My Favorite Restaurant-Style Salsa

Restaurant-style salsa

I could eat chips and salsa all day every day.  I’m obsessed – and always have been.  My husband is even worse.  It has gotten to the point where I can’t buy tortilla chips or make salsa on a regular basis since all we want to do is eat it.  All of it.  Immediately.

Restaurant-style salsa

It’s taken me awhile to find the one – my go-to version for homemade salsa.  I’ve tinkered with so many recipes and we’ve taste-tested our way through (hard life, right?).  But I’ve finally settled on this recipe and have declared it my favorite.  Now, let me just say that this is my favorite.  If it was my husband’s choice, it would be spicier.  This version is pretty mild in heat, so feel free to adjust if you want some more kick.  I personally don’t like it when my eyes water or I start choking because of spice.  But I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a big baby when it comes to spicy food.

Restaurant-style salsa

This recipe makes a lot of salsa and sometimes I’ll stir in some black beans or corn to change it up a bit.  It’s pretty great that way too.

And now I’m off to go make another batch.  Cinco de Mayo is coming up so that’s an excuse to consume way too much chips and salsa, right?  At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself.

My Favorite Restaurant-Style Salsa
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained or not drained*
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  1. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the salsa reaches your desired consistency (it takes me about 10 brief pulses - be careful not to go too fast or you may overdo it). Adjust the seasonings if needed.
  2. Transfer to an airtight container and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 to 2 hours for the flavors to meld before serving.
As noted in the original recipe, this makes a large batch of salsa. If you use a large food processor (12 cup) it will work just fine. If you have a smaller one, you may want to do it in batches.

*Whether or not you drain this can depends on how much liquid you like in your salsa. I personally drain almost all of the liquid from this can before adding to the food processor.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.


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  1. We adapted this recipe from the Pioneer Woman as well! It’s definitely the best salsa out there!

  2. Looks super delicious.. beautiful presentation too..

  3. I used to waitress at a restaurant with the BEST salsa ever. And this remind me of it! I would put it on everything and take tupperwares home with me. :) I have to make this!

  4. This salsa looks beautiful and fabulous! I could definitely go through a bowl of it with or without chips ;)

  5. Your beautiful photos are so clear and full of color, I can almost taste the salsa! Home made is definitely in a different category than the stuff in a jar.

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Thanks Wendy – that means a lot : ) Definitely in a different category!

  6. I want to eat chips and salsa all day long too! Let’s do it!

  7. Restaurant salsa is definitely my favorite kind of salsa. I like it smooooth. :) Well, smoothER, at least. This looks perfect!

  8. You know I always want to try and make homemade salsa and then I just wuss out and buy it. This fantastic salsa is a sign that I must try it this summer! :D Looks out of this world Ashley!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Thanks Jess! Yes, you must try making it homemade – it’s sooo good : )

  9. This looks delicious and easy! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo. A couple of margaritas and it’s happy hour! :)

  10. I’ve made homemade salsa before, but more like a unique version that isn’t your standard tomato salsa. I loved it, so I should seriously try this out! I could use a good everyday salsa recipe since I eat it all the time. :) I love how you said that you and your husband are basically dangerously addicted to the stuff.
    P.S. I’m obsessed with hot and spicy foods, so I think I’m with your husband on adding more heat! hah

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      This is definitely a good every day type of salsa : ) sometimes I’m nice and add more spice for him … sometimes

  11. Marcie@flavorthemoments says:

    There’s nothing like chips and homemade salsa — I agree! I can’t stop myself from eating it either once I get started! Your salsa looks so good and your photos are beautiful!

  12. I could so eat chips and salsa all day too! Especially blu corn chips. You’ve really got me craving mexican food this week Ashley! That salsa looks store-bought (in a good way). I’ve tried many salsa recipes and they sure do taste great, but I find they sometimes miss that creaminess that you get from salsa in a jar. Yours looks like the best of both worlds!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Oh man, tell me about the blue corn chips … they’re my favorite : )

  13. My husband and I are huge fans of salsa! I really like the idea of making my own instead of eating it out of a jar. This recipe sounds wonderful!

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