Looking for the perfect restaurant style salsa recipe that you love to munch on when you go out for Tex-Mex? Friend, this. IS. IT. Made with some canned + fresh ingredients, the flavor is out of this world and it couldn’t be easier to make!
Trust me, trust me, trust me. This is THE BEST salsa recipe out there.
Here’s the deal. We LOVE salsa. Maybe it’s a Texas thing. Maybe it’s a family thing. Maybe it’s just because chips and salsa are the all-time best snack ever.
Because it’s such a big deal, it’s of supreme importance to nail down the perfect fresh salsa recipe.
I’ve made this recipe a million times over the last several years – with a couple of small recipe tweaks here and there – and inevitably, every single time, I get asked for the recipe. HERE IT IS! 🙂
And, just to make sure it really is the perfect recipe, I’ve tested and tried countless others, and this one continues to take the cake.
I actually searched for and then made some of the highest rated salsa recipes on Google, and I still kept coming back to THIS recipe.
This recipe is SO good, I think this actually beats the outrageously delicious salsas I’ve had at Mexican restaurants. Am I allowed to say that?
There are so many great recipes out there for salsa, but here’s what you’ll love about this one:
- It comes out perfectly every time. I’ve made this recipe zillions of times over the last several years, and probably at least 10 times in the last few months. In perfecting this recipe, I basically treated it the exact same way that I treated nailing down my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I tried several different variations, only to come up with the one recipe that consistently delivered the perfect flavor and texture, over and over again! THIS IS IT!
- The flavor is UN-BE-LIEVABLE. Yes, I use canned tomatoes. No, it definitely doesn’t taste canned at ALL. Yes, I have tried several salsa recipes with fresh tomatoes. And no, they’re not as good. This one beats them every time. The canned tomatoes help cut some of the acidity that you get from fresh tomatoes, and then you also get that added flavor from the different types of canned tomatoes. So, with the pairing of the cans + a handful of fresh ingredients, this salsa is a match made in heaven! The depth of flavor in salsa is a big deal to me, so I tested and tweaked several different ratios of ingredients to finally land on this one.
- It has simple ingredients that require very little prep. You’ll do some minor slicing and chopping, but this is a pretty effortless recipe.
Let me walk you through the quick steps for how to make this easy restaurant-style salsa!
How to make the BEST and easiest homemade salsa recipe:
Step 1: Gather your ingredients
I know I already talked a bit about the canned tomatoes, but seriously: after trying several batches of salsa with fresh tomatoes of different sorts, this really did give the BEST flavor and texture. It doesn’t have that acidic tomato flavor that fresh tomatoes give.
And, I also noticed that the salsa recipes I made that called for fresh tomatoes were just a bit too sweet.
So, ironically, this tastes like a very fresh tomato salsa, without tasting too…tomato-y.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 3 cans of diced tomatoes: one with green chiles, one Mexican style, and one chipotle style*
- 1/3 – 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro (start out with 1/3; you can always add more later)
- Fresh lime juice from one lime
- 1 fresh jalapeno, with seeds to add a little bit of a kick**
- 1/4 of a red onion
- 3 cloves fresh garlic***
- 2 tsp salt
Notes about the ingredients:
*You should have access to diced tomatoes with green chiles in your grocery store, but if you can’t find the other two in your store, then use 3 cans of diced tomatoes with green chiles & then buy a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Add in a little bit of sauce, and maybe one pepper, from that can into the blender with the other ingredients. A little goes a long way, so just start out with a little bit!
**If you want a spicier salsa, add more jalapenos + jalapeno seeds.
***I originally used garlic powder in this recipe, but the fresh garlic really started to grow on me, so I switched to fresh. The flavor from the garlic cloves becomes more powerful as time goes on – the next day and the days after you make it – so if you’re sensitive to that flavor, then you might want to use garlic powder. Or, you could just use one garlic clove if you want to minimize the flavor a bit.
You’ll just add everything straight into your blender or food processor and give it couple of pulses, and you’re done!
Step 2: ENJOY!
Yes, that’s literally it. Prep the ingredients, throw them into the blender, and you have instant salsa.
Pour into a serving bowl, pop open a bag of tortilla chips, and you’re good to go!
Tips for this easy homemade salsa recipe:
- This recipe makes a pretty big batch, but it keeps well in the fridge for about a week. If you’re serving it for a crowd, no problem – it’ll get gobbled up in no time! If you’re making it to go along with a regular weeknight dinner, then you can either munch up the rest with chips, or plan to use it up throughout the week in another recipe – enchiladas, salsa chicken, etc. As long as you keep it in an airtight container, though, it should last you several days in the fridge.
- You CAN freeze this in a freezer-safe container or in a plastic freezer bag, but it’ll lose some of the flavor in the freezing process. If you do decide to freeze it, just add some extra seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, and perhaps some salt) to liven it up a little bit after it thaws.
- You can use any kind of fresh pepper you’d like. Jalapenos are my go-to, but you could easily use a serrano pepper or even habanero peppers if you want a really spicy salsa! This salsa has a little bit of bite – it’s probably a mild to medium heat salsa – but I make it that way so I don’t burn everyone’s mouth off around me. Some people love it hot, though, so if you’re one of those people, knock yourself out!
Call the neighbors over – this makes a large batch, and I promise you, they’ll be thrilled to help you eat it!
You can also make this delicious salsa recipe to go with:
- A batch of fresh, homemade guacamole (mmm-mmm!)
- Beef, chicken, or fish tacos
- Shredded chicken for salsa chicken
- Any of your favorite Mexican dishes like this delicious Tex-Mex casserole!
- Taco salad or burrito bowls
- 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 14.5oz can diced Mexican style tomatoes*
- 1 14.5oz can diced chipotle style tomatoes*
- 1/4 of a red onion, sliced
- 1/3-1/2 of a cilantro bunch, washed**
- 1 jalapeno, stem removed, sliced in half (with the seeds if you want some extra spice)
- Juice squeezed from 1 lime
- 3 cloves garlic***
- 2 tsp salt
- Pour the cans of tomatoes in blender.
- Add remaining ingredients and blend for 10-15 seconds or until everything is evenly pureed.
- Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
*If your store doesn't carry this type of canned tomatoes, then just get 3 cans of diced tomatoes & green chiles + a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Add in a little bit of sauce, and maybe one pepper, from that can into the blender with the other ingredients. A little goes a long way, so just start out with a little bit!
**I always use the entire stem of the cilantro when I'm throwing it into the blender. No need to pick off each leaf; just throw in the entire stem with the leaves!
***The flavor from the garlic cloves becomes more powerful as time goes on - the next day and the days after you make it - so if you're sensitive to that flavor, then you might want to use garlic powder. Or, you could just use one garlic clove if you want to minimize the flavor a bit. (The cloves of fresh garlic in there are SO good, though!)
- If you want a spicier salsa, add more jalapenos + jalapeno seeds! This salsa is fairly mild; it has a little bit of a kick depending on the jalapeno, but if you're wanting a mouth-burning salsa, use at least 1-2 more jalapenos.
- This keeps in the fridge for about a week in an air-tight container. You can also freeze it, but it'll lose a little bit of its flavor when it thaws. Add in some extra garlic and onion powder for a flavor boost.
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