The Cozy Cook

Restaurant Salsa

This restaurant style salsa recipe is so fresh and easy to make with canned or garden tomatoes. You’ll love the authentic Mexican flavors and simple ingredients.

Be sure to serve this with my easy Salsa Chicken  or White Queso DipGuacamole!

a large wooden bowl filled with homemade salsa with a cilantro leave on top and 2 lime wedges in the front.

Restaurant Salsa

Making this salsa recipe takes nothing more then blending the ingredients together and letting it chill. It’s also so easy to add in extra ingredients like corn and black beans!

I’ve been making this recipe for several years and  just love what little effort it takes.

Plus, you can totally freeze leftovers. (How you ask?)- Read on!


  • Tomatoes– Canned plum tomatoes or your own canned tomatoes from the garden.
  • Garlic- Use fresh garlic whenever possible.
  • Lime Juice
  • Jalapenos
  • Sugar
  • White Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Salt

overhead view of ingredients needed to make homemade salsa

How to Make it

Blend the Ingredients

  • Add everything to a food processor or a blender and pulse it until it’s reached your desired consistency.

Let it Chill

  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow it to chill and for the flavors to blend. The longer you chill, the more flavorful it will be.


Pro Tip: I love this mini food processor because it takes up such a small amount of space. (Although I have to blend this salsa in 2 batches with it.)

side by side view of food processor before and after homemade salsa ingredients are mixed together.

Using Leftover Salsa



  • This salsa should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s best if used within 5 days. Or, you can also freeze it!


  • Freezing leftover salsa is an excellent alternative to letting it go bad in your refrigerator. There are just a few tricks you need to know:
    • Thicken it up: Otherwise it will be too watery after being frozen. You can do this one of two ways:
      • Mix in tomato paste. 
      • Simmer it on the stove to let excess liquid evaporate. Let it cool completely before freezing.
    • Store in portion sized containers with a little excess room at the top for expansion when it freezes.

overhead view of a large wooden bowl willed with salsa sitting on a cutting board with tortilla chips and diced jalapeno.

☝️ This is the bowl pictured in this recipe and I love it, I bought it specifically for serving up this salsa. It fits a ton and is great for a crowd. The quality is fantastic and it looks like a bowl from an authentic Mexican Restaurant.

Try These Next!

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👉Note: If you’re big into homemade salsas and hot sauces, you absolutely want to check out my friends at Chili Pepper Madness. They have enough mouth-watering, spicy, and delicious recipes to last you a lifetime!

A wooden bowl filled with restaurant salsa with a hand dipping a tortilla chip in it.

Restaurant Salsa

4.67 from 12 votes
This homemade salsa recipe is super fresh and tastes just like it's from a Mexican restaurant! It's easy to make with fresh or canned tomatoes. You can even freeze leftovers!


  • 28 oz. whole plum tomatoes, with the juice, 1 large can
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, diced, with seeds removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1-2 handfuls fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, (optional)


  • Pulse all ingredients thoroughly in a food processor until it’s reached your preferred texture. (You can also use a blender)
  • Refrigerate for a minimum of 30-60 minutes, the longer the flavors can blend together, the better!
  • Serve with your favorite Mexican foods and enjoy!




Calories: 55kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 594mg, Potassium: 518mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1760IU, Vitamin C: 35.9mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg


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Recipe Rating

43 comments on “Restaurant Salsa”

  1. Have you ever canned this salsa? I’d love to know how.

    • Hi Lily! Unfortunately I haven’t canned this before. It’s possible that you would need to cook it before canning but I’m not very informed on how it’s done. It would be a great thing to learn!

  2. As someone whose favorite ethnic food to cook is Mexican, I am ashamed to say this is my first homemade salsa. Why have I been buying mediocre jarred junk all these years!!!!!!! I had no idea it was THIS easy!!!! You’ve changed my life. No more wasted money on yuck. And, of course, this recipe/technique is totally customizable.

    • I’m so happy to hear that Shaine! I take my salsa very seriously and am definitely proud of this one! I’m so happy you’re so happy with this one! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!❤️❤️❤️

  3. This is probably the best salsa I’ve ever tasted in my life. It’s just so fresh and I didn’t think it would be using tinned tomatoes. Even after a few days in the fridge it retained that freshness. I’m in Australia so I used long green chilies instead of jalapeno just because I prefer it. I made your Taco Lasagne with it but I’m glad I had leftover because I’m putting it on everything.

    • I’m so happy you like the salsa so much Malcolm! It’s great you were able to have some leftover from the Taco Lasagna. I always make extra too, and just like you I put it on everything. A lot of times I’ll mix queso with it!😋

  4. I love this recipe and the flavor is very authentic. Only recommendatiin for anybody is to adjust the level of hotness by adding 1 jalapeño at a time. 1 jalapeño will make it very mild, 2 will ad some kick and 3 or more will make it hot ot nuke. If you want to enjoy the taste I would not go past 2. Also. It depends on the jalapeños, some are hotter than others.

    • Happy to hear you liked this one Frederick!😃 I agree to add jalapenos per your personal preference. My husband loves heat a lot more than I do! Thanks so much for leaving a review!

  5. Very easy to follow recipe. My sauce came out amazing. It tasted as good as sauces I had in Costa Maya and Conzumel and better than any restaurant here in FL. Definitely will be my go to sauce for gatherings and parties.

  6. By adding the tomato paste to the salsa, will this change the flavor? 

    • Hi Jennifer, I believe it would change the flavor…and would likely be overpowering since it’s not something you’re cooking down. (As compared to adding it to soups and sauces over a hot pot.)

  7. Thank you for sharing this! This recipe utilized so many fresh veggies from the summer and easy to make with the food processor. I used a yellow pepper Instead of jalapeños since didn’t have any on hand and turned out great! Thanks again!

  8. Having grown up in New Mexico, authentic restaurant salsa has a special place in my heart. This recipe is simple and fantastic, and is something I’ve been searching for for quite a while now.

    Thank you for sharing this!!

  9. Unfortunately we found the garlic/onion over-powered the fresh salsa. Sounded like a flavoursome fresh salsa recipe, but sadly just not balanced.

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