This Easy Homemade Salsa Recipe is healthy, fresh, and ready in just a few minutes. Just like you’d find at your favorite restaurant (but better!) learn how easy it is to make fresh and delicious salsa right at home and enjoy it with tortilla chips, tacos, and all your other favorite Mexican recipes.
The BEST Salsa Recipe
Did you know that salsa is actually the Spanish word for “sauce”? There are hundreds of different varieties of salsa from mild to spicy, fresh to cooked, chunky to smooth, each made with a number of different ingredients. The salsa we’re making today is a version of salsa known as salsa cruda, or “raw sauce”, as it is made with uncooked tomatoes, onions, jalapeño chilies, and cilantro.
You’ll often find this type of salsa at salsa bars at your favorite taqueria, in the deli aisle at your local grocery store, and always with fresh chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant.
It’s easy to make your own homemade salsa. All you need is 10 minutes, a handful of fresh and canned ingredients, and a food processor (or blender) to get your own restaurant-quality salsa perfect for snacking. It also tastes amazing the next day, so don’t worry if you have any leftovers.
What’s the Difference Between Salsa and Pico de Gallo?
Pico de gallo is a type of salsa.
In fact, the two can be nearly identical but what makes pico de gallo so unique is its texture and overall freshness. In general, salsa typically contains more liquid whereas pico de gallo is chunky, with each ingredient easy to distinguish.
Here is a recipe for how to make pico de gallo.
For the full list and amounts of ingredients, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Ripe tomatoes – Chopped into large chunks, no peeling necessary. For a less watery salsa, be sure to de-seed your tomatoes.
- Canned diced tomatoes – The addition of canned tomatoes helps deepen the flavor. Using only fresh ingredients, while delicious, tastes flat. Canned tomatoes help with that.
- Onions – I use both green and red onions in this recipe.
- Jalapeños – If you’re sensitive to spicy food, you may omit the jalapenos and substitute with 1 (4.5 ounce) can of mild diced green chiles.
- Fresh cilantro – unless your taste buds identify this leafy herb as soap, then you get a pass.
- Fresh garlic
- Lime juice – or vinegar such as plain white vinegar or red wine vinegar.
- Sugar – To help balance the acidity, if needed
How to Make Salsa at Home
- Process (no cooking required) – Add all ingredients to a large food processor and pulse in quick 1-second bursts until all of the ingredients are finely chopped. For a chunkier salsa, process fewer times, while for a smoother salsa, continue pulsing until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt, to taste.
- Let it marinate – If you have the time, prepare your salsa at least one hour before you plan on serving. This allows the flavors to mix, mingle, and deepen.
Homemade Salsa Recipe Uses
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftover homemade salsa in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days. I do not recommend freezing.
Looking for more delicious sauce and dip recipes? Try these reader favorites:
- Chimichurri Recipe (How to Make Chimichurri Sauce)
- Enchilada Sauce Recipe (How to Make Enchilada Sauce)
- Homemade Mole Sauce
- Garlic Butter Sauce
- Tzatziki Sauce Recipe (How to Make Tzatziki)
- Easy Mango Salsa Recipe (5-Ingredients)
Have you tried making this Homemade Salsa Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Homemade Salsa Recipe - How to Make Salsa
- 4 large ripe tomatoes (roughly chopped)
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 3 green onions (ends trimmed and chopped)
- 1/2 red onion (peeled and chopped)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 1 jalapeno pepper (chopped (see notes))
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sugar ((optional))
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Combine all ingredients in a large food processor and pulse in quick 1-second bursts until all ingredients are finely chopped. For a chunkier salsa, process fewer times, while for a smoother salsa, continue pulsing until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper- to taste.
- Allow salsa to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, time permitting, to allow flavors to blend.
- Keep leftovers stored in the refrigerator for up 1 week.
- For a spicier salsa, add more jalapeno peppers. If you're very sensitive to spicy food, you may omit the jalapeno and substitute with 1 (4.5 ounce) can of mild diced green chiles.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)