What’s that, you’ve never whipped up Homemade Salsa before?! Blasphemy! Salsa from scratch is too easy to pass up. This recipe is customizable in every way from the flavor, spice level, even the consistency! Take 5 minutes out of your day to make something so simple, yet, so special.
Those jars you’ve been conditioned to grab at the grocery store could never hold up to this fresh batch whipped up from scratch. They’re not even that much more convenient! It took me 2 minutes to roughly chop the ingredients, another 2 minutes to blend everything up, and, finally, all the incredible effort it takes to dump contents from a blender into a bowl.
I just can’t go back, now. I’m officially going to be a salsa snob for life. We enjoyed a small bowl with tortilla chips, then the rest was used to make to easiest and cheesiest baked salsa chicken. (Recipe coming soon). Not to sound too confident, but I think this may just hold up to your favorite taqueria.
Click that “Jump to the Recipe” button at the top of the page or keep on scrolling down to the recipe card for ingredient amounts and instructions. Keep reading for helpful information, substitutions, and tips!
- Fire roasted tomatoes – Can’t find any? Grab a 28oz can of regular diced tomatoes.
- Jalapeño peppers – I used two. Use as much or little as you like! Poblano would be a great milder option. You can even leave them out completely. Or, maybe, you’re a pepper head! Grab hotter peppers like habanero, scotch bonnet, or ghost.
- Onion – White onion works best, but use any type you have handy. I had a large onion so if yours is medium, use half. If it’s a small onion, use the whole thing.
- Garlic – As much or little as you like.
- Cilantro – I know! I know. Some of you despise cilantro. I have accepted this. You have my permission to leave it out if you want.
- Lime – I used the whole lime. I just love a lime-forward salsa! Fresh is best but you can use bottled instead.
- Cumin – I’ll be honest, I ended up doubling the cumin in my own batch. We are cumin obsessed in this house. Add more or less if you like.
- Salt – Season to taste.
What else can I put in my homemade salsa?
Salsa directly translates to “sauce” in Spanish. That’s why you end up seeing so many fantastic variations from the classic tomato based version we’re used to! It’s such a versatile recipe. Some ingredients are better added before blending, and some after. Check out these ideas for inspiration:
- Pickled jalapeños
- Bell peppers
- Pitted olives
- Mexican oregano
- Black beans (rinsed & drained)
- Chopped green onion
- Cubed avocado
- Cubed mango or pineapple
The best tomatoes for homemade salsa
I prefer using canned tomatoes in my salsa. You don’t have to worry about skins, and I really do like the deeper flavor of a cooked tomato in my salsa versus a fresh tomato. I also prefer it thicker which is made much more possible by draining the juices. Another benefit? The existence of fire roasted tomatoes. That subtle layer of smokiness is unbeatable!
If you can’t find any fire-roasted tomatoes, just use a 28oz can of diced or whole tomatoes. Okay, I have rambled on about canned tomatoes for far too long. Let’s get down to fresh tomatoes. Roma, aka plum, are your best bet for anything sauce related. They’re big in flavor and relatively low in water content. Use 6-8 roma tomatoes in place of their canned counterparts for this recipe.
How to make salsa
- Prep: Drain the juices from your canned tomatoes. If you prefer your salsa thinner, keep the juices on the side. Roughly chop the ingredients and add them to a blender or food processor.
- Blend: Pulse the ingredients until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Pulse some of the reserved tomato juice into the salsa if you’d like it thinner. Pour into a bowl and serve.
Tips for making the best salsa
- Worried about the spice? Start with 1 jalapeño and add more to taste.
- Whether you’re using a blender or food processor, it’s important to pulse the blades. This will make sure you still have texture in the salsa.
- If you can plan ahead, try making your salsa the day ahead. The flavors get so much better when they get to hang out and mingle.
How to store homemade salsa
Transfer your salsa to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 4-6 days.
I know that some of you may be interested in canning your salsa so that it will last longer! To be quite honest with you, I am no expert when it comes to canning. I don’t want to lead you astray with amateur knowledge. Especially with a botulism-prone ingredient like tomatoes. Check out this fantastic tried-and-true guide for preparing salsa and the jars for canning.
You need more homemade goodness in your life:
- Pico de Gallo
- Skillet Cajun Chicken Sausage and Rice
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Homemade Hamburger Buns
- Watermelon and Feta Salad
- 28 oz fire roasted tomatoes* two 14oz cans
- 2 jalapeño peppers** seeded and roughly chopped
- 1/4 large onion roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp lime juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- Drain the juices from your canned tomatoes. If you prefer your salsa thinner, reserve the juices. Roughly chop the ingredients and add them to a blender or food processor.
- Pulse the ingredients until you've reached your desired consistency. Pulse some of the reserved tomato juice into the salsa if you'd like it thinner. Pour into a bowl and serve.