Salsa for the Masses


Salsa has many variables and the great thing about making your own is you can mix it exactly the way YOU like it.  You choose level of heat and salt, chunky or blended, lots of onion, garlic, cilantro or not.  I’ll call this more a guideline then a recipe because I expect you to personalize it.  This is the basic spicy brew we have concocted wherever in the world we landed and managed to find the ingredients and a knife (I searched high and low in African markets to track down cilantro )

When necessary, we just dice all these ingredients as fine as possible, but if I have access to a blender here is how I do it.  I HATE chopping onions and – so this method keeps the tears to a minimum as I let the blender do most of the work.  (this quick and tearless method took dozens of batches to master)  Of course a food processor works great as well.


5 16 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (I find canned tomatoes have richer flavor than fresh tomatoes)

2 medium sweet onions

1 bunch fresh cilantro

4-5 cloves garlic

3-5 jalapenos depending on heat and preference

2-3 TBSP apple cider vinegar

½-1 tsp salt to taste

*makes about 10 cups


  • Chop onions in large chunks and put in blender with 2 cans of tomatoes. If not a high quality blender it may need to be done one onion with one can of tomatoes at a time. Pulse until onions are size you like.  Pour into 3 quart bowl
  • Chop cilantro into 1 inch sections and place in empty blender with 1 can diced tomatoes and pulse until desired texture. Pour into above salsa bowl
  • Chop jalapenos in large chunks and pulse in blender with can of tomatoes until desired texture. Add to salsa bowl
  • Throw peeled garlic bulbs in blender with ½ can tomatoes and puree. Add to salsa bowl.  You are saving ½ can diced tomatoes for possible additions after tasting.  Add the final ½ can once the salsa passes your taste test
  • Add vinegar and salt. Stir well.
  • Now open a bag of tortilla chips, quickly gather as many friends as possible (my children are expert testers) and see if you are happy with the amount of onion, garlic, salt, vinegar and pepper. If not, use the remaining tomatoes to dice up more in the blender.  If you happen to make it too salty or spicy, just add another can of tomatoes till you get it right.  As soon as the salsa is declared perfect- let the party begin!!

Salsa Notes

Some people prefer lemon or lime juice in place of vinegar.  I prefer the zip of vinegar.

With time (a few days) the heat of jalapeños mellows in the presence of acid (vinegar, lime or lemon juice)

This salsa stays well for a few weeks in the fridge, but that rarely happens in our house.

Great on scrambled eggs! A sneaky way to eat vegetables for breakfast

My daughter-in-law, Salena, prefers fire roasted diced tomatoes and her mom uses Italian style diced tomatoes.  I like plain diced tomatoes.  Try them all and decide for yourself! 🙂

A quick convenience food in our house is rice, beans, cheese and salsa.  We always keep cooked rice in the fridge and canned black beans in the pantry so this meal can be whipped up in an instant.

Tortilla chips taste super fresh if reheated in the oven – one minute in the microwave also works.

Corn tortillas brushed with oil and baked in the oven until crisp are even better!

Hey- you really can’t get much healthier than fresh salsa!!  Tons of antioxidants, no fat or sugar.  It works on any diet…….  Yes, I’ll use any excuse for a taco:)

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