Restaurant-Style Salsa

My family's FAVORITE restaurant-style salsa recipe made in a blender with canned tomatoes and fresh ingredients. 

Any time I've been in Mexico or Southern California I've always been impressed with the “salsa culture”. Every place you go has their own salsa and before you can sit down good, they've given you a bowl of it.

Whether you’re in a bar or having breakfast, the salsa’s coming out. The cool thing is that they’re all different. Some made with fresh tomatoes, some made with canned, some made with cooked tomatoes, some made with tomatillos and all of them with a special little “something” to make it unique.

SO. When my neighbor, Terri, gave us all batches of her homemade salsa one year for Christmas I was itching to try it because it looked so much like some of that red gold I’d had out west.

And y’all. Y’all!! It was amazing.

I was sort of shocked that it uses canned tomatoes. But I’d already tasted it by the time I saw the recipe and didn't need any convincing that it was good!

This is SO easy to prepare. And, seriously, you NEED to have some of this on scrambled eggs. Seriously. Do it.  I’m saying that in my Ben Stiller/Starsky & Hutch voice.  Do it... Do it.

It looks like the salsa you get in Mexican restaurants around here but it has so much more flavor. Terri happily shared her recipe with me and I’m sharing my version of it with you!

Thanks, Terri!!

If you enjoy appetizers with Mexican flair, try some of these recipes too!

  • Slow Cooker Bean Dip – A super easy, big batch crock pot bean dip recipe perfect for tailgating and parties with just 5 ingredients!
  • Fiesta Corn Salsa – A creamy corn dip recipe with corn, sour cream and tons of Mexican flavor. Perfect with corn chips or tortilla chips.
  • Semi-Homemade PARTY Guacamole – An easy and inexpensive guacamole recipe using fresh ingredients like avocado, onion and garlic with prepared guacamole.
  • Chipotle Shrimp Tostada Bites – Mini tostadas with chipotle glazed shrimp and guacamole sprinkled with a confetti of red onion and cilantro! 
  • Restaurant-Style Salsa – My family's FAVORITE restaurant-style salsa recipe made in a blender with canned tomatoes and fresh ingredients.
  • Rotel Sausage Dip – Classic crock pot party dip recipe made with Rotel tomatoes, sausage and cream cheese served with tortilla chips perfect for tailgating and game day!

Restaurant-Style Salsa

Yield: About 6 cups
prep time: 10 Mcook time: total time: 10 M
My family's FAVORITE restaurant-style salsa recipe made in a blender with canned tomatoes and fresh ingredients.


  • 2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, roughly chopped
  • 7-8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Juice of one lime (optional)


How to cook Restaurant-Style Salsa

  1. Add approximately half of the tomatoes to a blender (you can use a food processor as well).
  2. Cut the bare stems off the bunch of cilantro (you want mostly leaves but some stem is OK) then add to the blender .
  3. Add jalapeños, garlic and onion to the blender then pulse/chop 5-6 times or until there are no large chunks remaining.
  4. Add remaining tomatoes, cumin, salt, pepper and lime juice (Terri's recipe doesn't call for lime juice but I usually add it if I have limes on hand) then pulse/chop 2-3 times or until you reach the consistency you like.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
best, favorite, restaurant, blender, food processor, salsa, canned, cumin, onion, tomatoes, recipe
Created using The Recipes Generator

This recipe was shared at the Weekend Potluck!

Keep up with my latest shenanigans by following South Your Mouth!


  1. Would this be good for canning or would it need more acid.

    Debbie Krysak

  2. This is fantastic!! The only thing I will change next time is less salt. Love it! Thanks!!
    ~Mom Of 5 boys!

  3. I see so many homemade salsas and frankly it just looks scary to me. You're recipe makes it look easy! Pinned!

  4. Squat Blossom8/29/13, 5:56 PM

    Thank you for posting this today! On my way to the store earlier, my husband says "get me some tomatoes, onions, and other stuff. I'm just going to make my own salsa... I'm over all these store-bought salsas. Very timely post! My boy loves his salsa, and he loves it HOT!

  5. Made this two days ago and it was very good! Only thing, it wasn't spicy enough for me, had to add an extra jalapeno. Going to make some more soon!

  6. I would add just a smidge of sugar and sub in 2 cans of rotel for one can of the whole tomatoes.

  7. This is almost exactly like Pioneer Woman's recipe I use all the time. She uses 2 cans of Rotel for one of the cans of whole tomatoes and definitely adds some sugar and a little garlic. The BEST salsa and easy to make!

  8. This sounds good! Does it freeze well?

  9. Did anyone receive an answer on the canning or freezing questions? I love this salsa and so does my family. Was thinking of making a big batch and canning for Christmas. Can you reply to this thread so everyone can see replies? Thank you!


Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy