Forget the jar - you can get Restaurant Style Salsa at home right from a can! Of fire roasted tomatoes, that is. It's just one of the things that makes our favorite homemade blender salsa so delicious. Fresh jalapeno, cilantro and garlic give it plenty of kick. Easy, peasy, lime juice-squeezy.
While salsa is certainly something you think you don't need to make come snack time, let our blender salsa clue you in to all the reasons you should want to.
I know it seems like the ease of simply popping off a lid may erase any other benefits homemade salsa may offer, but it's not. Mostly because this recipe is ridiculously easy. Not only is your blender (or food processor) doing almost all the heavy lifting, you're going to use canned, diced, fire-roasted tomatoes.
Canned? Yes, canned. And we're gonna talk about it incessantly in this post so make sure to read along if you're on the verge of clutching your pearls...
Jars and tubs don't leave room for adjustment. Roasted tomato salsa does. Chunky, restaurant style, or somewhere in between - the choice is yours. Want more heat? Less? Want to try out different peppers to adjust the flavor and the spiciness? It does that too.
But the most important reason to make your own blender salsa with fire roasted tomatoes is so you can say you make your own salsa. I mean really, we don't care what you do with Trader Joe in the privacy of your kitchen at 2 am. But what kind of snack snobs would we be if we didn't acknowledge that half the joy of serving food to other people is saying "Oh this? I just whipped it up." *casual hair toss... but, like, not over the salsa, because hair is not a key ingredient*
Key Ingredients for Blender Salsa
Fire Roasted Canned Tomatoes: preferably already diced. Drain them before use to remove the liquids for a really substantial salsa that will hold up well to chips. We've got a lot to say about this ingredient, so definitely read the next section.
White Onion: mild, but flavor-filled, bite.
Lime Juice: fresh squeezed - usually one whole lime.
Jalapenos: with or without seeds. Substitute serrano or Fresno peppers for a spicier salsa; poblano or Anaheim peppers for a milder flavor.
Fresh Cilantro: if you're a cilantro fan, grab extra to chop and garnish the top of your salsa with.
Fresh Garlic: you can use jarred in a pinch but the flavor can tend to get lost with a finer cut.
Seasonings: kosher salt (and plenty of it), ground pepper, oregano, and cumin.
Fire Roasted Tomatoes are a MUST
This deserves its own section, because the key to the best restaurant style salsa is hands down using the right tomatoes.
The right tomatoes are canned, and they're fire roasted. Again, that's Canned. Fire. Roasted. Tomatoes. There is no substitution. There is no "yes, but".
No, you can't use fresh tomatoes (though you CAN roast your own fresh tomatoes from scratch). No, you shouldn't use regular canned tomatoes. And no to pureed tomatoes, though in a pinch crushed (as long as they're fire roasted) tomatoes will work - just be sure to drain them really, really well.
Fire roasted canned tomatoes work best for two reasons: (1) they're extra flavorful; (2) they're less acidic than raw tomatoes. Leave the majority of the acidic heavy lifting to limes, and allow the sweet flavor of charred canned tomatoes to shine.
To roast your own tomatoes, toss fresh tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven at 400°F for 1 hour, or until very soft and charred around the edges. Let the roasted tomatoes cool to room temperature, then dice gently with a very sharp knife.
How to Make Blender Salsa
We cannot overstate how easy Blender Salsa is to make. Canned fire-roasted tomatoes add smokiness to the rest of your fresh, flavorful ingredients. Put it all in your blender (or food processor) and pulse to your desired consistency. Swap peppers to adjust heat and serve with tortilla chips. Our blender salsa recipe easily doubles for crowds too!
- Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
- Pulse until you get the desired consistency.
- Rest salsa 15-30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
- Make it Mild: substitute jalapenos for fresh poblano or Anaheim peppers.
- Make it Spicy: substitute jalapenos for fresh serrano or Fresno peppers.
- Double It: this recipe easily super sizes for parties.
- Chunky or Smooth? Chef's choice! if you do prefer chunky, I recommend larger, rougher cuts on your ingredients, and a more controlled pulse with fewer intervals
Storing and Serving
Serve homemade salsa room temperature - or chilled - with your favorite tortilla chips.
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It's best the second day.
Blender vs Food Processor
Choosing between these two tools for your homemade salsa depends on the strength of your appliance. A food processor or high-powered blender is going to break down your salsa ingredients with less time and effort. A standard kitchen blender will probably take a few more pulses.
How to Thicken Salsa
Drain the canned tomatoes using a colander or strainer before adding to the food processor.
If your finished roasted tomato salsa is too watery for your liking, and you don't want to reduce your volume, DO NOT add cornstarch or a powdered thickener.
Drain off some of the liquid and whisk with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste until well-combined. Add the mixture back into your salsa and fold in gently so as not to further break down the tomatoes. Adjust seasoning to taste as needed.
Dips for Days!
Did you make this homemade salsa?!? We want to hear all about it! Leave a comment below, or share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @thesnackblog and #thesnackblog.
10-Minute Restaurant Style Salsa (Blender Salsa)
- 1 28-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
- ½ large white onion, chopped
- 1-2 jalapenos, chopped (with or without seeds depending preference for spice)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- Nest a mesh strainer into a bowl, then pour the canned tomatoes into the strainer. Gently stir to strain the juices from the tomatoes; this will prevent the salsa from becoming too watery.
- Transfer the tomatoes to a blender or food processor, then add the remaining ingredients - white onion, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, cumin, sugar, and oregano. Pulse until the desired consistency is reached, adding 1-2 tablespoons of the strained tomato juices if the salsa is too thick.
- Rest the salsa 15-30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Serve cold or room temperature with tortilla chips. Enjoy!