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Easy Homemade Salsa – Fresh Salsa in 5 Minutes!

This 5 Minute Homemade Salsa recipe is so easy to make – all you need is a blender! It tastes just like the salsa you would get at an authentic Mexican restaurant. I guarantee it will be your new go-to salsa!

Easy Homemade Mexican Salsa

There are a few staples in our house that are non-negotiable and homemade salsa is one of them. Chips and salsa is a way of life when it comes to Texans! I could literally put these salsa on almost everything. It’s also great to have on hand as a snack throughout the day. Although, truth be told it takes a lot of self control to make sure it’s just a snack and doesn’t turn into a meal. 

What can I say? I like Salsa. My favorite is the kind you are served at a good quality Mexican Restaurant, which is sometimes called salsa roja. I could sit and eat the entire bowl by myself. There’s just something about the taste of it that is way different than any store bought brand.

And guess what? I’ve nailed the flavor! You won’t believe how easy it is to make! This salsa is great to drizzle over ground turkey tacos and definitely breakfast burritos! And of course serving fresh salsa with tortilla chips and a homemade margarita is a classic combo.

ingredients for fresh homemade salsa

What is the difference between salsa and Pico de Gallo?

Even though at it’s basic state both salsa and Pico de gallo, also called salsa fresca, have essentially the same ingredients. The main difference is that Pico de gallo is a chunkier version. The ingredients for pico de gallo are chopped with a knife then toss. As opposed to salsa, where it is blended  in a blender or food processor giving salsa a more liquid-y texture. Both are equally delicious – just depends on what you’re looking for.

Ingredients for Fresh Salsa Roja

  • Whole Tomatoes – I like to use San Marzano for this part.
  • Fire Roasted Tomatoes – You could use whole for this as well instead of the diced that the recipe calls for, but make sure that they are fire roasted. The flavor from the fire roasted totally takes this salsa over the top!
  • Garlic – Everything is better with fresh garlic.
  • Onion – I like to use yellow onion with this salsa.
  • Red Pepper – I know, it’s weird but honestly the red pepper gives a slight sweetness to this salsa instead of adding honey or sugar. You’ll love it!
  • Cilantro – Using fresh cilantro gives it that fresh zingy flavor that really brightens this recipe up.
  • Jalapenos – You can’t make a salsa without jalapeños. Learn how to adjust the spice level of your salsa below.
  • Green chilies
  • Seasoning: Season. Season. Season. I add salt, pepper and cumin to this salsa.

ingredients for homemade salsa in a blender

How to Make Salsa

There are a couple of methods to making your own homemade restaurant style salsa. I find that the easiest is making it in a blender. A food processor would work as well and may give you a “chunkier” salsa.

  1. Add ingredients to blender: In your blender at the fire-roasted tomatoes, whole tomatoes, garlic cloves, green chilies, fresh cilantro, onion, jalapeño, cumin, half of a red pepper, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Blend until all ingredients are smooth, or until your desired consistency.
  3. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 7 days.

fresh homemade salsa in a blender

Tips for the Best Salsa Roja

  • Use the Pulse: Because some of the tomatoes are already diced in this recipe, using the pulse feature on your blender or food processor will leave you with a thicker salsa. You can always blend it more if you want it smoother.
  • The type of tomatoes you use matter! For this recipe salsa I use canned tomatoes. I like to use a mixture of fire roasted tomatoes and whole tomatoes for differing flavors. Plus I love the fire roasted flavor the tomatoes give the salsa, that perfect hint of smokiness. If you prefer to use fresh, I would use Roma tomatoes (seeds removed) or a San Marzano. I would also recommend roasting them in the oven first before blending, or blending them fresh and then adding to a saucepan to cook a little bit.
  • Adjust Spice Level: I’m not sure if you know this but the seeds and membranes of a jalapeño are where most of the heat is held. So for a milder salsa, remove all of the seeds and membranes. Likewise for a spicy salsa, leave them all in! I like to slice my jalapeño in half. Then I keep the membrane and seeds in one half and remove them from the other.
  • Let it Rest: Just like a good soup, the longer it sits the better. So, if you really want to taste all the flavors I’d recommend letting it sit for at least one hour before diving in. This will allow all the flavors to meld together giving you the best salsa ever.

Pouring salsa into a bowl surrounded by chips

How to Store Homemade Salsa

The best way to store homemade salsa is in an air tight container in the refrigerator. If stored properly, this Restaurant Style Salsa will last 1 to 2 weeks.

Can I Freeze Salsa?

YES! I would put the salsa in a freezer safe storage bag, lay flat and store in freezer. If stored like this, it should last for 3 to 4 months. The texture might be a little different, but the flavor will still be the same.

A round platter of tortilla chips with a smaller bowl of salsa in the center garnished with lime wedges and fresh cilantro

I cannot wait for you to try this recipe. It’s honestly one of my go to’s during the week and DEFINITELY a must when we have people over for a little mexican dinner party! Ahem. Cinco de Mayo IS coming up soon! 

Bon Appetit friends!

What Goes with Salsa?

a hand with a chip scooping homemade restaurant style salsa

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a plate filled with restaurant style salsa and chips

5 Minute Homemade Salsa Recipe

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Easy 5 Minute Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa perfect for the Salsa lover who need to have it NOW! Made in the blender, this simple salsa recipe tastes just like the ones you find at a Mexican restaurant. 


  • 15 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 15 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed (remove membranesand seeds, if you want less heat)
  • half of a red pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper


  1. Place fire-roasted tomatoes, whole tomatoes, garlic cloves, green chilies, fresh cilantro, onion, jalapeño, cumin, half of a red pepper, salt, and black pepper into a blender.
  2. Blend until all ingredients are smooth, or till your desired consistency.
  3. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 7 days.


Recipe slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Keywords: homemade salsa recipe, how to make salsa, fresh salsa recipe, salsa fresca, best salsa recipe, easy salsa, mexican salsa, salsa roja

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44 comments on “Easy Homemade Salsa – Fresh Salsa in 5 Minutes!”

    1. Whoops.. sorry about that Jody. I used two 15 oz. cans, but you could totally use regular canned tomatoes in this recipe. I just love the flavor from the fire roasted. 🙂

  1. What a fun looking trip! I shouldn’t be looking at food while I’m hungry…lol. I so want to eat this right off of the screen. On a scale of 1-10 – how hot is this? My kids won’t eat anything too spicy.

    1. Thanks Erlene! I would say on a scale of 1-10 it is probably a 5-6, but I included the seeds. If you want it with less heat I would omit the seeds and do less of the jalapeno then test it. Hope that helps.

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    Lisa @ Cooking with Curls

    I love love Napa! We made the mistake of driving ourselves around to all of the different wineries. I won’t be doing that next time. 😉 I love this salsa Krista. I have never made it with canned tomatoes before, but I will next time!!

    1. haha… yeah definitely don’t do that next time! So much better when you don’t have to worry about that. 🙂 Thanks so much for the sweet comments Lisa, I wasn’t sure how the whole canned tomato thing would turn out either. I usually use fresh, but the fire roasted canned were awesome in this!

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    Julie @ This Gal Cooks

    First of all, I love love LOVE your photos and your vacation story! What a lovely time you had!
    Second, I LOVE this salsa. Does it get any better than a homemade restaurant style salsa? 🙂

    1. Awww… thanks Julie! So glad you liked the photos. I had a blast taking them and everything there is just so beautiful! And no, nothing is better than restaurant style salsa!

  4. The Napa pics are beautiful Krista – you and your hubs look adorable:) So glad you had a great time and thanks for sharing the pics with us 🙂 This salsa looks amazing too, pinning – great recipe and can’t wait to try it:)

    1. Aww… thanks Kelly! We definitely had a blast and can’t wait to go back! Thanks for the pin my friend!

  5. Avatar photo

    This looks amazing, Krista…..and so does Napa! JEALOUS!! Although being there pregnant would be no fun, anyway. I’ll just keep telling myself that 🙂 Pinning this recipe and can’t WAIT to try it!!

    1. Yeah, my sister in law who went actually was. She still had a blast. You can taste it and spit it out. But I agree, its way more fun if you can drink it. 🙂 Soon enough my dear.. soon enough. 🙂 Thanks so much for pinning sweet friend!

  6. OK, I’m packing my bag… I wanta go to Napa NOW.
    Ah yes, fire roasted tomatoes way to go on on the salsa. Thanks for bringing it to foodie friday.

  7. Avatar photo

    Your trip looks like it was fabulous! And this salsa looks amazing. — I love making my own homemade salsa especially in the summer, so I will definitely have to put your recipe on my must-make list! pinned.

    1. It so was Sarah, and thank you! Homemade salsa is totally the best way to go, you can so taste the different and it far blows the store bought out of the water!

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    Chris @ Shared Appetite

    Asheley and I just went to Napa Valley this past summer and had a blast! We ate at Bottega as well. So good! Glad you had a great time!

    And this salsa looks amazing! Definitely going to be trying it… pinned 🙂

    1. I bet, you guys seem pretty similar to Mike and I. Clearly, you even picked the same restaurant! 🙂

      Thanks for the pin Chris!

  9. Avatar photo
    Jen @ Yummy Healthy Easy

    What a fun trip!!! You guys are darling! I’ve never been to Napa! It looks like such a romantic trip. This salsa is exactly the thing my husband loves. His very favorite thing in the whole world is chips and salsa. Pinned! Thanks Krista!

    1. Thanks Jen! I can’t believe you live in CA and have never been there! Crazy girl! You and the hubs need to plan a weekend trip together. 🙂 Thanks for the pin girl, hope the husband approves!

  10. Avatar photo

    Made this, Love It! thank you for sharing! Love your Pictures! Love your Blog!

  11. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful trip, Krista! It was much needed I’m sure. I, too, wanna hop on the party bus! I’ve never been to Napa but hopefully that will change soon. Love seeing pictures of you and the hubby. What a beautiful couple ;). Tim and I went out on a date this past Friday night (first time in more than a year I think..he works the evening shifts) which involved lots of chips, salsa, and margarita of course. I can’t wait to make this salsa at home! Hope you have a blessed week.

    1. Oh… evening shift plus your crazy intern schedule = no bueno! Glad you were able to go out on a date night, sometimes just that one night can help so much!

      We had a blast, and I know for sure that you and Tim would love it. It is foodie heaven. 🙂

  12. Avatar photo
    Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods

    Krista, your photos are beautiful! I love the wine country. Everything is so lovely there.
    This salsa looks delicious! I like canned tomatoes in blended salsa. Makes it super easy to make salsa any time of the year 😀

    1. oohh, thanks Cindy. That means alot! 🙂 Wine country is absolutely one of my favorite places in the US so far, can’t wait to go back. 🙂

      Canned tomatoes in salsa has totally won me over!

  13. Avatar photo
    Zainab @ Blahnik Baker

    Napa valley is on my to go list!! Your vacation looked so relaxing and fun. Beautiful photos. This salsa looks like what I ruin every meal with at mexican restaurants. So delicious!!

    1. ohh.. you and the hubs need to go for sure. You would love it, its foodie town. Better yet, how about we all meet there! 🙂 I’m pretty sure that Mike and I would have a blast with you and your hubs! 🙂

  14. I’ll have to try the can approach. I tried roasting my fresh tomatoes, it comes out too runny… Have you made anything with fresh tomatoes you were happy with??

    1. Yeah I usually like roasting mine. I have a roasted tomato salsa that I really like and a fresh pico de gallo recipe on here that is really good to. The canned approach gave it that “chunky salsa” feel especially if you drain both the cans before blending them.

  15. Ah yes – Napa is a lovely place. Looks like you were able to experience all the wonderful things it has to offer. LOVING this recipe- I have been wanting to make my own salsa for a while now.

    1. Yes, seriously one of my favorite places ever now. Can’t wait to go back! 🙂

      Gina, once you make your own you will never go back. It tastes so much better and you know exactly what is going into the salsa, instead of all those “add ins” that help with shelf life.

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    Melanie @ Carmel Moments

    Wow. Happy birthday Carson!
    Awesome photos. Napa looks gorgeous. Sounds like you had a great time together.
    We love salsa. But now I’m a salsa snob. I only like home made. This looks perfect! Hope to give it a try soon. 🙂

    1. Thanks Melanie, napa was seriously unbelievable. Can’t wait to go back.

      I am a total salsa snob too, once you have homemade you will never go back! 🙂

  17. Avatar photo
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    Love the Napa pics! Napa has been on my list of places to go. The scenery is beautiful! I also love restaurant style salsa, and this recipe looks great, Krista!

    1. OH.. it is gorgeous Ashley. You would seriously love it, plus all the food there is awesome. If you go, go to Osford Market its a fun foodie place. 🙂