Can You Freeze Homemade Salsa?

Q. It is tomato season, and I have an abundance of tomatoes in my garden that are ripe and ready to pick. This year, I’ve been looking forward to making big batches of salsa to hand on hand throughout the year. In the past, I’ve canned my salsa as a method of preservation. This year, I’m hoping to avoid the extra work that comes along with canning, and freezing the salsa instead. Can you freeze homemade salsa?

homemade-salsaA. You can absolutely freeze homemade salsa! Many people like to can salsa because it more closely resembles the way that salsa is found in stores, but homemade canned salsa tends to run on the watery side. It is also time consuming and more labour-intensive than simply freezing prepared salsa.

How to freeze Salsa?

A few simple tips will help ensure the best results when freezing homemade salsa. When freezing and thawing salsa, some of the liquid will seep from the tomatoes, making the salsa a bit watery. This can be avoided by making sure to remove the seeds from the tomatoes before chopping. Also, sprinkle a bit of salt on the cut parts of the tomatoes and allow to sit for a few minutes to draw out the excess water. Drain and pat dry.

Prepare salsa according your recipe. Drain about half the liquid from the final product before freezing. Some people create more of a sauce-type salsa for freezing by blending part of the salsa first. To freeze, consider freezing homemade salsa in a container rather than a freezer bag so that the salsa doesn’t get squished, turning it into a mushy mess. Fill the container, leaving a bit of headroom at the top for expansion. Seal the container, then label and date it. Salsa fresh flavours are what makes it such a great condiment, but flavours start to break down in the freezer. Frozen homemade salsa is best used within 3 months of freezing.

How to defrost Salsa?

To thaw salsa, remove from the freezer and place in the refrigerator for several hours, until thawed completely. Thawed salsa does not have the same consistency as fresh, and will need to be drained a bit before using. If used within a few months of freezing, the salsa should not have lost any of it’s flavour and should retain its bright colours. Some people prefer to use thawed salsa in recipes rather than as a condiment because it is a bit thinner and less crisp than fresh salsa.

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