind of Zucchini Should I Use?
The best type of zucchini to use for salsa is one that is small and firm. Avoid large zucchinis, as they can be watery and have large seeds. If you can’t find small zucchini, you can also use yellow summer squash.
Do I Need to Cook the Zucchini Before Making Salsa?
No, you do not need to cook the zucchini before making salsa. Simply dice it into small pieces and add it to the other ingredients.
However, if you prefer a softer salsa, you can microwave the diced zucchini for 1-2 minutes before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
Should I Leave the Skin on Zucchini for Canning?
A common question you’ll find when looking for zucchini recipes is whether you should leave the skin on. Ultimately, it’s up to you.
Leaving the skin on will provide extra nutrients, as well as add color and texture to the finished product. However, it will also add to the overall prep time, as the skin will need to be scrubbed clean.
Additionally, leaving the skin on may make the zucchini more difficult to eat, as it can be tough and chewy.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to leave the skin on zucchini for canning is up to the individual cook.
Those who are short on time or are looking for a more nutrient-dense option may want to remove the skin. Others who are looking for a more traditional canned zucchini product may choose to leave it on.
Preparing to Can
Follow these steps before you get ready!
Before you get started, you need to have a few supplies on hand, aside from veggies and herbs. You will need:
- A water bath canner
- A stockpot
- A grater
- Stirring spoons
- Jar Lifter
- Canning jars, lids, and rims
- Magnetic lid lifter
- Bubble Popper
- Kitchen Towels
- Hot pads
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife
1. Fill the water bath canner with water and bring it to a boil. The water must be boiling in order for you to can. Starter your time when the water is at a rolling boil!
2. Clean your jars. You want clean jars, and make sure to inspect them. It’s easy for jars to get small chips in them.
Those jars can be used for dry storage of beans, but you don’t want to put a chipped or cracked jar in a canner.
3. Heat up the lids and jars. After I clean my jars, I fill up the sink with hot water and store the jars in there until it’s time to can. You should also boil a small pot of water and place the lids in the water until it’s time to can.
These steps are easy but don’t forget them. If you plan to do two batches, don’t forget to heat up the lids and clean your jars!
4. Process the jars. This will vary depending on the recipe you use. Typically, pickled products will be processed in a water bath canner for around 10 minutes, but it varies.
5. Set on a towel. Once you process the jars, you must remove them from the canner. It’s best to place them on a tea towel on your counters.
Don’t move them for 24 hours. At that time, it’s safe to remove the rims to check the seal and label for storage!
Zucchini Salsa Recipe
If you love salsa, you have to add some zucchini salsa to your pantry! It is a family favorite with sweetness and heat all tied together.
You can alter the hotness by adding or decreasing peppers. Sometimes, I add one or two cayenne peppers to jack up the heat for my husband who loves everything spicy.
Zucchini Salsa Recipe
- 12 cups grated zucchini
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 3-4 jalapeno peppers, diced (decide based on your spiciness preference)
- 12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 3 ½ canning salt
- 1 TSP turmeric
- 1 TSP cumin
- 1 TSP garlic powder
- 1 TSP black pepper
- 1 ½ – 2 ½ TBSP red chili peppers
- 1 TBSP mustard seeds
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- Prepare Your VegetablesGrate the zucchini, and dice up the onion, peppers, and tomatoes. Cover with the pickling salt and leave in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours. Doing so removes the moisture from the veggies.You CAN skip this step and allow the mixture to boil even longer. I have the best results when I follow this step, but if you decide to impulsively can, just add one some cooking time.
- Drain and RinseThe next morning, drain and rinse the zucchini mixture well.
- Combine All IngredientsPlace the zucchini mixture into a large stockpot and add the turmeric, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, chili peppers, mustard seeds, brown sugar, vinegar, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
- Cook the SalsaOnce boiling, turn down the mixture and allow it to cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring often.
- Ladle the Salsa into JarsAfter cooking the salsa down, ladle into jars, leaving ½in. headspace. Remember to wipe the rims clean before you add the lids and rings.
- Process Your JarsProcess the jars for 15 minutes (pints) or 20 minutes (quarts).
Canned zucchini salsa is a popular recipe that can be easily adapted to suit your taste. Here are some options.
Adding spice to your zucchini salsa is a great way to add flavor and heat to the dish. Chili peppers are a great option for adding spice, as they can be finely diced and added to the salsa.
Seeds can be left in for extra heat, or removed for a milder flavor. Roasting the peppers before adding them to the salsa will also give the dish a slightly smoky flavor.
Experiment with different types of chili peppers to find the perfect balance of heat and flavor for your salsa.
The great thing about zucchini salsa is that it’s endlessly customizable. If you’re one of the 15% of the people in the world who thinks cilantro tastes like soap, use parsley instead – but if you like cilantro, feel free to throw some in for a super delicious and authentic recipe.
Thicken the Salsa
This zucchini salsa is a thick chunky salsa. If you’d like it more runny: after cooking, thin it with tomato juice or water to the consistency you’d like, then cook for a few more minutes.
For a really smooth salsa, put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until it reaches the consistency you want.
If you want to add more liquid to thin it out, again, use tomato juice or water. Cooking the salsa for a longer time will also help to thicken it up.
So if you have the time, cook it on a low simmer for an extra hour or so. Allowing the salsa to rest overnight in the fridge will also help it to thicken up as the flavors meld together.
Add Other Veggies
When making zucchini salsa, you can add other veggies like bell peppers or corn, but make sure you keep the right ratio of veggies to vinegar as described in the instructions. This will ensure that your salsa has the right balance to make it safe for canning.
Wear Gloves When Cutting the Jalapenos
If you’re looking for a little heat in your salsa, jalapenos are the way to go.
However, you need to be careful when handling these peppers, as their oils can cause serious skin irritation. When cutting jalapenos, be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.
If you accidentally come into contact with the peppers, wash the area immediately with soap and water. You may also want to avoid touching your face while you’re working with the peppers.
Once the salsa is complete, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before eating or cooking anything else
How to Serve This Zucchini Salsa
Zucchini salsa is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy your favorite Mexican dishes. Chips and dip are a classic snack that can be easily elevated with a zesty zucchini salsa.
For something heartier, try using zucchini salsa as a meat topping on your next burrito. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy breakfast eggs, give this salsa a try.
Add some spice to your morning routine by mixing zucchini salsa into your scrambled eggs. However you choose to enjoy it, this salsa is sure to please.
So, whether you’re looking for a new way to enjoy zucchini or just want to have some salsa on hand for when the mood strikes, give this recipe a try.
And don’t forget to consider these tips today so that your zucchini harvesting goes even more smoothly in the future!
Rebekah is a full-time homesteader. On her 22 acres, she raises chickens, sheep, and bees, not to mention she grows a wide variety of veggies. She has a huge greenhouse and does lots of DIY projects with her husband in her ever-growing homesteading endeavor. Learn more about Rebekah here.