How to Make Salsa

Learn how to make salsa in a flash, which yields a delicious side packed with fresh produce and bold ingredients.See More: Fresh Salsa Recipes

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4 Rules for the Best Salsa Every Time, Even without a Recipe

The best salsa is easy to make as long as you have great raw ingredients. You don’t even need a recipe to make salsa—but we’ll give you plenty, plus basic rules and tips for perfect homemade salsa every time, whether you’re following specific instructions or not. And you can always customize it depending on what produce you have and how hot (or mild) you like things.

You’ll be all set for dipping chips, but there’s a lot more you can do with your salsa too: top grilled meats and seafood with it dollop it on salads spoon it over your favorite quesadilla, burrito, or Mexican sandwich. Eat it with a spoon, even (you’ll be tempted).

Here’s everything you need to know about making the best homemade salsa.

Easy Salsa Recipes

Sweet, spicy, savory, or all of the above, these salsa recipes offer a spectrum of fresh flavors and come together in just a few minutes.

The best way to Make Recent Salsa

In simply two easy steps, you’ll have a restaurant-quality salsa match for any event. Comply with the straightforward steps beneath and also you’ll be dipping very quickly.

  1. Place components right into a meals processor or blender. Pulse in two-second bursts, or till all of the components are chopped and mixed.
  2. Place within the fridge to marinate for a few hours or in a single day.

Professional Tip: Don’t over mix your salsa. For those who pulse it an excessive amount of, it can flip into soup. Simply a few pulses in a food processor will do the trick.

Pico de gallo, salsa fresca, and salsa cruda are chunky, uncooked sauces with a fresh tomato base. They are quick and easy to make and are at their best when tomatoes are in season. For fresh salsa, combine the ingredients below in a bowl and serve, or cover and chill for up to three days.

Essential Ingredients

Peppers: Use yellow or orange sweet peppers instead of green sweet peppers to make the salsa more visually appealing. Carefully peel, seed, and finely chop chile peppers. The amount of chile pepper you use will determine the spiciness of your salsa. - For mild salsa, use banana peppers, Anaheim peppers, and/or canned diced green chile peppers. - For medium salsa, add one finely chopped jalapeno to the mix. - For hot salsa, add two finely chopped jalapeno peppers or the even hotter serrano peppers.

Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are the base of fresh salsa, so make sure they&aposre flavorful and slightly firm, not mushy. Fresh garden tomatoes are the gold standard, but you can still make salsa off-season by using roma (Italian-style), vine-ripened, or grape or cherry tomatoes from the grocery store. Gold or green tomatoes also make festive-looking salsa. There&aposs no need to seed the tomatoes unless you want to.

Citrus: Lime or lemon juice adds an acidic tang to salsa that balances the heat of the peppers.

Seasonings: Spice up your salsa with diced onion, garlic, and/or fresh cilantro. For milder flavor, try parsley instead of cilantro. Season the salsa to taste with salt and pepper.

To begin making the Mexican Salsa Recipe, we will first cook the tomatoes in a pressure cooker. Half the tomatoes and place it in the pressure cooker along with 2 tablespoons of water. Allow it to pressure cook for 2 whistles.

After 2 whistles, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally.

Once the pressure releases, open the cooker, drain out the excess water and allow the tomatoes to cool completely.

Once the tomatoes are cooled, peel the skin off the tomatoes and chop them fine.

Place the chopped tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Add the onions, green chillies, salt, sugar, cumin powder, tabasco sauce and coriander leaves. Mix the Mexican Salsa well to combine.

Transfer the Mexican Salsa to a chip and dip bowl and the salsa is now ready to be served along with nacho chips.

Serve the Spicy Mexican Salsa along with crispy Nachos for a party or make a Loaded Veggie Nachos Recipe - top it with salsa, sour cream, rajma & cheese and serve for parties. Kids also will love this simply delicious salsa when added to the Loaded Nachos.

Step One: Choose Your Salsa Style

Before getting started on your salsa, you’ll want to decide what kind of salsa you want to make. Most salsa in the US is divided into red sauces, which are largely tomato based, and green sauces, which are generally made up of tomatillos and herbs. But also worth considering is the consistency of salsa you𠆝 like to serve. Are you craving pico de gallo, a salsa variety made by combining uncooked, chopped ingredients? Or would you rather make a cooked salsa, such as salsa roja, which involves roasting or sauteing your base ingredients before processing them to a smooth consistency? If you’re not sure which type of salsa you might like the most, try experimenting with different recipes and consistencies. You’re sure to find a salsa form that’s perfect for your table.

About Chile de Arbol Peppers

Chiles de Árbol are small, thin Mexican peppers about 2-3 inches long and less than a ½ inch wide. Their color is a bright, vibrant red. Chile de Árbol means &ldquotree chili&rdquo in Spanish, a name which refers to the woody stem of the pepper. They&rsquore quite hot, measuring between 15,000 and 30,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), though some have been reported at up to 65,000 on the Scoville Scale, which is quite hot. At 30,000 SHU, this is 6 times hotter than the average jalapeno pepper. Heat wise, they&rsquore similar to the serrano pepper or cayenne pepper.

You will most often find them in dried form sold at Mexican grocery stores or in the ethnic section of your local grocer, though I have grown them in my garden and used them to make several hot sauces as well as fresh chile de arbol salsa. I&rsquove included recipe directions for making it both ways in the recipe card, with either dried or fresh pods.

Learn more about chile de arbol peppers here.

Let&rsquos talk about how we make chile de arbol salsa, shall we?

Herdez Salsa Pasta Recipe

This Herdez salsa recipe has been very popular due to the combination of creamy pasta with a hot saucy texture. The Herdez guacamole salsa ingredients made the sizzling flavor of the meal more mouth-watering and tempting. So let’s start the recipe:


  • 1 package of pasta (any choice)
  • 1 ½ cups of sliced chicken pieces (boneless and peeled)
  • 1 cup of chopped tomatoes and onions
  • ½ cups of cheddar cheese
  • ½ cups of Herdez Salsa sauce

Methods of Preparing Step by Step:

In a large frying bowl, take water and start to boil under high heat. Then pour in the packed pasta into the boiled water and simmer until they get soft and smooth. Then drain the water and set aside for cooling.

In a frying pan, pour in the oil and fry the chicken pieces under medium heat until they get fried and tender. Then add in the tomatoes and onions on chicken pieces and make a smoky gravy texture.

In a bowl take the prepared fried chicken mixture and add in the cheese and Herdez sauce to mix properly. After getting a creamy mixture, add the prepared pasta to the bowl and mix for another couple of minutes.

Then store the bowl in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Finally, take out the pasta and then the mouth-watering Herdez Salsa Pasta is ready to be served.

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How to Make Salsa from Scratch

Learn how to make authentic Mexican salsa at home with some helpful tips I learned while in Mexico. Plus find the recipes for three of my new favorite salsas— spicy salsa verde, chunky tomato and roasted poblano salsa, and toasted guajillo-ancho salsa.

While visiting Mexico and the Riviera Maya, my mother-in-law and I spent a day at The Little Mexican Cooking School in the town of Puerto Morelos. It was hard choosing to spend time away from the beach, but it turned out to be one of most rewarding experiences of our whole trip.

Chef Alfonso taught us all about chili peppers, the different kinds— both fresh and dried, and then moved right on to using them in combination with other ingredients to create an unlimited variety of authentic Mexican salsas.

We all had the chance to make our own salsa, each of us using a different combination of ingredients to create a salsa tailored to our own preferences. Chef Alfonso assisted, helping us crack the chili pepper code and encouraging us to really connect our senses to what we were making.

Chef Alfonso taught us to build any salsa by following these simple guidelines:

Choose your combination of ingredients

What kind of salsa do you like? What color do you want it to be? How spicy? These are all questions you should ask yourself as you being salsa making.

Generally, salsas start with tomatoes and/or tomatillos. Then you can add to that a chili pepper or assortment of chilis, like jalapeno, serrano, ancho, chipotle, etc. If you have never made homemade salsa with a dried chili, I highly recommend giving it a try. You can find whole dried chilis at your local Mexican market or Mexican section of your grocery store.

Other common salsa ingredients are onions and garlic, and herbs like cilantro. You can use as many or as few ingredients as you like. The salsa I made in class had only 4 ingredients and it blew my mind.

Cook your ingredients individually

Leave the ingredients whole or cut them into large chunks. It makes prep easier and they’re all being mashed or blended anyway. Saute all of your ingredients (including the chilis) individually over medium heat in a non-stick pan without oil, as oil will change the flavor. Cooking them individually keeps their individual flavors intact.

You can also choose to leave your ingredients raw. Remember, you can make your own salsa any way you like! Cook them all, leave them all raw, or maybe just cook some, it’s up to you.

Mash or blend your salsa

In the class we built our salsas with a mortar and pestle. It is a little time consuming and requires some serious elbow grease, but I think it’s something everyone should try at least once. It slows it down and helps you appreciate the process.

For all those other times, a food processor comes in handy.

Blend your salsa completely, or pulse in short bursts to to leave it chunky, it’s up to you.

Taste and adjust

Add salt and pepper and then take a taste and see what you think. Is it not spicy enough? Does it need more cilantro? Go ahead and make any adjustments to your liking.

And that’s it! Final step, grab some chips and dig in!

Read on to find recipes for a few new salsas I’ve created since leaving Mexico. The salsa verde is from Chef Alfonso, but the others are all mine.