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Once upon a time, I used to buy pre-made salsa. But then I got curious about the ingredients in it and realized I could make restaurant style salsa myself without any additives. Since then, I’ve never had a jar of salsa fresca in my kitchen that came from the supermarket shelf. Bring the fiesta with this simple and fresh salsa recipe that you’re going to sign up to bring to every potluck from here on out!

Best Salsa Recipe

What makes for the best salsa recipe? For me, it needs to have a balance of texture, flavor, and spice. This Mexican salsa recipe gives you all that and disappears quick. You might want to make double for a big party!

Homemade Salsa Ingredients

  • Tomatoes – All salsa starts with tomatoes and this recipe uses fresh and canned.
  • Jalapeno pepper – use 2 if you want it spicy.
  • Red onion – adds a pungent contrast.
  • Garlic – everything is better with garlic!
  • Lime juice – the quintessential acidity all salsa needs.
  • Fresh cilantro – you can use the dried version too, but fresh is best.
  • Spices and seasonings – these add depth to the mix.

What Tomatoes are Best for Salsa?

The firmer and fleshier the tomatoes, the better they are for salsa. You can feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand though I’ve chosen Roma tomatoes when making a fresh tomato salsa recipe because they tend to be pretty firm.

Easy Salsa Recipe

Don’t open that jar! All it takes is 10 minutes of your time with a few simple ingredients in your food processor to knock out this easy salsa recipe. Get the tortilla chips ready!

I could eat chips and salsa for dinner everyday.

How to Make Salsa from Scratch

Salsa from scratch requires a mix of mostly fresh ingredients with diced tomatoes and seasonings from your spice rack. All you need are fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and seasonings. Simply combine them in your food processor, blend, and serve!

Do I have to peel tomatoes to make salsa?

No, you don’t. When learning to how to make salsa dip for tortilla chips, simply combine all the ingredients in the food processor.

Should I seed tomatoes for salsa?

Some people do but I do not seed tomatoes when making fresh tomato salsa. It’s a matter of preference though seeding them makes it feel more like pico de gallo than salsa.

Should you cook tomatoes before making salsa?

No, you do not need to cook tomatoes before making salsa. You’ll use fresh chopped ones plus diced canned tomatoes to get the ideal taste and texture.

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Salsa Every Time

  • Fresh AND canned – The key to the best salsa is adding in that can of tomatoes with the fresh ones.
  • Spice it up – Fresh cilantro also adds a little extra something and that jalapeno can’t be skipped.
  • Heat – If you don’t like spicy, just use one jalapeno.
  • The missing ingredient – Don’t forget the lime to add acidity or else it will feel like it’s missing something.

What makes a good salsa?

Fresh ingredients mixed with pantry staples give the right balance of flavor for good salsa. You want canned tomatoes and fresh ones, fresh herbs and also spices from your spice rack. It gives it a perfect restaurant-worthy taste!

What can I add to salsa for flavor?

I am a firm believer that fresh cilantro and lime juice are what it takes to liven up a tomato salsa recipe. Don’t skip those ingredients.

What onion is best for salsa?

Red onions are the best for salsa because they add a pretty color and a pungent flavor without overpowering. I also use green onions for a different layer of flavor.

How do you make salsa more spicy?

Add jalapeno. If I’m having a big party, I’ll make 2 versions…one that has 1 jalapeno and another that has 2 jalapeno peppers for a more spicy salsa recipe.

What to Serve with Salsa

Tortilla chips is the obvious and favorite answer to go with a restaurant salsa recipe, but you can do so much more. Serve it with a tray of veggies to dip, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, even top off burgers or a mountain of cheese fries. Oh, and don’t forget nachos either!

How to Store Salsa and How Long It Lasts

Homemade salsa with fresh tomatoes needs to stay in the fridge. You shouldn’t let it sit out for longer than an hour, so serve some up at your party and put the rest in the fridge, refilling as needed. Keep it in an airtight container and it will last for 10 to 12 days.

Can You Freeze Salsa?

Homemade salsa freezes beautifully too. You can put it in a freezer-safe container and wrap that with foil. It will be good for a max of 4 months.

How to Defrost Frozen Salsa

Before you want to use your frozen salsa, thaw it in the fridge until it’s completely thawed. You’ll want to drain it a little bit prior to serving because it will be a little more watery than when it was fresh.

Watch How To Make Salsa (Video)

Homemade Salsa Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 143
Homemade salsa is fast, easy and delicious! This super easy salsa recipe is a party favorite I make for all our super bowl parties and the last salsa recipe you will ever need. This is the same recipe we've been making for years! Its the perfect flavor, texture, and spiciness. Enjoy!


  • 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 6 roma tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (2 if you like it spicy) (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup red onion (chopped)
  • 3 green onions (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (to taste)


  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse in 1 second bursts until all ingredients are finely chopped.
Calories: 143kcal
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican


Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 1537mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1405IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 242mg | Iron: 7mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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