This fresh, homemade, Easy Salsa recipe takes just a few minutes to throw together in the blender or food processor and rivals the best restaurant style salsa!
Dare I say it, but chips and salsa are pretty much a religion in Texas. Everyone has their favorite version of salsa, whether it’s pureed or chunky, smooth or textured, mild or spicy, loaded with goodies or plain and simple. And whether that favorite salsa comes from a restaurant or a grocery store or your very own kitchen, the truth is that DIY-ing homemade salsa is surprisingly quick and simple!
Easy Restaurant Style Salsa just so happens to be my (and my family’s!) favorite kind of salsa. We prefer a pureed salsa with no big chunks of veggies, and this salsa recipe results in just that. And it’s as effortless as tossing ingredients into a blender or food processor and letting ‘er rip! Can you say under 5 minutes???
So exactly what ingredients are required? Well, I’m so glad you asked. Let’s break down the mechanics of a good blender salsa recipe, shall we?
1. Tomatoes ~ While I enjoy making homemade salsa from fresh tomatoes during the summertime — when I have more tomatoes than I reasonably know what to do with — the truth is that you can achieve an equally delicious and addictive salsa using (*gasp*) canned tomatoes! And lucky for us all, canned tomatoes are available year-round.
I start with two cans of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes. Plain diced tomatoes will work just fine if that’s your preference, but I find that fire-roasted tomatoes have a slight smokiness and deeper flavor that takes a salsa recipe from good to great.
And for a perfect consistency, I like to drain one of my cans of tomatoes and include the juices from the other can in my salsa. I find that this results in a salsa that’s neither too thick nor too watery…in other words, perfect!
2. Onion ~ Y’all know I don’t like onions, but I make an exception when it comes to fresh, non-chunky, pureed salsa. So while I only add about a quarter of a small white or yellow or red onion to my salsa, for stronger flavor in your salsa, feel free to increase the amount of onion to your liking.
3. Garlic ~ My love for garlic is even greater than my loathing for onions. That being said, raw garlic packs quite a punch. I find 3 large cloves of garlic to be the perfect amount for salsa that’s garlicky but not overpoweringly so. Again, tweak the amount as you see fit.
How to Make Salsa
4. Jalapeño ~ Here is where we garner both heat and flavor in this recipe. For mild salsa, remove the seeds and membranes from both jalapeños (and/or you can choose to use one jalapeño instead of two). For medium salsa, remove the seeds and membranes from one jalapeño and leave them intact in the other. For hot salsa, leave the seeds and membranes intact in both jalapeños…or even toss in an extra jalapeño! Have you figured out that most of the heat from a jalapeño is housed in its seeds and membranes??
That being said, all jalapeños vary in their spiciness. So I say err on the side of caution when you first start making homemade salsa. After all, you can always add heat, but it’s impossible to take it away!
5. Cilantro ~ I think cilantro is a critical ingredient in just about any salsa recipe. Because I love the flavor of cilantro, I add a whole, big bunch of the stuff (see all of those flecks of green in my salsa?). But for freshness without overpowering flavor, you can choose to add just add a handful of cilantro.
Now, I know that a large portion of the population has a strong dislike for cilantro, but y’all still eat salsa made with cilantro, right? As long as too much wasn’t added? Or am I totally wrong here?
(If any cilantro-haters out there think salsa turns out okay with absolutely no cilantro included, please chime in here! As a cilantro lover, I truly don’t understand the phenomenon and could use your input.?)
6. Lime Juice ~ Fresh lime juice is a must! I think half of a lime lends the perfect amount of pucker to this particular salsa recipe, but feel free to increase the lime juice as you see fit.
7. Honey ~ Just a tiny squeeze is all you need to balance the acidity of the tomatoes without making your salsa sweet.
8. Spices ~ Salt is crucial. Freshly ground black pepper is nice. But I think adding a touch of cumin and chipotle chipe pepper powder lends a nice undertone of smokiness to homemade salsa.
And that’s it! Throw everything in the blender or food processor and puree to your desired consistency, whether that takes 1 minute or 2 minutes or 3 minutes.
After your salsa is done, I highly recommend transferring it to a bowl and popping it in the fridge for at least an hour to chill, which will allow the flavors to blend. But if you absolutely can’t wait and find yourself dipping it straight out of the blender, I totally understand and definitely will not judge.
After all, I pretty much polished off this whole bowl of salsa as soon as I got done taking pictures, no refrigeration involved.? A food blogger’s gotta eat lunch, right?
This Easy Restaurant Style Salsa recipe is going to serve you well for a multitude of salsa-enjoying opportunities, from scooping up with chips, to flavoring other dips, to drizzling over tacos and nachos and enchiladas to so much more! It’s delicious for Taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo or any darn day of the week/month/year. And it’s so simple to make, you may never go back to the store-bought jarred stuff!
¡Viva la salsa!
Helpful Tips, Tricks, & Equipment
(some affiliate links below)
- If you’re unsure of how loose you like your salsa, I recommend draining the liquid from the canned tomatoes into a measuring cup (as opposed to pouring it down the sink). That way, after you blend up all of your ingredients, it’s easy to add back some of the tomato liquid if your salsa is too thick.
- I highly recommend using fire-roasted diced tomatoes when making homemade salsa. However, plain diced tomatoes work great as well…and if you’d like to use cans of diced tomatoes with green chiles added, feel free!
- If you have a high-powered blender or food processor, you don’t need to worry about pre-chopping your onion or garlic or jalapeños…just toss them in there in big chunks and the pureeing should take care of the rest. (But you’ll obviously want to peel the onion/garlic and remove the stem from the jalapeños before adding them to the bI lender/food processor…?)
- Before adding the cilantro to the blender/food processor, I twist off the long stems but don’t worry about any of the thinner stems that remain near the leaves, since they’re going to get all pureed anyway.
- The chipotle chipe pepper powder is optional but I love the stuff. Adding a little bit adds smokiness…increasing the amount adds heat.
♥Recipes that use homemade salsa…