How to Make Salsa

5 from 9 votes

Learn how to make a traditional salsa with this easy recipe. Ready to enjoy in 5 minutes and made in a blender for ease.

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Here is a quick and easy tutorial for making fresh homemade tomato salsa, aka pico de gallo, in the food processor. It is almost as easy as twisting open the jar that has been sitting in your kitchen cabinet for ages. No food processor? Chop the ingredients by hand or use a blender.

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Homemade pico de gallo, especially when made with ripe, in-season tomatoes and other fresh ingredients has robust, zesty flavors and no added sugar or other unnecessary ingredients. Plus, you control the spice level.

Ingredients & substitutions

  • Large beefsteak tomatoes: This is the base for the recipe or you can use any other ripe tomato. You can also add some canned crushed tomatoes to the mix if you’d like.
  • White onions and garlic: They are a must in this salsa recipe. Purple onions or the white parts of green onions are good subs.
  • Jalapeno or any fresh chili pepper to taste: Serranos are very traditional, poblanos will be milder.
  • Cilantro: Hate cilantro? Try parsley or the minced tops of green onions.
  • Cumin: Adds a great flavor to the recipe.
  • Lime juice: For the added zing. Make sure to use fresh lime juice.
Ingredients to make the recipe

How to make homemade Salsa

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are of relatively equal size. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides as necessary
  3. Taste and adjust the lime juice and seasonings to suit your taste and preference.
3 image collage to show how to make the salsa from scratch

Tips for making salsa from scratch

  1. Adjust the amount of lime juice needed based on how ripe the tomatoes are. As tomatoes ripen they will get sweeter which will change the taste of the salsa.
  2. Adjust the spiciness level. Add one chopped poblano for a little heat but stronger pepper flavor. You can also remove the jalapeño pepper in the recipe or use a hotter chili pepper.
  3. Make it sweeter. If the tomatoes you’re using aren’t very ripe, you can add some granulated sugar to sweeten the salsa lightly. You only need about one to two tablespoons.
  4. Make it in a blender or chop by hand. If you don’t have a food processor, you can definitely use a blender instead, or feel free to chop everything by hand. It helps to mince the ingredients so the flavors combine really well.
  5. Be careful not to puree the mixture. Unless you have picky kids who don’t want to see any of the little onions and cilantro floating around, the presentation of salsa is better when it’s more chunky with some texture.

recipes that use salsa

Frequently asked questions

Is this the same as salsa fresca?

Yes. This type of salsa, which is the Spanish word for sauce, made with fresh, uncooked tomatoes, can be called salsa fresca, salsa cruda, or pico de gallo.

How long can this be kept at room temperature?

Like all fresh foods, fresh salsa should only be kept at room temperature for two hours.

Can I freeze this?

If you are going to freeze it, puree it fairly fine for the best texture upon defrosting. It should last for about a year.

Chip dipping into homemade salsa in a small bowl

Grab the tortilla chips and make your own! It’s great layer on top of quesadillas, too.


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How to Make Salsa

Learn how to make a traditional salsa with this easy recipe. Ready to enjoy in 5 minutes and made in a blender for ease.
5 from 9 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Condiments
Calories 38
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
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  • 3 beefsteak large tomatoes, roughly chopped (look for ripe ones)
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Juice of two limes
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ Teaspoon salt


  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the ingredients are all chopped equally. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor as necessary.
  • Taste and adjust the lime juice and seasoning, as desired.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving for best flavor, and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Storage: Store covered in the fridge for up to one week.
Freezing Instructions: If you are planning to freeze it, puree the salsa fairly fine for the best texture upon defrosting. It should last for about a year.
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen


Calories: 38kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 204mg, Potassium: 439mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1493IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Mexican
Course: Condiments

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Recipe Rating


  1. Aubs says:

    This salsa is so fresh and amazing for summer. Everything I’ve made from feelgoodfoodie is great I definitely trust this mom and her wonderful food!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      That makes me so happy to hear!