Delicious Dips/ Quesadilla side dishes/ Spice/ Tex Mex

Homemade Fresh Salsa

January 13, 2018 (Last Updated: May 2, 2020) by Chris Collins

This gorgeous homemade fresh salsa couldn’t be more simple to make. Use this chunky salsa to top chicken, quesadillas, nachos or keep it as a dip for your favourite chips!

Pick De Gallo, Salsa Fresca, Tomato Salsa, whatever you wanna call it, today we’re here to discuss it in all it’s beauty. And boy is it beautiful. Follow me…

 overhead shot of salsa in a white bowl surrounded by tortilla chips

Fresh Tomato Salsa

A good tomato salsa is one of those staples in life. Whether it’s for dipping tortilla chips, plonking on a chicken breast or wrapping in a fajita, salsa is an absolute must in my house. And really, it’s gotta be a freshly homemade salsa.

Fresh is best!

Admittedly for a looooong time (too long) I’d get store bought salsa just for the pure fact I thought a really delicious homemade salsa would be tricky to make. I tested around with this recipe for a while, longer than I usually would with a recipe actually. Let’s be real there’s enough salsa recipes out there to feed the 5000, so I felt it important to make this one the most delicious it can be! First things first, let’s take a quick look at what you’ll need:

Tomato Salsa Ingredients

  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Jalapeño
  • Cilantro/Coriander
  • Garlic
  • Lime
  • Cumin
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

overhead shot of salsa ingredients in glass bowl with labels

The Secret Ingredient!

The key to the perfect salsa is a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. This gives the salsa a gorgeous silky undertone. It also pairs PERFECTLY with tomatoes and binds all the flavours together. Only a tbsp worth, but a real game changer!

Canned Tomatoes vs Fresh Tomatoes

Many recipes I’ve seen use canned tomatoes, but for me the taste and texture is second to none using diced fresh tomatoes. The tomato is the hero ingredient so why not celebrate it in all it’s glory? Grab the juiciest freshest tomatoes you can find and use those canned tomatoes for a rainy day.

What are the best kind of tomatoes to use?

I regularly use vine ripened tomatoes, but Roma tomatoes also work great.

Do I have to use Cilantro/Coriander?

I know this is quite a controversial ingredient, but I do highly recommend using it. It gives that iconic salsa flavour, even if just a little is used. If you really REALLY don’t like it you can sub parsley, at a push. But the flavours won’t quite match up.

scooping tortilla chip into a bowl of salsa

How to make Tomato Salsa

Whilst it does take a little extra time, I can say with absolute confidence that a hand chopped salsa is better than a blended one. There, I said it.

Salsa without a food processor

So many recipes out there use a food processor to make salsa. This was actually what I used first time round testing this recipe and didn’t touch it again since. I really do see the benefits, which mainly seem to base around convenience, but take a little extra time to hand chop and you’ll see a huge difference.

Personally I feel there are a few different reasons for this:

  1. Variation: If I’m making a salsa it’s usually because I’ve got guests, and with that you’ve got a lot of different taste buds to please. Manually chopping your salsa makes it so much easier to add in different ingredients and keep the texture the same i.e peppers, cucumber etc. Sure, you could throw in some sweetcorn or black beans into a processed salsa but they’re going to stick out like a sore thumb. Hand chopping keep everything uniformed when adding in extras.
  2. Texture: Now I guess this really is preference but I’m certainly team chunky salsa. You wouldn’t blend a guacamole now would you.. Would you!? Please tell me you wouldn’t!
  3. Appearance: Lastly, I find that after the salsa has been in the food processor it loses it’s colour. A big bowl of bright chunky salsa certainly looks the part!

What to serve with salsa?

holding tortilla chip with salsa on one corner with bowl blurred behind

Can I make this ahead of time?

It’s best to let the flavours develop in the fridge before you serve, just an hour will do. Having said that if you do choose to let it rest, make sure you add salt after so it doesn’t start producing tonnes of water.

How long does salsa last?

I usually keep it in the fridge, tightly sealed, for 4-5days. Just remember leftovers will go slightly soupy due to the salt. Just give it a good mix before serving, or, pop in the food processor to bind it together a bit more.

If you’re looking for more salsa recipes then check out my Shrimp Avocado & Mango Salsa and Pork Chops & Peach Salsa!

For more classic dip recipes check out these beauties:

Anywho, enough about me being a hand chopping snob and more about this salsa. Let’s tuck into the full recipe shall we?!

overhead shot of salsa in bowl with lime wedges and tortilla chips

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How to make a Homemade Fresh Salsa (Full Recipe)

Homemade Fresh Salsa Dip

Homemade Fresh Salsa

This gorgeous homemade fresh salsa couldn't be more simple to make! Use this chunky salsa to top chicken, quesadillas, nachos or keep it as a dip for your favourite chips!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 6
Calories: 72kcal
Cost per serving: £1 / $1

Equipment:

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Spatula
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board

Ingredients (check list):

  • 1lb / 500g Vine Ripened Tomatoes, finely diced (see notes)
  • 1 medium White Onion, finely diced
  • 1-4 Fresh Jalapeños, deseeded & finely diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 small bunch Fresh Cilantro/Coriander, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Limes
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • In a suitably sized bowl, combine all of your ingredients apart from your Jalapeños and 1 lime.
  • Taste test for seasoning.
  • Little by little add in your preferred amount of Jalapeño, 1 being fairly mild and 4 being spicy. Add more lime juice to taste.

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Tomatoes - The tomatoes are the star of the show here, so it's important to make sure you get some really nice fresh and good quality tomatoes. I go for tomatoes on the vine, but Roma tomatoes also work great. For reference, 1lb/500g is around 6-7 medium sized tomatoes.
b) Quantities - Salsa is all about preference, so feel free to reduce/increase the quantities to your taste (i.e. more or less spice, acidity, cumin etc).
c) Coriander/Cilantro - I know this is quite a controversial ingredient, but I also salsa ain't a salsa without it. If you really REALLY don't like it, you can sub parsley at a push. But you won't get that authentic salsa flavour.
d) Make Ahead - For best results, pop the salsa in the fridge for an hour or so before serving to allow the flavours to blend. However, do not add salt if you are doing this, salt draws out moisture at it will turn into salsa soup by the time you serve it. Add salt just before serving.
e) Calories - based on 1/6 of the whole salsa.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Fresh Salsa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 72 Calories from Fat 43
% Daily Value*
Fat 4.82g7%
Saturated Fat 0.667g3%
Trans Fat 0.002g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.58g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.352g
Sodium 50mg2%
Potassium 311mg9%
Carbohydrates 7.06g2%
Fiber 1.6g6%
Sugar 1.24g1%
Protein 1.74g3%
Vitamin A 4100IU82%
Vitamin C 33.8mg41%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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10 Comments

  • Reply
    sue | theviewfromgreatisland
    January 17, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    I could eat this by the bucketful, this looks so fresh and inviting after all the holiday overload!

    • Reply
      Chris
      January 17, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks, Sue! Save a bucket for me!

  • Reply
    Traci
    January 17, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Chris…gorgeous and I’m loving the look of those tortilla chips. Sometimes I eat salsa and chips and nothing else… for a meal 😉 I would be happy to eat your chips and salsa for a meal!

    • Reply
      Chris
      January 17, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Oh I’m totally with you on that, I eat chips and salsa for literally any meal of the day! Thanks for your kind words, Traci 🙂

  • Reply
    Chichi
    January 17, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    5 stars
    This salsa definitely looks pretty and sure would taste divine. I am with you on not blending. These beautiful colors will be lost.

    • Reply
      Chris
      January 17, 2018 at 4:04 pm

      Thanks, Chichi! Welcome to team non-blending 😉

  • Reply
    Calleigh
    January 17, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    This looks so simple yet this salsa could make me busy munching all my tortillas chips in one sitting.

    • Reply
      Chris
      January 17, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      Yep, that’s usually what happens! 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth | The Recipe Revival
    January 17, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    5 stars
    Fresh salsa is one of my favorite snacks! I am a cilantro hater, so I would skip that but the rest of the recipe sounds amazing!

    • Reply
      Chris
      January 17, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      It’s certainly one of my favourite snacks too!!

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