Fresh Homemade Salsa

Published July 19, 2018. Updated January 17, 2024

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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. Homemade salsa is the best party dish around, the perfect Super Bowl party food and a healthy after school 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. You can make this ahead of your game night or Super Bowl party to enjoy hosting more easily.

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

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Fresh Homemade Salsa Recipe
4.97 from 213 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 (about 4.5 cups)
Prep5 minutes
Ready in: 5 minutes



  • 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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  • k

    I’ve made this several times without the extra sugar, and I keep coming back to it.
    I cut and mix my ingredients by hand since we don’t have a food processor, and if you do it that way, don’t add the lettuce until you’re ready to eat it, so it doesn’t get soggy.

    • k

      I meant to say I add this to my taco salad, then you shouldn’t add the lettuce and chips until you’re ready to serve it.
      I use this on taco salad and burritos, and my husband can eat it by the spoonful.

  • Candy Wegner

    Can I can the salsa in an electric canning machine after I combine all the ingredients. Or do I have to cook first?

  • Shreyas

    This is the best salsa I’ve made, and so much better than any store-bought option. Very easy and quick to make, simple ingredients, and extremely delicious. Thank you so much!

  • Katie cook

    By far the best salsa I have ever tasted. Better than any restaurant I have been to. I did add a little more garlic and chili power. I am going to take the different canned tomatoes and other peppers because why don’t. I don’t have a food processor or s blender but I do use by dicer with the smallest cutter in it. Thank you for sharing this with everyone.

  • Bruce Chandler

    This salsa was delicious!! I also put about 2 tblsp apple cider vinegar in it for a touch of tang. I added water in small amounts too since it thickens up

  • Tracy

    No, no, no!! The guy suggesting ghost peppers is trying to kill you. Don’t do that. Just watch YouTube videos of people trying them. I think he’s having a joke at your expense.

  • Jo Ann

    I just made my first batch of this salsa. Very excited for dinner tonight.
    Question can I freeze the salsa?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Unfortunately no fresh salsa doesn’t freeze well.

  • Todd

    Everything in the recipe is accurate except one thing… it will definitely not last a week. Based on my calculations it will only last about 45 minutes and then it will be gone… YUM!!!