The Best Homemade Salsa Recipe (Restaurant Style)
The Best Homemade Salsa Recipe is quick and easy to make in just minutes. This homemade salsa is fresh, flavorful and healthy. This easy salsa recipe is so much better than store-bought salsa!
Who else could make a meal out of chips and salsa at their local Mexican resturant? Well, just wait until you taste this homemade restaurant style salsa. It’s fresh, spicy and totally addicting!
If you know me, you know that I like to make healthier homemade versions of foods that you can buy at the grocery store. See my easy homemade enchilada sauce recipe and my homemade taco seasoning, for example. I like to control which ingredients are in my food, and store-bought versions of foods like salsa and taco seasoning are often loaded with sodium.
Just like my guacamole recipe, this easy salsa recipe is made with simple ingredients. It’s so quick and easy to make that you’ll want to make homemade salsa instead of buying it at the store from now on. You can make this salsa recipe ahead of time to serve with your favorite Mexican food, like these grilled chicken fajitas. It’s also delicious in breakfast tacos, on taco salad and as a dip for quesadillas and chicken taquitos throughout the week!
Why You’ll Love this Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe
- It takes only 10 minutes to make.
- It tastes as good, if not better, than salsa from a restaurant.
- You can adjust the spice level, texture and flavors to suit your tastes.
What Tomatoes Are Best for Salsa, Fresh Tomatoes Or Canned Tomatoes?
While I am all for using fresh ingredients whenever possible, I use canned tomatoes in this homemade salsa recipe. Canned tomatoes are available year-round and make this recipe come together quickly. Fresh tomatoes can be too juicy to make a good salsa, and, unless you roast them a bit, could make a less flavorful salsa.
If you have ripe, fresh tomatoes and want to use them in this salsa recipe, I recommend using a combination of fresh and canned. Make sure your fresh tomatoes are firm and a deep red color. Adding canned tomatoes will add depth of flavor to your salsa, especially if you use fire roasted tomatoes – which I highly recommend!
This homemade salsa tastes really fresh, even though it’s made with canned tomatoes. I recommend buying tomatoes in cans that are labeled as BPA-free.
How to Make Salsa
To make this salsa recipe, you will need a food processor or blender. While it’s possible to chop everything by hand, using a food processor (or blender) is so much faster and easier.
What Ingredients do you need for Homemade Salsa?
- Onion and Garlic – You’ll give the onions and garlic a quick coarse chop and then your food processor will do the rest.
- Jalapeño – Most of the heat in a jalapeno is in the seeds and ribs. I recommend removing the seeds and ribs or the heat could overwhelm the other flavors in your salsa. I use half a jalapeño in this salsa recipe.
- Tomatoes – I recommend using canned fire roasted diced tomatoes as well as a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (for spice). You can use regular canned diced tomatoes, but the fire roasted tomatoes will give your salsa a rich, roasted tomato flavor. It is so good!
- Sugar – Just a small pinch of sugar will balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Salt – Salt will bring out the flavors of the other ingredients in your salsa.
- Cumin – Ground cumin adds a subtle smoky flavor.
- Cilantro – You can adjust the amount of fresh cilantro to your tastes. I believe cilantro is essential to a good salsa, but if you don’t enjoy the flavor, leave it out.
- Lime Juice – Start with a small squeeze of fresh lime juice. You can always add more.
Making this homemade salsa is as simple as putting the ingredients in your food processor and pulsing until the salsa is blended to your desired consistency. You can make it thinner or chunkier – however you like it!
You’ll add the ingredients in two batches. Start with the onion, garlic and jalapeno and pulse a few times to chop. Adding these ingredients first ensures that they are finely chopped and allows you to then pulse the tomatoes to your desired consistency.
I always taste my salsa on a tortilla chip to see if the flavors are right against the salty chip. You can add a little more lime juice, salt and pepper or sugar if needed to make the flavor of your salsa just perfect!
Tips for Making The Best Homemade Salsa Recipe
- This salsa recipe makes medium-spicy salsa. For mild salsa, substitute a can of regular diced tomatoes for the diced tomatoes with green chiles. For spicy salsa, use a whole jalapeño pepper or add in some of the ribs and seeds from the jalapeño. Be careful not to go overboard with the ribs and seeds – that is where most of the spice is.
- Use a fresh onion in this recipe. I once made this salsa with half of a leftover onion that I had in my refrigerator for a few days and the pungent onion flavor was overwhelming.
- Be sure to drain off the liquid from the can of diced tomatoes with green chiles. You’ll add the liquid from the other can of diced tomatoes, but using the liquid from both cans will make your salsa too watery.
- Don’t add too much lime juice at first. You can always add more, and too much lime can overpower the other flavors.
- Chill your salsa for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to develop.
- This homemade salsa will last for 7-10 days in the refrigerator.
- If you prefer a thicker salsa, use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are often juicer than canned and may make your salsa watery and less flavorful.
The Best Homemade Salsa Recipe (Restaurant Style)
- 1/2 cup white onion (roughly chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (roughly chopped)
- 1/2 jalapeno (seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped)
- 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- pinch of sugar (optional, to balance the acidity of the tomatoes)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- juice from 1/2 of a lime (start with a small squeeze and add more, to taste)
- Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to chop until the onion pieces are about ¼-inch size.
- Drain off the liquid from the can of diced tomatoes with green chiles and discard the liquid. Add the tomatoes and chiles from the can to the food processor.
- Add the fire roasted diced tomatoes with their juices from the can to the food processor, along with the remaining salsa ingredients.
- Pulse until the salsa reaches your desired consistency.
- Taste salsa on a chip and adjust the lime juice, salt, or sugar as needed.
- This salsa recipe makes medium-spicy salsa. For mild salsa, substitute a can of regular diced tomatoes in place of the diced tomatoes with green chiles. For spicier salsa, use a whole jalapeño pepper or add in some of the ribs and seeds from the jalapeño. Be careful not to go overboard with the ribs and seeds, as that is where most of the spice is.
- Homemade salsa will last for 7-10 days in the refrigerator.
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