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.

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It was either Oreos or the Lifetime movies, so I nixed the cookies, which was a lot harder than you might think, and so I thought about making some baked lime tortilla chips and salsa instead.

This is 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.

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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 notice or even care even that there is difference, but to me there’s as obvious difference. To me, the jarred kind tastes like an overly chunk-defied pasta sauce *ack*. The only way I can control how thin or thick I want it… is by making it myself and I prefer it fresh with small chunkage. 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.

And yes chunk-defied and chuckage are totally words.

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

Let’s move on to the recipe.

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This is as simple as it gets here folks! I know you’re eyeing those cans of tomatoes but honestly unless you want pico, then the whole peeled tomatoes are what. If you can your own whole peeled tomatoes then you are the bomb and will you ship me some?

But if you’re looking for a salsa calling fro FRESH tomatoes, try my Roasted Tomato Salsa. Yumsville.

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Into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment; add 1/2 of both a coarsely chopped red and white onion, 1 large coarsely chopped garlic clove and 1 to 2 jalapenos, depending on the level of spice you desire. I’m a 1 medium jalapeno girl, I keep half a jalapeno with seeds and ribs intact and remove them from the other half. To me it’s the perfect amount of heat… to my husband it could be hotter.

My husband is a 2 jalapeno kind of guy, all ribs and seeds go in. He always threatens me to add a whole habanero pepper until I threaten him that I will 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. One day, maybe.

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

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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.

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Season with the 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon sugar.

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Now add in a generous handful of cilantro.

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And squeeze in the juice of half a nice and juicy lime.
Grab the lime. My sister once told me; if at the store, squeeze the lime (or lemon for that matter) and if they are soft (not mushy) then it should yield a good amount of juice. If you squeeze it and it’s hard as a rock, just put it back on the produce shelf and keep searching.

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

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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?

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It only takes one to two pulses to get the perfect {in my opinion} salsa. Not too runny… not too thick and chunky. Now either eat right on the spot or place it in the fridge for whenever you’re ready to serve.

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And there you have zee best salsa in zee world!

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Why, 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

Restaurant quality salsa in minutes!

Yield: 6 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


1/2 a medium white onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 a medium red onion, coarsely chopped

1 to 2 jalapeños, chopped (seeds and ribs removed for less heat)

1 large clove of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped

1 (28 oz can) whole peeled tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon sugar

a generous handful of fresh cilantro

the juice of half a lime

1 (14.5) can of diced tomatoes with green chilies


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

Next add the can of whole peeled tomatoes including their juices, cilantro, sugar and salt and the juice of half a lime. Pulse until quite a bit chunky.

Add diced tomatoes with green chilies. Give a few more pulses until desired consistency. Check the salsa and add more salt if desired.

Serve immediately or transfer to a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Simply Scratch Tip: I prefer my salsa at room temperature so I pull my salsa out of the fridge 30 to 40 minutes prior to serving.

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59 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! 😀

    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!

  34. #
    The Petes — October 28, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    We were wondering if you could freeze this salsa? It makes quite a bit and we are worried about it going bad to fast. Or how long will it last in the fridge?

  35. #
    Kelly — February 26, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    This salsa looks delicious. I will have to try it tonight with my new food processor.

  36. #
    Theresa Sullivan — June 14, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Loved the salsa! Easy to make and my whole family loved it! Thanks!

  37. #
    Annie — July 18, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    It look so delicious. I agree that food processors make everything work so quickly and easily. Never store-bought salsa again for me! Thanks for the recipes!

  38. #
    Amy — August 24, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Nothing is better than a bowl of fresh salsa! Thanks for providing an exact measurement of ingredients. I usually wander out to the garden to harvest most of these ingredients and just toss them together randomly.

  39. #
    Erika — September 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I just made this last night & I cannot stop boasting about it! It is absolutely amazing! I did make a few changes, like using serrano peppers instead of a jalapeno, and used two large tomatoes instead of a can of whole peeled tomatoes. Also, after adding the diced tomatoes, I didn’t pulse it anymore.. I just stirred the tomatoes in for chunkier salsa. I added garlic salt as well to taste. I cannot believe how simple this is, and how great it tastes! Thank you for sharing=)

  40. #
    Autumn — October 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Laurie…Would this be a recipe I could use with some peppers that are going to go bad soon? If so, and in general, about how long does this salsa keep? Have you ever frozen larger batches of it before? (Asking because I have quite a lot of peppers I need to use up in the next couple of days, and I LOVE chips and salsa!) Thanks!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — October 6th, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

      Hi Autumn! Do you mean bell peppers or jalapeno? I’ve never tried this recipes with bell peppers. You could definitely give it a try! I also have a roasted tomato salsa on here that could work too!

      I’ve also never froze salsa before. We eat it too fast but I don’t see why you couldn’t. Typically salsa lasts a week, two tops in an airtight container in the fridge.

      If you have jalapenos you need to use, then try pickling them! SO GOOD! http://www.simplyscratch.com/2013/05/easy-homemade-pickled-jalapenos.html

      Let me know if you have any more questions or email me at simplyscratchrecipes@yahoo.com. :)

  41. #
    mark — November 20, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    great base. One can tweak to taste; hotter, saltier

  42. #
    Michelle — April 23, 2015 at 3:17 am

    It look very attractive and appetizing. My husband loves tomato salad so I will follow your guide and do it at this weekend


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