Easy Homemade Salsa

Easy homemade salsa that’s full of fresh flavors from tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeno. It has the best consistency (not too thick and not too thin!) and is so easy to make. If you want the best chips and salsa for parties or just because you will love this recipe!

a bowl of salsa with chips

Ah, chips and salsa. So simple and satisfying, especially when you skip the jarred stuff and make your own from scratch, which is what we’re doing today.

After sharing my simple guacamole recipe it only made sense to share a salsa recipe, too. I can’t have one without the other (serious co-dependent issues there), and making both from scratch is a great way to feel amazing. It’s also a great way to impress people “Oooh, you made your own salsa? (chomp, chomp) Oooh, so good!”

This is a cooked salsa recipe made with just a handful of ingredients that you first blend up and then simmer so it’s not too thick or too thin. As Goldilocks would say, it’s just right.

🍅 Ingredients

  • Roma tomatoes
  • White onion
  • Jalapeño
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Tortilla chips for scooping!

This recipe is similar to a traditional Mexican salsa (salsa roja) ingredient-wise (although the lime juice is up for debate – some people love it, some don’t). It reminds me a lot of restaurant-style salsa – it has the best consistency!

The best tomatoes for salsa are ones that are meaty and in-season. Roma tomatoes are a good choice. If you can’t find them, you can use pretty much any kind of tomatoes, but less meaty ones will need a little bit longer cook time so your salsa isn’t too watery.

If tomatoes are out of season, I would opt for cherry tomatoes. They are generally pretty decent year-round, but they are on the sweeter side.

The recipe I’m sharing is not too spicy (keep the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno if you like some heat). If you love heat, you can swap the jalapeno for other hot peppers or try using some hot green chiles.

photo of the ingredients and a photo of the ingredients pureed in a blender.

🔪 How to Make It

First, cut the tomatoes, jalapeno, and onion into large chunks and place them in a food processor or blender. add everything else (except the lime juice) and process the ingredients until they are broken down. It should be just a little chunky.

Once you blend them, pour the salsa into a skillet and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer it until it’s thickened, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your skillet.

The longer you cook the salsa, the thicker it will be so once it reaches your desired consistency, take the pan off the heat.

You can enjoy it as soon as it’s cooked, but I recommend chilling it for several hours so the flavors fully develop. Transfer it to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and it will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Serve it with all the things – chips, eggs, chicken tacos, burrito bowls, taco salad, enchiladas… basically everything.

photo of the salsa in a small skillet

💡 Why You Should Cook Salsa

Simmering the salsa allows the excess liquid to cook off so your salsa isn’t watery. It also helps develop the flavor.

Cooking it also takes the edge off the onion. Raw onions are pungent with a sharp flavor that can easily take over not just the salsa, but the world, too. Cooking the onion after it’s blended mellows the strong flavor.

You don’t have to cook it long – just long enough to reduce it so it thickens up. You still end up with super fresh flavors, but the flavors are balanced, and the texture is perfect. You can have a batch made in less than 30 minutes.

If you want fresh tomato salsa (not cooked), I recommend making pico de Gallo. The veggies are diced, so you end up with a chunky fresh salsa. I don’t like fresh salsa that’s blended because it’s just too watery.

This homemade salsa is easy to make with fresh ingredients and has the best texture - not too thin, not too chunky, not too thick! Learn how to make it and you'll skip the store-bought kind.

❔ Recipe FAQ

Can I use canned tomatoes?

Part of the wonderfulness is using fresh tomatoes, but you can substitute canned diced tomatoes. I’ve tested this recipe with a 10-oz can of rotel with good results, but I prefer it with all fresh ingredients.

How long does it last?

It will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator as long as you keep it in an airtight container.

Can I double the recipe?

The recipe, as written, will make approximately 1 1/2 cups of salsa, but you can scale it up if you want to.

I simmered it too long, and it’s too thick – can I fix it?

Yep! Just add a few tablespoons of water (a few at a time) until it thins out to your liking.

Grab the chips and give this one a try – it’s the best homemade salsa recipe! You may never go back to the jarred kind again.

Happy salsa-making,


😍 More Homemade Salsa Recipes

📣 Do you love this recipe? I would love to know! Leave a comment below the recipe, along with your recipe star rating.


Easy Homemade Salsa

a bowl of salsa.

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Homemade salsa that’s not watery, not too thick, and full of fresh flavors from tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeno. This is a cooked salsa recipe that is ready to go in less than 30 minutes. It’s full of fresh flavors and so easy to make.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1 /2 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • 10 ounces Roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed and roughly chopped (see note)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (about a palmful)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste (see note)


  1. Place everything but the lime juice in a blender or food processor. Pulse several times until the tomatoes break down and the mixture is a little chunky. Transfer the mixture to a nonstick skillet.
  2. Heat the salsa over medium-high to high heat until it starts to bubble. Lower the heat and simmer it for 10 to 15 minutes or until it has thickened. Depending on the size of your skillet this may take more or less time. The easiest way to tell when it’s ready is to drag a spoon or spatula across the bottom of the pan. You should be able to see the bottom of the skillet for a few seconds before the salsa runs back over it.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice and stir. Transfer the salsa to an airtight container and chill it for several hours before serving, ideally overnight. This will allow the flavors to fully develop. Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups.


If you like heat, don’t remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno.

It’s best to start with less salt and add more if you think it needs it. I usually wait until the salsa has had a chance to chill in the fridge before adding more. So, before you serve it give it a taste and adjust as needed.

Recipe adapted from Mexico in My Kitchen


  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 14
  • Sugar: 1.8g
  • Sodium: 106.5mg
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.2g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Protein: 0.6g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.


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