Health + Family and Consumer Sciences

Sweet Knife Skills Salsa Recipe

Sweet Knife Skills Salsa Recipe

I love this salsa recipe that I’ve developed over time for my students. It’s:

  • Sweet
  • Inexpensive
  • Great for teaching knife skills

Students who take cooking classes in the fall term have the benefit of learning their knife skills on the vegetable glut from our school garden. Even if you don’t have a school garden, the ingredients are inexpensive this time of year. We cut some corners like using vinegar instead of lime juice and dried herbs instead of fresh. It is also very tomato-heavy. I can’t promise it’s authenticity, but it is delicious!

I set up a long table in my classroom and students take turns cutting. I label different sizes of glass measuring cups and bowls with a wet-erase marker. This is our first knife skills lab so we focus only on getting the hand position and motion right. We just chop vegetables to fill the containers and everyone gets time to practice.

I usually demonstrate the canning process as well. The salsa makes a great gift for the people who supported our garden over the summer months.

Without further ado, here’s our recipe:

Sweet Knife Skills Salsa


  • 4 qts tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4 C bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 C jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 C onions, chopped
  • 1 C vinegar
  • 3 T canning salt
  • ¼ C sugar
  • 2 T dried oregano


  1. Mix all ingredients in large stockpot
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Simmer over low heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Pour mixture into hot canning jars leaving 1” headspace. Process in water bath canner 15 minutes.

Curious what my other terms do to learn knife skills? We make Knife Skills Soup!

sweet knife skills salsa basic canning recipe instructions how to

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