Restaurant style salsa is as easy as layering all your ingredients into a blender or food processor and blitzing to dippable perfection, all in under 10 minutes total!
Why this recipe works
I usually make homemade salsa using fresh tomatoes, even better when they are straight from the garden. However, in the colder months, there’s no garden to pick fresh tomatoes from and the tomatoes available from the grocery store are not always up to par. So I decided to use canned tomatoes, the ingredients I usually use in my salsa fresca, and my food processor. Boy am I glad I did!
It’s super simple to throw together and always a hit at gatherings. Layer the ingredients and run them through your food processor. That’s all! This is one of the easiest food processor recipes you will ever make.
Ingredients you will need
Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable version at the end of this post.
Ingredient Info and Substitution Suggestions
TOMATO – I prefer the flavor of Hunts Fire Roasted for my canned tomatoes. You can use whatever brand you like or use your own homemade canned tomatoes. Rotel tomatoes with green chiles (omit the additional green chiles called for in the recipe card if so) would be a nice substitute.
How to Make Restaurant Style Salsa
These step by step photos and instructions are here to help you visualize how to make this recipe. You can Jump to Recipe to get the printable version of this recipe, complete with measurements and instructions at the bottom.
- Layer ingredients in the food processor in the order they are listed.
- Pulse a few times to get the ingredients mixed together. You can continue using the pulse feature if you like your salsa a little chunky. I process mine for about 30-45 seconds or until it looks fairly smooth with small chunks.
Frequently Asked Questions & Expert Tips
Yes, absolutely. The blender will do the trick just fine for this salsa.
This salsa will keep well when sealed in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
A good rule of thumb when using canned tomatoes or anything pre-canned – is to not recan it again. If you would like to can this recipe, your best bet is to go the traditional route and blend up your own fresh tomatoes and green chiles. My salsa fresca recipe uses fresh tomatoes and virtually the same ingredients as this salsa. You can blend/food process it all together and can it as you wish.
This salsa is on the milder side. If you would like to add more spice, feel free to add in a freshly chopped jalapeno, leaving some of the rib and seeds intact.
When isn’t a good time for restaurant style salsa? Serve at potlucks, football parties, cookouts, or bring as an appetizer for game nights. Serve with tortilla chips, layered into burritos, drizzled over tacos, enchiladas, walking tacos, or nachos.
More Salsa Recipes
I love to bake and cook and share my kitchen experience with all of you! Remembering to come back each day can be tough, that’s why I offer a convenient newsletter every time a new recipe posts. Simply subscribe and start receiving your free daily recipes!
Restaurant Style Salsa
IMPORTANT – There are often Frequently Asked Questions within the blog post that you may find helpful. Simply scroll back up to read them!Print It Rate It
- 14 ounce canned tomatoes 1 can whole or chopped
- 4 ounce green chiles 1 can
- 3 teaspoons garlic minced
- 5 green onions coarsely chopped
- 1 handful fresh cilantro coarsely chopped, about 1/2 cup or to taste
- garlic salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper 4 or 5 turns or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Things You’ll Need
- Food processor or blender
- Layer ingredients in the food processor in the order they are listed.
- Pulse a few times to get the ingredients mixed together. You can continue using the pulse feature if you like your salsa a little chunky. I process mine for about 30-45 seconds or until it looks good.
Expert Tips & FAQs
- This recipe will make roughly 2 cups of salsa. Double the recipe for a larger crowd.
- Store in an air-tight container kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I like to keep mine in a mason jar.
- This salsa is on the milder side. If you would like to add more spice, feel free to add in a freshly chopped jalapeno, leaving some of the rib and seeds intact or simply add extra red pepper flakes.
This post originally appeared here on Jan 13, 2011 and has since been updated with new photos and expert tips.
Latest posts by Amanda Formaro (see all)
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese - May 15, 2023
- Patriotic Mini Cheesecakes - May 8, 2023
- Easy Homemade Candy Bars - May 1, 2023
Love this! Great recipe, thankful to have found it.
Sometimes I stir in diced avocado & chopped black olives, but then I’m tempted to eat it by the spoonful!
Greg Duncan says
Wanna have ’em sayin’ “mmmmm” and scratchin’ their heads?….when nobody is lookin’ toss in 1 or 2 (depending on how big of batch) finely diced dill pickle spears! Add conservatively to taste!
Toni Johns says
do you think you could can this? really into canning this year!
Amanda Formaro says
Hi Toni. I don’t recommend canning something that was already canned once (the canned tomatoes). I had asked the same question ages ago and that’s what I was told.
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day Amanda! When you need to make a quick Thermomix salsa for entertaining, your recipe is a winner!
Love your photo and glad I found!
Here’s a photo should you wish to view!
Amanda Formaro says
Awesome, so glad you liked it Joanne!
carolyn dickson says
I was wondering if I make this salsa (whitch sounds great) if I could can some for later? thanks. How can I receive your newsletter I love it.
it’s not recommended that you re-can something that has already been canned. However, you can certainly freeze it!
joann gregg says
My family has always used canned tomatoes for home made salsa. We have never tried to can the recipe yet but would love to try. We do freeze the reciepe though,you can use plastic or glass jars. If using glass jars don’t fill all the way to the top. When taken out of the frezzer, let thaw and shake the jar and enjoy. What is great with this is you can make plenty ahead of time and save for company that shows up anytime.
I never thought to freeze it, excellent tip!
Loved this salsa recipe. I have an overabundance of canned tomatoes and was looking for a way to use them up. I've been making this salsa twice a week because my family loves it so much. Thanks!
Thanks Anon! So glad that you liked it! I just made more yesterday :)
Whether you grow your own garden or go to the farmers market. You can can your own tomatoes. What's even better is in the summer i make a bunch of salsa and can it for winter, but however, i tried this recipe and it's absolutely yummy. Thank you Amanda for posting this. It was wonderful and my family loved it..
This is information from a long time canner, Lana of http://www.lanascooking.com
would not use canned tomatoes in a salsa recipe that I was planning to can. A couple of reasons actually – first because of the texture. The canned tomatoes have already been processed once and the additional cooking of them in the salsa and then in the jars would likely turn them to not much more than mush. Secondly, in the commercial canning process they've probably already been acidulated. Today's tomatoes are not consistently acidic nor are they as acidic as tomatoes were in the past. Therefore, a home canned salsa must have some added acid (lemon juice) to bump the pH level high enough for home water bath canning. The additional acid would likely throw off the taste.
I always advise new canners that their first purchase should be a copy of the Ball Blue Book of Canning. It's considered the "bible" of canners and gives good, clear instructions and explanations along with dozens of tested and approved recipes. If I wanted to can some salsa, I'd make sure I had an approved recipe and would follow it to the "t." There is a salsa recipe on my blog that is a USDA tested recipe and safe for canning.
Also, if anyone is interested, the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) is home to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. They have a wonderful web site at http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/ where you can find all the information you ever wanted about canning, freezing, preserving, drying, curing, smoking, etc. You can even take an online canning class from them at no cost.
And finally, I asked Lana for her salsa recipe, the recipe is here –>> http://www.lanascooking.com/2010/07/13/basic-salsa/
Anonymous – I don't think you can re-can canned items, but your best bet is to contact your local extension office. Sorry I don't have more information for you! I will ask some friends who can and post a comment again with what I find out.
This is almost the same as my hubby's recipe, but since he doesn't write down ingredient amounts, I'm forced to look for another recipe.
SO, is it possible to can this recipe? If so, how long does it last?
If it's canned, is it possible to swap green onions with yellow, red, white or spanish onions? If so, what quantity would you suggest?
Barbara Bechtel says
I think this is AWESOME. Everyone is always trying to recreate the spicy fresh punch from the mexican restaurants and I feel like this gives me the same feel. Add the canned and maybe a few fresh along with the cilantro and garlic and you've got the classic mexican-american salsa that we all love from our local restaurants. yum!
That looks so fresh and delicious! I use canned tomatoes a lot when making salsa. I wish I could dip my chip in a bowl of this right now!
Tasty Eats At Home says
Yum! I think canned tomatoes would work well for salsa! They are way better than the tomatoes in the grocery right now, lol! This sounds great.
I wondered the same thing, but it was GONE before I had a chance to test it out. ;) Let me know if you try keeping some, but I think 3-4 days would definitely be safe :)
Just curious how long do you think this would last once made? 3 days, maybe 4? Thanks! I'm so excited to make this!
@sunshine – I'm sure you could, just use about half of what you would for fresh, so probably around a teaspoon or so. If you do use dried, you will want to let it sit for a while to allow the flavors to mingle. Fresh cilantro is very inexpensive and is much more flavorful. My grocery store has it for less than a dollar a bunch. If you can get it, I highly recommend it :)