Fellow salsa lovers, this recipe is for you. This red salsa recipe offers fresh, authentic Mexican restaurant flavor. The best part? It’s super easy to make with six basic ingredients.
I developed this salsa for my cookbook, since my book wouldn’t have been complete without an amazing homemade salsa recipe. It took me about ten tries to get all the details just right, but man, this recipe was worth it.
I served this salsa at my birthday party and watched my friends’ eyes light up when they tasted it. Everyone asked for the recipe, so I’m sharing it on the blog for you today with all of my salsa tips and tricks.
Fresh salsa any time the craving strikes? Yes, please.
How to Make the Best Salsa
First, buy the right tomatoes. Canned fire-roasted tomatoes offer rich roasted tomato flavor, no cooking required. Since tomatoes are the main ingredient in red salsa, their flavor is key—my favorite brand is Muir Glen. Stock up and you can whip up the best homemade salsa in under 10 minutes.
Drain off some of the excess tomato juice in the can. This step ensures that you won’t end up with watery salsa.
Blitz the garlic in the food processor. That way, you don’t have to chop it by hand or dirty your garlic press.
Roughly chop the onion and jalapeño. Aim for about 1/2″ pieces. This step takes just a minute and ensures that you won’t end up with big hunks of onion or pepper.
Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor: Canned tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt.
Blend just until you reach your desired consistency. I like my salsa to have some texture to it, so I blend until the ingredients are broken into tiny pieces, but stop before it’s completely smooth.
Adjust to taste, if necessary. You might want some more lime juice or salt. I love this salsa because it offers so much flavor, but it’s not excessively salty like store-bought brands.
Want to make this salsa extra-mild? Use less jalapeño, or omit it completely. As written, this salsa is mild-to-medium, depending on the size and heat level of your jalapeño.
Want to make this salsa more spicy? Add the full jalapeño, ribs and seeds remove. To make it extra-spicy, you can include some of the jalapeño seeds, too.
Want to make this recipe for a crowd? The recipe yields 2 cups, but you can easily double or triple it. That’s assuming your food processor is big enough to handle the larger yield. I love my 11-cup Cuisinart food processor, since it handles small and large quantities like a champ (affiliate link).
Want to make this salsa with fresh tomatoes? I wish I could say that you could simply substitute raw tomatoes, but it’s not that simple. I have a roasted tomato salsa recipe in my cookbook, which I highly recommend.
No food processor? You can make this recipe in a blender, too. Just be careful not to blend the salsa past your preferred consistency.
Uses for Homemade Red Salsa
This salsa tastes so much better than store-bought salsas that you’ll never go back. It’s true restaurant-style salsa. Serve it with tortilla chips for the perfect party dip or savory snack.
This red salsa is also fantastic with:
Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! Your feedback means the world to me, and your star ratings encourage other readers to make the recipe. Thank you!
Best Red Salsa
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups
- Category: Sauce
- Cuisine: Mexican
This incredible red salsa recipe offers fresh, authentic Mexican salsa flavor. It’s so easy to make, too—you’ll need only 6 ingredients and 10 minutes. Recipe yields 2 cups; double or tripe the recipe for a crowd.
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes*
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ cup roughly chopped white onion (about ½ small onion)
- ¼ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ medium jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, more if needed
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Drain off about half of the tomato juice from the can (about ⅓ cup) and discard it.
- In a food processor, pulse the garlic to chop it more finely. Add the tomatoes and all of the remaining juice from the can. Add the onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt.
- Process the mixture until it is mostly smooth and no big chunks of tomato or onion remain, scraping down the sides as necessary. Season to taste with additional lime juice and salt, if necessary.
- Serve the salsa immediately or store it for later. This salsa keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for about 10 days.