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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pineapple Tomato Salsa

There comes a time in the life of every blogger when blogging must be cast down several stations on the to-do list. I have been living such a time. It's all pretty good and it's all about family, but even good things can be stressful and time consuming. I'm grateful to have a flexible job and husband. I may share more as I'm permitted. Part of being a good family member and blogger means not blabbing about other people's business.

The good news is, I'm back and I have been cooking and eating and taking photos. I have a little back log that should see me though several Random Food Friday posts. Today I'm sharing a project of moderate success.

I really like Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa. I kept thinking, I can make this. This wouldn't be hard. Nom. Nom. Nom. I began to search all my many books and the interwebs for a recipe that sounded close. It's weird. I could not find one pineapple salsa recipe that included tomatoes. I ended up faking it with proportions from a peach salsa recipe and by using the ingredients list on the side of the Trader Joe's bottle. Of course, I also used my trusty litmus paper to insure proper acidity.
This came out pretty good, though not a true duplicate of Trader Joe's version. I'm new at salsas and I've learned some things that I would change in the future. One thing I've discovered is the heat may increase over time. This tastes much spicier now than when I was taste-testing during cooking. It's still within a good range for me, but leaves behind my more sensitive family members. I've also noticed that it is missing some richness. During a side-by-side taste test today, I determined what is missing is some garlic, tomato paste and a smokey flavor. I used fresh tomatoes from my garden. They added great flavor and texture, but the sweetness and richness of a good shot of tomato paste would have helped a lot. I also used fresh chopped jalapenos and canned diced green chilies. I think using chipotles and freshly charred and chopped green chilies would have added the smokey taste that is missing. I will include some of these suggestions in the recipe.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy pineapple salsa is as a topping for baked sweet potatoes. Top a perfectly baked sweet potato with some of this salsa, a little grated extra sharp cheddar, a dab of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro and you've got a fantastic and colorful meal on your hands.

Pineapple and Tomato Salsa
6 cups peeled and diced tomatoes (plus tomato paste to taste)
1 7 oz. can diced green chilies (or equivalent fresh)
2 diced jalapenos (or diced chipotles to taste)
2 cups diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, diced (I would use more)
2 20 oz. cans crushed pineapple with juice
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. salt (slightly more if using kosher salt)
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Prepare jars and boiling water bath for canning.

Combine all ingredients except the cilantro in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until desired consistency is reached, stirring frequently. Mine took about 40 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the fresh cilantro and stir through. Carefully ladle into jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Use a knife or chop stick to poke down into the jar along the edges to release air bubbles. Wipe rims with a damp cloth and cover with lids and rings. Process in the boiling water bath for 15 minutes, beginning timing from when the water returns to a full boil. Turn off heat and allow the jars to remain in the water for 5 minutes before carefully removing to a towel lined tray. Allow the jars to sit undisturbed overnight. Check for seals and label.

Makes about 7 12 oz. jars.

8/25/11 - Update - We had tacos for dinner tonight and I doctored up a jar of this salsa. I added a couple of pinches of salt, a sprinkle of garlic powder and a squirt of GIA Sun Dried Tomato Paste. Voila! Perfecto! Extrapolated for the above recipe, I would say, add another teaspoon of salt, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder and one 2.8 oz. tube of the sun dried tomato paste.

I hope you all learn from and avoid my mistakes! Experimentation is fun!

8/13/13 - Another exciting update! Check this new revised version. Much better!


  1. This is "exactly" the recipe I was looking for! Thank you! I have been searching for a pineapple salsa that is tomato based! Hurray for you! I'm going to try it now, including some of the suggested changes. Sooo excited!


  2. Good luck! Please let me know how it comes out and what changes you use. I think roasting garden potatoes to remove some of the moisture would have worked to increase the tomato-y richness too. If one of us can get this right, it will be a great public service!

  3. Just wondering do you think this would work with fresh pineapple. This recipe sounds great but I have some leftover cubed fresh pineapple I wanted to use up.

  4. I think it would. Fresh pineapple is plenty acidic and sometimes even sweeter than that canned in juice. I recently used fresh chopped pineapple in lemon and pineapple marmalade and it worked out just fine. With salsas, you have to be careful to keep the acid up and not increase the non-acid ingredients like onions and peppers. I'd love to hear how it comes out.

  5. I'm so excited to find your recipe! I have been looking everywhere for a tomato, pineapple, peach salsa that I can store in jars, and yours is the closest I have found. I am going to use 1 can of pineapple, and 1 can of peaches, along with your modification suggestions of the tomato paste, garlic, etc. We'll see what happens - experimenting is fun!

  6. Experimenting is fun! I'm just resting from planting 20 tomato plants and plan to make this salsa again this year. Please let me know how yours turns out. The addition of peaches sounds like a great idea!

  7. My Father-in-law and I both share a love for TJ's pineapple salsa and I wanted to make a batch for him as a surprise. Imagine my delight when I found your recipe after lots of fruitless searching! I'm so excited to try it out. My one question for you is how many pounds of tomatoes do you think I should start with to achieve six cups? Thanks!

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  9. Beth - that's a really good question that I wasn't sure how to answer. According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, 1 lb = 1 1/2 cups seeded pulp. They have a great chart at:

  10. Susan - I have a batch processing right now and I think this Pineapple salsa is going to be a real "hit". I've been making peach salsa for a number of years but I think the multiple flavors of several peppers has now surpassed my peach salsa. I did add more brown sugar to accent the sweetness of the pineapple. Thank you...I got exactly 6 pints as your recipe said I would. Elaine from Waukesha, Wisconsin

    1. Thanks Elaine! Did you wander over to my updated version or make the amended version of this one? I've made 3 batches of the most recent version and it is so yummy and has been very popular at pot lucks. Thanks for the feedback! I love hearing from folks who give my recipes a try.

  11. So excited to make this! I'm glad that I found your great blog!Thanks.

    1. Thanks Wanda! I do like the revised version better. Here is the link, just in case you want to try it.