Restaurant Style Salsa


I’m a California girl, so naturally I have a deeply ingrained love for salsa. I’d go so far as to say that when I go out for Mexican food, I look forward more to having chips and salsa than the actual entree. Although I’ve noticed since moving to Oregon that free chips and salsa isn’t really a thing here– what’s up with that?

Sometimes jarred salsa can hit the spot in a weird “Maybe I just wanted some Taco Bell” kind of way, but I never really think of it as salsa so much as a topping for my rice and beans. Jarred salsa isn’t something I just sit down and eat with chips on its own, feeling completely satisfied afterward.

Plus, you know that gooey consistency a lot of store-bought salsa has? Kinda ew. Salsa shouldn’t be viscous, if anything it should be watery– a tell tale sign of all the delicious tomato and lime juices mingling around together.

And if it ain’t got tons of fresh cilantro, lime juice and onion in it, then it ain’t salsa.

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make my own for-maybe-ever and finally gathered up the courage after reading The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. I have to admit, I did make a few minor alterations, but as anyone with a salsa recipe always says: that’s the great thing about salsa. You take a good base recipe and can easily make it better according to your tastes.

In this case I happen to like mine smooth, with a few chunks here or there, no need to liquify it completely. If I wanted chunks I’d just eat pico de gallo. I also de-seed my jalapeño ‘cos I’m a weenie, and go crazy wild on the lime juice ‘cos I’m on a mission to destroy all the enamel on my teeth by the time I’m 30.

Someday I’d like to get away from the canned tomatoes and use all fresh ingredients, but for the time being (aka winter), this is perfectly convenient. And cheap!


Restaurant Style Salsa

Makes ~9 cups

1 28-oz. can Tomatoes, whole peeled
2 10-oz cans Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles
½ Onion, yellow or white, diced
1 Jalapeño, de-seeded and diced
1 bunch Cilantro
½ tsp Garlic (or one clove), minced
1-2 Limes
1 ¼ tsps Salt
2 tsps Lemon juice
¼ tsp Sugar
¼ tsp Cumin

  1. Cut the bottom 3-4 inches off your rinsed cilantro. Dice the jalapeno and pulse in a food processor until finely minced. You may have to swish the ingredients around with a spatula if they start sticking to the walls.
  2. Add all the rest of the ingredients – I usually start with the other fresh ingredients (onion, garlic), then seasonings (lemon + lime juice, sugar, cumin, salt) and lastly, the canned tomatoes.
  3. Pulse 5-10 times, depending on how chunky you like it. I do something around 10 quick pulses.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours. The flavor of the salsa will dramatically change overnight, so it’s important to make this ahead. I usually make a batch the night before I want to enjoy it as an afternoon snack, or that morning if I want to have it with dinner.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *