Our Peach Salsa Recipe is great on fish tacos, pork chops, or with a bowl of tortilla chips. Spicy, sweet, and savory, this recipe has all the flavors to delight your taste buds!
Peach salsa is something I had never heard of as a kid. The only salsa I knew existed was the classic tomato salsa. It wasn’t until the past 5 to 10 years or so that I have discovered mango salsa, black bean salsa, and peach salsa.
Since I grew up in Georgia, peaches have always been plentiful, but I only ever known of 3 ways to eat them. I ate them fresh (I like to eat mine with the skin on), canned (in light or heavy syrup), and in a homemade peach cobbler (man, I miss my grandmother).
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What Is Peach Salsa?
Any type of salsa is considered a condiment, really. Typically, salsa is considered to be a savory, and often times spicy, addition to Mexican and TexMex cuisine (although, I do like some tomato salsa in my scrambled eggs from time to time).
So peach salsa is a condiment, but it’s sweet instead of savory. With the peaches, honey, and bell pepper in the recipe we’re working with today, it keeps a sweet overtone. However, with the addition of the onions, jalapeños, cumin, garlic and vinegar, there’s definitely some savory notes added, as well as a little bit of spice.
Besides Peaches, What Goes into the Peach Salsa Recipe?
There are so many variations of peach salsa on the internet. A lot of the recipes I’ve seen across the world wide web use tomatoes. We won’t be using any tomatoes in our recipe, because we want the peach to be the base of the salsa and the star of the dish.
Ingredients we’ll be using in our peach salsa recipe:
- Peaches: The best peach for this recipe is semi-firm and sweet. It’s often easier to peel (if you prefer to peel yours), and won’t turn to mush in the cooking process. Look for Georgia grown peaches if you want the best ones! If you want to add a little smoky flavor to your peach salsa, cut the peaches in half, remove the pit, and put them on the grill (charcoal, preferred) for about 10 minutes. Talk about adding a complexity to the flavor profile!
- Red Onion: The pungent aroma and taste of red onion will add a layer of yum that this salsa cannot be made without. Try not to skimp and use yellow or white onions here. If you can, use the red onion. It will make a world of difference.
- Bell Pepper: The original recipe in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving calls for a red bell pepper. There’s not really a whole lot of difference in taste between the pepper colors, as far as I know. The red will, however, add a little bit of color that will make your salsa gorgeous! If you don’t have a red bell pepper, feel free to use any color you like.
- Jalapeños: We’re using the Mammoth Jalapeños we grew in our garden this year. They’re every bit as hot as any jalapeño I’ve ever grown, but they’re freaking huge! We’ll be seeding these for the peach salsa, but you could leave them in if you want a little more heat. If you wanted an extra hot kick in your peach salsa, you could add habaneros instead of the jalapeños.
- Garlic: Some of the peach salsa recipes I’ve found online don’t use garlic, but I can’t imagine having salsa without using at least a couple of cloves. Garlic is – by far – one of my favorite cooking ingredients.
- Cilantro: I feel like it’s not really salsa if you don’t use cilantro in the recipe. Now I know there are people reading this right now saying “ew, but it tastes like soap!” If you’re one of the 5-15% of the population that tastes soap when you eat cilantro, just leave it out. It’ll still be good, I promise!
- Cumin: Cumin is what makes chili taste like chili. It’s got a smoky flavor that I love! It adds so much essence to the peach salsa that really pulls it all together.
- Cayenne Pepper: Honestly, you could probably swap cayenne pepper out for something like paprika. Both have a very mild, earthy taste. While cayenne is hot and spicy, the paprika is more on the sweet side. Either way, the amount of cayenne pepper we’re using in this recipe isn’t going to make the peach salsa too hot to handle.
- Vinegar: We’re going to be using white vinegar in our recipe, but you could substitute apple cider or just about any other type of vinegar. This will give the peach salsa the bright twang that it needs. Now, in our recipe, we’re going to be canning the salsa, so we want to make sure the vinegar is 5% acidity. Why? According to the PennState Extension, “Acidity level below 5% may result in spoilage as it is not adequate to control microbial growth.” If you don’t plan to can your salsa, you can use any vinegar you want without worrying about the acidity level.
- Honey: Honey will add to the sweetness of the peaches in the salsa, and it will also help it thicken. I recommend using local raw honey if you can find any just for the added health benefits.
- Fruit Fresh: This will help keep the peaches from turning brown from oxidation. Alternatively, you can use powdered citric acid or some lemon or lime juice to keep the color bright on the peaches.
How To Make Our Peach Salsa Recipe
Chop the Peaches, Veggies and Herbs
- First, wash all of your peaches and peppers in cold water with a splash of vinegar. This will help cut down on bacteria and remove any surface dirt and residue.
- Next, chop all of the peaches into bite-sized pieces. We cut ours into irregular 1/2 inch cubes. (We just used a knife, but you can use one of these handy choppers from Amazon!)
- Chop the peppers, de-rib and de-seed if desired. We chop the jalapeños into small pieces (about a 1/8″ dice), and the bell peppers get cut to sizes between the jalapeño and peach sizes.
- Chop the onion about the same size as the bell peppers..
- If you’re using whole garlic cloves, mince them finely. If you’re using the store-bought garlic in a jar (that’s what we’re using for now until we can grow our own), there is no prep here.
- Chop the cilantro as finely as you want it for the recipe. We like super small pieces, so we chop them down, and then cut crossways of how we cut them the first time. (You can also use a pair of herb scissors to cut up the cilantro.)
Combine Ingredients and Cook
- To make your salsa a “fresh” salsa, there is no need to add vinegar (or honey, really). Just combine all the ingredients, mix, and you’re done!
- If you want to cook it down a little, you can add all of the ingredients to a large saucepan, stock pot, or roaster oven (this one is similar to the one we use). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until bubbly.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to your liking. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- 6 cups peaches chopped
- 1 red onion chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 3-4 jalapeños finely chopped and de-seeded
- ½ cup cilantro finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ cup white vinegar (5% acidity) can omit if not canning
- Chop vegetables and fresh herbs.6 cups peaches, 1 red onion, 1 yellow bell pepper, 3-4 jalapeños, ½ cup cilantro, 1 clove garlic
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot, slow cooker, or roasting oven (depending on your quantity).6 cups peaches, 1 red onion, 1 yellow bell pepper, 3-4 jalapeños, ½ cup cilantro, 1 clove garlic, 1½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp honey, ½ cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
- If making fresh peach salsa to eat immediately, you can omit the cooking step.
- If canning, process jars in water bath canner for 15 min for half-pint, 20 min for pint, or 25 min for quart.
How To Can the Peach Salsa
We decided we wanted our batch of peach salsa to be shelf stable, so we processed it in a water bath canner.
Prepare the Canning Jars
- Wash your jars to ensure there is no dust, dirt, or food remnants inside.
- Sterilize your jars.
- Dishwasher: If your dishwasher has a “Sterilize” setting, you can prep your jars that way.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to 200°F and sterilize your jars for about 20 minutes.
- Boil: Fill your water bath canner with water, and submerge your jars. Boil for about 10 minutes. (If you don’t have a water bath canner, you can use a deep stock pot, or pick up a water bath canner on Amazon.)
Pack the Canning Jars
- Fill each hot jar with the peach salsa leaving 1/2″ of headspace (the space between the salsa and the top rim of the jar).
- Wipe the rim of each jar with a paper towel dampened with white vinegar to clean any residue or food particles off the rim. This will ensure a proper seal.
- Place your lids and rings on the jars. Tighten to fingertip tight only! You do not want to overtighten your lids, or you could cause the lid to buckle, or worse – the jar could bust.
Process in the Water Bath Canner
- Put your jars of peach salsa into the canner, ensuring there is at least 1″ of water above the top of the lid.
- Place the lid on the canner, and bring the water to a rolling boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, start your timer to process salsa according to the size jar you used:
- Half-Pint: 15 min
- Pint: 20 min
- Quart: 25 min
- After processing, take your jars out of the water and place them on a towel on your counter. The towel will prevent any temperature shock from putting hot jars on a cold counter. You don’t want to break all those jars of peach salsa after you worked so hard to make them!
- Let the salsa sit overnight (or at least 8 hours or so) to make sure they cool completely.
- Remove the rings and test the seals by pulling gently on the lid. If any did not seal properly, refrigerate immediately.
- Be sure to write on the lid what’s inside and the date so you can rotate your stock. (FIFO = First In, First Out. Use the oldest food first.)
Can This Peach Salsa Recipe Be Frozen?
You can absolutely freeze your peach salsa. I would recommend putting it into quart sized freezer bags. Be sure the zipper is sealed good and tight, lay the bags flat, and freeze. We usually put ours on a cookie sheet to make sure they freeze completely flat. When they’re frozen solid and flat, they’re much easier to store in the freezer.
Better still, if you have a vacuum sealer (we have a Food Saver FM2000), that’s the best way to go. Measure out about a quart, put it in a vacuum sealer bag, vacuum, seal, and repeat the “lay flat in the freezer” method above.
How Long Will It Last?
Fresh peach salsa will last about 5-6 days in the refrigerator in an air tight container. You can still put it in a mason jar, if you like, but it won’t be like canning it (even though it may actually seal, the seal isn’t fail-proof without processing).
Frozen peach salsa should last you about 6 months to a year before it starts getting signs of freezer burn. Keep a check on it every month or so if you freeze it.
If you have canned your peach salsa, you’ll get the most life out of it. You can keep canned salsa on the shelf for over a year (up to a few years, but after 12-18 months, the food may begin to lose quality according to this article on Southern Living). Use your best judgement here. If the food looks like it’s bad, don’t risk it. If you’re like us, it’s never going to stay on your shelf for 18 months, anyway.
How To Serve Peach Salsa
I’ve honestly never had peach salsa before we made. I didn’t really know how to serve it. We figured fish tacos would be a great place to start, and we were right! The peach salsa perfectly complimented the fish in a way we were not expecting. It was sweet, spicy, and delicious!
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After some research, we have found people use peach salsa on a number of different dishes.
- Baked/Grilled Chicken
- Baked/Grilled Pork Chops
- Pork Roast
- Baked/Grilled Fish
- …and of course, Fish Tacos!
Use your imagination, and let your taste buds be your guide. When you’ve found your perfect combination of entrée and sweet, spicy peach salsa, please let us know!
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We’d love to see what you cook up!
Patrick & Jessie homestead in Middle Georgia with two of their four children and their three dogs. They love gardening, food preservation, and keeping their family prepared for any disaster that may come.