Judi's Texas Picante Sauce (Canning Recipe or Not!)

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“This is a recipe I've developed for my family that is pretty similar (but not quite the same) to the most popular picante sauce on the grocery store shelves here in Texas. We had an abundance of tomatoes and onions from our garden this year and I put up 31 quarts of this stuff, which won't last long because everyone in my family begs me for jars of this spicy, delicious sauce. We eat it virtually everyday at my house, and my uncle likes it so well he eats it out of the jar with a spoon! It's not overly hot, as my 75-year-old mother eats it and it doesn't bother her at all. It has just enough bite, but doesn't bite you back. This recipe is developed for canning, and weighing the main ingredients will give you the same product each time you make it. If you skip the cook time you will have a fresh-tasting salsa that is also great to eat. You can, of course, eat it once it has cooked for the 15 minutes or you can can it to put up. It's great either way, but each tastes different. This is a little work, but well worth the effort and puts all those wonderful tomatoes to use. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.”
1hr 45mins
5 pints

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 lbs ripe peeled, cored, seeded tomatoes (reserve juice from the seeding)
  • 1 lb onion, roughly cut into large pieces (makes processing easier)
  • 12 lb jalapeno (stems removed, cut lengthwise, leave seeds and membrane)
  • 14 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 12 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (regular can, thickens the tomato juice and adds some extra flavor)


  1. Starting with just the tomatoes place half the tomatoes and juice in food processor and process until a fairly small texture, but not pureed. Repeat with second half. Then process all the onions and the jalapenos in a single batch. I do all of this with an electric food grinder instead of a food processor and I use the 1/8-inch plate to get the correct ground texture and size, but a food processor will give you the same results.
  2. Combine processed tomatoes, onions and jalapenos in a 4-quart pot with the remaining ingredients. Adjust the salt and seasonings to your taste.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes Remove from heat and fill 5 clean pint canning jars or 2 quart and 1 pint jar with the heated sauce. Wipe the rims and seal with lids and rings. Boil in a water bath, with 1 inch of water covering the lids, for 45 minutes. Carefully remove the processed jars from the water bath and place on a clean towel and cool jars for at least 12 hours. Label, date and store in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

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