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Use up those fall veggies in a delicious homemade salsa

If you are a Garrison Keillor fan, you might have heard a program about his family’s front porch being taken over by bushel baskets of all the vegetables from the garden. One of the funniest parts is where Garrison and his siblings start having a tomato-throwing frenzy in the garden.

When I think of tomatoes, there are unlimited possibilities. One of the easiest ways to use tomatoes is a bacon lettuce tomato sandwich. The sandwich is a mess, but it is worth it! 

You can also freeze tomatoes. The frozen tomatoes are good used in soups, chili and more. Rinse them off, dip in hot water for 30 seconds, then cold water to remove the skin. Use a paring knife and remove the core; you can also deseed. Smash or cut the tomatoes and place in freezer bags or containers and freeze. Use the frozen tomatoes by thawing in the refrigerator or take them directly from the freezer to what you are cooking.

Another great way to use tomatoes is to make fresh salsa. I enjoy fresh salsa as the dressing on a dark green salad — it is so refreshing. Salsa is a great way to use other vegetables from the garden such as peppers, zucchini squash and onion.

Fall is a great time to also make tomato, corn and black bean salsa.

Uncooked Salsa


  • ½ lb. chili peppers (green, red, banana, jalapeño or less, to taste)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 6 lbs. tomatoes
  • ½ bunch celery
  • 1 pint ketchup
  • ½ head garlic
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup pickling salt
  • Cilantro


  1. Dice all ingredients. If there is a lot of juice on tomatoes, drain.
  2. Combine all ingredients and put in pint or quart jars; will also fit in a gallon jar.
  3. Keep refrigerated.
For more recipes and tips from Purdue Extension Educator Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross, subscribe to the Food & Nutrition email newsletter.

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