Fresh Restaurant-Style Salsa Recipe

Fresh Restaurant Style Salsa

If you’re incapable of self-control around a bowl of warm, salty, perfectly thin tortilla chips and a side of fresh salsa, you’ve come to the right place.

Welcome, friend. You’re in good company.

I’ve always loved Mexican food, but living in El Paso, TX for 3 years is what lead to it really stealing my heart. We ate papas locas and tamales and more burritos than I can count. There were margaritas and spicy salsa and fresh jalapeños at almost every restaurant in town. In other words, it was heaven.

Roasted jalapenos (toreados) from The Reef Mobile Kitchen in El Paso, TX
Toreados (grilled jalapenos) from The Reef Mobile Kitchen in El Paso, TX
Independent Burger - El Paso, TX
My favorite burger from Independent Burger in El Paso, TX


One of the first jobs I had when we first moved to El Paso was at Forever 21. Looking back, its hilarious that I ever worked there, because I am probably about the furthest thing from a fashionista. Believe it or not, the management there were sticklers about making sure we dressed the part and were extremely knowledgable about fashion trends.

Needless to say, I was 19 years old and willing to take just about any job I was offered.

But I will say that I made some great friends through that job, and it was through those bonds that I also found some great food. I had friends who would share their lunch with me, bring me giant stacks of fresh tortillas, and show me their favorite spots to eat.

And about once a week, this sweet old Mexican man would come into the store and sell us burritos for $1.


When I say that those were the absolute best burritos I’ve ever had in my life!…. and if you didn’t have cash, this guy would give you a burrito anyway and let you pay him later.

The love and community that my friends (and strangers) from Mexico showed me on a daily basis was amazing to me. They are such a communal people, and were always willing to be generous – especially with their food.


It didn’t take long before I decided I wanted to share my food with them, too. That’s when my restaurant-style salsa came about.

I would buy cases of organic canned tomatoes and load up on jalapeños (which isn’t hard to do when you live steps away from the Mexico border!). My fridge was stuffed with mason jars of salsa that I sold week after week to my friends at Forever 21 and strangers who found me through Instagram. I even tried selling it on Etsy and shipping it back home to Florida. (That was a total fail… it ended up spoiling in the mail despite my efforts to keep it cold in shipping. Yikes. You can’t win them all!)

Regardless, it was an awesome way to fuel my fire for business, entrepreneurship, and creating recipes. It kept me grounded in my passion as I worked miscellaneous jobs that I hated.

Juicy tomatoes, fresh cilantro, spicy jalapeños, onions, and garlic are the base of this fresh homemade salsa. Lime juice and spices round out the flavors and bring this mixture to life.

And it might even make your terrible minimum-wage job somewhat bearable.

Fresh Restaurant Style Salsa

If you don’t like spicy salsa, remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño. Or you can just use less of it! But it does add great flavor, so I don’t suggest omitting it completely.

What makes this restaurant-style salsa is the perfect consistency. You can use a blender for a slightly thinner salsa. A food processor will break it down really well too, but leave it slightly chunkier.

The mixture on the left in the photo below is the “thicker” version. On the right is the thinner, made with a blender.

Fresh Restaurant Style Salsa

As you can see, there’s not a huge difference in the two. So try both and see what you like! The best part is, it won’t be watery either way. And you’ll get more flavor from this salsa than you could ever hope for from a store-bought jar.


Make this for a party, and I promise you’ll have people asking for the recipe.

I’m not kidding when I say this is my pride and joy. I’ve had friends ask me to make it for their kid’s birthday parties or bring it to beach weekends, and it always makes my heart so happy!

And the thing is… its so easy. You can have fresh restaurant-style salsa in just a couple of minutes. If you want a blender and food processor that will make the job easier, check out the one below. I personally am in love with my Ninja Mega Kitchen System. It’s one of the most-used pieces of equipment in my kitchen, and its a total game-changer when it comes to meal prep.

This post contains affiliate links. By clicking the photo or link above and making a purchase, I receive a small commission (at NO additional cost to you!). You will never see me promote products or ingredients that I don’t absolutely love and use myself.

I’ve had this set for about 4 years and its still in amazing shape. And i use it constantly! The only piece I’ve replaced is the blade that I use for the single-serve smoothie cups.


If you love this salsa, it would mean so much to me for you to leave a comment below! Share a photo of your beautiful fresh salsa and tag me on Instagram or Facebook. It helps other people to find me, and makes my heart insanely happy.

+ This salsa isn’t just perfect with warm crispy chips. Pair it with one of these delicious recipes…

Store your salsa in a airtight glass jar in the fridge. It’ll keep for a couple weeks (if you don’t eat it all in one sitting!).

And if you’re willing to get a little weird, try mixing it with some of my Creamy Homemade Ranch for a tasty and unique dip.

Happy eating, loves!



Fresh Restaurant-Style Salsa Recipe

Servings: 4 cups
Prep time: 10 min
Total time: 10 min


  • 28 oz can of organic diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  1. Add the entire can of tomatoes, diced onion, garlic cloves, and cilantro to the food processor or blender.

  2. Wash and dry your jalapeño. For a spicier salsa, dice and add the entire jalapeño (including seeds) to the food processor. If you want a mild salsa, remove the seeds and ribs from inside the jalapeño and discard. Dice half the jalapeño and add to the food processor. 

  3. Add the lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture until a smooth salsa is formed and all the ingredients are finely chopped. Store in an airtight glass container. Allow to chill in the refrigerator overnight for the best flavor!

Fresh Restaurant-Style Salsa Recipe - easy and homemade!

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