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This quick and easy blender salsa takes just 5 minutes to throw together thanks to fire-roasted canned tomatoes. It's loaded with fresh flavors and tastes just like that smooth restaurant-style salsa from your favorite restaurant!
YES! Blender salsa is just like the smooth, slightly spicy salsa you'll find at your favorite Mexican restaurant. It's loaded with fresh flavors of garlic, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. But it's made with the convenience of fire-roasted tomatoes. This means you can enjoy it all year round!
You Will Love This
- The ingredient list is short and sweet! 8 ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen are all it takes to make this restaurant-style salsa. No fancy, exotic peppers or spices. Just simple, straightforward, common ingredients!
- The flavors are AMAZING. Dare I say the flavors are actually better than restaurant salsa?! I think it might have something to do with how FRESH the salsa tastes, but this is hands down the best salsa I have ever had. Period. This easy restaurant-style salsa pairs perfectly with Baked Black Bean Flautas, Sheet Pan Shredded Chicken Nachos, or Cheesy Vegetarian Enchiladas!
- It's easy to adjust this salsa to suit your personal taste! Like it spicy? Add a little more cayenne or leave the ribs and seeds in the jalapenos. Do you like a strong acid flavor in your salsa? Add an extra squeeze of fresh lime juice. A ½ teaspoon of chiles in adobo added to this salsa will give you a great smoky heat too! This recipe is really easy to use as a blueprint and make it your own!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Fire-roasted Diced Tomatoes - If you can’t find fire-roasted tomatoes you can just use regular diced tomatoes, but fire-roasted are going to add another layer of delicious flavor.
- Red Onion - You could also use white onion or yellow onion in place of the red onion in this recipe.
- Fresh Garlic - This restaurant-style salsa really does taste best with fresh cloves of garlic. If you’re in a pinch you could use the jarred minced garlic or garlic powder, but it will alter the flavor of the salsa.
- Jalapeno - If you like spicy salsa, try leaving some (or all) of the ribs and seeds in the jalapeno. I prefer mild salsa, so I remove the ribs and seeds completely from the jalapeno.
- Cilantro - Fresh cilantro is a really important ingredient in this salsa. It adds a ton of freshness. Do not omit it.
- Lime Juice - If you don't have fresh limes on hand, this is our family’s favorite bottled lime juice.
- Cumin - I like the earthy, warm flavor that cumin adds, but if you don’t have any on hand it’s not a big deal. The flavor of this blender salsa will still be delicious!
- Cayenne Pepper - Just a pinch of cayenne pepper is going to boost the other flavors in this salsa without making it spicy. If you prefer it spicy, feel free to add a few extra pinches of cayenne pepper to taste.
- Salt & Pepper - The ingredient list for this restaurant-style salsa recipe is short, so be sure to salt and pepper moderately to enhance the overall flavor.
Instructions - How to Make Salsa
Blend for about a minute until everything is well minced and combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Enjoy immediately with crispy tortilla chips or store in the fridge for 24 hours to let the flavors really come together!
- If you like a thicker salsa, feel free to drain the juices from the canned tomatoes before blending. I prefer a nice smooth consistency, so I blend the juices along with the tomatoes and other ingredients.
- If you like a chunkier salsa, don't blend it for quite as long. I'm a HUGE fan of the smooth consistency of restaurant-style salsa, but if you like chunks of tomato and onion, scale back the blending time. Give it a few quick pulses until it reaches your desired consistency.
- You don't necessarily need a high-speed blender for this salsa. If you're using just a regular blender, you might need to blend for longer than a minute. Use your judgment - when the salsa ingredients are well minced and combined, the salsa is done. You could also use a food processor to make this salsa! Again, just use your judgment on consistency.
- The longer this salsa sits the more the flavors will blossom. If you're having friends over, feel free to make this salsa a day or two in advance (and then hide it in the back of your fridge so your kids and husband don't eat it all)! 24 hours in the fridge will make this salsa the best of the best. ALSO - Add more salt to taste just before serving if it's been in the fridge for a couple days. This salsa will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Fresh vs. Canned Tomatoes
- You can use fresh or canned tomatoes for this recipe. I prefer the consistency that canned tomatoes offer because living in Wisconsin, we only get juicy ripe tomatoes for a few months out of the year. Canned tomatoes allow me to enjoy fresh, homemade salsa all year round!
- If you're using fresh tomatoes for this recipe, I recommend using them when they're in season and try to find beefsteak or Roma tomatoes as those tend to have the best flavors for salsa. Be sure to check out my Roasted Tomato Salsa if you're looking for another recipe to use up fresh tomatoes!
Restaurant-style typically has a more smooth texture. The ingredients are finely minced and the salsa has a thinner consistency. This is why a blender is so helpful in making restaurant-style salsa. Chunky salsa usually has a chunkier texture and less liquid.
It's much easier than you think thanks to fire-roasted diced tomatoes! Typical salsa ingredients include tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt. You can either chop or blend all the ingredients together and voila - you've got homemade salsa!
Homemade salsa costs about the same as storebought salsa. You can either spend a few dollars on a jar of salsa or a few dollars on the ingredients to make your own! But homemade salsa allows you the flexibility to customize the ingredients to suit your tastes!
Serve Salsa With
- Sheet Pan Shredded Chicken Nachos
- Crispy Ground Beef Flautas
- Beer-Braised Pork Carnitas
- Easy Baked Fish Tacos
- Sheet Pan Chicken Quesadillas
This post was originally published in August of 2017. It was updated in February of 2021 to include process shots and tips for making the best restaurant-style salsa every single time!