Easy Homemade Salsa

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This recipe for homemade salsa only requires a few ingredients and a food processor. Make it as spicy as you'd like by adding jalapenos or even switch it up with some smoked hatch chiles. Delicious to serve with chips or on tacos and quesadillas.
Servings: 4 cups
Time: 20 minutes

Easy homemade refrigerator salsa you can make in no time with a food processor and fresh tomatoes. Adjust the spice of this fresh salsa recipe by using jalapenos, or create a smoky mild flavor with smoked hatch green chiles.

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Bowl of homemade salsa topped with cilantro leaves

We eat a lot of Mexican and Southwestern dishes in our family and go through a lot of fresh salsa. Luckily in the summer, we grow many of the ingredients needed to make salsa from scratch, so I’m excited to share our family recipe for homemade tomato salsa with you!

Bowl of homemade salsa topped with cilantro leaves, and tortilla chips

What are the best tomatoes for salsa?

Generally speaking, the best tomatoes for homemade salsa recipes are paste tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are great for making homemade salsa because they have a rich flavor, and they tend to have fewer seeds and less juice.

However, I am a firm believer that you can use just about any tomato you wish to make fresh salsa. I like to use some of the heirloom tomatoes I grow in this simple garden tomato salsa recipe because we prefer the extra juice. If you like a thicker, chunkier salsa, then stick with the paste tomatoes like Roma.

Equipment needed for Fresh Salsa

There isn’t a whole lot of special equipment needed to make homemade salsa, but a few tools will definitely help the process go smoother.

To make refrigerator salsa from scratch, you’ll need:

You can still make homemade salsa without a food processor, but it will take some extra chopping. You’ll also want to process the tomatoes more by coring and removing the seeds.

birds eye view of homemade salsa ingredients: tomatoes cilantro jalapeno limes red onion

Ingredients in homemade salsa

This simple tomato salsa recipe doesn’t require a ton of ingredients and can be adjusted to your own taste preferences. You’ll need:

  • Several ripe tomatoes: The star of the show, ripe tomatoes provide a juicy and flavorful base for your salsa.
  • 2-3 jalapenos: Add some heat and spice to your salsa with three jalapeno peppers, seeds removed for milder heat or included for a spicier kick.
  • 1 large red onion: The sharpness of red onion complements the sweetness of the tomatoes and adds a pleasant crunch.
  • 1 bunch of cilantro: A bunch of fresh cilantro imparts a bright, herbaceous note that elevates the overall flavor.
  • 1 lime: Freshly squeezed lime juice balances the salsa with a tangy twist.
  • salt
  • garlic (cloves or powder)
  • cumin powder

How to Make Homemade Fresh Salsa

Begin by washing the ripe tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro under cold running water. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Step 1: Roughly chop the tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeno. For an extra spicy homemade salsa, you can leave the seeds and membranes in. If you’d like just a little bit of spice, omit the seeds and membranes. For no spice, use a mild pepper such as green pepper.

Step 2: Place the chopped-up vegetables in the bowl of a food processor.

roughly chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, red onion in the bowl of a food processor.

Step 3: Give the food processor a few pulses to chop the vegetables a little further. You don’t want to over-process at this step.

Lightly mixed tomato, onion and jalapeno in the bowl of a food processor

Step 4: Throw in a handful or two of cilantro to your taste preference. We love cilantro in our home, but some don’t like the taste. If this is you, feel free to omit it. If you have a lot of leftover cilantro, read all about how I keep it fresh to last longer.

Step 5: Add in the salt, garlic cloves (or powder), cumin, and juice from 1 lime.

salsa ingredients in the bowl of food processor

Step 6: Process until you reach the desired consistency you prefer for homemade salsa. We like our salsa to be a bit less chunky than some.

finished salsa processed in the bowl of a food processor

This homemade salsa recipe makes about two-quart mason jars full. Store the salsa jars in the refrigerator with a tight lid and you’ll have fresh refrigerator salsa that is good for 2 weeks. Ours usually doesn’t last that long though!

We love using fresh tortilla chips from the grocery store bakery to dip into fresh salsa, but you can use any tortilla chip you’d prefer. If you need a low-carb option, check out this recipe for Low Carb Tortilla Chips.

Homemade salsa with a hand holding tortilla chip dipped in the salsa bowl.

For a smokier profile, try roasting the tomatoes, jalapenos, and red onion before blending them. This technique enhances the depth of flavor and adds a unique twist to your salsa. We have even used smoked hatch peppers that were smoked on our pit boss for about 1.5 hours. It added such a great flavor to the fresh salsa. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Other recipes to enjoy with this homemade salsa recipe

Don’t forget to pin it!

Homemade Salsa

This recipe for homemade salsa only requires a few ingredients and a food processor. Make it as spicy as you'd like by adding jalapenos or even switch it up with some smoked hatch chiles. Delicious to serve with chips or on tacos and quesadillas.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Inactive Time:10 minutes
Total Time:20 minutes


  • 5-6 ripe tomatoes roma for the best flavor
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 Jalapenos seeds removed (optional for heat)
  • Cilantro to taste
  • 1 tsp Salt or to taste
  • 1 juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 3 tsp garlic powder or 3-4 cloves


  • Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion and jalapeno and add them to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse in the food processor a few times to get the vegetables diced.
  • Add in cilantro, garlic, salt, cumin and lime juice.
  • Pulse until everything is mixed and chopped to your desired consistency.
  • Give the salsa a taste to see if more salt or cilantro is needed to your preference.
  • Spoon the homemade salsa into 2 pint jars.
  • Keep the jars refrigerated and eat within 2 weeks. d


For a spicier homemade salsa, leave the jalapeno seeds and membranes in.
For less spice, decrease the amount of jalapeno, or don't add any at all.
For a nice smoky flavor, consider smoking the tomatoes first, or add in smoke hatch green chiles.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 44kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 592mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1369IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 44kcal
Author: Amanda


  1. Thanks so much for linking up at Teach Me Tuesday. Your post was greatly appreciated! I hope you will come back and visit tonight at 8pm CST.

    Have a wonderful day!!

  2. This looks so great! And all this time, I’ve been pulling those little leaves off my fresh cilantro! I had no idea you could just chop the stems up too. I think I’ll be making lots more salsa now! Thanks for sharing. Pinning.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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