Quick and Easy Salsa
Skip the store-bought jar and make this homemade salsa instead. Our salsa recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make, is adaptable to your desired spice level, and lasts a week in the fridge. Jump to the Quick and Easy Salsa Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how to make it.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
Making Our 15 Minute Salsa
I love how simple this salsa is to make. Simply throw tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, and cilantro into a blender or food processor. Pulse everything until chopped, and then season with salt, pepper and lime. Easy!
The ingredient list to make this blended salsa is very similar to what’s needed to make pico de gallo. The only difference is that this salsa is blended together, while pico de gallo is chopped by hand. Both are amazing!
Our Tips for the Best Homemade Salsa
It doesn’t get much simpler than this recipe, but there are a few extra tips we wanted to share so you can make it your own!
Use the Pulse function of your blender or food processor. For a texture that rivals restaurant-style or jarred salsa, use the pulse function when blending. This way, you can dial in the perfect texture. We keep it a little chunky.
Adjust the spice level by adding or removing the pepper seeds and membrane. It’s the white membrane and seeds inside chili peppers that are spicy.
- For a mild salsa, remove all seeds and membrane and only use one pepper.
- For a medium salsa, remove most of the seeds and membrane and use two peppers.
- For a hot salsa, leave seeds and membrane intact and use one or more peppers.
Let it sit for 30 minutes or more. The great news about this recipe is that as the salsa sits, it gets better and better. Time allows all the flavors and ingredients to mingle.
De-flame your onions. I’m pretty sensitive to raw onions so I always de-flame them before adding. You can see us do this in the video, but basically, we place chopped onions into a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Then we drain and rinse them. This simple step takes the edge off of the raw onion.
- For some smokiness, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped canned chipotles in adobo. We use chipotles in adobo sauce when making our black bean soup.
- Add a handful of white cabbage to the blender or food processor before pulsing. Cabbage adds a lovely crunch.
- Use fire roasted canned tomatoes or roast your tomatoes. We use roasted tomatoes and peppers in this roasted tomato salsa.
- Add more peppers with canned green chilies, roasted poblano or Anaheim peppers, or add some ancho chili powder (see our chili powder recipe here).
Frequently Asked Questions
What tomatoes should I use? Can I use fresh?
The tomatoes you use to make homemade salsa is up to you. If you have access to fresh, ripe tomatoes, use them! We don’t peel the fresh tomatoes, but you can if you’d prefer. If the tomatoes you have access to aren’t the most flavorful, like say the one’s we find in the middle of winter, use canned. I like to use fire roasted canned tomatoes.
How long does the salsa last?
Homemade salsa will last, stored in the refrigerator, for a week (maybe more). Our recipe makes about 3 cups, so we usually have some leftover for adding to salads, tacos and other dishes throughout the week.
More Salsa Recipes to Try
- Smoky Black Bean and Corn Salad — Perfect as a side salad or with chips as a salsa.
- Pico de Gallo — With just 6 simple ingredients, you’ll have fresh, zesty, delicious tomato salsa in no time.
- Roasted Salsa Verde — Has lots of flavor thanks to roasted tomatillos, peppers, and garlic.
- Easy Pineapple Avocado Salsa — With fresh pineapple, avocado, jalapeño, red onion, and fresh lime.
- Roasted Tomato Salsa — We char tomatoes, garlic, and peppers, and then then add them to onion, cilantro, and lime for a flavorful and addictive homemade salsa.
- Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce — I love this simple sauce made with dried chilies, onion and garlic.
- Or try something different and make your own enchilada sauce from scratch. You only need 15 minutes!
Quick and Easy Salsa
Skip the store-bought jar and make this salsa from scratch instead. This takes less than 15 minutes to make, is adaptable to your desired spice level, and lasts a week in the fridge. For recipe variations, see our article above.
Fresh and canned tomatoes work in this recipe. When using canned tomatoes, we love using fire-roasted tomatoes, which add a bit of smokiness to the salsa.
You Will Need
2 (15-ounce) cans fire roasted tomatoes or use 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (1 3/4 pounds)
1/3 cup chopped white or sweet onion (half medium onion)
2 medium cloves garlic (2 teaspoons minced)
1 to 2 medium jalapeño or serrano peppers, with stems, membrane and seeds removed
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 to 2 medium limes
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
Place tomatoes into a colander set over a large bowl and allow to drain. Save drained juice to add back to salsa if it is too thick or save to add to soups or other dishes.
Add chopped onion to a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 10 minutes, drain, and then rinse.
Add garlic to a blender or bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped small. Scrape the sides, and then add the drained tomatoes, drained and rinsed onions, peppers, cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the juice of half a lime. Pulse until your desired texture. Taste, and then season with additional salt or lime juice. (We typically add 3/4 teaspoon of salt).
This salsa improves with time so if you have the option, set it aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more before serving. Store in the refrigerator up to a week.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Spice Level: For mild, remove all seeds and membrane and only use one pepper. For medium, remove most of the seeds and membrane and use two peppers. For a hot salsa, leave seeds and membrane intact and use one or more peppers.
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.