5 Minute Restaurant Salsa


Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you’ve ever tasted!  It takes just 5 minutes to make, and it’s sure to “wow” anyone you make it for!


Who else loves chips and salsa?  I figured as much… it’s such a classic snack!  I love salsa when it’s fresh and smooth, with small pieces of tomato, onion, jalapeno, with cilantro and lime juice.  Bright and fresh with a kick, as the best salsa’s are!

5 Minute Restaurant Salsa | The Chunky Chef | Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you've ever tasted! So easy to make and it's sure to "wow" anyone you make it for!

This recipe is ridiculously simple to make, just throw all the ingredients in your food processor or blender, process it, and ta-da!  Amazing salsa 😀

When I was pregnant with my son, I was completely addicted to Chili’s salsa and chips.  I wanted to eat there ALL the time, and even when I wasn’t eating there I was trying to convince my husband to stop there on his way home to pick up some take out lol.  He was always less than pleased.  I still love their salsa, but since it’s not really cost effective to buy it, or go out to eat all the time, I figured that I would just find a way to make it at home 🙂

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This salsa isn’t exactly a copycat of Chili’s version… it’s a little thicker and has more cilantro taste to it… but want to know a secret?  I think I like it better!  I know, blasphemy!

Jarred salsa can be good, but let me tell you, making it fresh… whew… you won’t want jarred anymore.  Fresh blows that out of the water.  Plus if you’re into canning, I’m sure you could can this salsa yourself and have it fresh year round 🙂  You could also freeze it 🙂

Okay back to the salsa!

Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you've ever tasted!

Just gather your ingrediets, of course you don’t need to take a picture of them like I did lol.  Roughly chop your onion, and jalapeno.  Add the whole can of tomatoes, including juice, your chopped veggies, roughly chopped garlic, cumin, salt, sugar, a handful or more of cilantro, and juice some limes into your food processor.

Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you've ever tasted!

Pulse it a couple of times, then turn it on and process until it’s your desired consistency.  I like mine fairly smooth 🙂

Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you've ever tasted!

To let this salsa have the best flavor, put it in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.  This lets the flavors really combine and get good and acquainted 🙂  And as a bonus, I like the taste of cold salsa, so that makes it even better.

Now just grab a bag of your favorite tortilla chips and sit down on the couch with some Netflix or your favorite movie… or hey, make this for Cinco de Mayo 😉

Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you've ever tasted!

5 Minute Restaurant Salsa | The Chunky Chef | Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you've ever tasted! So easy to make and it's sure to "wow" anyone you make it for!

You know you want that chip I’m holding there… just imagine all those bright, salty, savory, fresh flavors.  Mmmmm!!!  So seriously, make this.  It’s the best salsa you’ll ever taste!

Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you've ever tasted! So easy to make and it's sure to "wow" anyone you make it for!

Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

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5 Minute Restaurant Salsa | The Chunky Chef | Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you've ever tasted! So easy to make and it's sure to "wow" anyone you make it for!
Print
4.37 from 80 votes
4 cups
Restaurant Salsa
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you've ever tasted!
Calories: 22 kcal
Ingredients
  • 28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes including juice
  • 1 small white onion peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 - 2 jalepeno peppers seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin or to taste
  • 1 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1/4 - 1 teaspoon to 1 granulated sugar optional and to taste
  • 1 - 2 handfuls cilantro I prefer 2
  • About 3 tablespoons lime juice
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to food processor in the order listed. Pulse a few times to break up the large pieces, then process until texture is as smooth as desired.
  2. Taste the salsa and based on personal preference, adjust as necessary.
  3. Transfer to airtight container and let sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or 1 day for best flavor.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

** I remove the seeds from my jalapeno peppers to reduce the heat level. This way you'll get all the fresh jalapeno flavor and some heat, but not a crazy amount of heat.

** I also add the teaspoon of sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and I think it heightens the other flavors.

** If you'd like, you could stir in some corn kernels, black beans, or chopped tomatoes.

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5 Minute Restaurant Salsa | The Chunky Chef | Bright and fresh, this salsa is the best you've ever tasted! So easy to make and it's sure to "wow" anyone you make it for! | http://thechunkychef.com

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160 comments on “5 Minute Restaurant Salsa”

  1. P-P-PINNED! This salsa is SPEAKING to me, I can not WAIT to try it… I’ve been wanting to try a new salsa recipe. I won’t bend much with my guacamole recipe, but salsa- yes! THANK YOU for sharing!!

    • Woohoo!! I’m with you there, I’m set in my ways about my guacamole, but salsa… I can’t get enough recipes and can’t seem to eat it enough lol. You’re welcome, I hope you LOVE LOVE LOVE it! 🙂

  2. This looks so fresh and delicious! Perfect for tailgating or just entertaining a couple friends.

  3. Everyone loves salsa and I like your version a lot – I can make it now with canned tomatoes. I just made some tomato soup using canned tomatoes and it was delicious . Thanks for a great snack we all will enjoy (especially me) at FF #51 🙂

  4. Hmm, I think I found myself a salsa recipe. 😀 This looks like the perfect recipe for me. Thank you for sharing and thanks for coming for today’s FF. I hope to see you next week for FF’s first anniversary. 🙂

  5. This is something I’ve got to try! I’ve never made homemade salsa before, but you make it look so easy. Also, adding cumin sounds like a nice little kick. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I have fallen in love with the look of your salsa. Will try soon. Happy FF!

  7. This is SO MUCH better than restaurant salsa!!! Looks super fresh & tasty- and easy too- the BEST combination!! Happy FF! 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for attending week 17 of #PureBlogLove and linking your fantastic blog post, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for our next party, Thursday 8 PM EST- Sundays at midnight. Your post has been added to the #PureBlogLove Pinterest board for all to see 🙂 Have a great day!
    Nicole

  9. I need some of this in my life! Looks delish!

  10. This salsa is amazing! Really tasty and freash!

    Carpet cleaners Fulham

  11. I love your quick and easy 5 minute salsa , just in time for our Father’s Day menu. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. Pinned/shared.

  12. Love a nice smooth salsa!

  13. This was super easy and really tasty especially on a potato. I’ve made other salsa recipes but the tomato flavour was to fresh for me.
    Makes a lot of salsa but doesn’t last long. Will definitely be making it again.

  14. Try using garden fresh tomatoes rather than canned….then you’ll have the best salsa ever made. I grow everything for salsa except the limes. Nothing beats using fresh picked ingredients for salsa!

  15. the red color of food attracts me always, because I am a fan of spicy food and yes I love chips as you asked who else does?

  16. This is very much like my go-to salsa recipe except I haven’t added the jalapeno fearing the heat. Maybe I should just give it a try (minus those pesky hot seeds)! Love love love it!

  17. This salsa recipe is awesome. Making my 2nd batch right now. Thanx for the recipe!

  18. Do you think this would work with canned diced tomatoes?

  19. Sounds like a quick and delicious way to enjoy salsa. Thank you for sharing!

  20. This looks so good to me right now. I’m kinda having a salsa craving. Yum! 🙂

  21. Wow! I just made this and it is delicious! This is my new favorite salsa, and I’m a salsa connoisseur. I’ve tried a LOT of salsa recipes. This is so easy to make, and the flavor is incredible. I think the plum tomatoes make a big difference. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Robert! 🙂 I’m SO happy you love this salsa as much as we do! During the warmer months, I swear I make a batch of this a week, at least 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  22. can I make it night before … Or 2 days before

  23. Loved the salsa at a local dive until I used your recipe to make my own. Never will buy it premade again. Thanks

  24. So good! I use this recipe every time we do taco night now! Thanks!

  25. OMG this is so good!! I made a batch at 7am for a bbq this afternoon and ate half of it for my breakfast, so had to replenish it with another can of tomatoes (only had a can of chopped tomatoes left, which worked fine, plus another pinch of all the other ingredients… Amazing! Only thing I had to change was using garlic powder as I had no fresh, still fine. Used 1 green chili and half a red, no seeds, perfect! And 1/4 tsp sugar, as I’m not a huge fan of sweetness. Thank you so much, this is my go to Salsa now :)) Going to make your hummus now too!

  26. If using fresh tomatoes, do they need to be cooked or peeled first?

    • Hi Cassie 🙂 Nope! You can just chop them and add them to the food processor 🙂 If you really don’t like the skin, feel free to score the bottoms of the tomatoes with a small “x” and blanch them, that way you can peel them. For me, the food processor chops them up finely enough, I don’t even notice that there are skins on the tomatoes.

  27. Salsa is always delicious. So nice you can make it in a hurry! This looks amazing!

  28. Looks delicious! Nothing better than fresh salsa!

  29. Looks amazing! Love how quick it is to make!

  30. I made this salsa for my husband tonight and it was amazing! Definitely going to be my “go to” salsa. We used our first salsa pepper from our first attempt at a garden. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  31. Has anyone tried canning this recipe?!

  32. Love this recipe! Huge hit for my family! Would like to make lots more as my garden is producing more tomatoes than we can eat. How long will this salsa stay good in the fridge?

  33. If using fresh tomatoes, how many?

    • Hi SHannon 🙂 I would say about 10-12 medium to large sized tomatoes

      • what kind of fresh tomatoes would you suggest? Roma?

      • If using canned tomatoes, you say to use 28oz can. But for fresh, use 10-12 tomatoes? I can’t imagine there are 10-12 in a 28oz can. Am I missing something? This recipe looks amazing so just want to get it right. I’m going to be using fresh tomatoes vs canned.

        • Hi Kari. The tomatoes in the can are small to medium sized tomatoes, and there are plenty in there. I tested the recipe using canned, not fresh, so I can’t say for absolute certain, but my best guess would be to start with 8 small to medium tomatoes and make the salsa as directed. Taste it and use your best judgement as to if it needs more tomatoes or not.

  34. I tried with fresh tomatoes but its a little watery. The flavor is there but its not thick, any suggestions?

    • Hi Sherell 🙂 I’m glad you like the flavor! I always make it as written, so I can’t say for sure, but you could always place a mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the salsa through the sieve. Then you can add some of the liquid until you get to the consistency you prefer 🙂

    • Sherrell,

      Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the juice and seeds. I’ve been making my own salsa for a while now and found that was the best way to get the consistency I wanted. Plus, tomatoes are pretty acidic and this helps lower the acidity.

  35. I just made this per your recipe and it is SPECTACULAR! I’m never buying the ‘fresh salsa’ from the store ever again. I can’t wait to make this for company.

  36. The measurements you have there would feed how many people?? LOL i am clueless about how much i would have to make. We are having a potluck at work and i need to feed 9 witches.. so how much would i need? hehe

    • Hi there 🙂 Precise serving sizes are so hard to quantify, since it all depends on how much each person eats lol. But the recipe makes approximately 4 cups, so I think that would be enough for 9 people… although, to be on the safe side, you could always double the recipe. Leftovers are good for a week or two in the refrigerator 🙂 Hope you love it!

  37. lOVE YOUR SITE, SO CLEAN, NEAT,NO CLUTTER, VERY WELL LAID OUT.

  38. I have made this several times! I use 1/2 a jalapeño and way less cilantro! It is just right for us! Thank you!!

  39. Delicious salsa, but next time, i will use way less cilanto and drain the water. we like ours bit thicker so it sticks on the chip. Otherwise, yummm! Thank you, I will definitely make again!

  40. LOVE IT! Some of my kids don’t like chunks, this has all of the great flavor without the chunk. THANKS FOR SHARING!!

  41. Hey! Can I use this salsa for pizza as well? By making the sauce a bit finer?

  42. Thanks a lot for the reply.

  43. I’ve canned tomato’s for years. Stewed, juices and salsa. But I love the looks of the consistency of yours!
    I’ll try this this week and share with my Sis and we’ll let you know what we think.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  44. Funny you mentioned Chili’s salsa as Dave and I were just saying we hadn’t been there in ages and I too LOVE that salsa with chips. This sounds like my kind of salsa, thanks Amanda!

  45. This salsa is just perfect! It is the easiest and tastiest I’ve ever made. Thanks for the recipe!

  46. I made this today, ate a few test bites (delicious!), took a quick Instagram shot, and then had to run to a volleyball tournament. During our down time, a few of my teammates saw the picture and begged me to run home and grab the salsa. I did, and came back with an extra bag of chips. Four girls and one and a half bags of chips and we demolished THE ENTIRE BOWL. I sent the link to at least five people who requested it and was begged to bring more to the next game. So thank you! Not only for a fantastic recipe (to which I will only add a tiny bit more heat), but for practically making me a culinary god among my friends!

  47. How would you adapting this for using fresh tomatoes?

    • Hi Michelle 🙂 I would start by adding 3-4 tomatoes, add all the remaining ingredients, blend and taste it. If you think it needs more tomatoes, add some and taste from there 🙂

  48. This salsa was so delicious. is it an original recipe? i want to use it for my spanish project. Is it of spanish descent?what country is it from

  49. Hi! How long does this last after making it? I’m not antisipating it lasting longer than the party, but wondered how far in advance I could make it. Thank you

  50. So pregnant me hears a Mexican song on the radio and immediately envision myself eating dinner at Mexico Restaurant. I decide it’s the chips and salsa I really want and since I’m headed to the grocery store anyway, I decide to try my hand at restaurant style salsa. Found your recipe while in the store, and made it asap when I got home. uncouldnt believe how easy it was! My mind was a bit blown that canned tomatoes are the base ingredient. My only critique would be to leave off the cumin or at least try it in a small bowl to make sure you like it before adding to the whole mixture.

  51. Found this on Pinterest! It was super yummy and easy, just like you said. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe.

  52. How do you cut the cilantro do you cut st teems to

    • Hi Nan 🙂 I just grab a handful and twist to pull them off. If there are any large/long stems, I remove them, but other than that, I just put the whole handful into the food processor/blender.

  53. Do you think this would be ok to can? Like if you made way to much and don’t want to waste it? TIA

    • Hi Jessica 🙂 I’ve never done it, and I don’t know enough about canning un-cooked foods to give a solid answer. It could possibly be frozen, or you could halve the recipe 🙂

  54. Genius, just made this for tonight’s Mexican dinner. Tastes awesome now, can’t wait for the ingredients to marry. Sending love from down under

  55. Allowing tomato-based recipes like this to get cold and quiescently congeal is important. My very first batch is sitting in the refrigerator right now. It is a bit runny, but I’m not draining off those flavor-infused juices. No need to.

    When this salsa, (or any tomato product) sits, undisturbed, it gels or congeals. It will absorba lot of runny liquid and thicken the salsa… In fact, it is what makes ketchup thick when it is cold and sits in the refrigerator.

    The technical term for this phenomenon is “thixotropic.”

  56. This recipe looks great! Can I replace the fresh jalapenos for pickled jalapenos? Those are what I usually have on hand. Thank you for the recipe!

  57. I LOVE SALSA BUT NOT CILANTRO. WILL ELIMINATING IT FROM THIS RECIPE MATTER MUCH? I EAT SALSA ON SCOOPS WITH A DAB OF SOUR CREAM. YOU CAN ALSO PUT SHREDDED CHEESE INTO THE SCOOPS, MICROWAVE A FEW SECONDS TIL CHEESE MELTS, TOP WITH SALSA AND SOUR CREAM. YUMMY! YUMMY!

    • Hi Mary Ann 🙂 We love cilantro, so I’ve never made this salsa without it. Most salsas actually have some cilantro in it, but if you hate the taste, you could substitute a bit of fresh parsley, or eliminate the cilantro altogether. I can’t guarantee the taste though, since my recipe uses cilantro as a big ingredient. The scoops method you mentioned sounds yummy!

  58. How long does this stay good? Also, can you freeze it?

    • Hi Chris 🙂 We usually eat ours fairly quickly, but I would think it’d be good for a week in the refrigerator (and sealed). I’ve heard from other readers that it does freeze well 🙂

  59. Is this recipe one that can be canned?

  60. I made this today without the salt due to a low sodium diet restriction. I think it tastes good without it, really fresh. I’m letting it set for another day in refrigerator before indulging. Thanks for the recipe!

  61. what do I do if I don’t have a food processor?

  62. How do you substitute fresh tomatoes into this recipe?

  63. Excellent salsa.

  64. This is not as good as restaurant salsa. It’s BETTER than restaurant salsa. This is so good I could eat it with a spoon. Like gaspacho!

  65. Nom Nom!!!!! This is by far the best salsa recipe. I substituted 1 TBSP Sriracha sauce for the jalapenos. Delish!!

  66. AMAZING SALSA! My whole family fell in love with it! It was finished in about 2 days it was so good! Make it for taco night every night now.

  67. Wow!! This recipe is pure perfection!! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe, so glad I ran across this. Everything is so balanced flavor wise. To me, this is better than a restaurant salsa!! My go-to recipe for sure!!

  68. How long does this salsa stay good for if it’s not canned? If it’s fresh and covered in the refrigerator?

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  72. Delish! Love it!

  73. Awesome recipe. I put in a little too much lime juice but that’s what happens when younsqueeze directly without measuring! Took 45 minutes in total to make including driving to the grocers to buy ingredients!

  74. Has anyone tried dried cilantro since I can not easily find fresh

  75. Might be a stupid question, but how many fresh tomatoes would I use instead of canned?

  76. Can you can this salsa?

  77. I have made this recipe several times.  It is so easy and taste so fresh!  The longer it sits the better it tastes!

  78. How long will it keep in refrigerator?

  79. This salsa is amazing! Just the right amount of spice! This has definitely become my go to for parties! Thank you so much!

  80. This is how I make mine, minus the Cumin. I’m going to try it the next time I make a batch. Family and friends are always asking me to make them some. It’s so easy and sooooo good!! Sometimes I can it too. All you have to do is put it on the stove and heat it up slowly, then into your cleaned and prepped mason jars. It keeps for about 3-4 months unopened.

  81. Hi Amanda – thanks for sharing this awesome recipe.  It is now my go to salsa and all my friends love it! I make it the night before to let the flavours develop and it keeps for days.

  82. How long will this last in a refrigeratoor?

  83. This looks delish, I LOVE a good salsa!

  84. Great recipe! I have to modify it because I’m allergic to cilantro, and I change up the peppers depending on how spicy I want it to be. I’ve made this recipe for my work’s salsa competition twice now and everyone loves it.

  85. This is exactly how I make my salsa … I add 1 small can of Rotel though.. so goooood

  86. I love this salsa. It gets better the next day. Thank you!

  87. TY! TY! TY! I was so happy to run across this recipie. We have a lady in our building who always brings salsa that looks just like this but REFUSES to give her recipie!
    I made this and was so joyous that it was exact taste to hers that I took a batch to work…with recipie cards! LOL. I will also be taking a double batch to our family reunion this weekend!
    ((Hugs)) for this!

  88. I was really nervous about this recipe I searched and searched and searched this is the one I decided to do. There were a lot of reviews but most of them said all looks good all got to try this I wish they would only post if they did make it there was a couple that said it was fantastic taste was good so I chose this one. This recipe is amazing if you want restaurant style salsa you need to try this one in my portion I put one Serrano No Seeds no ribs in everybody else’s portion to whole Serrano’s. You have to try this recipe it is truly truly truly amazing and so delicious

  89. Hi – is this recipe good for canning? If so, are there any modifications needed?
    Thanks,
    Michele

  90. How long does the salsa last?

  91. So good! Went straight to the “Go To Board”!

  92. This is really good salsa.  I have made it 4 times in the past 1.5 months. Will not make anything but this recipe.

  93. 😔
    Mine did not come out red, it came out brown?
    Im sure I did something wrong along the way but not entirely sure 🤔