When tomatoes are in season, you need just 4 simple ingredients to make The BEST Fresh Tomato Salsa. This quick and easy salsa recipe is a staple in our house all summer long. It’s so delicious, perfect for vibrant and fresh appetizer or spoon it onto your tacos, burritos, black bean burgers and fajitas.
Homemade salsa from tomatoes fresh from the garden or local farmers market takes just 10-minutes to make, and is bursting with flavor. I also love to make tomato and onion salad and stuffed tomatoes when my garden is bursting…but this fresh tomato salsa is so versatile and well loved, it usually gets top summer billing.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Tomatoes are high in Vitamin C and K, potassium and folate. See below for suggestions on best tomatoes to make salsa.
- Cilantro is my favorite fresh herb for salsa.If you’re one of those who find that cilantro tastes like soap, I’M SO SORRY. Truly I am. Use parsley or fresh oregano as fresh herbs really make those tomatoes shine.
- Green onion imparts a mild flavor, but you could also use chopped red onion or shallots.
- Jalapeno peppers add flavor without being too hot, if you remove the membranes and the seeds. Consider a spicy pepper like habanero, serrano or ghost peppers if you’re looking for a spicier salsa.
- OPTIONAL: Salt, Cumin, Chili Powder, Onion Powder, Pressed Garlic or Garlic Powder………the fresher your tomatoes, the less seasoning, if any, you will need.
What kind of Tomatoes are the best to use for homemade salsa?
- Look for firm tomatoes and varieties that are good for slicing.
- I like a nice juicy beefsteak tomato or any variety of heirloom tomato in my salsa. BUT….whatever you have that is fresh is really going to give the most authentic taste.
- Some people prefer Roma Tomatoes because they have less juice so the salsa won’t be so watery.
- I have used cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and pear tomatoes, when that’s what I have and they work well, but tend to be sweeter and I like a more savory tomato for my salsa.
- Red, orange, yellow. Yup. All good. I like to use a combo too. Usually the yellow tomatoes will be the sweetest. Paired with a more tart/acidic red tomato….DIVINE.
- OR….if you are lucky enough to score some fresh tomatillos, they make awesome salsa too. The recipe is similar with just a few tweaks to this one.
How do you make Fresh Tomato Salsa from scratch?
It depends. How much time do you have? Also, how comfortable are you in the kitchen, and with a knife? Serious questions, by the way. Because there are two different ways to do this….well, actually 3, but one’s a hybrid model!
Food Processor Blender Salsa
This is the quickest and easiest way to go. You pretty much dump everything into the bowl of the food processor or blender and pulse.
Wham, BAM….done. From ingredients to fresh salsa in less than a minute! You can make it more or less chunky by running the processor more or less.
Chop by Hand
I like this method and I am quick and efficient with a knife, so I find it quicker than washing a small appliance, and a bit meditative…but that’s me. Know your skill level and choose what will work well FOR YOU.
This one is just like it sounds. Some of the veggies will go into the processor, but you’ll also cut some by hand to get those delicious chunks.
What’s the difference between Salsa and Pico de Gallo?
- Good question. Generally, it’s a texture distinction that delineates the titles. Though, it’s also cultural. Depends where you come from and what the lingo was there.
- A more chunky and fresh, uncooked mixture where each vegetable is recognizable, is usually called Pico de Gallo or Salsa Fresco. Kinda similar to my “chop by hand” method. Don’t mind me though, I call this chunky salsa.
- Traditional Salsa has a more liquidy, thinner consistency and is sometimes cooked. This would describe my food processor method.
- Oh hybrid model, where to classify you? Hard to say. Call it what you will, make it how you want to. Just make it, make lots of it, and make it often!
Whatever your skill level in the kitchen….you’ve got this! I’m here to help with easy directions and tips for those without knife skills. If you don’t have a garden…grab some local fresh tomatoes from a farmers market, or grocery store…beg some off a neighbor or friend. This is a recipe and a season you don’t want to miss! Homemade Fresh Tomato Salsa for everyone….STAT!
Fresh Salsa FAQs
Do you need to peel tomatoes to make salsa
Nope! Total waste of time. A good serrated knife or a blender/food processor will work beautifully to turn those tomatoes into salsa.
Store salsa in a jar with tight fitting lid in the fridge for 4-6 days.
Yes! Tomatoes and jalapenos are both high in Vitamin C. Also, salsa is a low calorie, nutrient dense food, so it’s good for promoting weight loss too.
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Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe
- 1 ½ lbs fresh tomatoes
- 4 scallions
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 1 cup cilantro
- FOOD PROCESSOR OR BLENDER METHOD: Core tomatoes and then add to processor or blender. Trim the root end from scallions and add both the green and the white part to processor. Remove the stem, seeds and membranes from jalapenos and add to processor along with cilantro leaves. Process by pulsing until desired chunkiness.
- CHOP BY HAND METHOD: Core and dice tomatoes. Trim root end from scallions and thinly slice both the green and white parts. Remove the stem, seeds and membranes from jalapenos and cut into small dice. Roughly chop cilantro leaves. Mix everything together in a bowl. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and other spices as desired.
- THE HYBRID MODEL: (Perfection in my opinion): Put aside one tomato, 1 scallion and half a jalapeno to chop as directed above. Also set aside a couple sprigs of cilantro. Put remaining ingredients into the bowl of food processor or jar of blender and process as above. Mix the chunks of veggies together with the processed salsa and season to taste.