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What to do with 30 cans salsa?

  • t

Okay....so a friend and I went a little crazy with canning salsa this year. We were given many free bushels of roma tomatoes and we decided to try canning salsa for the first time. It worked out great but I only eat chips and salsa occasionally...any ideas with what to do with these jars throughout the winter?. One twist: I'm lactose intolerant and most salsa-based recipes seem to involve copious amounts of cheese.

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  1. Brown a pork roast and slow cook it in the salsa.

    1. i've got a great recipe for taco spaghetti (sounds strange, but trust me is good), which requires some salsa for the recipe. if interested, i will post it for you. by the way, cheddar cheese is used to sprinkle on top, but that can be omitted w/o destroying the dish.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lotsanivanh

        I'd love to hear your recipe as well as the recipe from the next person who posted. Thanks so much!

        1. re: tigrr_lily

          here is the recipe for taco spaghetti (i'm incl the cheese for anyone else who is interested and for those who are not just omit), makes 6 main dish servings:

          5oz spag/ling/fett, broken
          1lb ground beef or ground turkey
          l lg onion, chopped (1 cup)
          3/4 cup water
          1/2 of a 1.25oz envelope (2tbsp) taco seasoning mix
          1 11oz can whole kernel corn w/ sweet peppers, drained
          1 cup sliced pitted riped olives
          1 cup shredded cojack or cheddar cheese (4oz)
          1/2 cup salsa
          1 4oz can diced green chili peppers, drained
          1 cup broken tortilla chips
          sour cream (optional, to top so as much as you want/like)
          6 cups shredded lettuce (served as condiment, optional- i omit)
          1 med tomato, cut into thin wedges (served as condiment, optional- i omit)

          cook pasta according to directions. drain pasta; rinse with cold water. drain again.

          in a 12"skillet cook meat and onion till meat is brown. drain fat. stir in water and taco seasoning. bring to boiling; reduce heat. simmer, uncovered, for 2min, stirring occasionally. stir in cooked pasta, corn, olives, half of the shredded cheese, salsa, chili peppers.

          transfer mixture to a lightly greased 2qt round casserole. cover and bake in a 350degree oven for 15-20min or till heated through. sprinkle with remaining cheese.

          serve with shredded lettuce, tortilla chips, and tomato wedges. if desired top with sour cream.

          this recipe is great. at first i was hesitant about crunching up the tortilla chips in the dish, but it really adds a great, crunchy texture and completes the dish. it's simple and good. doesn't use up 30 cans of salsa, or one for that matter, but hope you enjoy the recipe all the same. bon appetit.

      2. When I was a kid my mother created a recipe called "Dodger Steak," that involved sauteing cubed beef in a can of ortega salsa, some brown sugar and soy sauce. It was quite tasty served over rice. If this appeals to you, I'll post the exact recipe when I get home from work.

        You could always make gifts of your home-canned salsa -- make a basket with good chips, salsa, and perhaps some margarita mix, tequila and glasses or the like. I know I'd relish a gift of homemade salsa!

        1 Reply
        1. re: DanaB

          Here's the recipe for my mom's Dodger Steak:

          1-2 lbs. round steak, sliced thin
          2 cans (7 oz) ortega salsa
          3 T. brown sugar
          1 T. soy sauce
          1/4 tsp garlic powder (I use fresh garlic)

          Brown steak in butter. Add other ingredients. Simmer 25 minutes. Serve over rice.

          We used to love this as kids. I don't make it so often anymore, but it is still one of my brother's staples.

        2. give it to a food bank.

          1 Reply
          1. re: byrd

            Food banks won't accept home-canned goods because of fear of botulism or other food-born diseases.

          2. I cook quite a few meats in salsa...chicken, particularly. All that acidic stuff really tenderizes & permeates the meat. I've done chicken pieces and served them with beans & rice, I've also done chicken breasts & shredded the meat for tacos, enchiladas, etc. I've cubed up a pork roast & cooked it in salsa and made a 'stew' with corn & beans.
            Just thin it with a little stock or water as necessary.

            1. Try to check out Rick Bayless' Mexican Kitchen cookbook from your library. He has a number of recipes that are based on what he calls "essential sauces/salsas". They are the basis for a number of recipes in his book, and I often wish I had some in my freezer for quicker cooking. You can add salsa as a shortcut for chili. Agree w/ the rec to include in gifts for the holidays. You could get cutesy and make your own labels.

              Besides that, I keep on getting that image of red salsa poured over a block of cream cheese that someone brings to a potluck, but I would advise against that. I say you try canning a basic tomato sauce for next year. :-)

              1. Before I give any advice on the subject, I need to know the ingredients, and volume of each container of salsa. There's salsa and then there's salsa. Some is mild, some is incendiary.

                My salsa recipe is that of pico de gallo, one ingredient of which is extremely pungent chiles. It is a salsa cruda. I assume yours is cooked since you preserved it? My batches of salsa are small batches which I share with a neighbor who supplies some of the ingredients. My wife is unable to tolerate the extreme pungency, so I cannot use my salsa in family cooking.

                A neighbor on the next block puts up a large number of 1 quart jars of tomato sauce for pasta each year. He uses them up before year's end one jar at a time. That's why I focused on volume.

                If your preserved salsa is not in large volume containers, you could have it as a condiment for 30 meals. If a large amount of salsa is required in a recipe, more than one container can be used. Those meals do not have to be consecutive. The previous replies have given you good suggestions.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ChiliDude

                  In response to some of the questions:

                  1) I have already given many cans away and have been thinking of cutting chili-themed fabric to decorate the lids as a gift

                  2) The foodshelf is a good idea--thanks! I wonder if they accept home-canned goods

                  3) They are in pint jars

                  4) It is a cooked salsa (b/c it's canned) and one batch was quite mild while the other is semi-hot (about the level of Sriracha sauce, if that helps).

                  5) I would have canned more plain tomato sauce but my friend was heading up the operation and she is a salsa MONSTER. She could happily eat chips and salsa for lunch or dinner every day. If it were 30 cans of tomatoes I would have NO PROBLEM coming up with ideas.

                  Thanks everyone!

                2. 3 ideas
                  1 - Marinate fish with the salsa (I'd start with salmon, but about anything would work) briefly and then cook in the oven or on the stove.

                  2 - Mix the salsa with your favorite lactose free or soy cheese and serve by itself or with just about anything.

                  3 - I use tomatoey salsa (with out a lot of water) for salad dressing. Its easy. Just cook down the salsa to make it thick. Mix with mayo (I use lite) and chopped olives. It makes a nice ZESTY thousand island.

                  It also makes a nice dip for veggies - carrots, celery, zuchini, etc.


                  1. I would make a southwestern soup.

                    I think giving it as gifts and donating some to a food bank are excellent ideas.

                    1. A couple of spoonfuls are great in soups and stews, eg black bean soup, chili, beef stew to add a little zip.

                        1. Tie a ribbon on and you have lovely holiday gifts!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Laura

                            My food bank does not take homemade goods...but yours might.Also A great addition to meatloaf!