This easy Mexican Restaurant-Style Salsa comes together super fast and has the most amazing flavor! Plus, you can make it thicker or thinner, or spicy or mild, depending on your preference. Never buy store-bought salsa again!
When I was 16, I got my first ever “real” job at a Mexican restaurant which came with one huge perk – I could eat as much fresh chips and salsa as I wanted. For free. It was amazing.
And the thing is, real Mexican restaurant-style salsa is so quick and easy to make that you can have this anytime you want and it absolutely blows the stuff you get at the supermarket out of the water. All of the ingredients go into the food processor, then it’s just a matter of pulsing to chop everything to your desired consistency (fewer pulses = chunkier salsa; more pulses = a smoother salsa) and taste periodically to make sure the heat and salt are to your liking.
You can absolutely dig right in immediately after processing the ingredients together, but if you can wait an hour and let the salsa sit in the fridge, the flavors of the jalapenos and tomatoes and onions and lime and cilantro get all friendly together and taste even better.
This recipe calls for canned tomatoes, which is perfect because then you don’t have to worry about your tomatoes not being perfectly ripe or in season. Fresh tomatoes are ideal when making pico de gallo, but when it comes to restaurant-style salsa, canned tomatoes are the way to go!
You can use whole tomatoes or diced tomatoes – it doesn’t really matter since you are going to be chopping them down in the food processor anyway.
You will get about 4 cups of salsa from this recipe, so it’s perfect for a Cinco de Mayo party, game night, or fajita night with friends. Or if you want to make shredded Mexican beef or chicken in the slow cooker. I love it with homemade corn tortilla chips (naturally) but it’s also one of my favorite things to put on top of scrambled eggs in the morning for breakfast, maybe with some chopped fresh avocado or the BEST guacamole ever!
- 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
- 1-2 jalapenos, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
Add all of the ingredients into a food processor and process until you reach your desired consistency. My favorite restaurant salsas tend to be less chunky so I pulse a few times to break things up, then process for 10-15 seconds until there aren't any large chunks but stopping before turning everything into a soup.
Taste the salsa and adjust as necessary. You may prefer more lime juice or a bit more salt (different brands of tomatoes have different salt content so depending on which brand you are using, you might even need to add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt, which might seem like a lot - that's why it's important to taste and adjust and I always start on the lower end and work my way up). If you want more heat, add in some of the seeds from your jalapenos (I always start with one jalapeno and then add in the second jalapeno, then some of the seeds if needed to get the heat where I like it since most of the spiciness in the jalapenos is in the seeds themselves).
Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving so the flavors have a chance to really combine. Serve with fresh tortilla chips! Can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
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