tortilla chip in a bowl of salsa, more chips around it

RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE SALSA USING FRESH TOMATOES

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Vibrant, fresh and flavourful, this recipe for Homemade Salsa using Fresh Tomatoes is as good as it gets! Made with few and simple ingredients, you would never guess just how easy it is to make from scratch yourself at home!

You know when you go to a Mexican restaurant and fill up on the free chips and salsa before your meal arrives ’cause it’s just so dang addicting that you really can’t help yourself? Come on. I know I can’t be the only one! Fresh salsa and crisp tortilla chips are like a match made in Heaven and oh, so addicting. They make the perfect snack for movie nights, game days or parties. And honestly, I can’t think of a better Summer treat. Essspecially when the tomatoes are ripe and in season like they are in the Summer months.

bowl of salsa, tortilla chips around it

Well, the good news is, that if you can relate to the situation above aka devouring the complimentary salsa at your favourite Mexican restaurant (why does Mexican restaurant salsa taste so good??!!) – then you don’t even have to go to said Mexican restaurant anymore to get your fix. That’s right. This quick and easy salsa recipe may use fresh tomatoes but it’s easy as ever to make. Especially if you have a food processor handy which, admittedly, does most of the work. Buuuuut, I mean, your guests don’t need to know that, now do they?! 😉

So, at one point while I may have thought that no salsa beats the free one you get at Mexican restaurants, I now know that this homemade one sure as heck does! I guess there really should be no surprise there cause as I always say, homemade really is always the best! So, next time you get that salsa craving, instead of getting into your car and going to the nearest Mexican restaurant, why not drive to the grocery store to pick up some fresh tomatoes instead? This recipe for homemade salsa using fresh tomatoes will single-handedly prove to you that you made the right choice!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE SALSA USING FRESH TOMATOES

ingredients for recipe for homemade salsa using fresh tomatoes - tomatoes, lime, salt, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

I wasn’t lying when I said some of the fewest, freshest and simplest ingredients come together to make this recipe for homemade salsa using fresh tomatoes. I mean, can it really get any simpler or fresher than this?! Let’s discuss each ingredient in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Tomatoes: Provide the base of the salsa and contribute a juicy, slightly acidic sweetness. Use ripe tomatoes for best flavour and results. I used on-the-vine tomatoes for this recipe for homemade salsa. However, you can use a different kind of tomato depending on your preference or what’s available. Roma, heirloom or cherry/grape tomatoes are also good choices.
  • Red Onion: Adds a sharp and pungent flavour to the salsa. Red onion is milder than white or yellow onion. However, you can use those instead if you prefer.
  • Jalapeńo: Adds a little bit of a spicy kick to the salsa. Adjust the amount according to your heat preference. Jalapeños also contribute to the freshness of the salsa. You can use a hotter pepper if you prefer more heat. PRO TIP: Remove the seeds before blending it up into the salsa.
  • Cilantro: Adds a burst of freshness, bright and zesty flavour and herbaceous aroma to the salsa. If cilantro is not your vibe, fresh parsley will do just fine.
  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice adds acidity and tanginess to the salsa. It helps balance the sweetness of the tomatoes and enhances the overall flavour profile.
  • Salt: Essential for seasoning the salsa and bringing out the flavours of the other ingredients. Add salt to taste, starting with a small amount and adjusting as needed.
bowl of homemade salsa with cilantro leaves, tortilla chips in the background

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE SALSA USING FRESH TOMATOES (KEY TIPS)

hand holding a tortilla chip with salsa on it over a bowl of more salsa

You can find full instructions for how to make this healthy homemade salsa in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose ripe tomatoes. Select ripe, firm tomatoes that are fragrant and free from blemishes. Ripe tomatoes will have the best flavour and texture for your salsa. Any of these varieties make a great choice: on-the-vine, roma, heirloom or cherry/grape.
  • Use a food processor if you have one. I find this the easiest way to achieve my desired consistency as well as ensure even distribution of flavours in the salsa. Also, you don’t have to chop the veggies much since they’ll all get blended up in the food processor anyway. However, if you don’t have one, a fine chop of the ingredients will also work just fine. EXTRA TIP: Pulse until you reach your desired consistency. If you prefer a chunkier salsa, only pulse a few times. If you prefer a thinner, smoother salsa, pulse it a few more times.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste. Taste your salsa as you go and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Add more lime juice, salt or jalapeño for extra flavour and heat, as needed. EXTRA TIP: Feel free to customize your salsa with additional ingredients like diced bell peppers, garlic or mango for added flavour and texture. EXTRA EXTRA TIP: Be mindful of spice level. Remember that the spiciness of jalapeños can vary, so adjust the amount according to your preference and the heat tolerance of your guests. Removing the seeds will remove most of the heat.
  • Let the flavours meld. Allow your salsa to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to meld together. This will enhance the overall taste of the salsa.
bowl of salsa on a tray with tortilla chips
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

DO I NEED TO PEEL TOMATOES FOR SALSA?

Whether or not you need to peel tomatoes for salsa largely depends on personal preference and the texture you desire in your salsa. Some people prefer the smoother texture that peeled tomatoes provide, while others enjoy the added texture and rustic feel of leaving the skins on.

Peeling tomatoes can be a bit time-consuming (and a bit unnecessary IMHO), especially if you’re making a large batch of salsa, but it’s relatively straightforward. To peel tomatoes, you can blanch them in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transfer them to an ice bath to cool. The skins should then easily slip off. However, if you’re short on time or don’t mind a slightly chunkier texture, you can certainly leave the skins on. Ultimately, it’s up to you!

SHOULD YOU REMOVE SEEDS FROM TOMATOES WHEN MAKING SALSA?

Again, whether to remove seeds from tomatoes when making salsa is a matter of personal preference and the desired texture of your salsa. Tomato seeds contain some moisture, and removing them can help prevent your salsa from becoming too watery. However, tomato seeds also contain flavour, so leaving them in can enhance the overall taste of your salsa.

If you prefer a smoother salsa with a thicker consistency, you may choose to remove the seeds by cutting the tomatoes in half and scooping them out with a spoon. On the other hand, if you enjoy a chunkier salsa with a more rustic texture, you can leave the seeds in. Additionally, if you’re using Roma tomatoes, which have fewer seeds and less moisture, you may not need to remove them at all. Experiment with different methods to find what works best for you and your salsa preferences.

SHOULD I USE FRESH OR CANNED TOMATOES FOR SALSA?

When making salsa, using fresh tomatoes is generally preferred for their vibrant flavour and juicy texture. Fresh tomatoes provide a bright and refreshing taste that can’t quite be replicated by canned tomatoes. They offer a natural sweetness and acidity that perfectly complements the other ingredients in salsa.

Additionally, using fresh tomatoes allows you to control the ripeness and quality of the ingredients, resulting in a salsa that’s bursting with flavour. While canned tomatoes can be a convenient option, especially when fresh tomatoes are out of season, they may not offer the same level of freshness and flavour as their fresh counterparts. For the best results and the most delicious salsa, opt for fresh tomatoes whenever possible.

HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE SALSA LAST?

Homemade salsa usually lasts in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days. Just keep it sealed up tight in a container to lock in the freshness. Oh, and remember to use clean utensils when you’re scooping it out. If you see any funky stuff going on like mold or a weird smell, it’s probably time to part ways with it. But as long as it looks and smells good, you’re good to keep dippin’ for a few days!

hand dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of salsa, more chips surrounding it
tortilla chip in a bowl of salsa, more chips around it

RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE SALSA USING FRESH TOMATOES

Yield: ~4 Cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Vibrant, fresh and flavourful, this recipe for Homemade Salsa using Fresh Tomatoes is as good as it gets! Made with few and simple ingredients, you would never guess just how easy it is to make from scratch yourself at home!

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Ripe Tomatoes (such as on-the-vine or roma), halved
  • 1 small Red Onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Jalapeńo Pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until you reach your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Let the salsa sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together before serving. Serve with tortilla chips (recipe linked below) or as a topping for tacos, burritos, or grilled meats.chopped red onions, cilantro, jalapeno and tomatoes in a food processor
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 37Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 154mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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