Incredible Homemade Salsa Recipe (2024)

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10 minutes minutes


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By: The Chunky Chefpublished: 09/05/2022

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The best homemade salsa is made with juicy tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, fresh cilantro and plenty of spice and flavor! A little spicy, slightly sweet, and perfect with salty chips. Great for game day/tailgating, parties, Mexican recipes and more!

This is one of mySalsarecipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!

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Chips and salsa is such a classic snack combination, and one that we in the chunky chef household are fairly obsessed with!

Jarred salsa can be good, and it certainly is convenient, but we love making homemade salsa. That way we can control the texture, heat level, quality of the ingredients, etc.

This recipe has been on the website since 2015, and while it’s been updated a couple of times over the years, the recipe itself has remained the same.

The same is true for this updated version, the recipe is the same, it just has some updated photos, clearer instructions, and more in depth tips and tricks.

It’s a really simple recipe, but over the years readers just like you have had questions regarding substitutions, freezing options, etc… and I wanted to update the post to reflect those answers so you’ll have everything you need to make the best salsa ever!

How to make homemade salsa?

This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.

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  1. Add vegetables to food processor. There’s no need to chop them finely, just a rough chop so they’ll fit in the processor.
  2. Add seasonings.
  3. Add lime juice. Fresh lime juice tastes best, but bottled will work in a pinch.
  4. Process. Pulse a few times, then process until the salsa is the consistency and texture you’d like.

Helpful Tip!

I wrote this recipe the way we love this salsa, but feel free to use the ingredient amounts as a guideline and go by your own preferences and tastes. It’s your salsa after all!

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Variations of this recipe

  • Spicy– to increase the heat, try adding an additional jalapeno, add a serrano pepper, or add some cayenne pepper.
  • Mild– to make this salsa more mild, you can omit the jalapeno, or at the very least, make sure you remove the ribs and seeds from the pepper.
  • Texture– I prefer a semi-smooth salsa, but you can make this salsa any consistency you like best.
  • Fresh– if you don’t have canned tomatoes, you can use about 8-12 roma or plum tomatoes, and blend as directed. If you’d like the salsa a bit more wet, feel free to blend in some tomato juice, vegetable broth or water.
  • Smoky– for a smoky flavor, try adding a chipotle in adobo, or some of the sauce that’s in the can with the peppers. This will add a bit of heat as well.
  • No food processor – if you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender, or just use your knife to cut everything down into very small pieces.
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Why is there sugar in this recipe?

It may seem like an out of place ingredient, but I’d be willing to bet that sugar is probably in a lot of your favorite salsas. Not only does it help to counteract any bitterness from the tomatoes, it balances all the flavors to really round out your salsa and make it the best you’ve ever had.

I don’t like a watery salsa, how can I make this recipe thicker?

If you prefer a really thick salsa, drain the liquid in the can of whole tomatoes (personally I would drain it into a container, rather than down the drain). Then process the salsa as directed and add back some of the liquid from the can, a little at a time, until you have the consistency you’re looking for.

Can this salsa recipe be canned?

I don’t personally have the canning expertise to safely advise you on that, but this recipe is very freezer-friendly, if you’re looking for longer storage. I do believe some readers have canned this salsa, if you wanted to page through the comments they may have shared tips.

Making homemade salsa ahead of time

While this salsa tastes incredible right away, I think it gets even better when made ahead of time! All the flavors have time to really meld together.I like to make this salsa a day or so ahead of time.

Plus I like cold salsa, so it gives the salsa plenty of time to chill. If you don’t enjoy cold salsa, after it hangs out in the refrigerator for a while, feel free to let it sit at room temperature for a little bit before serving.

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Homemade salsa can also be frozen, for up to 6-9 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


Leftover salsa should be refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoyed within about a week.

More Salsa Recipes:

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My Favorite Food Processor!

You can use any food processor or blender for this recipe, but I’ve had this model for years and really love it. It’s easy to take apart and clean, and the large capacity means I don’t have to break the recipe down into smaller batches!

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!

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Homemade Salsa Recipe

4.46 from 233 votes

Author: The Chunky Chef

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes minutes

Calories: 18

Servings: 12 servings

(hover over # to adjust)

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The best homemade salsa is made with juicy tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, fresh cilantro and plenty of spice and flavor!


  • 28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes including juice
  • 1 small white onion peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin or to taste
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1 tsp granulated sugar optional, and to taste
  • 1 or 2 handfuls cilantro this is probably 1 or 2 cups worth
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice fresh is best


  • Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up larger pieces, then process until texture is mostly smooth (or as smooth or chunky as you'd like).

  • Taste the salsa and based on personal preference, adjust salt/sugar levels as necessary.

  • Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for a couple of hours for best flavor.

  • Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Want to save this recipe for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own recipe box!

Chef Tips

  1. Recipe makes approximately 4 cups.
  2. I’ve estimated this will serve about 12, with roughly 1/3 cup as the serving size.
  3. I remove the seeds from my jalapeño peppers to reduce the heat level. This way you’ll get all the fresh jalapeño flavor and some heat, but not a crazy amount of heat.
  4. If you’d like, you could stir in some corn kernels, black beans, or chopped tomatoes for extra texture and flavor.


Nutrition Disclaimer

The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did You Make This?Tag @the_chunky_chef on Instagram and hashtag it #thechunkychef so I can see what you made!

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Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

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Hey there! I'm Amanda. Wife, mother, photography nerd, and bacon lover! I believe that delicious meals should be easy to make. Now that you’re here, stay a bit, browse a few recipes, and let’s get cookin’!

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  1. Rob Wilhoite says

    Have not made yet. Question. What about heating this on stovetop for about 15 minutes and let cool? This to make all the flavors blend. TIA


    • The Chunky Chef says

      I haven’t tested heating this recipe, so I can’t say for certain how well it would work. If you do some experimenting, I’d love to know how it turns out 🙂


  2. Laura says

    This is my go to salsa recipe! I usually use half jalapeño and half chipotle in adobo for the smoky flavor, and instead of sugar, I add corn-off the cob in season and canned or frozen when it’s not. (Same with tomatoes-I use fresh from our family farm when in season-so good!) And load up on cilantro! It’s great every time!


    • Rob Wilhoite says

      Love the idea of chipolte. If using 1 whole pepper and no jalepeno do you think it would make salsa too hot for most folks?


  3. Marcus says

    My first attempt at home made salsa. I added some extra spicy peppers to give it more kick and I added no sugar. The best I have ever eaten if I do say so myself!


  4. Gina says

    Absolutely Devine!


  5. Milli says

    Best salsa I have ever eaten – everybody I served it to agrees. And so easy to make.


  6. Charity says

    Wonderful and easy! I’ve made this for the second time, and I can’t stay out of it.


  7. Christine says

    Has this recipe been updated recently? Did there used to be a picture of the ingredients (can of tomatoes, lime, etc) I ask because I am not sure if this was a recipe I used in the past-I remember there being a picture of the ingredients. Thanks in advance!


    • The Chunky Chef says

      The recipe itself hasn’t changed, it just got some updated photos 🙂


  8. Greg says

    This was great for my picky kids who refuse to eat chunks of tomato (although every other tomato product is just fine). It ended up a little bit thinner than I’d prefer, so next time I’ll reserve the juice from the tomatoes and add it until to the consistency I like.

    As some have said, this make a lot of salsa, but I think it would be great with lots of things … eggs at breakfast or roasted chicken and potatoes come to mind. Plus, it takes almost no effort.


  9. Dawn foster says

    Can you use reg tomatoes?


    • The Chunky Chef says

      By regular, do you mean fresh tomatoes? If so, yes. You may want to check out the “variations of this recipe” section of the post above the recipe, there are instructions for that written there.


  10. Hannah says

    Oh my gosh I am so glad I came across this recipe! Say goodbye to store bought salsa this is a new family favorite and although it seemed to yield A LOT. We ate it in one day ( that’s how good it is)!


    • Kim McKelvy says

      How long will this salsa stay fresh in the refrigerator?


      • The Chunky Chef says

        To be safe, I say it can be stored for up to a week. But I’ve enjoyed it for up to 2 weeks and it was just fine 🙂


  11. Denise Cunningham says

    Hi Amanda! I’ve made a few batches of this excellent salsa now! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for years! I cooked my most recent batch using raw Roma tomatoes. It was over the top flavorful!! I put all ingredients into the vitamix except chopped onions and lime juice. Put everything in a large saucepan including chopped onions but not lime juice, and cook til onions are translucent. After cooking and cooled add lime juice. Yummy!!! Thank you for the awesome recipe 😊


  12. Deguello says

    Here’s a tip I stole from my Mexican housekeeper — add one rounded tablespoon of Better-Than-Bullion low salt chicken goo. She added regular chicken bullion, but that is too salty for my tastes.


  13. Shana says

    I’m new to using fresh herbs (I usually just use dried), do I take the leaves off of the cilantro or do I just throw the entire thing in the processor? Thank you.


    • The Chunky Chef says

      You can do either 🙂 I normally just grab a handful (stems and all) to save time.


      • Shana says

        You’re awesome! Thank you!
        I’m literally starting to make this now.


      • Shana says

        This is amazing!!!!
        My food processor is a bit small so next time I will have to mix it altogether slowly lol. My son wouldn’t stay out of it, so I knew immediately it was awesome. Thank you!


  14. Deguello says

    Salsa is only as good as the tomatoes used. I always use real imported Italian San Marzano whole canned tomatoes. And here’s a tip you did not see coming — a tablespoon or to taste of Better-Than-Bullion low salt chicken bullion.


    • Jennifer Dean says

      Hi do you peel the homegrown tomatoes and you don’t cook it?


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