Learning how to make salsa at home is one of the best things you can do for your budget and tastebuds.
Plus, fresh healthy homemade salsa never goes out of style!
It will become a staple in your refrigerator if you’re not already making it. It’s so much better than any prepackaged salsa that’s been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long.
How to Make Homemade Salsa: It’s Easy & Delicious
I like to use my food processor to make salsa because a blender tends to over purée it—especially a Vitamix. I love my Vitamix for just about everything except fresh homemade salsa.
If you don’t have a food processor no worries, just use your blender on low and/or pulse it on and off. Just be careful not to purée your salsa into veggie juice; it’s best if you leave some texture to it. Pulsing it in the food processor is the best way to do it.
Fresh Homemade Salsa Ingredient Tips
Tomatoes: Fresh vs Canned
As for the tomatoes, use fresh if they’re ripe and in season, but if not this is a case where canned or boxed tomatoes work great. In general, I prefer fresh or even frozen produce, but canned tomatoes are a staple in my pantry because under-ripe, not-in-season tomatoes just aren’t great. For salsa, I actually prefer high-quality canned tomatoes.
When using canned tomatoes, look for BPA-free cans if possible (this is why I love the new boxes) and read the ingredients. Look for something without added sugar or chemical preservatives. Citric acid is a vitamin C derivative and ok on the label. Just do the best you can. Oh, and don’t accidentally buy the diced tomatoes with basil; just look for plain ol’ diced tomatoes. The fire-roasted version will give your salsa a little smokiness; if you like that flavor then go for it. If available, I love San Marzano tomatoes—they’re a bit pricy but their sweet, mild flavor is worth it.
Fresh Lime Juice
Fresh lime juice gives salsa that restaurant-style flavor, and a pinch of lime zest is the secret ingredient to making incredible homemade salsa—everyone will ask you for the recipe. Always use fresh lime juice—the stuff in bottles just doesn’t taste the same.
Cilantro & Jalapeno
If you’re one of those people who hates cilantro, just leave it out. But if you’re not sure, use it! It’s a classic flavor in salsa.
As for the jalapeno, adjust the amount you use based on how hot you like your salsa. Leave it out completely for a very mild salsa, and use about a half of a jalapeno for a medium salsa.
Remember, homemade salsa gets better the longer it sits; it’s good right away but it’s great the next day. I like to make it the night before or at least a few hours before I plan to eat it.
Also, since fresh salsa is basically just blended veggies feel free to eat up guilt-free. Yes, I know tomatoes are technically a fruit, but we generally cook with them like they’re a veg.Print
Learning how to make salsa at home is a no-brainer. Homemade salsa is easy, healthy, and absolutely delicious. We like it with tortilla chips, on tacos, and anywhere else you’d want salsa. If you like this recipe, leave a star rating in the comments below to help other readers in our community.
- 1 large clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1 small white onion (or 1/2 large), peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 large handful fresh cilantro (about 3/4 cup loosely packed)
- 1 small jalapeño, stemmed and seeded depending on your heat preference (omit for a very mild salsa)
- 1/4 teaspoon lime zest (zest the lime before you juice it)
- the juice of 2 small limes (about 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 (14-ounce cans) or boxes of diced tomatoes (look for no sugar added), OR, 3 cups roughly chopped fresh tomatoes; choose San Marzano tomatoes if you can as they’re mild & sweet
- Add all of the ingredients except the tomatoes to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse 10-15 times to roughly chop all ingredients; if using a blender blend on low for 5-10 seconds. Scape down the sides.
- Add the tomatoes and pulse them in until well incorporated but still chunky with texture. Pulse until your desired texture is reached; about 8 pulses. Adjust the salt to taste.
- You can enjoy your salsa right away, and it gets even better the longer it sits. Store in an airtight glass container up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Homemade salsa gets better the longer it sits; it’s good right away but it’s great the next day. I like to make it the night before or at least a few hours before I plan to eat it.
Homemade Salsa In Action:
Add all of the ingredients except the tomatoes to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse 10-15 times to roughly chop all ingredients; if using a blender blend on low for 5-10 seconds. Scape down the sides.
Add the tomatoes and pulse them in until well incorporated but still chunky with texture. Pulse until your desired texture is reached; about 8 pulses.
You can enjoy your salsa right away, and it gets even better the longer it sits. Store in an airtight glass container up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
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