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This easy homemade salsa recipe is one of the best ways to amp up Taco Tuesday (or any Mexican-inspired meal)! Once you learn how to make salsa with fresh tomatoes and cilantro, you might never go back to the jarred stuff… and just like mango salsa, avocado salsa verde, and pineapple salsa, it only takes a few simple ingredients.
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Salsa Recipe
- Zesty, fresh flavor
- Juicy tomato texture with hints of onion, garlic, and jalapeño
- 5 basic ingredients
- Done in 5 minutes
- No cooking needed
- Makes a restaurant-style salsa that pairs with nachos, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, or your favorite Mexican-style dishes!
Ingredients In Salsa
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for homemade fresh tomato salsa, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Tomatoes – Roma tomatoes are most common for this salsa recipe with fresh tomatoes, but any variety will work. Choose ripe yet fairly firm ones, as very ripe tomatoes might make the salsa too juicy.
- Onion – This recipe for fresh tomato salsa uses a white onion, but a yellow onion, red onion, or even green onion will work.
- Cilantro – Homemade salsa with cilantro has the most classic flavor, but you could use other herbs if you like. I don’t recommend dried cilantro for fresh salsa recipes.
- Jalapeno – For some heat. Add it without seeds and white parts for less heat, or for extra spice, include both or even add extra peppers.
- Garlic – For best results, coarsely mince your garlic fresh before adding it to your food processor. This ensures that the pieces get small enough without turning your salsa into a paste. You can also use jarred minced garlic for convenience.
- Lime Juice – Optional, but keeps the salsa fresh for longer and adds a bit of tang. Use fresh or bottled lime juice, or even lemon juice.
- Sea Salt – To taste.
How To Make Salsa With Fresh Tomatoes
This section shows how to make homemade salsa, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Chop. Chop tomatoes and onion into large chunks.
- Blend. Add all ingredients to a food processor. (A high-powered blender may also work.) Pulse until salsa reaches the desired consistency.
- Enjoy! Transfer to a bowl for dipping, or serve with other foods. (See ideas below!)
TIP: How to taste for salt:
Taste the salsa to determine if you need to adjust salt a bit before you reach the consistency you want. That way, you can adjust the salt more and pulse again.
Fresh Salsa Recipe Variations
- Swap peppers – Trade jalapenos for serrano peppers, green chiles, chipotles, or your favorite spicy chilies.
- Add or change spices – This fresh tomato salsa recipe would taste delicious with added cumin, oregano, thyme, paprika, or chili powder.
- Use canned tomatoes – Fresh tomato salsa recipes taste best, but you can also used canned tomatoes if needed. Process other ingredients first and blend these in last.
- Broil or roast for extra flavor – Arrange tomatoes, peppers, and peeled onion skin side up on a sheet pan and broil for 6-8 minutes, or until blistered and slightly blackened. Blend as usual. (This works best with riper tomatoes!)
Store leftovers covered in an airtight container or Mason jar.
How Long Does Salsa Last In The Fridge?
How long does homemade salsa last? As a general guideline, salsa lasts in the refrigerator for about a week.
The exact amount of time that homemade salsa will vary a bit depending on several factors. The more fresh your veggies are, the longer it will last. Also, if you include lime juice, it will last a bit longer: The acidity acts as a natural preservative.
It will be easy to tell when salsa has gone bad. Watch for a strange smell, visible mold, or a significant darkening in color.
Can You Freeze Salsa?
Yes! Freezing homemade salsa with fresh tomatoes is definitely doable, though it’s not ideal. Don’t expect it to taste identical to freshly made.
Simply simmer on the stove for at least 10 minutes, up to as long as 45 minutes, to bring out extra moisture. Then, let it cool and freeze in plastic freezer bags. After thawing, drain off any excess liquid before serving.
How To Can Salsa:
Preserve the fresh ingredients in this salsa with this easy method. It will last 12 months (or even longer)!
- Sterilize the jars. In a large stockpot, submerge the jars and lids in water. Simmer to sterilize them. (You don’t need to simmer the bands, only the jars and lids.) Keep them simmering until step 3.
- Simmer. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the salsa to a gentle boil. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Fill the jars. Remove the jars from the water and put them on a towel. Fill with salsa, leaving 1/4 inch space at the top. Wipe any salsa from the rim. Remove the lids from the water, one at a time, dry off, and close tightly with the band.
- Process the jars. Place the sealed jars back into the stockpot with boiling water, over medium-high heat, such that they are almost submerged but the tops are above the water. Cover the pot and let it boil for 15 minutes. After that, remove the jars and put them back on the towel to cool, without moving.
- Check the seals. Check the seal after 24 hours – it should not flex when pressed.
What To Serve With Homemade Salsa
Serve this fresh sauce with all kinds of easy mains and Mexican favorites.
- Chips – Try it with your favorite tortilla chips, zucchini chips, or cheddar parmesan crisps.
- Tacos & burritos – Make burrito bowls or tacos with some flour tortillas, coconut tortillas, almond flour tortillas, or cheese taco shells. Or, sneak a veggie in there and make cauliflower tortillas instead.
- Fish – Spoon this over pan seared salmon, grilled shrimp skewers, or baked cod for a zesty upgrade.
- Chicken – Salsa pairs well with shredded chicken, cilantro lime chicken, and chicken fajitas.
- Salad or slaw – Serve with healthy taco salad, avocado egg salad, or taco slaw for another dash of flavor.
- Classic Mexican dishes – Make carne asada, beef barbacoa, or stuffed poblano peppers to serve with this iconic sauce. Don’t forget the skinny margaritas!
- Food Processor – This is the one I have. It’s powerful and large enough for a big batch of salsa.
- Mason Jars – Convenient for general storing or canning.
- Large stockpot – To process the canned salsa. (See instructions above).
- Canning Kit – For long-term salsa storage! Includes a jar lifter (to get jars out of the hot water), a funnel (to avoid salsa on the rim where it can break a seal), and a magnetic lid lifter (to get hot lids out of water easily).
Homemade Fresh Salsa Recipe
Homemade Salsa Recipe With Fresh Tomatoes (5 Min!)
Learn how to make salsa with fresh tomatoes in 5 minutes! This homemade salsa recipe is loaded with zesty flavor using easy ingredients.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Put everything in a food processor. Pulse until desired consistency is reached.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
Serving size: 1/4 cup
- Check the post above for instructions on storing, canning, or freezing homemade salsa.
- Exact number of servings will vary depending on the size of your tomatoes.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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