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The best Restaurant Style Salsa uses a combination of fresh and pantry ingredients. It’s made in your blender or food processor in just 10 minutes!

Pair this homemade salsa with my popular Air Fryer Tortilla Chips some of our favorite Mexican inspired recipes, like my Sheet Pan Nachos and Chipotle Steak Quesadillas.

bowl of salsa surround by tortilla chips
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Restaurant Style Salsa at Home

Let’s be real. You don’t go to your favorite Mexican restaurant for the carne asada fries or the steak quesadillas. It’s the chips and salsa that get you every time.

This restaurant-style salsa recipe brings that restaurant-quality taste to your own kitchen. Here’s why we love it:

  • Easy and Quick – The few simple ingredients come together fast.
  • Perfect For Any Party – It’s one of the easiest things you can serve for any get-together.
  • Customizable and Versatile – You have full control over the heat level and you can make as much or as little as you want.
  • Canned Tomatoed Vs Fresh – Nothing beats the taste of fresh salsa. But it’s hard to get good quality, ripe tomatoes in the winter. That’s why this restaurant-style salsa recipe uses canned whole tomatoes – they are canned at the peak of freshness, so you get that fresh flavor without having to wait until summer.
  • Secret Ingredient – The secret to delicious homemade salsa like this is to add just a tiny bit of granulated sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.

Ingredients For Simple Salsa

  • Rotel – Diced tomatoes with green chiles.
  • Whole Peeled Tomatoes – Giving you fresh tasting salsa all year long.
  • Jalapeno – Seeded and diced.
  • Onion – A whole small onion, peeled then chopped.
  • Garlic – Peeled and roughly chopped.
  • Cilantro – About a tablespoon of fresh cilantro, chopped (more or less to taste).
  • Seasoning – Cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Sugar – Just a teaspoon to balance the acidity of the tomato.
  • Fresh Limes – Fresh lime juice to taste.

How To Make Restaurant Style Salsa

See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

I love how easy this homemade salsa is to make, and that I can make it any time of the year, whether it’s tomato season or not! Prep time is about 5 minutes, and total time is about 10 minutes.

  • Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  • Pulse until the ingredients are broken down and desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve with your favorite tortilla chips!
onions, tomatoes, jalapeno, seasonings in a food processor
salsa in a food processor, tortilla chips, limes

Variations

Salsa is completely customizable and you can adjust just about any of the ingredients to your liking.

  • Spicy – This salsa is not very spicy, but still has a great flavor. For more intense heat, add additional jalapeno and leave the seeds in. You could also increase the heat level significantly by add a couple of serrano peppers.
  • Deluxe salsa – Use a variety of peppers, like jalapeno, Anaheim chiles, and yellow peppers.
  • Kid friendly – Remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeno.
  • Cilantro – I don’t use much cilantro in my salsa because that’s my preference. If you happen to love it, feel free to add more.
  • Seasonings – Same with the garlic, cumin, and other spices. You can adjust the amounts to your flavor preference.

How To Serve

Salsa is pretty much synonymous with tortilla chips. Who hasn’t taken pleasure in dunking a crispy fried tortilla strip into a chilled bowl of spicy salsa?

Obviously homemade salsa makes a wonderful appetizer, but it’s also a delicious condiment on tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and really any of your favorite Mexican foods.

jar of salsa, spoon

How To Store

Storage: Keep salsa in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, depending on the freshness of your ingredients.

Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing salsa because it tends to get really liquidy when it’s defrosted. It will also wilt the fresh cilantro leaves. If you want to try it, freeze in an airtight freezer safe container or bag for up to 2 months. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible.

Expert Tips

  • Tomatoes – Use high quality canned whole tomatoes, like San Marzano or Cento brand. If fresh tomatoes are in season, you can definitely use them instead, and would need about 2 pounds of fresh Roma tomatoes.
  • Rotel tomatoes – I also added a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles for add flavor and a little bit of heat. A regular can of diced tomatoes works, too.
  • Using a food processor – There are different ways to make great salsa, but I love the consistency I get from using a food processor. I can control how chunky (or not chunky) my salsa is. A blender works just the same.
  • Use the pulse function – Pulse the salsa to get the right consistency. If you just let it go and keep blend you’ll end up with a soupy sauce. I like my salsa to be just a little bit chunky.
  • Sugar – Yes it sounds a little strange to ad sugar to salsa, but if you’ve ever tried it in spaghetti sauce, you know that a pinch of sugar helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. You won’t ruin your salsa by leaving it out, but I recommend at least trying it.
chip with salsa on it, bowl of restaurant style salsa

More Dips We Love

Recipe

Restaurant Style Salsa

5
The best Restaurant Style Salsa uses a combination of fresh and pantry ingredients. It's ready in minutes and made in your food processor!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 15 (⅓ cup)

Ingredients
  

  • 15 ounce can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles
  • 15 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes don’t drain juices
  • 1/2 jalapeno cut into chunks
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 lime optional
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Instructions
 

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until combined. Taste, adjust salt or other flavors as desired.
  • Optional – add juice of 1 lime.
  • Serve with restaurant style tortilla chips.

Notes

This recipe makes about 5 cups of salsa. As a party appetizer, it will serve roughly 15 people.
Storage: Keep salsa in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, depending on the freshness of your ingredients.
Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing salsa because it tends to get really liquidy when it’s defrosted. It will also wilt the fresh cilantro leaves. If you want to try it, freeze in an airtight freezer safe container or bag for up to 2 months. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible.
Keyword restaurant style salsa

Nutrition

Calories: 14kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 199mgPotassium: 122mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 75IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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