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Best Homemade Salsa Recipe

This Salsa Recipe makes the best salsa in just minutes! It’s restaurant-style, full of fresh flavor and so easy to make. Serve it with tortilla chips or spoon over enchiladas, tacos and more.

Homemade salsa served in small bowl with a tortilla chip.

When Mexican food is on the menu, salsa is an essential. This easy salsa recipe is so good, once you try it you’ll have a hard time buying store-bought salsa again. It’s fresh, spicy and totally addicting!

Just like my Guacamole Recipe, this salsa recipe is made with simple ingredients. It’s easy to adjust the flavors to your tastes, and you can make it more or less spicy. Serve it with your favorite Mexican recipes, including Chicken Enchiladas, Beef Enchiladas and Taco Salad.

Why You’ll Love this Salsa Recipe

  • Quick & Easy: It takes only 10 minutes to make.
  • Delicious: This restaurant style salsa tastes fresh and flavorful, and you can make it in the comfort of your own home.
  • Adaptable: You can adjust the spice level, texture and flavors to suit your tastes.

Salsa served in a small bowl with tortilla chips around.

Salsa Recipe Ingredients

  • 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 for medium spicy salsa.
  • Tomatoes: I recommend using canned fire roasted diced tomatoes as well as a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (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 enhances 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.

Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.

How to Make Salsa

Making this homemade salsa is as simple as putting the ingredients in your food processor (or blender) and pulsing until the salsa is blended to your desired consistency. You can make it thinner or chunkier – however you like it!

Homemade salsa in a food processor.

You’ll add the ingredients to the food processor in two batches. Start with the onion, garlic and jalapeño 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.

When adding the canned tomatoes, drain off and discard the liquid from the diced tomatoes with green chilies. Add the juices from the can of fire roasted diced tomatoes to the food processor. Pulse a few times until the salsa is your desired consistency. You can serve the salsa right away, but for the best flavor chill it in the fridge for about an hour before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

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!

What Tomatoes Are Best for Salsa?

While I am all for using fresh ingredients whenever possible, I use canned tomatoes in this 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. (Save those fresh tomatoes to make Pico de Gallo!)

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!

Salsa Recipe Tips

  • This salsa recipe makes medium-spicy salsa. For mild salsa, substitute a can of regular diced tomatoes for the diced tomatoes with green chilies. 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 chilies. 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.

Scooping salsa with a tortilla chip.

Storage Instructions

This salsa can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days.

More Mexican Food Favorites

Best Homemade Salsa Recipe

Salsa served in a small bowl with tortilla chips around.
Print Pin
5 from 9 votes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword homemade salsa, how to make salsa, restaurant style salsa, salsa recipe
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings 12 servings
Calories 15kcal
This Salsa Recipe makes the best salsa in just minutes! It's fresh and flavorful, and much better than store-bought. Serve it with tortilla chips or spoon over enchiladas, taco salad and more.

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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 chilies and discard the liquid. Add the tomatoes and chilies 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.

Notes

  • 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 can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 cup | Calories: 15kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 57mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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