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

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Fresh Homemade Salsa Recipe
4.97 from 204 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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  • David

    Thank u, unable to buy store bought salsa, I’m allergic to onions, but garlic doesn’t bother me, no one really noticed I didn’t add onion. Thanks again! Was super 👌

  • Cathy Munro

    Oh my goodness! This was a huge hit at a family pool party today. It is better left in the refrigerator overnight to allow the ingredients to blend but Soooooooo good 😋😋

    • Peaches

      This Recipe is so easy and so good. I made 1 1/2 batches and it was excellent. I like a fresh salsa and a year ago I made about 40 pints of cooked salsa. This salsa is even better than the one I made previously which was quoted as being the best salsa ever. I’m going to cook this salsa to see if I can preserve it for use later this year. I’ll update this comment with the results.

  • Cathy Munro

    Can this recipe be pressure canned? I have alot of tomatoes to use and would like some canned salsa for use later

    • Russ

      I canned it but added an additional 2 tbsp of lemon juice to beef up the acidity for canning. It has held well for about 5 months at least.

      • Otherguy4444

        How long did you processed it in the bath?
        Thank you for the input/sharing. : )

  • Ruth Petras

    This is a fantastic recipe and I followed it to a “T”! Absolutely perfect and delicious! What a difference from store-bought! TY so much!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      No this is also delicious with other garden fresh tomatoes such as San marzano, cherry, heirloom, better boy etc.

  • Ally

    “or fruit if you want to get technical” girlie be for real. vegetables aren’t real. nothing in your recipe is a vegetable. cilantro is a leaf. jalapeño is also a fruit. onions and chives are bulbs. there were never vegetables in your recipe. the salsa was pretty good.

  • Colleen Richardson

    I love this recipe!! It’s my go to salsa. I am wondering if I can freeze it? Thank you

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Hi Colleen, unfortunately fresh salsa doesn’t freeze well. I like to use leftover salsa to make black bean tacos or add to soup. So glad you loved it!

      • Colleen Richardson

        Thank you for letting me know. We do use it in tacos so we will just have tacos and eat the salsa as a snack!

      • Kim

        I have actually frozen this and it turns out totally fine! Just may need to drain some of the excess liquid off after it thaws, but it is fine to freeze.