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.

Watch The Video

Easy Salsa Recipe Video

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!

Bowl filled with salsa surrounded with tortilla chips

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.

Bowl of a food processor with tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, and cilantro.

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.

Serve with homemade tortilla chips. Making your own tortilla chips is easy and they taste so good! Here’s our recipe for tortilla chips to help you.

Bowl of a food processor with homemade salsa made with tomatoes, onion, jalapeño and cilantro.

Recipe Variations

  • 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).
  • Stir into homemade queso dip.

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 Recipes to Try

Salsa with Chips

Quick and Easy Salsa

  • PREP

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.

Makes approximately 3 cups

Watch Us Make the Recipe

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


    1Place 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.

    2Add chopped onion to a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 10 minutes, drain, and then rinse.

    3Add 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).

    4This 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.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size about 1/4 cup / Calories 20 / Total Fat 0.2g / Saturated Fat 0g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 102.2mg / Carbohydrate 4.4g / Dietary Fiber 1.2g / Total Sugars 2.6g / Protein 0.9g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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39 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Paula Phipps August 16, 2023, 11:25 am

    I’m just starting to make this salsa recipe, but am curious can I add rotel, green chilies, and/or sun dried tomatoes. Do I need to make adjustments to other ingredients if I add any or all of those ingredients?

    • Joanne September 9, 2023, 7:03 pm

      Of course, they will only enhance the flavors of the salsa. You should not need to adjust anything else.

  • Leah September 20, 2022, 5:08 pm

    Can you can this salsa recipe?

    • Joanne September 21, 2022, 11:33 am

      Hi Leah, While I am sure that you can, we do not have instructions for canning this salsa. We have never done it before and aren’t up to speed with preserving foods. You might need to look at a dedicated canning website/blog for tips on how to do it.

  • Heather July 28, 2022, 8:22 am

    Can I use a hand help chopper instead of a processor ?

    • Joanne September 21, 2022, 11:34 am

      Hi Heather, Of course, the salsa might be a little more chunky, but it will still be delicious!

    • Lefty Strummer July 16, 2023, 8:06 pm

      Needed a quick and easy salsa recipe so I Googled that and this was the first to come up. Didn’t even need to get the measurements exact as I used about a quarter of the ingredients as recommended and it still came out fantastic. Two thumbs up highly recommend.

  • Ginny January 28, 2022, 4:44 am

    Name/brand of fire roasted tomatoes please. Thank you.

    • Joanne July 15, 2022, 6:23 pm

      We used Muir Glen tomatoes in the video.

  • Roxanne Manning September 17, 2021, 2:34 pm

    This is the first time I made homemade salsa I always buy one kind all the time at the store and it was always my favorite but now this is my favorite.

  • ForeverMama January 27, 2021, 9:55 am

    This salsa has a fresh clean taste with good flavors all around. Perfect served with our quesadillas and with chips. It has that restaurant-quality where you may have asked yourself, “what is it about this salsa that is so much better than store-bought”. Now you have the option to make it yourself with excellent results. Thank you, Nancy’s Pantry for nominating this recipe for Best of 2020 via the Food Friends and Fun, and a big Thank You to Adam and Joanne for creating this recipe!

  • Lisa J January 24, 2021, 10:02 am

    I’ll never buy salsa again! I never new canned tomatoes could taste this fresh. I used 2 home canned jars of Roma tomatoes, drained, hot red peppers I dried in the fall, fresh cilantro from the greenhouse. Fabulous! I like the onion trick. Several non-onion eaters still enjoyed the sauce. We served about 1/2 c per serving over Cuban black beans and a bland, leftover enchilada casserole. It transformed the dish! Thanks for posting.

  • William A. Kuns IV January 8, 2021, 12:02 am

    FORGET the suggested chiles/peppers; use ghost peppers. This is not for the faint of heart. Ghost Peppers are 200% to 400% hotter than jalapeños, much hotter than Serranos. Be careful: Ghost Peppers can literally be deadly…if you are foolish enough to eat three pounds of them at a single sitting. Ghost peppers provide a REALLY zesty accent to your dishes. Be careful: Use very small amounts, and wash your hands THOROUGHLY after handling. Do NOT touch your eyes or nose or mouth after handling before thorough washing…you WILL regret it.

  • JJ November 12, 2020, 5:01 pm

    I just finished making this. It’s amazing. The recipe lends itself to lots of tweaking for taste, and what you have on hand. I used one can regular and one can garlic/olive oil petite tomatoes (drained) plus a half jar of fire roasted red peppers (drained), diced. I charred a med-lg Anaheim chili, and diced it. Onion, lime and lemon juice to taste, and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and of course, the fresh cilantro (a MUST). A couple pulses, and draining it to the right consistency and BAM!! Whoa…I look forward to tasting this tomorrow, when the flavors get a chance to meld. For the gallons of salsa my hubby can consume, THIS fresh, easy recipe will be a real keeper. Kaaaa-ching!!!

  • Lee Hellinger October 30, 2020, 6:59 pm

    I followed the recipe directions exactly. Everyone at my party obviously enjoyed the salsa because there was none left and they asked for more. I must make more next time.

  • Tracey October 26, 2020, 9:26 am

    The salsa is the best

    • Lee Hellinger October 30, 2020, 7:00 pm

      So true

  • Bathoko Mthiyane October 5, 2020, 1:32 am

    Watching your videos, they are very appetizing can’t wait to try them. So amazing?

  • John F Gallagher September 4, 2020, 7:40 pm

    Yes best Iv’e tasted! I did make a few modifications but very tasty!!

  • Kim August 15, 2020, 2:39 pm

    Delightful easy salsa.

  • Donna Cromb August 13, 2020, 2:41 pm

    Easy! Thanks


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