Canning Recipes that Actually Taste Good

by Becky
Published: Updated:

Over the years that I have been canning, I have to say one of the most frustrating things is to spend all day canning, only to find out a recipe doesn’t taste good. My purpose in creating this post is to share my favorite recipes and where to find them. But if you have some favorites too, I also want to ask you to share.

If you have a favorite recipe, please share the title in the comments and a link to the source (book or website). If you would, please make sure it comes from a website or book where the recipes have been tested for safety or the person making the recipe knows what they are doing.

This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure can be found here.

Safety in Canning

I tend to be overly cautious when it comes to canning safety because I personally think it’s not worth the risk of poisoning anyone. But, then again, I also tend to worry more than most people.

On that note, if you’re new to canning and reading this, not to worry my friend. The key is to follow a recipe and it’s all good!

Limited Creativity Makes Finding Great Canning Recipes Difficult

I think the main issue with canning and having poor results from recipes comes from the fact that creativity is limited. It is limited because of the need to maintain safety in recipes and therefore you get recipes from those who can test in a lab or to those who make small tweaks to a preexisting canning recipe.

After years of trial and error, I am sharing all of my favorite recipes from canning books. As you will see, I have made small adjustments to a few of these. In canning the rule of thumb is not to change anything from a recipe that could affect the acidity or viscosity.

But there are ways to safely make a few tweaks like adjusting salt, sugar, and dried spices for example. To protect the property and work of others, I won’t be sharing the full recipes here, only pointing you to the source where the recipe can be found. 

I have included links to where to find the books if you don’t already own them. Your local library may have some of these too!

I will continue to add to this post if I find more I love.

My Favorite Canning Recipe For…

Applesauce is the pink cans in the back!

Applesauce, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, p. 182. 

This is a simple recipe but turns out great every time. Most of the basic canning recipes I use come from this book.


  1. The tastiest apples I’ve tried so far for applesauce is a combination of Jonathan and Fuji.

Dill Pickle Chips, Foolproof Preserving, p. 146 

It took me so long to find a good pickle recipe. This one is the BEST!


  1. A game changer in this recipe is to change the apple cider vinegar to white distilled vinegar. Make sure it still has 5% acidity and you use the amount the recipe calls for. 
  2. This recipe uses a low temperature pasteurization method which keeps the pickles super crispy. It has been tested and it is safe to can pickles this way. This method is approved on  the National Center for Home Food Preservation website and a good visual guide can be found HERE
  3. This recipe says to put a satchel of dill, mustard seed, and dill seeds in the vinegar and water then boil. I put the satchel of dill in the vinegar and water then boil but leave the spices out. Then I divide the mustard seed and dill seed evenly among all the jars, placing them directly in them prior to adding the salted cucumbers.

Roasted Tomato-Lime Salsa, Foolproof Preserving, p.220

Cameron tells me all the time I should sell my homemade salsa. Well, all the genius comes from this recipe, not of my own making but provided by Americas Test Kitchen. It’s delicious.


  1. I remove the seeds from the jalapenos on this recipe because my kids won’t eat spicy salsa. My version is very mild. 
  2. Instead of 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, I only use 2 teaspoons salt- I use canning and pickling salt. 
  3. An important part of this recipe is roasting the tomatoes in the oven to concentrate the flavor. The recipe says to include the blackened tomato skins but if the tomatoes are small there can be way too many tough skins in the salsa (my personal opinion). I usually remove at least half of the skins on the tomatoes after roasting. You could remove all the skins if you don’t like the texture. If you remove some skins, do it prior to adding the lime juice.
  4. I add all the tomatoes after roasting plus the juice that comes out on the pan.
  5. The recipe calls for red jalapenos but you can swap them out for green without affecting flavor or acidity levels. 
  6. The recipe calls for 1 onion. In canning this is a pet peeve of mine, I really wish they would say the weight of the onion since an onion is a low acid food and onions can vary widely in size. If you’re curious, I usually add an onion that weighs a third of a pound or about 5 ounces which would be considered a medium size onion.

Lemony Strawberry Jam, Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, p. 101

Two of my favorite things together in one jar. Lemon and strawberries!


  1. I swap out the agave nectar in the recipe for honey instead.

Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, p. 288

Finally, a good pizza sauce recipe!


  1. This is one of the best recipes for pizza sauce. However, upon looking over the ingredients in the recipe initially, I seriously doubted whether or not it was “safe” since it uses less added lemon juice and vinegar than similar recipes from Ball or the National Center for home food preservation. Like I said though, I am a prone to worry a lot so it could be just fine. For my own consumption, I double the lemon juice in this recipe so it is more in line with where it should be. For each 1 pint jar, I use 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon of added lemon juice in addition to the red wine vinegar which is added earlier in the recipe. Pints should be processed for 35 minutes, referenced HERE.

Tomato Ketchup, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, p. 254

With a few adjustments I note below, this one is a winner. Store bought versions just don’t compare to the real food flavor.


  1. I reduce some of the spices in this recipe. Instead of 3 tbsp celery seeds, I use 1 tbsp. 
  2. Instead of 4 tsp whole cloves, I use 2 tsp. 
  3. Instead of skinning the tomatoes the traditional way in water, I cut mine in half and roast them in the oven on broil for 15 minutes. This concentrates flavor, reduces cooking time, and makes it easy to remove the skins.
  4. I run the cooked vegetables through my FOOD MILL as called for in the recipe but for a very smooth ketchup, at the end of cooking, I pour it into a BLENDER and puree. 

Cowpea Soup (Called “Cajun Black-Eyed Peas” in Book), The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning, p.82

My sister Amy recommended this recipe to me and I’m so glad! It was the only “convenience food” I canned last year. We grow lots of cowpeas and this was a yummy way to use them. I plan on tripling the amount I make this year. My kids loved eating this for lunch.


  1. Instead of adding bacon as well as sausage, I added only the andouille sausage. Since the meat totalled 1.5 lbs that is how much andouille sausage I added.

Now your turn! Share some of your favorites below.

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Liz May 16, 2021 - 12:35 pm

I may have to give your salsa recipe a try. For two years I’ve exclusively been making “Annie’s Salsa.” It’s a recipe I received from a preserving message board. It was created by a Master Food Preserver and tested by her local extension office for safety. Plenty of people try to make changes to recipe, but of course only the original recipe was tested. My husband can’t get enough of this; I make at least 4 batched per year.

The creator of the recipe still posts on the forum as Annie1992. Here’s a pretty clean version of it (reminder, none of the “optional changes” have been tested).

theseasonalhomestead May 18, 2021 - 2:53 pm

Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to give it a try!

Liz May 16, 2021 - 12:37 pm

I also love the Ball peach salsa recipe and make it almost every year. For me it’s a must-have on salmon burgers.

theseasonalhomestead May 18, 2021 - 2:54 pm

Sounds so good! I haven’t tried that one yet. Thanks for sharing your favorites Liz!

Homestead Pantry Tour | Self-Sufficiency and Food Storage 2021 - Letter2Self January 30, 2024 - 12:26 am Reply

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