Restaurant-Style Salsa

Let me tell you about the easiest salsa you’ll ever make.  It literally comes together in less than 5 minutes.  Not only is it ridiculously easy to prepare, but it’s downright delicious.  Unlike the chunkiness of pico de gallo, this is more like the restaurant style salsa you get in a Mexican restaurant served with those warm, crispy chips. Mmm.

Restaurant-Style Salsa

My new favorite-style chips to eat my old favorite-style salsa with are the tortilla strips.  If you haven’t tried them…you should.  Our favorite way to eat these are with said chips or on homemade nachos.

Restaurant-Style Salsa

This restaurant style salsa is made using a blender, or a food processor which gives is that less chunky texture.  This favorite Mexican salsa recipe is close to the one our favorite Mexican restaurant serves.

Restaurant-Style Salsa

This is great to make year round, but I like using fresh tomatoes right out of the garden during the summer months.  Summer or winter – since I usually always have the ingredients on hand, I can make this pretty spur-of-the-moment for a great snack.

Restaurant-Style Salsa

Around here, we like things on the spicy side.  So, when I make mine I will use the whole jalapeno pepper, but I will cut it in half and scrape out the seeds from one half.  The other half goes in fully loaded.  And when we really want to kick it up a notch, I’ll add the whole thing.  C’mon,  give it a try.  You can handle it.  This could be that homemade restaurant style salsa recipe you’ve been looking for.

It’s salsalicious.

Restaurant Style Salsa

Serving Up Southern
5 from 9 votes


  • 1 - 28 ounce can whole tomatoes with juice (I usually drain a little juice from can)
  • 2 - 10 ounce cans Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chili peppers)
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped and smashed
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded or not), roughly chopped (depends on how hot you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or 1 teaspoon honey ( I usually use honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lime


  • Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse to desired consistency. Test salsa and adjust seasonings to your personal taste. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving, but overnight is even better.


This makes a really large batch and may need to be made in smaller batches. Once batches are made they can be blended in a large mixing bowl.

Disclaimer: Nutritional values (per serving) are approximates only and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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  1. Penney, I had to go check out her salsa recipe after reading your comment. Although I had not seen her recipe before, they are quite similar. This is one that I have been using for years. I’m partial to this one, but I’m sure Pioneer Woman’s is yummy too. ;)

    1. They are one and the same. I just made it today. Ingredients are even in the same order. Yummy no matter whose name is on it.

      1. Thanks, Angela!
        I think there’s quite a few of us that have been using the same recipes for years. Recipes are hard to let go of when they’ve proven to be gems over the years! :)

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my! Now I need a margarita to go with this. Yum! Will be attempting tomorrow. Thank you!

    1. Vero, I agree…it would be super yummy paired with a margarita! ;) I hope you love it as much as we do.

  3. Could I can this salsa? Any alterations? I have a ton of tomatoes and looking for a good recipe! Looks yum!

    1. Kim at Serving Up Southern says:

      I don’t see why not as long as you follow the general canning instructions – like from the Blue Ball book. I don’t think any alterations would be necessary. I had every intention of canning this recipe this summer, but our tomatoes got in too late, and now the cooler weather is slowing them down. :( If you do decide to can some, I’d love for you to let me know how it turned out. In the meantime, I’ll have this on my list again for next year. Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

  4. LeA Wonser says:

    5 stars
    I added some extra cumin, garlic and salt to this recipe because it seemed too tomato-y. After that and a few hours in the fridge, delicious! This is the home made salsa I always wanted to make! Food processor makes it the perfect consistancy and it is just spicy enough with amazing flavor! Couldn’t stop eating it and my acid reflux is retaliating now…. But its worth it!

    1. Kim at Serving Up Southern says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! I agree – I love the texture the food processor gives it! Thanks for stopping in and sharing. I love hearing how each of you adjust a recipe to make it just right for you. :)

  5. Amy Thompson says:

    5 stars
    OMG amazing!!!!! I have canned over 100 jars of salsa and every time there’s always something missing. This is the perfect salsa! I love it¡!!!!

    1. Kim at Serving Up Southern says:

      I’m so glad you love it, Amy! I plan on canning this recipe this summer. It’s so nice going to the panty and pulling out a jar that’s already made, and having over a hundred jars would make me a very happy girl!

  6. What is the shelf life of this salsa in the refrigerator?

    1. Kim at Serving Up Southern says:

      Hi Marilyn, honesty…it has never lasted around our house for more than a few days, but should last at least two weeks, maybe even longer. I would think the shelf life would be very similar to that of a store bought salsa. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. 5 stars
    is it possible that can this?

    1. Kim at Serving Up Southern says:

      Hi Tim, as long as you follow the canning instructions – like from the Blue Ball book, I think it would be fine to can. I’ve had every intention of trying it, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. One of these days… :) If you do can it, I’d love for you to come back and let me know how it turned out. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. How do you use fresh tomatoes in this recipe instead of the canned ones?

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  10. 5 stars
    This is the only salsa that has actually tasted like restaurant style salsa. I’ve tried so many and am beyond excited to finally find one that tastes like the real thing. I make this every other week because it’s great on so many dishes. Thank you!!

  11. Hi, Shayna!
    This reply is way late, but you are very welcome! I’m so glad you love the recipe. Thank you so much for stopping in to let me know. :)

  12. 5 stars
    Made this last year and it was a hit with everyone who tried it! My tomatoes have just started coming in good and have already made 3 batches this year! For the second batch I tweaked the recipe to suit my own personal taste by using 1 can Rotel Original & 1 can Rotel Hot; adding an extra clove of garlic, an additional jalapeno pepper, an additional 1/2 tsp salt, additional 1/2 tsp cumin, additional juice from another 1/2 fresh lime, and my secret ingredient that really makes this recipe pop … 2 Tsp Accent! For the third batch I wanted the salsa to explode the pallet with the flavor of fresh tomatoes and finish with a bit more depth and spicy smokiness. I added: 1lb of fresh tomatoes, 1 can Rotel Original, increased the salt and cumin by 1/2 tsp, added an additional bunch of cilantro, 3.5 oz green chilies, 1 tsp Chipotle Seasoning, and one 7.78 oz can Chipotle Sauce. The result was an explosion of fresh tomato flavor and a nice smooth and smoky/spicy finish. Definitely restaurant quality!

    1. did you just put all of the fresh tomatoes in, or did you skin and deseed?

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