Homemade Salsa

So it’s January in Michigan. What can I say? It’s my least favorite month of the year. The holidays are over, there is little sunshine… not to mention it’s cold and snowy outside which makes me want to curl up on the couch with a box of Oreos and watch dvr’d Lifetime movies. I needed a quick summer fix to make me feel better. It was either Oreos or the Lifetime movies, so I nixed the cookies {which was a lot harder than you might think} and I thought about making some baked lime tortilla chips and salsa instead… my favorite salsa in the entire world! It’s been way to long since the last time I made it and now it was stuck in my head and I was craving salsa in a bad way. Well, that and watching some Nora Roberts {books made for TV} Movies. You know the ones.


I have to admit I’m sort of a snob when it comes right down to it. I only like fresh salsa. Some of you may not even noticed or even care that there is difference. To me it’s as simple as night and day. The jarred kind tastes like an overly chunk-defied pasta sauce… to me *ack*. I like the fresh stuff with small chunkage. And the only way I can control how thin or thick I want it… is by making it myself. Honestly salsa isn’t hard to throw together and it makes a lot so it really is cost effective! You just need a food processor.

Yes chunk-defied is a word.

Okay so maybe not… but you get my meaning, right?

Let’s move on to the recipe.
This is as simple as it gets here folks!

Start with your onion. I like to use a white onion.

Cut it in half, and then slice long cuts along the length of the onion.

Then just give it a rough chop, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Now it’s jalapeno time. If you like it spicy this is a sure way to make it happen.

Trim off the top and discard.

If you don’t want it crazy spicy then remove the seeds and the white membrane aka: “the ribs” of the jalapeno and discard.

I leave half of a jalapeno with the seeds in and half without. To me it’s the perfect amount of heat… to my husband it could be hotter. He always threaten to add a whole habanero pepper until I threaten to touch his eyes with my jalapeno fingers, which reminds me… always, aLwAyS, ALWAYS wash your hands after handling a spicy pepper… it could cause great bodily harm to your eyes and skin. Trust me on this.

Next smash, peel and roughly chop one clove of garlic.

Toss all three into a food processor.

Next add one large can of whole peeled tomatoes, starting with the juice and then with the tomatoes. I found that this method helped me from ending up with tomato juice speckled clothes which then saved me all from having to pre-treat the white shirt I wore while making salsa.

Which reminds me, never wear a white shirt when cooking with tomato products.

Now add in the 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and sugar.

Add a generous handful of fresh cilantro leaves.

Give it a couple of pulses until the onions aren’t in chunks yet everything is still pretty chunky.

Grab the lime. My sister told me once, if you squeeze the lime {or lemon} and they are soft then it should yield a good amount of juice. If you squeeze it and it is rock hard, just put it back on the produce shelf and keep searching.

It really works. Kelly you are so smart!

Cut the lime in half.

Squeeze the one lime half directly into the food processor.

Repeat my uber smart technique as directed above when adding the diced tomatoes and green chilies. These can come in three different heat preferences to pick from… mild, medium and hot. I like mine hot, but my girls prefer the medium or mild.

I really can’t stand the word uber… yet I use it.Why?

Isn’t that uuuuuber annoying? ;)

It only takes one to two pulses to get the perfect {in my opinion} salsa. Not too runny… not too thick and chunky. Now place it in the fridge for at least a few hours but over night is best.

And there you have zee best salsa in zee world! Okay, okay… but it is darn good!

Why, I don’t mind if I do.

Come to Mama.

You know it’s really hard to photograph food and not taste as you go.

Come back and see how to make your very own Baked Lime Tortilla Chips! I’ll be posting that recipe next week!

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Homemade Salsa

Yield: 4 cups


1 small onion, roughly chopped

One Jalapeño, chopped {seeds and ribs are optional}

1 large Garlic Clove, smashed and roughly chopped

1 {28 oz can} Whole Peeled Tomatoes

1 {14.5} Can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies

One Generous Handful of Fresh Cilantro Leaves

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Juice of half a Lime


Add the chopped onion, jalapeno and garlic to a food processor.

Next add the can of whole peeled tomatoes {with their juices}, fresh cilantro, sugar and salt and the juice of half a lime. Pulse until you reach a consistency you like, should be a little chunky.

Add diced tomatoes with green chilies. Give a few more pulses.

Let refrigerate for a couple of hours at least before serving, but over night is best!

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42 Responses to “Homemade Salsa”

  1. #
    Christine — January 15, 2011 at 3:29 am

    My mouth is watering!!! YUM!!!! Looks amazing!!!

  2. #
    authmex — January 15, 2011 at 4:03 am

    very nice photos but i think you would do better without the diced tomato/chile mush and why use canned tomatoes when you can just use fresh?

    best regards

  3. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — January 15, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Using canned whole tomatoes eliminates the entire cooking process you would need to do in order to remove majority of the water content. Resulting in more of a tomato based salsa rather than a water based salsa. If you are looking to use fresh tomatoes in a "salsa" recipe check out my Pico de Gallo recipe! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — January 15, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Thanks Christine!!! :)

  5. #
    Pretend Chef — January 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    PERFECT Game Day food for watching our Pittsburgh Steelers today! My guy's mom is coming over for an early visit so this would be great to make it's way on the table! Love all kinds of salsa but yours looks incredibly! Nothing beats homemade!

  6. #
    Amanda — January 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    oh yum! this looks so delicious and refreshing. i am already so so ready for summer… and this reminds me of it!

  7. #
    cyclicalunemployment — January 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    This would be the perfect recipe for me! I love salsa but haven't ever made my own because of the cutting-up-of-tomato issue. problem solved! Thanks!

  8. #
    Ang — January 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I have a whole container in the fridge of fresh salsa! Your so right, there is nothing better and the store stuff doesn't quite cut it. Gorgeous salsa too! Love it:)

  9. #
    Pretend Chef — January 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    (((Laurie))) Thank you for this recipe this morning! My guy must have his ESP tuned in because while at the store he asked me to make some salsa for the game and while I didn't follow your recipe exactly I was happy to have had a fresher to remind me of what ingredients to pick up.

  10. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — January 16, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Rochelle~ I'm so glad! Salsa is pretty versatile… that's why I love it so much! :)

  11. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — January 16, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Thank you Ang!

  12. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — January 16, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Glad to help Katherine! ;)

  13. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — January 16, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Amanda I am definitely having the winter blues… I wan't warm weather and flip flops!

  14. #
    Mary — January 17, 2011 at 12:20 am

    What a gorgeous post. Your salsa looks delicious and has the added virtue of being easy to do. I am new here but will be back. I really like the food and recipes you feature. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  15. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — January 17, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Well thank you Mary! I hope you do come back! :)

  16. #
    Pretend Chef — January 24, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that I ended up making your actual recipe this weekend and we went nuts over this! I posted about this on my blog but didn't include the recipe. I have links throughout my post to direct traffic here! You can check it out at: http://imapretendchef.blogspot.com/2011/01/homemade-salsa.html

  17. #
    My Carolina Kitchen — January 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I googled homemade salsa and up popped your blog. Your photos are great and your salsa sounds just like what I'm looking for to take to a party tonight.

    You've stumped me with the word uber. I've never heard it and not sure what it means. I must be way behind the times.

    Stay warm up there in Michigan.

  18. #
    sadelikta38 — February 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    This salsa is heavenly!!! It is going to be perfect for my superbowl party!!

  19. #
    20 something — March 11, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Man, there is nothing like fresh salsa! This looks great.

  20. #
    Nancy — June 15, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I will never ever buy jarred salsa again!!! This is the best salsa I've ever had!!! <3

  21. #
    Laurie @simplyscratch — June 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks Nancy! :)

  22. #
    Jen — July 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

    This blog is AMAZING!! I love to cook but I am a beginner at this point. All other blogs explain the recipes however you still feel a bit lost and unsure. This is great! I Love how everything is explained with pictures.

    I am going to try a lot of things this weekend! :D

    Jen – From Beirut, Lebanon :)

  23. #
    DrunkenChic — January 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I recently moved to Kenya where there is NO mexican food anywhere– so tonight I decided to try to make this homemade salsa– my husband and I cannot thank you enough for posting this incredible recipe! you've changed our lives! also, your blog is awesome– I will definitely be stealing many more ideas from you!


  24. #
    Steph — January 16, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    This was so easy to make! My husband loves salsa, and this just tastes so much better than jarred…thanks!

  25. #
    Brandy Barber Bates — January 29, 2012 at 3:13 am

    I made the salsa today……love it! I used the whole lime and it tasted yummy. Can't wait to make the chips. Thanks

  26. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — January 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Steph and Brandy~ So happy to hear! Thanks for leaving a comment! :)

  27. #
    navywife8511 — April 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I found this recipe back in January when you posted it and I forgot to leave a comment. THANK YOU! This is my favorite salsa recipe! We make this ALL the time and my family is always begging me to make them some when I visit. I usually double or triple the batch. A few things that I've done differently that work great: I buy the garlic in a jar already chopped in the produce section. I

  28. #
    beatsoftware — June 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Whats up!I am just at work checking your personal site via my personal new apple iphone! Really plan to express I like reading through your blog and start looking in front to your complete content! Keep up this fantastic job

  29. #
    Joe — August 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Just finished a batch and it tastes great! thanks for sharing!

  30. #
    Tara — November 19, 2012 at 2:53 am

    BEST SALSA EVER!!!!!!! Only thing I did different was after chilling and taste-testing it needed a ton more salt so I ended up adding about 1Tbsp extra. Other than that it was Perfect!! Thank you for this recipe. I was very gun-shy about trying to make salsa after my first epic fail with a different recipe.

  31. #
    Jenn in Iowa — May 6, 2013 at 8:55 am

    This sounds amazing! I was looking for a recipe for salsa to jar so that I can make a big batch for me and the family to least the year ( i love me some salsa haha!) Do you know if you heated this up if you could jar it? I’m new at this so bear with me!

  32. #
    richard — June 13, 2013 at 9:12 am

    This is 100% better than any salsa in the grocery store.

  33. #
    Jim Bradley — September 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I don’t like runny salsa, either, so if I want thicker salsa when I’m using fresh tomatoes, after I cut up the tomatoes I put them in a colander to drain the excess fluid. I then use the fluid for soup stock, or just drink it. The salsa ends up good and thick!


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