Homemade Salsa Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 18 servings

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This easy homemade Salsa Recipe is made with loads of fresh tomatoes and peppers, and can be made as mild or as spicy as you like it! A few tricks make this recipe easier than the rest.

homemade salsa in small glass bowl with tortilla chips on a plate on the side

Summer is here and your garden is bursting with fresh, juicy tomatoes!

Or maybe it’s not. (Anyone else around here with a black thumb??)

This homemade salsa recipe is so easy to make, you’re going to want to find yourself some tomatoes and make it anyway.

We’re skipping the hard parts (peeling those darn tomatoes — who’s got time for that?), throwing everybody in the pot and letting it simmer.

homemade salsa recipe in glass bowl close up with tortilla chips in the background

I snagged this salsa recipe from a woman from our church ten years ago.


And I have no idea how long she’s been making it before I nagged her for the recipe, but you know it’s a keeper.

Go raid your garden, your mother-in-law’s garden or pick some tomatoes and peppers up at the grocery store, because once you go the homemade salsa route you’ll never go back.

I mean, it’s going to take your Friday night chips-and-salsa dinner to the next level 😉

How to make salsa:

I’m not kidding you when I say this salsa recipe is easy to make. There’s no peeling tomatoes or any of that nonsense, the hardest part (and I’ll be honest, it will take some time) is just chopped the tomatoes and the rest of your vegetables.

  1. Chop chop. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic (or pull an Ashley and buy the jar of minced garlic).
  2. Let it simmer about an hour. If you see any tomato skin floaties, grab your tongs and pull them out.
  3. Stir in the sugar, tomato paste, and vinegar. Bring it to a simmer.
  4. Put in jars and refrigerate or share!
easy salsa recipe with hand scooping salsa with tortilla chip and cilantro in the background
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Variations on this homemade salsa recipe:

  • It’s pretty easy to adjust the flavor of this salsa to your tastes — feel free to add a little more sugar or a little more spice (adjust the cayenne at the end if you find you want it hotter) after you give it a taste test when everything’s been added.
  • It occurred to me as I was making this salsa recipe that there is no cilantro in it, as there is in many traditional salsa recipes. I do not like cilantro, so that’s probably why it didn’t occur to me, but if you do, feel free to just throw some in here.
  • There is also no jalapeno in this homemade salsa, though there is a mild but punchy amount of spice, thanks to cayenne. The cayenne makes it so easy to customize the spice level to your tastes because you can add in more at the end of the cook time. If you prefer to dice up some jalapeno at the beginning with the peppers? Go for it! I just can’t advise on how much to add.
  • This salsa recipe is naturally gluten and dairy free.

Canning salsa: what do I need to know?

This is one of those recipes you’ll never part with once you’ve got it, and also one that I don’t know the original origin.

Because I don’t know the origin, and I don’t know the pH level of this salsa, I can’t recommend that you can it for liability reasons. I simply cannot say for sure.

I will say that I myself have used the water bath method and canned this salsa, and kept it for up to a year.

But there are serious risks with canning and storing something that is not meant to be canned and there are too many factors for me to consider as I am not a canning expert.

And I would definitely be wary of any canned salsa recipes where you don’t trust the origin 100%.

salsa recipe overhead on plate with tortilla chips on grey marble background

Thankfully, this salsa will last up to a couple weeks in the fridge, so I think you’d be missing out if you didn’t give it a go! It’s a summer staple around here, and I’m sure it will be in your home too 🙂

Love salsa? Try this Corn Salsa or this Mango Salsa next!

Tools needed to make this homemade salsa recipe:

These are affiliate links — which means I make a few cents if you make a purchase.

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Homemade Salsa Recipe

5 from 9 votes
This easy homemade Salsa Recipe is made with loads of fresh tomatoes and peppers, and can be made as mild or as spicy as you like it! A few tricks make this recipe easier than the rest. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cuisine Mexican
Course Sauces and Condiments
Servings 18 servings
Calories 33cal


  • 8 large tomatoes (4.5-5lbs, 2 kg)
  • 3 green bell peppers chopped
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 156 ml tomato paste (1 small can)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar


  • Slice tomatoes and squeeze out the watery juices. Discard juices and dice tomatoes. Add to a large stock pot.
  • Add peppers, onions, garlic and salt to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover, leaving the lid open about ½ an inch for steam to escape.
  • Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in tomato paste, vinegar, and sugar and bring back up to a simmer.
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened. Let cool to room temperature and store in the refrigerator. 


*This recipe makes roughly 6 cups of salsa. You can easily halve the recipe to make only 3, or double to make a large batch.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 33cal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 653mg | Potassium: 276mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 705IU | Vitamin C: 26.6mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Keywords homemade salsa

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Donna! You should be able to freeze this. It will last to up to a couple of weeks. Enjoy!

  1. Joy Hardy says

    Hi Ashley. I have never commented twice on a recipe. I have made this many times and given it to friends. Always a hit!!!!!
    I do peel the tomatoes now. I score the end of them before pouring boiling water over them, works great.
    If you are reading this review, you have to make this salsa, THE BEST!!!!!

  2. Joy Hardy says

    So delicious. I added 1/3 of a jalapeno pepper finely chopped. A little too much heat so added a little more sugar. I made a half batch and now regret not making the full batch. Very very good

  3. Jenny Skrenes says

    Anyone know why pickling salt is indicated and if the results would suffer from table salt or kosher salt?

  4. Dorothy Reinhold says

    Fresh garden tomatoes are going to make this salsa amazing! It won’t stay around long at my house!

  5. Sara Welch says

    What a perfect blend of spicy and sweet! Love chips and salsa for a mid afternoon snack and this hit the spot!

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