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Quick and Easy Salsa Recipe

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Skip the store-bought jar and make this homemade salsa instead. Our salsa recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make, is adaptable to your desired spice level, and lasts a week in the fridge.

I love how simple this salsa recipe is. To make it, simply throw tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, and cilantro into a blender or food processor. Pulse everything until chopped, and then season with salt, pepper, and lime. Easy!

The ingredient list for this easy salsa is very similar to what you need to make pico de gallo. The only difference is that this salsa is blended, while we chop the ingredients for pico de gallo by hand. Both are delicious and amazing served next to homemade tortilla chips!

Key Ingredients

Tomatoes: I’ve used both fresh and canned tomatoes for this salsa recipe. If you have access to fresh, ripe tomatoes, use them! Canned tomatoes work well, too, especially if you’re making this when great tomatoes are out of season. For extra flavor, you can use fire-roasted canned tomatoes.

Onion: I typically use white or sweet onion when making salsa. To tone down the raw bite of the onion, I chop it, add it to a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes, and then drain it. I also use this trick for homemade guacamole, which makes such a difference!

Garlic: I like a little kick of garlic flavor in my salsa, so I use 2 cloves. Feel free to adjust that amount to your taste. You can also turn this into roasted garlic salsa by using homemade roasted garlic.

Jalapeño Peppers: I adjust the spice level by adding or removing the pepper seeds and membrane. The white membrane and seeds inside chili peppers are what make them spicy. I’ve shared tips below for making mild, medium, and hot salsa.

Cilantro and Lime: I love the fresh flavor that cilantro and lime bring to this salsa. Some people prefer to leave the cilantro out, so if that’s you, feel free. I highly recommend using fresh lime juice for this recipe.

How to Make the Best Homemade Salsa

This salsa recipe really couldn’t be much simpler, but I have a few extra tips to help you make it the best it can be!

Tip #1: Use the Pulse Function. For a texture similar to restaurant-style or jarred salsa, use the pulse button on your food processor or blender. This allows you to control the texture and get it just right. We prefer ours a little chunky.

Tip #2: Deflame the Onions. I’m pretty sensitive to raw onions, so I always deflame them before adding them. You can see me do this in the video, but basically, I place chopped onions in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Then, we drain and rinse them. This simple step takes the edge off of the raw onion.

Tip #3: Adjust the Spice Level. Control the heat by adding or removing the pepper seeds and membrane. The white membrane and seeds inside chili peppers are what make them spicy.

Mild Salsa: Remove all the seeds and white membrane from the pepper, and use only 1 pepper.

Medium Salsa: Remove most seeds and membrane, and use 2 peppers.

Hot and Spicy Salsa: Leave seeds and membrane intact, and use 1 to 2 peppers.

Tip #4: Let It Sit. The flavors in this salsa get better and better as it sits. I highly recommend making it at least 30 minutes before serving. (It will last for a week in the fridge.)

Salsa Recipe Variations

For a smoky flavor, consider incorporating 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped canned chipotles in adobo. If you’re looking for extra crunch, add a handful of white cabbage to your blender or food processor before pulsing the salsa ingredients.

Use fire-roasted canned tomatoes, or roast your tomatoes. We love using roasted tomatoes and peppers in our roasted tomato salsa. If you enjoy a spicier salsa, experiment with additional peppers like canned green chilies, roasted poblano, or Anaheim peppers. You can also stir this salsa into some homemade queso dip for one of the tastiest dips I’ve made in a while.

Quick and Easy Salsa

Skip the store-bought jar and make this salsa from scratch instead. This recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make, is adaptable to your desired spice level, and lasts a week in the fridge. For recipe variations, see our article above.
The recipe below can be used with fresh or canned tomatoes. When using canned tomatoes, we love fire-roasted tomatoes, which add a bit of smokiness to the salsa.

Makes 3 cups

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need 2 (15oz) cans fire-roasted tomatoes or use 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (1 ¾ pounds)
1/3 cup chopped white or sweet onion
2 medium cloves garlic
1 to 2 medium jalapeño or serrano peppers
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 to 2 medium limes
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

1Place the chopped tomatoes in a colander set over a large bowl to drain. Reserve the drained tomato juice for later use (either to thin the salsa or add flavor to soups or other dishes).
2Cover the chopped onion in a medium bowl with cold water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, drain the water, and rinse the onion.
3Prepare the peppers according to your desired spice level. For mild salsa, remove all the white membrane and seeds from inside the pepper. For medium salsa, leave some of the membrane and seeds. If you prefer hot salsa, leave the membrane and seeds intact and use 1 to 2 peppers.
4Add the garlic to a blender or food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
5Scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor, then add the drained tomatoes, drained and rinsed onions, prepared peppers, cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the juice of half a lime.
6Pulse the ingredients until you reach your desired texture. Taste the salsa and season with additional salt or lime juice as needed. (We usually add 3/4 teaspoon of salt in total.) If the salsa it too thick, add a little reserved tomato juice from earlier.
7For the best flavor, allow the salsa to sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. The flavors will meld and develop over time.

Adam and Joanne’s Tips

Storing: Homemade salsa will last stored in the refrigerator for a week (maybe more).
The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.

Nutrition Per Serving
Serving Size
about 1/4 cup
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Dietary Fiber
Total Sugars


Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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