This Fresh Tomato Salsa recipe comes together in under 15 minutes! Simple ingredients of juicy tomatoes, crisp onion, spicy jalapeños, cilantro, and seasonings are blended in a food processor to create the best homemade salsa. Use this classic quick and easy Mexican recipe as a topping on tacos, or serve with tortilla chips as a dip!

A thick and chunky salsa in a white bowl and a hand dipping a tortilla chip into it.

Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe

Living in Texas, there is no shortage of salsa. You will find just about every type made with every kind of tomato or pepper…

But there is just no beating a Fresh Tomato Salsa!

This recipe is perfect to make in the summer months when local farmers markets are in full swing and backyard gardens are full of tomato plants bursting with fresh fruit. Even better if you’re also growing your own peppers!

Are you a mild, medium, or hot salsa person? By tweaking the type and amount of peppers in either direction, you can even dial in your own spice level.

And the bonuses just keep coming: not only is making a salsa recipe from scratch easier on the grocery bill, but it also makes a TON and the fresh flavors taste INCREDIBLE. You’ll never go back to the jar.

What is in salsa?

Traditionally, salsa is a combination of tomato, onion, and peppers along with cilantro, lime, and seasonings. The beauty of this dish is there are literally endless ways to make it! Salsa is one of the best ways to use up fresh produce.

You can opt for different types of tomatoes for varying flavor along with your favorite onion. The spice level will vary with different types of peppers. Jalapeños are usually used, but feel free to up the heat with serrano, habanero, or even chili de arbol peppers.

Tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro, lime, and garlic are the ingredients for this salsa.

Ingredients

The fresh ingredients you need to make this homemade tomato salsa include:

  • Tomatoes. If using canned tomatoes, make sure you get a kind that does not have any additional peppers or seasonings added to it. Canned whole peeled tomatoes work amazing since they are not finely diced yet and you can better control the consistency of your salsa. But fresh tomatoes taste best. Vine-ripened and beefsteak tomatoes do exceptionally well, but Campari tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and Roma tomatoes will also work in this recipe.
  • Onions. Sweet onions are best but red onion, yellow onion, or white onion are good options, too.
  • Jalapeños. Jalapeños are traditionally used but serrano peppers can also be substituted to make it spicier.
  • Lime Juice. Fresh lime juice gives a unique flavor and help preserve the salsa. In a pinch, you can sub in lemon juice.
  • Cilantro. This is pretty much essential to the taste and flavor, but you can also leave it out or 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.

How to Make Fresh Tomato Salsa

Making fresh homemade salsa at home is a rather simple process and only requires a few steps:

Prepare the Ingredients

Coarsely chop ripe tomatoes and finely dice the onions and jalapeño pepper. A fine dice ensures the ingredients are evenly dispersed throughout.

When preparing your tomatoes, you can choose to remove the seeds or keep them in. If you like a chunky texture, remove the majority of the seeds. If you prefer a thinner salsa, leave most of the seeds and juice.

A huge advantage of making your own fresh tomato 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 mild heat whereas 2-3 jalapeños will give you a medium heat salsa.

Pro Tip: Taste a bite of the jalapeños you are using to test their heat level before adding them in.

Diced onion, fresh tomatoes, and jalapenos that are chopped on a wooden cutting board.

Process the Salsa

Add all of the salsa ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender.

An 11-12 cup food processor is preferred since you can pulse until your desired consistency is reached. But a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix, can also be used. Just know that you need to pay close attention so your salsa does not turn into soup!

Pulse ingredients until your desired consistency is reached. If you want chunky salsa, try not to over pulse. For a smoother salsa, pulse longer.

Serve with tortilla chips

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. To prevent spoilage, do not let it sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • To Store: This fresh salsa recipe 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.

Pro tip: 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.

What is the tomato for salsa?

Vine-ripened tomatoes are best for making salsa, but Campari tomatoes and Roma tomatoes have a great flavor and can also be used. Try different types and see what is your favorite!

A white spatula scooping out fresh homemade salsa from a clear bowl.

How long does fresh salsa last?

Fresh salsa can easily last for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. The acid from the tomatoes and citrus juice helps preserve it.

Can you freeze fresh salsa?

You can definitely freeze fresh salsa. Just be sure it’s in an airtight container. Then, when you thaw it, drain any extra liquid before stirring and serving. Know that it is best mixed into recipes rather than as a dip after freezing.

A close-up of Mexican salsa dip with fresh tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and jalapenos.

Is fresh salsa healthy?

Fresh salsa is definitely a healthy treat when made with fresh, wholesome ingredients. Tomatoes, onions, and peppers all pack a good-for-you punch of vitamins (particularly vitamin C) and minerals. It’s the tortilla chips that get you!

Do you peel tomatoes for fresh salsa?

You do not need to peel tomatoes when making fresh salsa. By leaving the skin on, you add bright color, fiber, and texture. (And not to mention save a ton of time!) It is entirely your personal preference, though. Here are some tips to easily peel tomatoes.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Use your own. Homegrown or in-season and organic tomatoes will have the most flavor.
  • To seed or not to seed. If you want a chunky salsa, make sure you remove the tomato seeds before processing. For a thinner texture, leave the seeds in.
  • Taste test. 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 it to recipes later.
A hand dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl full of restaurant style tomato salsa with fresh tomatoes and cilantro next to it.

What to Serve with Tomato Salsa?

I can’t think of anything that fresh tomato salsa doesn’t help; it’s the perfect condiment! Try any of these dishes with some leftover salsa for a real treat.

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup, Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls, and Shredded Chicken Enchiladas are instantly better with a spoonful.

You can even enjoy this restaurant-style salsa in the morning on Mexican Breakfast Casserole or Easy Migas Tacos

Top your favorite sides like this Instant Pot Mexican Rice or Refried Black Beans.

Other Mexican Dip Recipes

If you enjoyed how quick and easy this homemade salsa recipe is, you might also like these other healthy Mexican recipes that are perfect for Cinco de Mayo.

Quick & Easy Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, and Black Bean & Corn Salsa are crowd pleasers. Don’t forget the Homemade Tortilla Chips.

Mexican Shrimp Ceviche and Classic Ceviche are both so impressive.

Other salsa favorites like Roasted Tomato Salsa , Tomatillo Salsa Verde, and Mango Avocado Salsa are too good to miss.

Tap stars to rate!

4.80 from 10 votes

Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe

This Fresh Tomato Salsa recipe comes together in under 15 minutes! Simple ingredients of juicy tomatoes, crisp onion, spicy jalapeños, cilantro, and seasonings are blended in a food processor to create the best homemade salsa.
Yield 12 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Total 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • In the bowl of an 11-12 cup food processor or high speed blender add all prepared ingredients.
  • 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.

Tap stars to rate!

4.80 from 10 votes

Video

Notes

  • 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.

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 17kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Sodium: 56mg, Potassium: 174mg, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 415IU, Vitamin C: 11.5mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 0.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. 5 stars
    been waiting ages to get salsa that tasted like this, alot of it has to do with the blender i realized if you like it a little chunky you have to “dial in” the blender settings. I also adjusted the recipe to make a little more I also use 1.5 lbs of tomatoes and about 24 oz diced tomato can (thats a can and a half). I also use tablespoon and a half of MINCED garlic from Trader Joes (best minced garlic ever). and a full batch of cilantro. comes out yummy! thanks for the recipe.

    1. Yay! I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe. This one has been my husband’s go-to way to make salsa for years! I’ll have to try the minced garlic next time from TJs! Thanks so much for your comment and rating 🙂