The best homemade salsa is made with juicy tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, fresh cilantro and plenty of spice and flavor! A little spicy, slightly sweet, and perfect with salty chips. Great for game day/tailgating, parties, Mexican recipes and more!
This is one of my Salsa recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Chips and salsa is such a classic snack combination, and one that we in the chunky chef household are fairly obsessed with!
Jarred salsa can be good, and it certainly is convenient, but we love making homemade salsa. That way we can control the texture, heat level, quality of the ingredients, etc.
This recipe has been on the website since 2015, and while it’s been updated a couple of times over the years, the recipe itself has remained the same.
The same is true for this updated version, the recipe is the same, it just has some updated photos, clearer instructions, and more in depth tips and tricks.
It’s a really simple recipe, but over the years readers just like you have had questions regarding substitutions, freezing options, etc… and I wanted to update the post to reflect those answers so you’ll have everything you need to make the best salsa ever!
How to make homemade salsa?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Add vegetables to food processor. There’s no need to chop them finely, just a rough chop so they’ll fit in the processor.
- Add seasonings.
- Add lime juice. Fresh lime juice tastes best, but bottled will work in a pinch.
- Process. Pulse a few times, then process until the salsa is the consistency and texture you’d like.
I wrote this recipe the way we love this salsa, but feel free to use the ingredient amounts as a guideline and go by your own preferences and tastes. It’s your salsa after all!
Variations of this recipe
- Spicy – to increase the heat, try adding an additional jalapeno, add a serrano pepper, or add some cayenne pepper.
- Mild – to make this salsa more mild, you can omit the jalapeno, or at the very least, make sure you remove the ribs and seeds from the pepper.
- Texture – I prefer a semi-smooth salsa, but you can make this salsa any consistency you like best.
- Fresh – if you don’t have canned tomatoes, you can use about 8-12 roma or plum tomatoes, and blend as directed. If you’d like the salsa a bit more wet, feel free to blend in some tomato juice, vegetable broth or water.
- Smoky – for a smoky flavor, try adding a chipotle in adobo, or some of the sauce that’s in the can with the peppers. This will add a bit of heat as well.
- No food processor – if you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender, or just use your knife to cut everything down into very small pieces.
It may seem like an out of place ingredient, but I’d be willing to bet that sugar is probably in a lot of your favorite salsas. Not only does it help to counteract any bitterness from the tomatoes, it balances all the flavors to really round out your salsa and make it the best you’ve ever had.
If you prefer a really thick salsa, drain the liquid in the can of whole tomatoes (personally I would drain it into a container, rather than down the drain). Then process the salsa as directed and add back some of the liquid from the can, a little at a time, until you have the consistency you’re looking for.
I don’t personally have the canning expertise to safely advise you on that, but this recipe is very freezer-friendly, if you’re looking for longer storage. I do believe some readers have canned this salsa, if you wanted to page through the comments they may have shared tips.
Making homemade salsa ahead of time
While this salsa tastes incredible right away, I think it gets even better when made ahead of time! All the flavors have time to really meld together. I like to make this salsa a day or so ahead of time.
Plus I like cold salsa, so it gives the salsa plenty of time to chill. If you don’t enjoy cold salsa, after it hangs out in the refrigerator for a while, feel free to let it sit at room temperature for a little bit before serving.
Homemade salsa can also be frozen, for up to 6-9 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Leftover salsa should be refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoyed within about a week.
You can use any food processor or blender for this recipe, but I’ve had this model for years and really love it. It’s easy to take apart and clean, and the large capacity means I don’t have to break the recipe down into smaller batches!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes including juice
- 1 small white onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin or to taste
- 1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
- 1/4 to 1 tsp granulated sugar optional, and to taste
- 1 or 2 handfuls cilantro this is probably 1 or 2 cups worth
- 3 Tbsp lime juice fresh is best
- Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up larger pieces, then process until texture is mostly smooth (or as smooth or chunky as you'd like).
- Taste the salsa and based on personal preference, adjust salt/sugar levels as necessary.
- Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for a couple of hours for best flavor.
- Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
Want to save this recipe for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own recipe box!
- Recipe makes approximately 4 cups.
- I’ve estimated this will serve about 12, with roughly 1/3 cup as the serving size.
- I remove the seeds from my jalapeño peppers to reduce the heat level. This way you’ll get all the fresh jalapeño flavor and some heat, but not a crazy amount of heat.
- If you’d like, you could stir in some corn kernels, black beans, or chopped tomatoes for extra texture and flavor.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks