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

Salsa with Chips

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!

Bowl filled with salsa surrounded with tortilla chips

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.

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 Salsa Recipes to Try

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


    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.

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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30 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Gidget August 8, 2020, 10:01 pm

    I am going to attempt this tomorrow and can’t wait. First, do I drain tomatoes if I’m using fresh tomatoes? Second, can I can this recipe if I put in mason jars and boil it like usual canning? Thank you!

    • Adam October 1, 2020, 4:02 pm

      When using fresh tomatoes you can drain them but keep the juice. This way after making the salsa you can add some of the juice back if you prefer that consistency. As for the canning, we haven’t tried canning the salsa. You might want to check on other websites that specialize in canning recipes.

  • Ryan Spence July 13, 2020, 2:47 pm

    I’ve made this salsa twice and absolutely love it! SOO simple and tastes great! I make it for my neighbors and they eat it up in a day!

  • Matt June 20, 2020, 8:06 pm

    Good base recipe for one to branch off with and experiment with different ingredients/additions. Stationed in Korea, I don’t have a good selection of tomatoes on base, so canned it is. I do like the fire-roasted canned tomato route, and a can of chipotle peppers in adobo. Gives it a nice, deep flavor!

  • Matt June 20, 2020, 8:03 pm

    I’m confused at the one-star rating here, when all the reasons why you didn’t enjoy the salsa is because either you didn’t follow the directions of the recipe or because you changed the ingredients?

  • maz June 8, 2020, 1:22 am

    thank you this it was delicious! i was too lazy to drain the tomatoes so it was watery. i tried 2 methods to fix this, i drained half with mesh strainer and the other half i cooked down in a pan on medium heat for 45 seconds. to all my watery salsa gang dont fret, both fixing techniques worked B-)

  • Nancy May 26, 2020, 8:35 am

    This salsa is absolutely wonderful — not sure I’ll ever purchase store-bought salsa again. I had all the ingredients on hand and the fresh cilantro really takes this salsa over the top. Served with some tortilla chips and guacamole. : )

  • Cheryl May 25, 2020, 6:11 pm

    Salsa was great! Extra tip: include squash, celery, carrots, and other veggie you want to sneak in there. Just add a tiny bit extra cilantro?

  • Maja May 13, 2020, 1:12 am

    Would definitely always use fresh tomatoes. And don’t forget your cumin! A little goes a long way!! 🙂

  • Judymfortner April 25, 2020, 6:01 pm

    Recipes look fab. Thanks Judy Fortner

  • Raj Banerjee April 19, 2020, 6:06 pm

    Instead of fire roasted canned tomatoes, can we use fresh Roma or tomatoes on the vine? Raj

    • Joanne October 5, 2020, 5:21 pm

      Yes, any flavorful, ripe tomato will work.

  • Bobthebuilder April 16, 2020, 7:25 pm

    It was very spicy. This was my first time tasting salsa and it was amazing. I rate this 5 stars

    • Bunny K September 28, 2020, 1:21 am

      Bless your heart! I’ve had some salsa I believe I could live on. This one I will definitely be making!

  • Kathy April 9, 2020, 11:26 pm

    Love the recipes

  • Jayne cavender April 9, 2020, 7:13 pm

    Can’t wait to make red sauce!! Thank you for all recipes

  • Nancy Scherr March 30, 2020, 1:54 pm

    Excellent directions.

  • B.A. March 21, 2020, 7:00 pm

    ref: Salsa recipe…try adding some ground cumin (to taste) for depth and a LITTLE sugar or honey to brighten the tomatoes.


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