Restaurant-Style Salsa

This Restaurant-Style Salsa recipe only takes about 10 minutes to make, it’s easy to customize (to make it extra spicy, smoky or tangy if you’d like), and it’s SO irresistibly delicious.

Happy Dos De Mayo!

Which also means…happy birthday to me! ? ? ?

My birthday feels a little extra-special this year because it also happens to mark exactly one more month until my wedding. (Agghhh…can’t wait!) But every year, my birthday also happens to conveniently fall on the week of Cinco De Mayo, which I must say I couldn’t have planned better myself. Mexican food on my birthday for life!! (Literally.)

Last year for my birthday, I had all of my friends over for an epic chips-and-salsa-a-thon, which was downright dreamy. Instead of cooking, Barclay and I drove around town all afternoon and picked up a dozen or so different salsas from our favorite Mexican restaurants. And then we whipped up an enormous batch of my classic margaritas, opened up a zillion bags of chips, and had all of our friends over for the most delicious taste test ever. Totally my kind of birthday.

This year’s plans are TBD, thanks to my sweet fiancé who knows how much I love a good surprise. But I did go ahead and whip up a batch of this salsa recipe to have on hand for my bday and Cinco De Mayo this week, which I’ve already been putting to good use. And hey — since I don’t eat many sweets or crave a traditional birthday cake anymore — this seemed like my kind of birthday treat recipe to share on the blog today. ?

Alright, so about this salsa recipe!

It’s actually one that I shared on the blog a few years ago. But — like many of the recipes around here lately while I’ve been busy with wedding planning — it’s one that I recently re-photographed and updated to share with those of you who might have missed it the first time around, because I’m convinced that everyone needs this recipe in their lives.

Seriously, it’s been my go-to homemade salsa recipe for years. And for someone who makes homemade salsa nearly once a week, that’s sayin’ something. ?

But the best part? It’s incredibly quick and easy to make! Also, since it uses canned fire-roasted tomatoes (gotta use the fire-roasted), it’s a really accessible recipe to make year-round, even beyond your regional tomato season.

To make it, simply toss all of your ingredients together in a food processor or blender…

…puree until the salsa reaches your desired texture…

…then taste and season as needed.

If you’d like a smokier salsa, I strongly recommend adding in a chipotle pepper or two in adobo sauce. If you’d like a spicier salsa, you can add in an extra jalapeño (or just add in the seeds from the original one). If you’d like a tangier salsa, you can’t go wrong with extra lime juice in my opinion. And as always, don’t be afraid to add in extra salt to kick up the flavor if needed!

Then, once your salsa is all seasoned and ready to go, partay like it’s yo birthday and DIVE IN.

Seriously, I’ve made this recipe probably hundreds of times, and still never grow tired of it. So if you need some chips and salsa in your life this week — as I believe everyone always does — I can’t recommend it enough.

Enjoy, amigos!

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Restaurant-Style Salsa

This restaurant-style salsa recipe is easy to make, and full of amazing fresh flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans fire-roasted tomatoes, drained if you like a thicker salsa
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 bunch (about 2 cups loosely-packed) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed (and seeded, if you want less heat)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth, or your desired consistency is reached. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  2. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Optional modifications:

  • If you want it extra spicy, add in the entire jalapeño with seeds, or even add in two jalapeños.  (Or if you want it less spicy, you can leave out the jalapeño seeds, or omit the jalapeño entirely.)
  • If you want it extra smoky, add in 1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce.
  • If you want it extra fresh and tangy, add in extra lime juice.
All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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184 comments on “Restaurant-Style Salsa”

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  1. Have you made this with jalapenos from a jar? and if so, what would the conversion be? Fresh jalapenos are not a staple item at our small town grocery store. i know they carry the jarred ones, but i’ve never used them to know the hot factor. this recipe looks amazing, thank you for sharing!

    • Sure, you could use jarred jalapenos. I would start with half the amount (maybe just about a tablespoon or two), and add more if you’d like.

  2. I always fill up on the chips and salsa before my meal arrives and end up leaving miserable and stuffed. Every. Time. Never fails. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

    Love this recipe, but girl, you’re crazy. TWO JALAPENOS? I put a tiny sliver of jalapeno in mine and that’s all I can handle. ;)

  3. I think the chip quality is almost as important as the salsa! What brand do you have pictured? They look yummy!

  4. I just have to say that you have some of the most GORGEOUS pictures that I have ever seen on a blog! You consistently make me VERY hungry! ;)

  5. This is gorgeous!! I love the color and yes to the TWO jalapenos! :)

  6. Love the flavours of this. We’ve given up chips of all kinds for Lent (goodness only knows why…) but I can’t wait to dive into this plate as soon as it’s over!

  7. I am guilty of all of those ;) Chips and salsa are my favorite! I’ll definitely be trying this. I love spicy things, so I’ll be adding both of those jalapenos in!

  8. You rock! Thank you soooooooooo much for bringing such tasty recipe ideas to us!!!

  9. Homemade salsa rocks! Gorgeous photos, Ali!

  10. Looks delicious. Adding lime or lemon juice will give it great flavor.

  11. Chips and salsa are the best! Only made better with a bowl of guacamole on the side, too :)

  12. Great recipe! Any suggestions on using fresh tomatoes? We get TONS from our garden and I would love to whip them into yummy salsa all summer!

  13. I love salsa and I always order more than a round of it when I’m eating at restaurant. Thanks for sharing your recipe, it looks and sounds so flavorful and refreshing!

  14. I actually think I could live on chips and dip if I wanted to, I’m obsessed!!

  15. Ali, I live in KC as well and am curious as to which Mexican restaurant you think has the best salsa?

    • Hey Lindsey! Small world!! Actually, if I were to pick a favorite (hard to do), I’d say the “medium” salsa at Burrito Bros in the River Market. It’s not as spicy as I tend to go, but I think that the flavor absolutely can’t be beat. I could drink it! ;)

    • I’ve heard great things about that place but have never tried it, will have to hit it up soon! I do like the spicy as well, but always appreciate good flavor of course.

  16. Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  17. This recipe is definitely making me crave salsa and chips! Yum!

    http://lifeandcity.tumblr.com

  18. Absolutely luv it,!
    It will be a family recipe forever! = )

  19. Great pictures! Looks really tasty. Love how you use it in the slow cooker too. Was just starting to dig out recipes for cinco de mayo. Thanks!

  20. Oh.My.Goodness….this recipe….AMAZING! As I was scarfing down down some chips and salsa just last night I was thinking that I needed to make some at home and then I saw this, it’s a sign, now i need to make this recipe asap!

  21. Just to clarify, what size cans of tomatoes are you using for this recipe? I’m guessing they’re around 16 ounces if the yield is 4 cups of salsa.

  22. Oh my. I have a serious addiction to salsa. Literally cannot live without it. Your photography is stunning, I LOVE following your blog – PINNING this!!

  23. It looks delicious!!

  24. Yup, totally end up asking for round 2 of chips and salsa when we are out. But I swear its my husbands fault… hehe.. :) Can’t wait to try this restaurant style salsa Ali, sounds awesome.

  25. How many ounces are the canned tomatoes?

  26. I am a big fan of homemade salsa and tortilla chips. I am going to try your recipe. And also thanks for sharing your Instagram, I am a follower now :)

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  28. Sounds and looks delicious! What size cans of fire roasted tomatoes?

  29. Ali, Your lighting on this is amazing. I just love what you have been doing with your photos lately. It is so unexpected and different. It is like a breath of fresh air! I feel very inspired.

  30. Oh, how I love homemade restaurant style salsa. Your recipe is very similar to what I make. I always add lime juice, smoked paprika, and a little chipotle powder. So good!!!!!

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  32. My goodness I’m so glad I’m not the only one who eats too many chips before the meal comes! I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect restaurant salsa recipe.. trying this!

    Really loving your blog, by the way!!

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  35. Looks super yummy! Do you have a favorite brand of canned tomatoes? I will try and look for the fire roasted ones!

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  37. I just made this salsa. I used 1 whole jalepeno without the seeds. It is delishious! Must different than when I make salsa with fresh tomatoes from the garden. Thanks! It will be a standby in our house!

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  40. I am full out addicted to restaurant salsa. I’ll go out to eat just for that reason! So glad I found this recipe. I just made it and it was delicious! However, the cilantro is too much for my liking. I used leaves only (am I supposed to do that?) and ended up taking out about 1/4-1/3 cup because it looked like a bit much in the blender. I also used a bit more onion and half a jalapeño. I will be making this again!! Thanks so much! :)

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  43. Awesome recipe …..I halved it and made an extra spicy version for me and a not so spicy version for everyone else …..delicious!!!

  44. Great recipe! The one I usually use is VERY close to this, but I keep the sugar out. Takes it from “mmm, this is good”, to “I am eating the whole thing and making more. tonight.” Ha!

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  46. Ali,after reading all the comments, I can see everyone understands or knows what is fire-roasted tomatoes, I am a Canadian, I don’t seem to find this kind in here. Would you please give me more details about this product, like the brand name, so when I head to Bellingham, Oregon, I can look it up?

    • Hi Edna,

      Absolutely. In the USA, fire-roasted tomatoes are available next to the traditional canned tomatoes. They just have a bit more flavor since they are roasted and a little charred. Good luck finding some! (If not, the salsa tastes great with traditional canned tomatoes too.) :)

      ~Ali

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  48. Made this with regular tomatoes, drained, and half the cumins because i don’t love cumins so much, and a squirt of lime, and hands down best salsa i have tried! Even better than Ree’s drummond salsa.

  49. I am overflowing with fresh tomatoes! How many should I use to make this salsa with fresh tomatoes?

    Thanks.