Easy Homemade Salsa – Fresh Salsa in 5 Minutes!

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Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

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

a plate filled with restaurant style salsa and chips

5 Minute Homemade Salsa Recipe

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 5 minutes
  • yield Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • category Category: Appetizer
  • method Method: Blender
  • cuisine 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 Responses
    1. Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats

      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. 🙂

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