Homemade Salsa | Easy + Spicy Recipe

When I walk into a restaurant and smell warm tortilla chips, the first thing I think of is homemade salsa ? Later, once I’m scooping up that salsa I think – this stuff would be great homemade! I’m sure you’ve thought the same thing. Well, you’re in luck, because we have a delicious homemade salsa recipe for you. In addition, this recipe is so fast, you’ll be scooping and munching in minutes!

A bowl of homemade red salsa surrounded by yellow and blue corn tortilla chips.

… just make sure you tell someone to bring the tortilla chips ?

This Homemade Salsa Starts with Tomatoes

This is a “red” salsa recipe, and we’re going to get that lovely color using tomatoes. Now, it might seem strange, but we’re suggesting canned tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are terrific for most homemade food but can be a bit pink and watery when processed into salsa. Go for your favorite and most flavorful brand, because the tomato flavor will make or break this dip.

We suggest avoiding products with extra salt, sugar, herbs or other ingredients. This salsa is homemade, so you want to be in control of the recipe ?!

Salsa ingredients laid out on a table, including tomato, chili, lime, onion and cilantro.

Chunky is Interesting!

You’re going to use crushed tomatoes to make a nice salsa base. However, we don’t want it to be too smooth. That’s why we add chopped fresh tomato, onion and chili or bell peppers to bulk it up! Trust us, the balance between crushed tomato, chunky bits, and the “crunch” of a good chip is a beautiful thing.

Not spicy? Not salsa!

Now, we know that not everybody likes their food “hot”, at least not in the spicy sense. But we’re not trying to burn your tongue – we just want your homemade salsa to be delicious! The most important spice we use here is cumin, which won’t set your mouth on fire. In fact, it won’t even make your tastebuds warm – just happy ?. Don’t forget we also add plenty of onion. We know, onion isn’t a spice, but it sure adds a sharp and special flavor!

With those ingredients in place, you can start building heat to your preference. Start with part of a de-seeded jalapeño for a mild burn. Then move up to the whole pepper. After that, if it’s still not hot enough, get all the seeds in there! If that’s still not hot enough for you, do what we do and either add more jalapeños or move up a rank on the Chili Scale! After all, this salsa is homemade – eat it how you like it!

The Final Countdown

A bowl of homemade red salsa surrounded by yellow and blue corn tortilla chips.

Yup, it’s time to get this tomato salsa to the table. In the final step, we add lime juice and fresh cilantro leaves to brighten everything up. We know, it already tastes good before you add these – but it’s even better once they’re mixed in. With these fresh aromas wafting up, you can enjoy your homemade salsa before it even reaches your mouth!

And that’s it – everything is in place and your salsa is ready to meet some tortilla chips. Errr … you did remember the chips, right?

A Flexible Treat

What good is the power to make homemade salsa if you can’t experiment a little? We can help you with that as well. If you’d like your salsa a little smoky, add some smoked paprika or chipotle chili (dried, powdered or as a hot sauce). Another good option is substituting regular crushed tomatoes with a fire roasted variety. Or maybe you’d like to replace some of the tomatoes with roasted bell peppers? Sometimes we also like to supplement or even swap the onion with a little garlic – who doesn’t like garlic?

And finally, we’ve talked a lot about chips here – but don’t limit yourself. You can pour this tasty salsa on nachos, tacos, burritos, the list is endless! It will pair with almost any dish influenced by Mexican or Southwestern US cuisine, plus many, many more – experiment!

Did you try this recipe? Let us know what you think with a comment and rating! Every bit of feedback helps make the blog even better!

One more thought – now that you have some tasty salsa, why not pair it with our deliciously Simple Guacamole?

A bowl of homemade red salsa next to a bowl of guacamole, surrounded by yellow and blue corn tortilla chips.
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A bowl of homemade red salsa surrounded by yellow and blue corn tortilla chips.

Homemade Salsa | Easy + Spicy Recipe

  • Author: Rachel Steenland
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups / 8 servings 1x


A delicious homemade salsa recipe you can make in minutes. With tasty tomatoes, delicious herbs & spices, and tangy lime – this salsa will have you hooked! 


  • 1 large can (280z / 794g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Juice of 2 limes


  1. Add salsa ingredients into a medium size bowl. Stir well. 


Keep refrigerated until time to eat. Serve with tortilla chips.


  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Nutritional information is to be used as a guide only as calories and nutrition vary between products and brands worldwide. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 29
  • Sugar: 3.7 g
  • Sodium: 594.2 mg
  • Fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.3 g
  • Fiber: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: homemade salsa, homemade salsa recipe, easy salsa recipe, salsa, tomatoes

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a small commission if you purchase using these links. The price you pay as a consumer does not change.

Rachel Steenland

Rachel Steenland

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