Fresh Homemade Salsa

July 19, 2018  ·  Published November 16, 2011

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The Best Homemade Salsa Recipe! This homemade restaurant-style Salsa is one of my most frequently made recipes! It’s perfect served with tortilla chips or as a topping over your favorite Mexican food, like tacos, burritos, taquitos and so forth. The best party food around and a must-have snack!

Fresh Homemade Salsa in a bowl next to tortilla chips

Homemade Salsa Recipe

Fact: the best salsa is made with fresh tomatoes. Okay, that’s just my opinion, but in the past I thought I could go the route of using all canned tomatoes, but using fresh tomatoes makes a world of difference! Fresh tomatoes make the best salsa, especially when you use nicely ripened in season tomatoes.

This is hands down my favorite salsa recipe, and I don’t know that I’ll ever need another one. It just has the perfect ratio and blend of everything.

It’s not too oniony or garlicy, nor too spicy for my kids, it doesn’t tasting like it came from a can and it has the perfect brightness with the fresh lime. Then it has a classic Mexican flavor with the cilantro and hint of chili powder and cumin.

The sugar I’d say is only needed if you are using store-bought tomatoes. If you grow your own or buy them at the farmers market, the quality is a bit better and they’re a bit sweeter so the sugar isn’t needed.

Ingredients needed to make salsa shown here on a marble countertop. Ingredients include roma tomatoes, canned tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, red onion, green onion, garlic, lime, salt, pepper and sugar.

Fresh Salsa Ingredients

  • Fresh Roma tomatoes – use the nice and red ones, avoid anything soft.
  • Canned tomatoes – I like to use canned in addition to fresh because it gives the salsa a better consistency.
  • Fresh cilantro – cilantro adds key flavor, don’t omit this!
  • Jalapeno – this adds a nice kick. If you don’t like heat you can replace it with 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper, or omit.
  • Red onion – yellow onion can be used here as well.
  • Green onion – if you don’t want to buy both kinds of onions you can omit the green onions and add just a little more red onion.
  • Garlic – it may seem small but garlic packs a flavorful punch. Only use fresh garlic here for best flavor.
  • Lime – this really brightens up the salsa.
  • Chili powder and cumin – I don’t always add these but they’re a nice addition if you have them on hand.
  • Sugar – just a touch balances out the acidity of the tomatoes and lime.
  • Salt and pepper – the salsa would taste flat without the salt and the pepper adds a light kick.

Showing how to make fresh Salsa. Roughly chopped vegetables in a food processor before blending.

How to Make the Best Salsa

Making salsa at home couldn’t be easier! Here’s how you’ll make it:

  • Roughly chop the vegetables (and fruit if you want to get technical, those tomatoes).
  • Add vegetables to a food processor along with spices and lime juice.
  • Chop in quick bursts until it’s finely chopped up.

What if I Don’t Own a Food Processor?

  • This salsa can also be made in a blender.
  • Or you can finely chop up the vegetables by hand then stir everything together in a bowl.

Fresh Homemade Salsa in a food processor after blending.

How to Make Homemade Tortilla Chips

What to go all out? Try this with homemade tortilla chips, fried or baked. Everyone will be totally impressed! I don’t make them often, but when I do it makes the fresh salsa that much better.

How Long Will Salsa Last?

This salsa should last for up to a week if stored in a sealed container in the fridge.

What Type of Canned Tomato Should I Use?

I love this salsa with canned plain tomatoes, canned tomatoes with green chilies, or canned fire roasted tomatoes. All work great, just use what you have.

Fresh Homemade Salsa in a white bowl with tortilla chips on the side.

Tips for the Best Salsa

  • Use freshest ingredients.
  • Dont puree the salsa, some texture is a good thing here.
  • Let the homemade salsa chill first for an even tastier, more refreshing salsa. I just always seem to like it better the second day.

dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of salsa

More Salsa Recipes You’ll Love:

Fresh Homemade Salsa Recipe
4.98 from 168 votes

Homemade Salsa

A super easy, super fresh, super delicious salsa. You'll never need another salsa recipe again! This has been my go-to recipe for years, it's definitely a family favorite. We make it almost every week. It's a staple recipe.
Servings: 14
Prep5 minutes
Ready in: 5 minutes


  • 1 1/4 lbs ripe Roma tomatoes* (about 5 - 6)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes**
  • 2 green onions,*** ends trimmed, chopped into thirds
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion (about 1/4 of a medium)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper,**** seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (about a handful)
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse in 1 second bursts until all ingredients are finely chopped.
  • Serve with tortilla chips. Note that salsa always tastes best after it's been refrigerated for a few hours, so if time allows let the flavors marinate together before serving.
  • Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.


  • *Use best quality tomatoes or salsa will be lacking in flavor.
  • **Canned diced tomatoes with mild green chilis, or canned fire roasted tomatoes also work great as well.
  • ***For a slightly stronger onion flavor you can just omit green onions and use about 3/4 cup red onion (or 1/2 of a medium onion).
  • ****You can leave the seeds or use a serrano pepper for a spicy salsa. Sometimes I like to substitute a few canned chipotle peppers with some adobo sauce for the jalapeno. This is also a spicier option.
  • Another tasty addition is to include 1/2 bell pepper, or 1 poblano or Anaheim pepper.
  • For a thinner salsa, you can add in a bit of tomato juice or tomato sauce if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Salsa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 20
% Daily Value*
Sodium 41mg2%
Potassium 189mg5%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Vitamin A 480IU10%
Vitamin C 10.7mg13%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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  • Charlie

    I just made this about 5 minutes ago and it is fantastic. I made some minor changes to it. I used vine ripened tomatoes instead of roma tomatoes because that’s what I had in the fridge. I used a whole, smallish yellow onion instead of the red onion. I left the seeds in with the jalapeno and added 1 red chili pepper for extra spice. I also added a bit of paprika because I love paprika, and I didn’t add any sugar.

    I’ll never buy salsa again. Looking forward to trying some of your other salsa recipes in the future! Thanks!

  • Sky-Lyn Lombrana

    It’s okay I’m gonna eat it. But personally I’ve had some so much better and it was just to oniony and not spicy enough.

  • Jayne

    This is the best salsa I have ever tasted anywhere and it’s so incredibly easy to make. Everything is put in the food processor and cooked. You don’t peel the tomatoes which makes the preparation time much less. I’ve made 70-some pints already and with other recipes I’d make 20. You can trust me, I’m not in politics.

  • Claudia Landrum

    My neighbor gave me a lot of cherry tomatoes this summer. I bagged them and threw them in the freezer.
    Would they work for this, or be better cooked in soups or chili? Or what do I make with them?

  • Lana W

    Its delicious! I had some fresh tomatoes and cilantro and this salsa was a wonderful way to put them together and enjoy fresh! Thank you.

  • Jeannine Bailey

    I am so glad to have found this recipe – I finally have restaurant quality salsa at home!! This is going to be my go-to salsa from now on. I even loved it enough to share it with one of my neighbors who is a self-professed salsa snob!

  • Sara

    I tripled this and guesstimated on things and it still came out wonderful. I didn’t use any store bought tomatoes as was overflowing from the garden. And I added green chilies. I also didn’t use a food processor because I like chunky salsa. The fresh lime juice makes a huge difference.

    Now for a question – can I freeze some of this?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Unfortunately salsa doesn’t freeze very well it changes the texture and fresh flavor. But I like to add any extra (if I have it) into a soup like chicken tortilla soup.

  • Warveen Mosa

    Made it tonight coz hubby wanted something salty to snack on. It was easy, quick and delicious, hreat recipe. I substituted jalapeño with Serrano pepper for extra kick, also coz I didn’t have jalapeños lol. Thanks for the recipe.