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 209 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

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • *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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581 Comments

  • Quee

    Absolutely delicious! One question, though. What is the serving size? I track my foods, and having this info would be helpful. Thanks!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      When I made it just today it made 4.5 cups. So it should be nearly 1/3 cup per serving. So glad you thought it was delicious!

  • Ck

    Salsa is good. However , prep time is WAY longer than 5 minutes. More realistic would be 30 . 10 to gather ingredients and wash tomatoes. 10 for tomatoes, 5 for onions, 5 for cilantro.

    • Quee

      Ck, prep time does not include gathering and washing the ingredients. Additionally, it does not take ten minutes to wash 5-6 tomatoes, nor does it take 5 minutes to wash cilantro, and the onions don’t need to be washed at all unless there is visible dirt on them, which there shouldn’t be if you trim the scallions properly and peel the outer layer of the red onion. Additionally, you don’t need to chop the red onion; simply quarter it and toss ¼ of it in the food processor. Likewise with the garlic and the jalapeno; just toss the garlic in the machine, and the jalapeno can be added as two halves right after seeding it without having to break it down further. I made this salsa in literally just under 10 minutes, and it was delicious.

  • Elaine Allen

    Just made this salsa & so easy & sooo good! I used one can of the roasted Rotel & 6 Roma tomatoes. I’m not a “hot” salsa fan & it was just right for me without the jalapeño. Will probably add for my husband’s half! I haven’t even added the spices yet….& not sure I will. It’s great & thank you!

    • Marites

      Great loved it!!!!😅😅 That’s not tears it’s the the additional hot peppers I added. We’re in the process of starting our own hot sauce business in the Philippines. You should do the same with your salsa.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Unfortunately no. This type of salsa isn’t to be cooked, it should be served raw.

  • Jacqueline Gibney

    Love this recipe. I use fresh and canned tomatoes but make sure that the canned tomatoes are just tomatoes. No added stuff like acidic or citric acid or EDTA just plan diced tomatoes. I keep the sauce from the can since it’s just tomato and the natural juices. I use one tsp of dehydrated cilantro instead of fresh because it’s easier to get the perfect consistency of cilantro. I also use coconut palm sugar in place of sugar. I use a bit more depending on taste, how big the tomatoes are etc same with all the other spices. I taste test and sometimes have to add more. Absolutely delicious and even better when you mix it with Guacamole. Yum. My favorite treat yet it’s all healthy. I only have Gucamole that has regular ingredients and actual avocado not the fake stuff. I have it with Kirkland que pasa chips which have very few ingredients and but weird stuff added to them. Delicious