Fresh tomato salsa is one of my appetizer favs! You just can't beat a healthy homemade salsa made with fresh ingredients, perfectly balance with salt and lemon, scooped over a crunchy tortilla chip. This easy and refreshing salsa recipe comes together quickly so you and your friends can get to the real reason why you're making salsa. To pair with some original margaritas on the rocks, of course.Jump to Recipe
Homemade chunky salsa is one of the first things I learned how to make back when I was first learning how to cook. With that being said, anyone can make this recipe. Once I learned how to perfect my salsa recipe, I could never look at store-bought jar salsa the same again. I mean, homemade salsa is just so much better!
Fresh tomato salsa is always a great go-to when in need of a dish for a pot-luck, backyard cook out, or Summer get together, since it is inexpensive to make and everyone loves fresh salsa!
To make salsa, you'll just need a few tools. Below are examples of some great options on what to use to make your salsa game a snap:
Prepping the Produce:
- To prep the produce by roughly chopping the tomatoes and onions, a good chef knife and cutting board will do the trick. A tool to use to really speed this step up is to use a vegetable chopper. Plus, a vegetable chopper helps prevent your fingers from smelling like onions.
- A citrus squeezer eases the job getting every last drop of juice out of your lemon.
Blending the Salsa:
- It is preferable to blend salsa in a food processor to easily keep a chunky texture. A blender can also be used, but try to avoid puréeing the salsa.
- Tomatoes: Over the years, I've made salsa with many tomato variations. From Roma, to beef steak, to vine ripe tomatoes, you can make salsa from just about any medium to large size tomato that you have on hand. What's more important than the type of tomato you use, is the freshness of the tomato. Make sure you use firm tomatoes in your salsa. They are easier to cut and hold more flavor.
- Onions & Garlic: Just like the tomatoes, there is not a certain type of onion or garlic that has to be used to make delicious salsa. Just use what you have on hand or what is available to you.
- Cilantro: When available, I opt for organic cilantro, since leafy produce is known for having high pesticide residue.
- Salt & Crushed Pepper Flakes: The only two items needed from your seasoning and spice cabinet to balance out the salsa flavor and add a little kick.
- Lemon Juice: And lastly, lemon juice brings in the much-needed acidic flavor in salsa. You can either use lemon juice from a jar or the juice from a freshly squeezed lemon.
See recipe card for quantities.
Prepare the ingredients by roughly chopping the tomatoes, onions and garlic. Place the ingredients into a blender or food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend in one to two second pulses until the desired texture is reached. Taste the mixture and add additional salt if needed.
Serve the fresh salsa with tortilla chips. For an elevated appetizer or snack, with queso or guacamole.
Some other ways to enjoy this chunky salsa is as a topping over cilantro lime rice, grilled fish or chicken tacos. It can also be used as a dressing replacement in a Mexican style salad.
For a sweet and savory salsa duo, pair the fresh tomato salsa with a sweeter peach salsa. That way, there will be a little something for everyone.
Salsa Making Tips
- Tomatoes and Onion Ratio: Stick to a two to one tomato and onion ration while making salsa to ensure the salsa is not overpowered by an onion flavor. Always have double the amount of tomatoes than onion.
- Use Fresh Tomatoes: Fresh, firm tomatoes should be your first choice since they will offer the best flavor. If absolutely necessary, canned tomatoes can be used, but the salsa won't be as good. It will still taste better than pre-made jar salsa, however.
Place any leftover salsa in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days. Second day salsa always tastes amazing since it had time to chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe
- Food processor or blender
- 2 medium sized tomatoes washed and roughly chopped
- 1 medium sized onion roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
- ¾ cup cilantro
- ¼ -½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- juice of a lemon
- Gather all ingredients and start prepping by washing and roughly chopping the tomatoes, peel the onion and roughly chop, and peel the garlic. Place the tomatoes, onion and garlic into the food processor.
- Roughly chop the cilantro and add to the food processor with the remaining ingredients.
- Place the lid on the food processor. Blend the ingredients with one to two second pulses until the desired texture is reached.
- Taste the salsa and add additional salt to taste if needed.
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