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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, fresh ingredients.
Unlike many salsa recipes that use canned diced tomatoes, this is a fresh salsa recipe that uses whole tomatoes from the produce section. While the canned stuff is convenient, I think fresh tomatoes make the best homemade salsa!
Why This Is The Best Homemade Salsa Recipe
- Zesty, fresh flavor
- Juicy tomato texture with hints of onion, garlic, and jalapeño
- 6 basic ingredients (plus salt)
- 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
Fresh Salsa Ingredients
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 a fresh salsa recipe, but any variety will work. Choose ripe yet fairly firm ones, as very ripe tomatoes might make the salsa too watery.
- Onion – This recipe for 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 fresh 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 lime juice if you can for the best flavor, but bottled lime juice or even lemon juice will work.
- Sea Salt – To taste.
How To Make Salsa
This section shows how to make homemade salsa with fresh tomatoes, 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. Cut the tomatoes and onion into large chunks.
- Blend. Add the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, and sea salt to a food processor. (A high-powered blender may also work.) Pulse until the fresh salsa reaches the desired consistency.
- Enjoy! Transfer to a bowl for dipping, or serve with other foods. (See ideas below!)
How to taste for salt:
Taste the salsa to determine if you need to adjust salt a bit u003cemu003ebeforeu003c/emu003e 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. You could also add drained canned green chilies.
- Add or change spices – This easy 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?
Salsa lasts in the refrigerator for about 1 week. The time can vary a bit depending on how fresh your veggies are. Also, if you include lime juice, it will last a bit longer: The acidity acts as a natural preservative.
Can You Freeze Salsa?
Yes, you can freeze homemade salsa recipes! Just don’t expect them to taste identical to freshly made. To freeze, simmer the salsa on the stove for 10-20 minutes to bring out extra moisture. Cool completely, then freeze flat in a zip lock bag. After thawing, drain off any excess liquid before serving.
How To Can Salsa:
Preserve the ingredients in this fresh salsa recipe with this easy method. It will last 12 months (or even longer)!
- Sterilize the jars. In a large stockpot, submerge mason 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. (This is necessary for a salsa recipe with fresh tomatoes, like this one, but less critical for versions using canned tomatoes.)
- 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 – Dip into homemade salsa using your favorite tortilla chips, zucchini chips (either baked zucchini chips or air fryer zucchini chips), plain or seasoned kale chips, or even cheese crisps. For an easy, classic spread, serve the salsa alongside guacamole. Perfection!
- Tacos & burritos – Make burrito bowls or tacos with some flour tortillas, almond flour tortillas, or crunchy 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 easy baked cod for a zesty upgrade.
- Chicken – Salsa pairs well with shredded chicken, zesty cilantro lime chicken, and classic chicken fajitas. You can also use this fresh salsa recipe to make salsa chicken!
- Salad Or Slaw – Mix into taco salad, or use as a topping for creamy avocado egg salad or zesty taco slaw for another dash of flavor.
- Classic Mexican dishes – Make carne asada (on the grill or using a grill pan inside), beef barbacoa (in the slow cooker), or stuffed poblano peppers (in the oven) 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 storage of salsa recipes! 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 Salsa Recipe
Homemade Fresh Salsa Recipe (5 Minutes!)
Learn how to make salsa with fresh tomatoes in 5 minutes! This easy homemade salsa recipe is loaded with zesty flavor using 6 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.
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.
Pulse until desired consistency is reached. (Check for salt a few pulses before your desired consistency, so that the homemade salsa doesn't get too mushy if you need to adjust salt and pulse again.)
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
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Serving size: 1/4 cup
- Check the post above for instructions on storing, canning, or freezing homemade salsa.
- The entire fresh salsa recipe makes about 4 cups. Exact volume and 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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I had 5 roma tomatoes instead of 4 as they were small – in case I needed an extra. Hubby got to chatting in my ear and I’m 77 so I lost track and put them all in the blender. You do NOT need 5 romas. My salsa was very thick but granddaughter thought it was quite tasty and ‘hot’. YUM!
This lime juice is such a burst of flavor! The lime juice added gives it a bit of extra “fresh” too.
This homemade salsa tastes so much better (and fresher) than jarred.
I made this over the weekend for movie night. It was delicious! I added some serrano peppers for more zing.
This was a wonderful recipe to use up all my garden tomatoes. The lime juice gave it just the right tangy flavour!
So easy and SO delicious, all my friends loved this salsa!
Super easy and not expensive to make at all. Perfect for appetizers when you are in a crunch or just need something extra.
It was awesome and it only took me 5 minutes.
I made this salsa recipe today and it was delicious! All family members liked it so I will make this often!
My husband loved this salsa.
Wonderful recipe! Thanks for your posting this.
This salsa is SO GOOD! Its dangerously easy, which means I am eating chips and salsa all the time!
This was the perfect solution for the surplus of tomatoes from my garden!
Love this quick and easy recipe. So full of flavor!
I decided to use the canning process but realized I only used 1 teaspoon lime juice. Was that enough lime juice? I don’t want to get my family sick. I did follow the canning process to a T. Salsa was delish!
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Beth, The lime juice in this recipe is actually optional so using only 1 tsp is perfectly fine.
So is Vinegar required for salsa? If so, how much for your recipe?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Liz, Vinegar is not required.
If I am water bath canning the salsa, do I need to add any apple cider vinegar?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Jason, Please do your research before proceeding. To my knowledge, the vinegar is necassary to prevent bacteria growth, but I’m not sure how much your will need for each jar.
Can the cilantro be left out?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Rayna, Yes, if you prefer, you can leave the cilantro out.
Can I use a blender instead of food processor?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Kaylin, Yes, but the same rule applies with a blender – pulse the mixture, do not just let it run. Your salsa is complete when you achieve your desired consistency! Enjoy!
Do you recommend a particular type of tomato or onion? Beefsteak, roma, etc? What about onion type. I love your recipes! keep them coming 🙂
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Shelly, You can use any kind you like. I like to use Roma tomatoes, and sweet white or yellow onions.
Hi Maya – I’m confused by the carb count. There are carbs in tomatoes and onions so how can the carb count of this salsa be zero?
Wholesome Yum L0
Hi Vicki, you are correct. However, due to the serving size, the nutrition info shows 0 carbs and sugar. The tomatoes and onion do both have a very tiny amount of both, but the amount per serving comes out to be negligible.
Perfect salsa for the entire family. I’d take fresh ingredients over bottled salsa any day.
Loved this fresh. What is the canning process? Thank u.
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Thank you so much, Tracy! I added steps for the canning process to the post above.
It’s nice to read your posts and also make your recipes. They help me keep the line, thanks.
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Thank you, Carlos! I’m glad you like them.