This Homemade Salsa Recipe is absolutely addicting and a super quick, easy, and healthy Mexican dip to serve with tortilla chips for a party. Learn how to make restaurant style with fresh tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, and onions in under 15 minutes!
This Mexican dip is great for so much more than just your typical chips and salsa! You can repurpose this recipe into this Black Bean & Corn Salsa Dip, Slow Cooker Salsa Shredded Chicken, Salsa & Ranch Pasta Salad, or serve it alongside these Baked Chicken Taquitos.
The BEST Homemade Salsa Recipe
A few weeks ago Cohl and his band mates spent a full weekend recording music at the studio. Since my musical talent is found primarily on the dance floor, and definitely not in a microphone or musical instrument, I decided my contribution would be to do what I do best… and feed the band!
With eight mouths to keep full it also HUGELY helped our bank account that I made even the simplest of recipes from scratch… like this homemade salsa recipe.
As I type this Cohl is in the kitchen scarfing down an entire jar of salsa. LOL
Not only is making salsa from scratch easier on the grocery bill, but it also makes a TON and tastes INCREDIBLE when you get to enjoy fresh instead of canned.
How to Make
Making salsa at home is a rather simple process and only requires a few steps:
- Prepare ingredients by coarsely chopping tomatoes and finely dicing onions and jalapeños.
- This ensures the ingredients are evenly dispersed throughout.
- Add ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender.
- Pulse ingredients until your desired consistency is reached.
- Serve with tortilla chips or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. (Read more about this below!)
Now that you know the general process for preparing homemade salsa, let’s take a closer look into the ingredients you need:
- Tomatoes – Canned and/or fresh (read more about this below.)
- Onions – Sweet onions are best but red or yellow will also work.
- Jalapeños – Jalapeños are traditionally used but serrano peppers can also be substituted.
- Lime Juice – Limes give a unique “freshness” and helps preserve the salsa.
- Cilantro – Pretty much essential to the taste and flavor, but you can also leave it out/decrease the amount if you find it gives it a “soapy” flavor.
- Cumin – What I like to consider my “secret” ingredient since it gives this Mexican salsa recipe a subtle depth of flavor.
Canned or Fresh Tomato Salsa
This salsa can be made with either canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, or a combination of both. Personally, I enjoy the flavor found when both cooked and fresh are used, but you can use whatever you happen to have on hand.
Canned – If using canned, make sure you get a kind that does not have any additional peppers or seasonings added to it. Canned whole peeled tomatoes work best since they are not finely diced yet and you can better control the consistency of your salsa.
Fresh – When Cohl gets a garden going I oftentimes use all fresh in this recipe. Vine-ripened and beefsteak tomatoes do exceptionally well, but Campari tomatoes and Roma tomatoes will also work in this recipe.
Removing the Seeds – When preparing your tomatoes you can choose to remove the seeds or keep them in. I opt to remove the majority of the seeds since I like a chunky texture. If you prefer a thinner salsa, leave the majority of the seeds and juice.
Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!
A huge advantage of making your own salsa at home is that you can alter the spice level of it with ease.
How hot do you enjoy your salsa?
1 jalapeño will give you a pretty mild heat whereas 2-3 jalapeños will give you a medium heat salsa.
Cook’s Tip: Taste a bite of the jalapeños you are using in the recipe to test their heat level before adding them into the recipe.
How Long Does It Last?
Homemade salsa can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days when placed in an airtight container.
If serving for a party it is best to place a small bowl of salsa out and refill as needed. Do not let it sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours while serving.
To test if salsa has gone bad, give the salsa a smell and make sure it does not smell “off.” Also, check questionable salsa for the formation of mold to ensure it is still OK to eat.
Can You Freeze It?
Yes, you can freeze salsa in a freezer-safe container for up to 3-6 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Drain any excess liquid from the top of the salsa and serve as you normally would.
Previously frozen salsa does get a slightly different texture and loses a bit of its’ flavor. It is best when used in recipes instead of being served as a dip with tortilla chips.
Other Mexican Dip Recipes
If you enjoyed how quick and easy this homemade salsa recipe is, you might also like these other healthy Mexican-inspired dip recipes that are perfect for Cinco de Mayo:
Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe
This homemade Fresh Tomato Salsa recipe is quick and easy to put together in under 15 minutes with simple ingredients! Juicy tomatoes, crisp onion, hot jalapeños, fresh cilantro and the best seasonings are blended in a food processor to create the best salsa. Use this classic Mexican recipe as a topping on tacos, or serve with fresh tortilla chips as a dip!
- 1 lb. fresh tomatoes vine-ripened, Campari, or roma, seeds removed*
- 16 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes or 1 lb. fresh tomatoes*
- 1-2 jalapeños finely diced*
- ½ cup cilantro coarsely chopped
- ½ sweet onion finely diced
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ½ - ¾ tsp. salt to taste*
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ tsp. cumin
Pulse salsa 20-25 times for a chunky consistency or 25-30+ times for a smoother salsa.
Serve salsa with tortilla chips, on chicken, or use it in your favorite recipe. Refrigerate salsa for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
- If you only have all fresh or all canned tomatoes, feel free to use that instead of the combination.
- When preparing your tomatoes you can choose to remove the seeds or keep them in. Remove seeds for a chunky salsa and leave seeds for a thinner salsa.
- One jalapeño will give you a mild salsa, two jalapeños will give you a medium heat salsa.
- If serving salsa with salty tortilla chips, err on the side of not adding too much salt.
Pro Tips and Tricks
- Use homegrown or in-season and organic tomatoes. These will have the most flavor.
- Pay attention to the seeds. If you want a chunky salsa, make sure you remove the seeds before processing. For a thinner texture, leave the seeds in.
- Test the pepper before you add it in. Some jalapeños are really spicy while others are not. It's best if you take a bite of it to see what you're working with!
- Prep it ahead of time. Salsa gets even more flavorful after it has had a chance to sit for a few hours.
- Double the batch. Homemade salsa freezes exceptionally well. You can freeze it in smaller quantities so you can easily grab what you want and add to recipes later.
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep Ahead: This easy recipe is great to make ahead since the flavors get better after 24 hours!
- To Serve: If serving for a party it is best to place a small bowl of salsa out and refill as needed. Do not let it sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours while serving.
- To Store: Homemade salsa can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days when placed in an airtight container.
- To freeze: - Seal in an airtight container or bag and freeze for up to 3-4 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours then drain any excess liquid from the top of the salsa, stir it, and then serve as you normally would. Previously frozen salsa does get a slightly different texture and loses a bit of its' flavor. It is best when used in recipes instead of being served as a dip with tortilla chips.