Easy 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.
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. Like Goldilocks would say, it’s just right.
Why You Should Cook Your Salsa
When you simmer it for a few minutes it cooks off all the excess liquid from the tomatoes. Have you ever had a really watery fresh salsa? You don’t don’t have the problem when you simmer it.
Cooking it also takes the edge of 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.
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 depending on their water content you may need to simmer the salsa longer.
If the only option you have are grocery store tomatoes (which are notorious for having no flavor or personality) I would opt for cherry tomatoes. They are generally pretty decent year round, but they are on the sweeter side.
You’ll also need a medium-sized white onion, fresh cilantro, a jalapeno, salt and lime juice.
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). Except instead of boiling the tomatoes and pepper first, I like to blend them up first.
Once you blend them, pour the salsa into a skillet and bring it to a simmer. Simmer it until it’s thickened which takes about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of your skillet.
Cooking it after you blend it it just gives you more control on the thickness and texture. I recommend chilling it for several hours so the flavors have a chance to mix and mingle together.
The recipe I’m sharing is not too spicy (keep the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno if you like some heat). Use it for all the things – chips and salsa, eggs, tacos, burritos… basically everything.
Some Questions and Answers
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.
It will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator as long as you keep it in an airtight container.
The recipe as written will make approximately 1 1/2 cups but you can scale it up if you want to.
Yep! Just add a few tablespoons of water (a few at a time) until it thins out to your liking.
Grab the chips and make this easy homemade salsa. You may never go back to the jarred kind again.
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Easy Homemade Salsa
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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Keywords: homemade salsa, blender salsa, easy salsa recipe