Are you sitting down? Because I’m sharing the best homemade salsa recipe, with you today! If you’re a salsa person and I know you are, you have got to give this delicious salsa recipe a try. The bright, fresh salsa dip is absolutely irresistible! It’s loaded with delicious, vibrant flavor and it comes together so easy in less than 5 minutes.

homemade salsa served in a small white bowl with a spoon

Tortilla chips and salsa dip is a staple in the Lee household. Especially, for my husband, it’s an every day occurrence. There are a few store-bought brands he’ll eat, but nothing quite compares to the deliciousness of his homemade salsa recipe. It’s so easy to make and one of the most popular recipes on this site, with good reason!

My husband loves salsa SO much that every year he plants a full garden to support his salsa habit. Ha! He plants the onions, jalapeños and, of course, the tomatoes. Garden fresh tomatoes are simply the best and they really take this salsa to the next level.

There are tons of homemade salsa recipes, so why should you choose this one to make?

My husband has been perfecting this recipe for years and we’ve been told by everyone that tastes it, that it’s the best salsa they’ve ever tried! It’s also the ultimate condiment – it’s quick to whip up, healthy, and packed with flavor.

Salsa is so delicious on tacos, perfect on a piece of grilled chicken and I really love it on eggs! This homemade salsa recipe is a classic that never gets old. It’s fresh, tasty and very easy to make. It also tastes WAY better than any pre-packaged salsa you’ll find at the grocery store. So, let’s get to the details!

homemade salsa served with tortilla chips

what are the best tomatoes to use for homemade salsa?

There is seriously nothing like tomatoes fresh from the garden! If you know, you know! I highly recommend using either garden tomatoes or tomatoes from a farmer’s market or tomato stand. You truly do not know good salsa until you’ve tasted garden fresh salsa.

I know that others will tell you, fresh tomatoes can make your salsa too watery because of the high water content. This is never an issue for us, but after coarsely chopping your tomatoes, before adding them to the food processor, let them sit in a colander for about 10 minutes to drain any excess liquid.

If you must use canned tomatoes, I would suggest substituting the 6 tomatoes for about 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Drain off about half of the tomato juice from each can (about ⅓ cup for each) and discard it.

As far as canned tomatoes, I like Muir Glen brand fire-roasted tomatoes best. They’re organic, come in BPA-free cans, and offer the best flavor I’ve found in canned tomatoes. You can use regular diced tomatoes, but your salsa won’t have the same depth of flavor.

ingredients needed for homemade salsa

This recipe has all the classic salsa ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need to make this salsa recipe at home:

  • Tomatoes. Garden tomatoes are the star of the show in this salsa, but if you’re not lucky enough to have a garden full of tomatoes, I suggest buying your tomatoes from a farmer’s market. You’ll be surprised what a difference in flavor it makes. If you’re looking for a roasted flavor, try my Roasted Salsa Recipe and if you only have cherry tomatoes on hand, you’ll love this Fire Roasted Salsa Recipe.
  • Jalapeños. Use as many or as few as you like. Want more spice? Leave the seeds in your jalapeños.
  • Onion. I used red onions, here, but actually we typically use white onions. Either way, your salsa will be delicious!
  • Garlic. A must in homemade salsa! If you don’t have fresh, you can use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder with good results.
  • Cilantro. We personally LOVE cilantro, but I know some people think it tastes like soap. If you’re unlucky enough to not like cilantro, simply leave it out. This recipe will work just fine without it.
  • Lemon or lime juice. My husband prefers lemon juice in this salsa dip, but I know many people favor lime in their salsa – either works great.
  • Cumin. We love the warm and earthy flavor cumin adds to the salsa.
  • Salt. Add a bit of salt and then taste the salsa. Continue to add more as needed. Salt really brings all of the flavors together.

fresh salsa ingredients - tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro and onion

how to make homemade salsa?

Making homemade salsa is super easy with the use of a blender or food processor. I always use a food processor, so that the ingredients are more evenly dispersed, but a blender will do the trick too. Pulse it just a few times, we want the onion, garlic, tomatoes and cilantro to get chopped up, but still be chunky. And you may need to pulse, stir and then pulse again, to get all ingredients evenly diced. Taste and then add more cumin, salt and lemon/lime juice, as needed. Transfer to a mason jar with a lid or another airtight container and store in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy.

This recipe makes a large batch – plenty to fill tacos, top omelets, mix into salads and for chip dipping. Our go-to chip for pairing with this salsa is Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips (affiliate link). They have the perfect amount of salt and flavor. Even our picky kids love them! This is not sponsored, it’s just a favorite. We always grab a big bag at Costco, but they can also be found at most grocery stores.

salsa ingredients in a food processor

tips for the best salsa

Here are a few quick tips for making this salsa recipe perfect every single time:

  • Adding the ingredients to the food processor. Coarsely chop ingredients before adding them to the food processor. I suggest adding the garlic, jalapeño and onion first. This ensures that they will all get chopped up evenly and the tomatoes won’t get too watery.
  • Adjust to taste. The best thing about homemade salsa is that you can customize it and make it your own. The measurements are just a guide – add more or less of the specific ingredients as you prefer. Start with a small amount of salt and cumin and add more to your preferred taste. Leave out jalapeño seeds, if you’re sensitive to spice and add more jalapeño to add more kick to this recipe. Use lemon or lime. We usually use whichever we have on hand and love both. Start off with a small amount and add more later until the salsa has the flavor you’re going for.
  • Allow it to sit. Fresh salsa tastes best if you let it sit for at least 20 minutes and up to a day before you plan to serve it, so that the flavors can come together and intensify.
  • My tools. I’ve had this Cuisinart food processor (affiliate link) for years and even after many batches of nut butter grinding, it’s still going strong.

homemade salsa for canning

Looking for a salsa recipe for canning? This salsa recipe works great for canning! Last summer, my husband canned a ton of jars of this salsa and we had fresh garden tomato salsa all through the fall. We bought this canning kit and these large glass jars (affiliate links) from Amazon and he watched several YouTube videos for instructions. He kept the recipe the same other than the canning part. In the comments, below, you’ll see that readers have also had success with using this homemade salsa for canning.

salsa blended in a food processor

how long does homemade salsa last?

This homemade salsa will keep well for up to about 2 weeks. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure not to let it sit out too long (over an hour or so) at room temperature.

You can also freeze the salsa for up to 4 months. Store it in a freezer-safe container and then wrap it with foil.

is homemade salsa healthy?

Homemade salsa is a great choice for a healthy diet. It’s loaded with fresh veggies and is low in calories, fat free, low sodium and low carb. I often use fresh salsa as a low calorie substitute for dressing on my taco salad, and I serve it as a topping for lean proteins.

uses for this fresh salsa recipe

This is true restaurant-style salsa and you’re going to LOVE it! Of course, we enjoy with our favorite tortilla chips for the perfect appetizer or savory snack. My husband eats this as a snack every day after work! 🙂

This fresh salsa is also incredible with:

salsa recipe served in a bowl with tortilla chips

This easy homemade salsa recipe makes a great dip for tortilla chips and is the perfect topping for tacos and burritos! It takes just minutes to make and tastes so much better than the store-bought kind.

more delicious dips to try:

If you try this homemade salsa recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of homemade salsa

watch the video to see how easy homemade salsa is to make! 


homemade salsa served in a small white bowl with a spoon
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Best Damn Salsa Ever!

This homemade salsa recipe is absolutely irresistible! It's loaded with delicious, vibrant flavor and it comes together in less than 5 minutes. 
Author: Kim


  • 4 small jalapeño peppers*, (leave the seeds in for an extra kick)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 6 tomatoes of varying sizes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, (about 1/2 lemon, juiced)


  • Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. I like to add in the jalapeños, onion and garlic first and then the cilantro and tomatoes, so the tomatoes do not get too liquid-y. Pulse about 10 or so times and until all ingredients are combined and diced, but be sure to stop before the salsa becomes too watery. However, you can pulse longer if you do like your salsa with more liquid.
  • Taste the salsa and add more ingredients as desired. I would advise stirring in the extra ingredients, not pulsing in the food processor. The salsa will become too watery, quickly.
  • Transfer to a bowl and enjoy!
  • I prefer to refrigerate salsa for 1 day prior to serving to allow the flavors to intensify. Salsa will keep for about 1 week in an airtight container or jar in the fridge; however, it's never lasted that long in this household.


*4 jalapeños may be too much for some. Consider adding fewer, if you are sensitive to heat.
**I STRONGLY suggest garden tomatoes or tomatoes from a farmer's market to really make this salsa the BEST! The Early Girl variety of tomatoes are our favorites. We also like the 1015Y Texas Super Sweet Onions.
***The salsa in the photos looks a lot like Pico de Gallo. Our salsa typically looks more like what you see in the video - slightly more pulsed than how it appears in the photos.
Using canned tomatoes:
If you must use canned tomatoes, I would suggest substituting the 6 tomatoes for about 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Drain off about half of the tomato juice from each can (about ⅓ cup for each) and discard it.
I like Muir Glen brand fire-roasted tomatoes best. They’re organic, come in BPA-free cans, and offer the best flavor I’ve found in canned tomatoes. You can use regular diced tomatoes, but your salsa won’t have the same depth of flavor.
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 50kcal, Carbohydrates: 10.4g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 0.3g, Sodium: 501.8mg, Potassium: 83.4mg, Fiber: 2.1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1370IU, Vitamin C: 67.8mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 1.4mg

Did you make this recipe?

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This post was originally published June 2015. It was republished July 2021 with new content.