This restaurant-style salsa comes together in minutes with the help of a blender to create a fresh, bright homemade salsa that is simply the best!
Nothing beats chips and salsa, especially when the salsa is freshly prepared. But don't just limit scooping this homemade salsa with tortilla chips! This salsa can also be used to add incredible flavor to recipes like Instant Pot Chicken Tacos, Copycat Chipotle Sofritas, Crockpot Salsa Chicken, and Shredded Chicken Tacos.
I have had A LOT of experience making homemade salsa. For decades, I helped my mom and aunt make salsa from their garden tomatoes every summer. It was my job to sit on the kitchen counter and record exactly what they put into the salsa. I called out quantities used in previous years and noted any changes made so we could keep track of what was key to making the best salsa recipe.
Through those experiences, I learned EXACTLY what makes the BEST salsa recipe, and am sharing that with you.
why you will love this salsa recipe
- Fresh and Flavorful. This recipe for salsa is with fresh tomatoes, onions, a little bit of jalapeno, and fresh lime juice, highlighting the flavor of the fresh tomatoes.
- Super Easy. Rather than tedious chopping, this salsa recipe comes together quickly using a blender.
- Restaurant-Quality. Thanks to the blended texture of this homemade salsa, it has the same consistency as the salsa you get at your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant--just tastes a whole lot better because it is SO fresh.
- Quality Control. When you make salsa at home, YOU get to be in charge of the level of spice, salt, and ingredients. Don't like cilantro? Leave it out! Love garlic? Add more! You get the idea!
Ingredients for Homemade Salsa
- Fresh Tomatoes: The fresher and riper the tomato, the better the salsa. As to what type of tomatoes you use, I prefer Roma, Heirloom, or vine-ripened tomatoes for the best flavor.
- Onions: Over the years, my family all agreed, that a sweet or Vidalia onion complimented the salsa best, but a red or yellow onion does work as well.
- Jalapeno: Even mild salsas need a bit of jalapeno to add a bit of kick and wake up your taste buds. Use as little as ½ jalapeno and up to 2 jalapenos depending on the level of spice you desire. I recommend removing the seeds and ribs of the jalapeno, or you may have REALLY spicy salsa.
- Cilantro: You either love cilantro or hate it. If you hate it, by all means, omit it! If not, it adds a really fresh taste to this salsa recipe.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic will add a bit of kick and flavor. If you are not a fan of garlic, leave it out.
- Lime Juice: Only FRESH lime juice will do for salsa. The lime juice will add acidity and freshness that can not be rivaled. Some people like lemon juice, but just like my recipe for homemade guacamole, I feel that lime juice is superior.
- Salt: I use kosher salt as I feel it has a better taste and it is easier to control the amount of saltiness when using kosher salt than table salt. And the amount of salt will depend on how fresh your tomatoes are and your personal preference. Start with 1 teaspoon and adjust after blending.
How to Prepare Fresh Tomatoes for Salsa
When working with fresh, ripe tomatoes, you will need to remove the seeds from the tomatoes to keep the salsa from becoming watered down. You may also want to remove the skin of the tomatoes, to give the salsa a smoother consistency, but if you have a high-powered blender, you can skip that step, making this recipe even easier!
- To remove the skins on the tomatoes, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.
- Score the top of the tomatoes by cutting an "X" on the top of the tomato.
- Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You do NOT want to cook the tomatoes, just heat the skin enough for it to be easily removed.
- Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and place them into an ice bath.
- Once cool enough to handle, remove the tomatoes from the ice bath and peel off the skin.
- Cut tomatoes into quarters and gently squeeze out seeds over the bowl, sink, or garbage. Removing the seeds from the tomatoes not only helps with the final texture of the salsa but also keeps the salsa from being watery and the flavor more intense.
How to Make Homemade Salsa Using a Blender
Once your tomatoes are prepared, this salsa recipe comes together in minutes.
- Place the seeded, quartered tomatoes in a blender.
- Add in the chopped onion, deseeded jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
- Use the pulse button a few times to just bring the ingredients together. You want to try not to puree the salsa, but leave some consistency to the ingredients.
- Once blended, give the salsa a taste test. You may need to add a bit more salt depending on the flavor and ripeness of your tomatoes.
This blender salsa can be served immediately. However, if you have time, refrigerate the salsa for 30 minutes prior to serving, which will allow the flavors to intensify.
Tortilla Chips are the obvious choice for pairing with salsa. However, blender salsa is also delicious when used in the following ways:
- Use homemade salsa to infuse flavor into recipes like Turkey Taco Skillet or Instant Pot Taco Lasagna.
- Add a layer of salsa to the top of a cheesy refried bean taco dip for a burst of fresh flavor.
- Use this blender salsa to top Taco Salad, Cauliflower Tacos, Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos, and Mexican Lasagna.
Homemade Salsa should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and is best if enjoyed within 5 days of preparation.
How to Adjust the Heat Level
One of the great things about making homemade salsa is that you get to control the level of spice in the salsa.
- Only use half of a seeded jalapeno for Mild Salsa.
- Leave the seeds in the jalapeno for Spicy Salsa.
- Increase the amount of jalapeno or use a Serrano pepper for Hot Salsa.
FAQs about Homemade Salsa
I prefer vine-ripened tomatoes when preparing homemade salsa, but Roma tomatoes will work. This recipe for salsa uses 4 average size vine-ripened tomatoes. Which is equivalent to about 10 Roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded.
Yes! Replace the fresh tomatoes with one 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, that has been drained. If you opt to use canned tomatoes, San Marzano is best.
Yes. Removing the seeds from the tomatoes not only helps with the final texture of the salsa but also keeps the salsa from being watery and the flavor more intense.
No. You can use a food processor fitted with an S-blade. You can technically chop everything up by hand as well, but it is hard to replicate restaurant-style salsa by chopping by hand.
As salsa sits, the tomatoes will break down and produce excess liquid. Simply strain over a fine mesh strainer before serving.
More Homemade Dips and Salsas
If you enjoyed this easy recipe for Homemade Blender Salsa, I would love for you to leave a comment and a review.
- 2 ½ pounds fresh tomatoes about 4 average vine-ripened tomatoes
- ½ small Vidalia onion roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno seeds removed and cut in half
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup fresh cilantro stems removed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- juice of one lime about ¼ cup fresh lime juice
Remove Skin From Tomatoes (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.
- Score the top of the tomatoes by cutting an "X" on the top of the tomato.
- Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove tomatoes with slotted spoon and place into an ice bath.
- Once cool enough to handle, remove tomatoes from ice bath and peel off their skin.
- Cut tomatoes into quarters and gently squeeze out seeds over a bowl, sink, or garbage.
- Place seeded, quartered tomatoes in blender. Add in peeled, lightly chopped onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
- Hit pulse on the blender several times until the ingredients are just broken down. Alternatively, you can blend on medium speed just until ingredients are broken down, or a bit longer for a smoother consistency. Just be cautious to not puree the salsa, asyou want there to be some texture remaining.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve salsa fresh, or refrigerate for 30-60 minutes for flavors to develop.