Fiesta Salsa

Fiesta Salsa

We love fresh tomatoes – and we love salsa! Every year we make a bit of salsa with our tomato harvest. The following post is about preparing Fiesta Salsa, with a recipe and canning instructions.

Fiesta Salsa uses a pre-made spice mix, which seems a little bit like cheating to me – but it works really well, and it allows us to use up just the quantity of tomatoes that we have available at the time. This is important at the end of harvest time, when we never have the exact quantity of tomatoes ready to produce a whole batch – or maybe we do – who knows?


It’s Tomato Week! A few days ago, I posted about harvesting all those garden tomatoes. Today here is yet another recipe post about preserving tomatoes. There is a printable recipe card at the end from RecipesGenerator.

Now finally, I have a few tomatoes left – not the prettiest things either – as they have had a little bit of frost here and there.

Fresh tomatoes
Fresh Tomatoes

A few years ago a friend told me about FIESTA SALSA MIX, and I thought – that’s not real canning! I was snooty and superior. But then I tried it and I was hooked. What I like about it is that when I don’t have the time or produce to harvest exactly the right quantity of tomatoes, I can used the pre-mixed spices and process exactly the quantity of tomatoes that I have.

diced garden fresh tomatoes
Diced fresh tomatoes

To make Fiesta Salsa, you just need tomatoes, vinegar, mason jars and Fiesta Salsa Mix. This time around, I had about 6 cups of tomatoes – in various stages of freshness. I had some lovely red ones, that needed to be processed right away, some green ones that I had been trying to ripen with bananas in a paper bag , and some slightly less beautiful tomatoes, that were a little orange, but had some frost damage, which I cut out. When chopped up – they yielded 6 cups. I like that I can start with how many cups of tomatoes I have and then go from there – as opposed to trying to follow a recipe that calls for a certain number of pounds of tomatoes and then trying to convert from how many cups I have – and then of course I don’t have enough!

chopped fresh tomatoes
Chopped fresh tomatoes
Fiesta Salsa Mix
Bernardin Fiesta Salsa Mix

So then I opened the jar of Fiesta Salsa mix and measured out the amount that I needed. The mix has very clear and simple instructions – If you used the whole container you would make 8 500ml jars – using 18 cups of chopped tomatoes. It gives instructions for every 4 1/2 cups of tomatoes – which yield two 500ml jars. As I had about 6 cups of tomatoes – I used about 1/3 of a cup of the Salsa mix, and 4 tablespoons of 5% vinegar. Then, because I like my salsa spicy – I added a sprinkling of extra chili pepper flakes – but this isn’t necessary – just 3 ingredients makes this easy.

Add vinegar and Fiesta Salsa Mix to tomatoes
Add vinegar and Fiesta Salsa Mix to chopped tomatoes

I had sterilized the leftover mason jars that I had on hand – I had a 500ml, and 2 650ml jars and rings, which I had boiled for 10 minutes in my large stainless steel pot.

To prepare Fiesta Salsa, bring tomatoes, vinegar and salsa mix to a boil in a large stainless steel pot. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

bring tomatoes salsa mix and vinegar to a boil
Bring tomatoes, salsa mix and vinegar to a boil – then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes

Turn off heat.- and ladle the sauce into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space from the rim of the jar. Wipe down the tops of the jars. Heat sealing discs in hot water. Apply sealing discs to the jars and screw on rings to finger tight. Return the sealed jars to the hot water, making sure they are covered by at least one inch of water. Bring to a full boil 1 and process for 35 minutes. Turn off heat. After 5 minutes, remove jars from water and set aside to cool. As they cool, the tops should retract and curve inward, making a popping noise, indicating that a vacuum seal has occurred.

Mason jars
One 500ml and one 650ml jar for my yield

My 6 cups of tomatoes yielded 1 500ml, 1 650ml properly canned jars, and about 1/4 of another 650ml jar which I put straight into the refrigerator to enjoy soon.

Using the Fiesta Salsa Mix helps me to quickly process some tomatoes, when I don’t have a full batch to process, and use what I have one hand.

The Printable Recipe Card below is for a full batch of Salsa – one whole jar of Fiesta Salsa Mix – but you don’t need my recipe – just read the label! It’s all there!

Fiesta Salsa

Fiesta Salsa

This easy salsa preserve uses a ready made spice mix, vinegar and tomatoes.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 40 MinInactive time: 24 HourTotal time: 25 Hour


  • 8 lbs fresh tomatoes, finely chopped to yield 18 cups
  • ¾ cup vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 full container of Bernardin Fiesta Salsa Mix (189 g, 6.7 oz)


  1. Place 8 clean 500 ml mason jars and rings covered in water in a heavy pot and boil for a full 10 minutes to sterilize.
  2. Heat sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
  3. Chop & measure tomatoes; combine in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan the tomatoes, vinegar and the Bernardin Fiesta Salsa mix. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Ladle hot salsa into a hot 500 ml mason jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more salsa. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jars to hot water pot.
  5. Ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft process –boil filled jars 500 ml jars 35 minutes
  6. When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  7. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.

Nutritional information is calculated automatically using “natural language processing” within the software, and is not guaranteed to be accurate, but is a “good guess”!

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Created using The Recipes Generator

You can buy Fiesta Salsa Mix where you buy canning supplies, possibly at your grocery or hardware store, or you can find it at Walmart. It will be either labelled as from Bernardin or Ball – depending on where you live!

Bernardin Fiesta Salsa Mix

I have used up all my red tomatoes now – but what about the green ones? Stay tuned for the last (finally) tomato post (I promise!).

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7 thoughts on “Fiesta Salsa

  1. I’ve never seen the Fiesta Salsa Mix but it sure looks handy, and your salsa looks really tasty. I love that you can expand or contract to however tomatoes you have because you just never know what you will be working with!

    1. Yes, I know it’s not exactly from scratch – but it allows me to quickly process what I have. It’s from “Ball” in the United States and “Bernardin” in Canada.

    1. Hi Bernie – I hadn’t heard of it myself at first – but it is a time and tomato saver for sure – It’s at Canadian Tire and Walmart and I think even Home Hardware!

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